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Welcome Back David Duval

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I must admit, I waited impatiently for a few days to post this congratuations because I did not want to take anything away from Lucas Glover’s spectacular and much deserved win this past weekend at the US Open. I would be lying if I told you that’s what this short story is about. It’s not. It is about David Duval, Mr. 59, former World #1, the guy hiding behind the darkened Oakleys, I always knew you had something left for the game of golf. Last summer while watching The Open Championship I hoped that you could make a run down the stretch and challenge Greg Norman, Ian Poulter and the eventual winner, Padraig Harrington on the last day. It didn’t materialize, but there was a glimpse of greatness shining through the clouds. I saw it. Many have heard you answer questions about your game with, I am playing great, but my scores just are not reflective of my efforts and work ethic. Not many believed in you David, but I did. Furthermore, I knew that once you started speaking to how much you liked Bethpage Black as a golf course, you would be a contender. Yes, a contender, and NOT an also ran.

David Duval, camo shorts and all, lining up a drive during the USGA Sectional Qualifier in Columbus, Ohio. Pic by Christian Rodriguez.

In fact, I took my first day off from work for the summer (I am a teacher) by waking up at 4 AM to drive two hours so that I could follow you up closely for 18 holes during your first round of the USGA Sectional qualifying at Brookside Golf and Country Club in Columbus, Ohio. Many friends asked why I didn’t follow some other big names, and my reply was David Duval is the man to watch that day. Sure I saw a lot of other big names, but that’s not why I drove two hours so early in the morning. I was immediately impressed with all aspects of your game that day and knew that things were on the way up, and really soon too! I had originally planned on following Mr. 59 for his second 18 holes at Lakes Country Club later that afternoon, but was so motivated watching him play, I hopped in my Jeep after the first 18 holes and went and played (well, I tried to anyway) 18 holes prior to driving back to Cincinnati. (We won’t talk about my score either…)

Duval shot a 6 under 66 on an old school, very tight, tree lined golf course to make his own way into the 2009 US Open. Pic by Christian Rodriguez.

Ahhh…that darned triple bogey from that sand trap lip. Dang it. This is golf, remember? Unfortunately, you cannot get out of every sticky mess your shots or even bad luck place you in on the course. I saw the field come back to you a bit as you played a marvelous final round to get back into contention for the big win, even with that nasty triple bogey to start your day Monday.

Placing in second at our United States Open Championship is a lot to be proud of David Duval. It is even much more of an accomplishment because it shows David Duval’s perseverance for renewed excellence and doing what many in this world said could not be done.

Thanks for being in it right up until the very end! Good luck in next month’s Open Championship.

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    Jul 2, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    I too watched him at the sectional qualifier in Columbus, only at The Lakes. I work there, so i had access to the course (carts) and the players in the locker room. He was a very nice guy to talk to and sounded very enthusiastic about getting to play on the open (talked to him after the round) i was really hoping he could pull it off come sunday (errr.. monday)

  2. Devin Drayton

    Jul 1, 2009 at 9:11 am

    Great article, I feel much the same way about David. I can still remember watching Duval hit Driver-5 iron-putt for his eagle on the 18th to complete the 59, as good as it gets.

  3. Eric Schuster

    Jun 30, 2009 at 8:19 am

    I have to admit I doubted whether Mr. Duval could come back from whatever level of Dante’s Inferno he’d reached on the plunge from number one in the world to number eight hundred eighty two. A major head trip like that has doomed so many in the past. But to watch the US Open unfold, and particularly after that triple bogey opening hole on Monday was enough to give even the four horsemen of doom pause. The man can still play, and play well. I’ve wished/hoped for his return for years. May this be the beginning of that return.

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Photos from the 2021 Palmetto Championship at Congaree

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GolfWRX is live from Congaree Golf Club for the Palmetto Championship. This one-time replacement for the RBC Canadian Open is the third PGA Tour event contested in South Carolina this season.

Palmetto State native Dustin Johnson headlines the field (and has been doing plenty of putter testing). Brooks Koepka and Jason Dufner will be teeing it up as well. John Pak and Davis Thompson will both be making their professional debuts.

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John Pak, college golf’s top player, signs with TaylorMade

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Editor’s note: We filed this piece for PGATour.com’s Equipment Report.

With a buddy on the bag and fresh off receiving the Jack Nicklaus Award in Columbus, Ohio, on Sunday, celebrated amateur and Florida State standout John Pak is making his professional debut at this week’s Palmetto Championship at Congaree — and he’ll do so as a TaylorMade staffer, the company announced today.

College golf’s top player, Pak has played TaylorMade gear and a Titleist ball since his amateur days. And as we found out from Ryan Ressa, TaylorMade’s player development manager, who has worked with Pak since he was in his early teens, it’s not surprising Pak will continue with the same bag setup and ball combination as he joins the professional ranks.

The Scotch Plains, New Jersey, native is an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” kind of guy when it comes to his equipment, which is a trait Ressa sees among many of the game’s best. (Another TaylorMade staffer Tiger Woods, for one, comes to mind).

Ressa and TaylorMade have had a relationship with Pak for nearly a decade, and it’s Ressa’s job to not only make sure Pak is in the right equipment for his game but is also navigating the matrix of amateur competitions, college, and the decision to turn pro successfully.

According to Ressa, Pak, and other junior standouts, need new equipment, or at least a fitting, roughly every six months as their bodies and swings change.

Even so, while he’s transitioned into new fairway wood models as they’ve become available, the DNA of Pak’s bag has stayed largely the same.

“Jon is a very simple guy when it comes to equipment, and he doesn’t do a lot of tinkering outside of driver shafts,” Ressa said. “Deep down, he’s a great competitor. He just loves to compete and is focused on getting the ball in the hole. He’s stayed really, really consistent with the look of his irons, the loft of his wedges, and his bag setup. He’s been easy to work with and only needs one or two visits per year to get squared away.”

Read the full piece here.

Check out the full WITB here. 

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Morning 9: Fowler’s U.S. Open qualifying bid | Qualifying scores | Bryson: Rivalries good for golf

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Good Tuesday morning, golf fans.
1. Fowler’s U.S. Open qualifying bid
AP report…”Already facing a long day, Rickie Fowler found the road even tougher Monday in 36-hole qualifying as he tried to avoid missing the U.S. Open for the first time in 11 years.”
  • “Fowler was among 685 players seeking 54 spots in nine qualifiers across eight states to fill the field for the U.S. Open, which starts June 17 at Torrey Pines in San Diego.”
  • “He played his opening round at Brookside in 1-over 73, which was halted for three hours because of heavy rain and thunder, meaning he likely would need at least a 65 at The Lakes to have any chance.”
  • “Fowler wasn’t going down without a fight. He was 4 under for his round — 3 under for the qualifier — through 13 holes when it was too dark to continue because of the rain delay.”
Full scores, qualifiers here...other notables include Patrick Rodgers, Branden Grace, Bo Hoag, Troy Merritt, John Huh, Sam Ryder, and Akshay Bhatia
2. Premier Golf League slated for 2023?
The BBC’s Ian Carter with the report on the UK-based upstart’s plants to, well, start up…”Detailed plans for a £250m Premier Golf League aimed at revolutionising the professional game are to be revealed later this week.”
  • “BBC Sport has learned that the Formula 1 style global competition is scheduled to begin in January 2023 and would include 18 tournaments targeting the top 48 male players in the world.”
  • “A dozen of those events would be staged in the United States with the others “chasing the sun” around the world. Each competition would be worth $20m (£14m) with $4m going to the winner and last place picking up $150,000.”
  • “By way of comparison, the biggest purse on the PGA Tour for a single event is $2.7m from a $15m prize fund at the Players Championship.”
3. Bryson: Rivalries good for golf
Carlos Monarrez reporting from Rocket Mortgage Classic media day for the Detroit Free Press…”Bryson DeChambeau, at the center of the golf world because of his white-hot rivalry with Brooks Koepka, didn’t want to spend too much time discussing that rivalry Monday when he returned to speak about defending his title at the Rocket Mortgage Classic, July 1-4, at Detroit Golf Club.”
  • “DeChambeau, who will defend his U.S. Open title next week at Torrey Pines in San Diego, said the feud is good for the sport.”
  • “I think a good jesting rivalry is good for the game of golf, nothing too extreme,” he told reporters on media day at Detroit Golf Club. “But at the same point and time that’s all outside of the spectrum of what we’re here for today, and I think the most important thing is to be talking about what Rocket Mortgage is doing for the 313 area and I think the change the course initiative is something that’s bigger than the game of golf, compared to a rivalry.”
4. Armitage!
EuropeanTour.com report…”An emotional Marcus Armitage claimed his maiden European Tour title at the Porsche European Open after a sensational final round at Green Eagle Golf Courses.”
  • “The 33-year-old from England made six birdies and an eagle to race to eight under for the day and nine under for the week.”
  • “At that stage Armitage was four shots clear but he bogeyed the 16th after a misjudged putt from over 100 feet and needed a remarkable chip to save par on the 17th following an overly cautious tee shot”
GolfWRX may earn a commission of “GolfWRX Recommends” products.
5. Costly
Rob Oller voices his opinion for the Columbus Dispatch…”If Rahm had been vaccinated ASAP after his home state of Arizona opened eligibility to all adults on March 24, the 26-year-old Spaniard almost certainly would have avoided testing positive for COVID-19 Saturday at the Memorial Tournament.”
  • “And had he not tested positive, he would not have withdrawn from the Memorial, which he led by six shots with 18 left to play.”
  • “And if he had not withdrawn, Rahm stood a strong chance of leaving Muirfield Village Golf Club with a crystal trophy and $1.675 million.”
  • “It does not take a Fortune 500 company accountant to connect those dots. Get a tiny prick in the arm, avoid the huge hole in the pocket that allowed a cool million-and-a-half to slip through.”
6. Big things ahead for Megha Ganne after impressive U.S. Open showing
Emilia Migliaccio for Golf Channel…”A true class act. Ganne didn’t get frustrated for shooting a higher score than she wanted. She knew the course was bound to get her like it did everyone, but she was composed and motivated to fight the entire day for some birdies, which she finally got on the par-5 17th. She also knew that regardless of the final round results, it would be the week of a lifetime.”
  • “I’m going to remember this for the rest of my life. It’s everything I’ve wanted since I was little, so it’s just the best feeling.”
  • “…I can’t thank all these fans enough. They’ve made my week so much better than it could have been. I just felt like there was so much love and so much support, and all of them are really excited to be out here, which is so great to see because I feel like in a small way, I’m making an impact on the game, which is really cool.”
7. The first major champion from the Philippines
Kent Paisley for Golf Digest…”It was 8 a.m. local time on Monday in the Philippines when Saso won the playoff to claim the title, her first LPGA Tour victory. You can rightfully say that Saso raised a new dawn for the game of golf in her home country. “I’m just thankful that there’s so many people in the Philippines cheering for me,” Saso said. “I don’t know how to thank them. They gave me so much energy. I want to say thank you to everyone.”
  • “Interestingly, too, San Francisco has one of the largest Filipina populations of any city in the U.S., with Saso attracting an impressive following during her week at Olympic Club.”
  • “Pagdanganan wasn’t in the field at Olympic Club but is playing in next week’s LPGA stop in San Francisco and arrived at Olympic Club on Sunday to watch Saso starting on the fifth hole.”
  • “I think it’s not only good for her, but I think it’s good for the Philippines,” Pagdanganan said. “She put us on the radar. What she did was absolutely a great thing, not only for golf but for our country.”
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