LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) David Duval walked off the course on Friday, his trademark shades glaring, his smile still resonating after a year that showed much promise only to end in such disappointment.
The former world No. 1 has likely lost his PGA Tour card for next year after missing the cut at the Children's Miracle Network Classic, finishing at 5-over par in the final event of the season at Disney World.
"It's not a position you want to be in," Duval said. "It's not fun, but really, I haven't been focusing on it a whole lot."
Duval entered the week at No. 125 on the money list, the last spot to earn full status on tour. He is projected to finish at No. 131, giving him conditional status that would allow him to enter about a dozen tournaments for being in the top 150.
Duval's name recognition should help him land sponsor exemptions. And his runner-up finish at the U.S. Open and his 2001 British Open championship will get him into the first three majors next year.
He said he has already signed up for qualifying school. If he doesn't qualify, he'll be making his schedule on a weekly basis next year.
"I've played long enough, I'd like to think the relationships I've built up for 14, 15 years out here, that the events I go to year in and year out would show me a little love if I need it," he said.
It's been a long fall from grace.
Duval won three straight PGA Tour events in 1997, captured the 2001 British Open championship and became only the third player to shoot 59 in a round on tour in 1999. He is still the last to accomplish that feat.
The man many thought would challenge Tiger Woods for years then sputtered for nearly a decade.
His runner-up finish at this year's U.S. Open seemed like it would be the start of his resurgence, but his success at Bethpage Black was short-lived.
That was his first top-10 finish since 2002, placing him well inside the top 125 on the money list. Duval was using a one-time exemption this year for being among the top 50 on the career money list.
"I talked a lot early on in the year about coming back, building the confidence back that I had for so long, and I feel like for the most part I did that," Duval said. "So I'm excited about everything I'm doing. I'm happy with it.
"But I want to start at 0, start even, not feel like I'm behind the eight ball. So that's what I'm looking forward to."