RENO, Nev. (AP) — Coming off his best finish in more than two years, David Duval is showing some signs of regaining the form that won him the British Open in 2001.
And while he’d like to claim his 14th career victory this weekend at the Legends Reno-Tahoe Open, he said he has a more important goal – doing his family proud.
“As I decided to put in some time and some work, it certainly has made me gain a lot more desire to show my family who I am as a golfer,” said Duval, who opened with rounds of 73-69 at Royal Birkdale and was three shots out of the lead before settling for a tie for 39th at the British Open earlier this month.
“At the Open, my finish wasn’t the best and my scores weren’t necessarily as good as they could have been but my two oldest boys were there and they finally got to see how I can hit a golf ball,” he said Wednesday.
Duval brought his wife, Susie, and four of his five children ranging in ages from 18 to 1 to the Montreux Golf Course this week on the edge of the Sierra, which he said reminds him of back home in Colorado.
Winner of nearly $17 million over his career, he hasn’t won a PGA Tour event since that 2001 British Open. He was ranked in the Top 10 on the PGA money list from 1997-2001, topping it in 1998 and placing second in 1997 and 1999.
Since then, he’s managed only four top 25 finishes – three of those in 2006 when he finished tied for 16th in the U.S. Open – and won less than $1 million combined over that period. Plagued by back and swing problems, he made only one cut in 20 starts in 2005.
Aside from the British Open, he’s only made one other cut in 12 starts this year and ranks 230th on the money list with $46,287. But he said a rededication to the game after his wife made it through a difficult pregnancy last year is finally showing some signs of starting to pay off.
“I’ve said for quite some time I’ve been playing quite well and not getting anything out of it,” Duval said. “I went there (to Royal Birkdale) feeling very good about my golf and I played quite well in very trying conditions for four days and took a lot out of it.”
“I’ve taken great pride in simply controlling the golf ball. You want to win golf tournaments but I just enjoy moving it, doing what you need to do with it. To be doing that again is a fun thing.”