Open Championship

Duval shows flashes of former greatness

2015-07-19 14:40
David Duval (AP)

St Andrews - David Duval rolled back the years and turned in a performance worthy of 2001, when he won the Open Championship, as he carded a 67 and moved into contention during the third round at St Andrews on Sunday.

The 43-year-old from Florida has failed to win any tournament since he lifted the Claret Jug at Royal Lytham with a three-stroke victory 14 years ago.

His fall from world No 1, and a recent series of failing to make the cut at a major since 2010 when he finished 70th at the US Open, are a far cry from runner-up finishes at the 2001 Masters and 2009 US Open, as well as his finest hour when he won the Open Championship.

He even lost his Tour card in 2011 which led him into a career as a golf analyst and commentator.

Again in danger of crashing out after the second round, Duval only made the cut deadline on Saturday when he birdied the 18th hole to creep into the final 36 holes on even par.

However, he shot out of the blocks with all guns blazing on a cloudy Sunday morning in east Scotland to record seven birdies against two bogeys in front of a supportive crowd familiar with his undoubted talent.

"Competing against the best golfers in the world and the Dustin Johnsons and Jordan Spieths and Rorys is not a fair fight when I haven't played a golf tournament in three or four months and they've been playing constantly," Duval said following his round that leaves him five shots back of leader Dustin Johnson.

"But you know, I faced a challenge yesterday, and it made me feel real good to do what I did.

"I hit the golf shots I needed to do on 17 and then three-putted like a fool, but then birdied the 18th knowing I had to (to make the cut), and that was cool.

"Links golf is my favourite thing to do, just puts a smile on my face when I'm out there playing, the challenges of it I find intriguing, frustrating, uplifting, all these things, and so to get to do it for two straight weeks (after missing the cut at the Scottish Open), it's a blessing as a golfer, regardless of who you are, to come over."

Duval also says he will enjoy the final day when the championship is on the line and emphasised nerves will not play a factor.

"There's absolutely no pressure on me tomorrow (Monday)," he said.

"There's not. I mean, again, I joke -- when I tee it up and I know you're tired of hearing about it, but I expect to play well, and I haven't a lot of times."

"Maybe I'll shoot 67 again, maybe I'll shoot 77, who knows? But I'll have a smile on my face and enjoy walking around St. Andrews, I can tell you that."

Read more on:    european tour  |  open championship  |  golf

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