female golf pundit, "female golf pundit"
I never knew much about David Duval.
Having discovered golf only a few short years ago myself, I'd essentially missed his story.
On occasion his name would come up... most recently at the US Open this past summer, when his T2 finish led to unfulfilled hopes of a comeback. More often though, it was in a post about another players's monumental reversal of fortunes... another great golfer, like Ernie Els or Michelle Wie, at risk of falling off the map.
It was like... every time some sarcastic scribe got the urge to predict a golfer's rapid decline, they'd gleefully pull out the name of David Duval. Duvalesque even became a legitimate golf adjective. Like Van de Veldian... only worse.
I sensed there had been an epic demise, and I knew there was something extraordinary about the David Duval story, but I wasn't totally sure I wanted to know what it was. Unlike some in this business, I hate a demise.
At the conclusion of yesterday's AT&T Pebble Beach National ProAm, David Duval had posted four rounds in the 60s at a 72-hole event for the first time since 2001... and his renaissant comeback was the biggest story of the tournament. It seemed like even the most cynical of golf writers were expressing their cautious optimism. The the desire for a story of redemption in these less-than-optimistic times was palpable.
So I decided I'd better do a bit of research into a player who was no more than an unknown enigma to me. ~ Of course in the end I spent several hours on David Duval... That's how compelling his story is. I read about his ascent to golf glory and the number one spot in the world in 1999... and his ultra-dramatic 59 that year at the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic... his Tour Championship and Open Championship wins and the winning day he shared with his Dad. Inspiring, heartwarming stories like that. Of course I also read myriad stories of the "skydive-without-a-parachute leap into obscurity" that ensued. Over the years he's been called aloof and arrogant and brash. He's also been described as as cerebral, shy and sensitive. I won't rehash it here as most already know it. But suffice to say that by the time I finished my research, I fully understood the David Duval thing that had just taken place in Monterey.
I just went over to Mr. Duval's wall and joined a couple of hundred other fans to wish him luck going forward and I think we'd all love to see this be the real return.