Former World No. 1 Professional Golfer
David Duval Speaker Profile
David Duval was one of the best players in the world - No. 1, in fact, in the official World Golf Rankings for a time in 1999 - and then his game disappeared.
Like Ralph Guldahl and Ian Baker-Finch before him, Duval simply lost the ability to play at the highest level. Faltering confidence had something to do with it, but it was more about nagging injuries that caused changes in his swing. However, Duval appeared on the road back beginning in late 2004, and in 2006 made as many cuts as he missed.
Duval grew up the son of a golf pro, Bob Duval (who himself would go on to win on the Senior PGA Tour). Duval had a sterling junior golf career and played collegiately at Georgia Tech. While at Georgia Tech, Duval was named first-team All-American four times, and twice was named ACC Player of the Year.
He turned pro in 1993 and spent a couple seasons on the Nationwide Tour before earning his PGA Tour card in 1995. Duval had almost immediate success; although he didn't post his first victory for a while, he qualified for the 1996 Presidents Cup team and posted a 4-0 record.
Duval's breakout season was 1998, when he won 4 times, led the tour in money and scoring. From 1997 through 2001, Duval won 13 times, including one major, while spending some time ranked No. 1 in the world. He shot 59 in the final round of the 1999 Bob Hope Chrysler Classic.
But he slipped to 80th on the money list in 2002, 211th in 2003, and by late 2003 had dropped off the PGA Tour. He stayed away for eight months, not returning until the 2004 U.S. Open. There was much speculation about the source of Duval's problems, which led to many rounds in the 80s. Duval maintained the causes were physical - making adjustments to deal with back pain, he'd messed up his swing - and mental - he'd lost confidence as his results soured.
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