Anyone who follows the PGA Tour (and in particular the Nike Golf athletes on it) has seen a slow but steady transformation over the last year or so. Not the economy-driven reduction in sponsorships and advertising, not the rising number of players who average over 300 yards off the tee, not even the increasing proliferation of white belts on tour. I’m talking about the resurgence of David Duval.
His past struggles have been widely documented so I won’t repeat them here. So has his attempt at a comeback over the last several years. His fall from being the world’s number #1 ranked player, the accompanying media scrutiny, fan criticism and doubts that he could ever again regain any kind of status on tour or in the world rankings, let alone win a tournament — all add up to what amounts to a Goliath-size demon that not many people think David (Duval that is) can slay.
But watch the way David is playing now. Watch the way he walks. Watch his eyes. You can see it coming — his Nike irons are his slingshot (no pun intended) with the rock (Nike One ball?) inside poised for taking down the giant demon that injuries and a fickle media and fan base created for him. I’m sure all along David knew he could regain his form — it’s those of us outside who lost the faith.
There have been glimmers of promise on the course (evidenced by his performance at the Valero Texas Open), and a CBS interview between David and the two Peters (Kostis and Oostrhuis) was telling of how close Duval thinks he is to success on the course.
I think 5 years of hard work are coming to fruition and soon you’ll hear the simultaneous sounds the ball falling into the cup on the final hole, the roar of the crowd as the arms are raised in victory, and a distant thud as the giant falls — all as David Duval wins his first tour event since his major victory at the British Open in 2001.
I think that victory will come sooner than later, and I predict here that David Duval will win a PGA Tour event in 2009. What do you think? Will David ever regain the form of 10 years ago and give Tiger a run for his money? Let us know with a comment below.