David Duval is mad as hell and he’s not going to take it anymore!
Okay, Duval was more mildly upset, and it’s obvious there is nothing he can do about it. This week, Duval found out he would not be getting a sponsor invite to the Humana Challenge, formerly the Bob Hope Classic, and he was none too pleased with the news. Duval, as many people know, delivered a signature moment in the tournament’s history when he shot a final-round 59 to beat Steve Pate by one shot, chipping in for eagle on the final hole. Duval, with a golf career that has been steadily declining, was hoping for the sponsorship exemption and to get a shot to play with the big boys. When that invite was declined, Duval took to Twitter to state his displeasure and then quickly recanted as public sentiment began to grow against the upcoming event.
It is easy to understand why Duval reacted the way he did, considering the state of his golf career. A decade ago, Duval was among the best golfers in the world. Now, he is looking at trying to qualify for the PGA Tour, which basically means he is starting over. From 1996-2001, Duval was in the top ten on the PGA Tour Money list, and won the Open Championship in 2001. In 2002, Duval’s career started to decline due to many issues including, but not limited to: back, shoulder and wrist injuries. Despite a few glimmers of hope, like the second place finish in the 2009 US Open at Bethpage Black, Duval has struggled to get any momentum in his golf career over the last decade.
I understand why Duval was upset, and I think it is a reaction that only the immediacy of Twitter can provide. It was a good idea to recant from the angry position he took initially, as Duval is well-respected and he gains nothing by creating bad feelings for the tournament or the sponsor. Duval has made it clear that he just wants to play golf, and only a true competitor would get upset by not getting an opportunity they think they have earned.
If this week has shown us anything about Duval, it’s that he still has the fire and desire to compete. All he needs now is to stay healthy and maybe get a few breaks from lady luck. It would be a great golf story to see Duval qualify and play the Humana Challenger next year, and win.