David Duval has had a rough eight years in golf. Since winning the British Open in 2001, his hunger for success and desire to compete at the highest level surprisingly vanished, sliding him to the lowly position of 882 in the world. But Duval will not be thinking about his world ranking when he tees it up later today. He’ll be thinking that he has a very good chance of picking up one of the biggest prizes in golf. Can David Duval golf his way into contention?[subscribelocker]
Managing the Mental Game
There aren’t many golf fans who wouldn’t want the 37 year old to win his second major. But though my heart says yes, he can do it, my brain has doubts. Duval has not been in this position of intense competition with the world’s best players for eight years. The question is whether he has the mental game to keep his nerve and the self belief and determination to defeat the challengers. The weekend of a major is all about managing your mental game.
Some would say that having won a major (and contended in plenty) and being a former world number 1, David Duval is well aware of how to control his emotions in golf’s biggest events. But has it been too long? David Duval is a changed man from the single-minded, stone faced twenty-something that blew us away with his raw talent and competitive strength. Now he is a contented family man, with a lot less pressure on his shoulders. Will his new relaxed attitude only serve to help him deal with the roller coaster of emotions that comprises the US Open?
This could be the start of a new chapter in the career of David Duval. I certainly hope it is. He seems to have found confidence in his swing and is now free to focus on what he once did very well, hit the ball to very precise targets. My belief is that once you know you have the mental capability to handle the pressure and win a major, it never leaves you. David Duval will be a tough man to beat if he’s in the mix on the final day. What a spectacle it would be to see Duval, Woods and Mickelson fighting it out for the title.
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Photo by Tour Pro Golf Clubs