|David Duval got a belated Father’s Day hug from son Brayden after he shot 71 to finish in a tie for second at the US Open. (Chris Mcgrath/Getty Images)|
Duval ranked right up there
FARMINGDALE, N.Y. - To someone ranked No. 882 in the world, finishing second in the US Open would probably come as a big surprise. But when the someone is David Duval, surprise isn’t the right word, at least to him. Strange as it sounds, he thought it was appropriate.
“It’s what I want. It may be arrogance, but it’s where I feel I belong,’’ said Duval, who overcame a triple bogey on his first hole of the day, the par-3 third, then clawed back into a tie for the lead with back-to-back birdies on Nos. 15-16 before a bogey at No. 17.
“I stand before you certainly happy with how I played, but extremely disappointed in the outcome. I had no question in my mind I was going to win the golf tournament today.’’
Bold, considering he hadn’t finished better than 20th in his last 50 PGA Tour events. But Duval has been encouraged by his play this year, even if the results weren’t showing it. Qualifying for this tournament gave him even more confidence, and he took a huge step here, opening with a 3-under-par 67 and never losing sight of the leaders. He became one with a birdie at the par-4 16th, but missed a par putt on the next hole. For the tournament, nobody made more birdies than Duval’s 19.
While others may have wilted under the pressure, Duval embraced it. No surprise, considering it had been awhile. Once ranked No. 1 in the world, Duval’s downward spiral had been years in the making. Maybe this is the surest sign yet that he’s on his way back.
“I may have taken it a little bit for granted years ago,’’ Duval said. “I guess the best way to put it, maybe, is I probably had a lot more fun out there in the heat of it, especially over there on the theater of [holes] 15 through 18, than I’ve had on a golf course in a long time.
“I was in the middle of the golf tournament trying to make birdies and I was just having a blast. So that probably qualifies as greater appreciation.’’
“I had a lot of work to do and I gave myself a chance,’’ Woods said. “As well as I hit it all day and to miss that many putts, I’ve missed them all week, so that’s just the way it is.’’
It’s the ninth top-10 finish for Woods in his past 10 majors, but he doesn’t play for top 10s. He’ll resume the chase for his 15th major at the British Open at Turnberry; his next appearance on the PGA Tour will come in the AT&T National in two weeks, a tournament he hosts.
“That happens. It’s a US Open,’’ said Mahan. “You’re going to get stuff like that.’’