David Duval has never minced words and on the eve of starting a new chapter in his professional life, he’s not about to change.
“I expect to succeed,” he said of his first foray into the PGA Tour Champions at this week’s Mitsubishi Electric Championship, at the Hualalai Golf Club in Ka’upulehu-Kona, Hawaii.
The Jacksonville native and Episcopal graduate who won 13 times on the PGA Tour and for most of the 1999 season, supplanted Tiger Woods at No. 1 in the world, turned 50 years old last Nov. 9.
While he hasn’t made a cut on the PGA Tour since the 2015 Open Championship at St. Andrews, Duval pointed out that he certainly has enough tread left on the tires.
“I haven’t played 50 golf tournaments in the last decade and so I’m patient and giving myself time to get my feet under myself again,” he said in a video posted on the PGA Tour Champions Twitter site. “My wife Susie and I are so excited about the opportunity and so looking forward to it.”
Duval won all of his Tour events between 1997 and 2001, including the 1999 Players, the 1997 Tour Championship and the 2001 Open. He won four times in 1998 and captured the Tour’s scoring and money titles.
He became the first player to shoot 59 in the final round of a tournament to win, at the 1999 American Express.
Duval was the runner-up in the Masters twice and had 11 top-10s in majors. But he went into a prolonged slump beginning in 2002, brought on by a series of injuries from neck to knee.
Duval’s main problem used to be his strength: the best combination of long and accurate off the tee. There were a few times when it appeared he might have regained his old touch, such as a tie for second in the 2009 U.S. Open and a tie for second at Pebble Beach in 2010.
But since his last made cut, Duval hasn’t played on the weekend in 22 starts in six years, counting two appearances in a Korn Ferry Tour event near his Denver home.
Duval has always seemed at peace. He took on three stepchildren when he married his wife, and they had two more children. He also combined family with his last big moment on the golf course, winning the 2016 PNC Father-Son with his stepson Nick Karavites.
Duval has been an analyst for Golf Channel, drawing good reviews for his insight and preparedness.
But he’s also been working on his game, but not putting any pressure on himself.
“I’ve been practicing and playing and working at it,” he said in the PGA Tour Champions interview. “Getting over some little injury problems I’ve had over the past couple of years. That’s all behind me now. But I’m sure there were will be some nerves and anxiety and rust.”
Game Longtime Tour board member
Dick Ferris, who served as the PGA Tour’s first Policy Board independent director and later as the board’s chairman, died on Jan. 16 of ALS at the age of 85 at his home in Orlando.
“What I’ve heard from [former Tour commissioner] Tim [Finchem] and many others about Dick Ferris during his time as chairman was how tenacious he was,” current Tour commissioner Jay Monahan told pgatour.com. “When he believed in something, he put his full energy and thoughtfulness behind it, and the Tour was certainly the beneficiary of that tenacity. Looking back, the growth and acceleration of our business, thanks to his leadership, is simply staggering. Dick was a great friend and mentor to so many, and we will all miss his passion for how he attacked life.”
Ferris worked his entire life in the hospitality and travel industry, first at Western International Hotels (now Westin) and then as an executive at United Airlines when it purchased Westin.
Ferris became United’s CEO in 1976, became chairman of its board in 1985 and remaining there until 1987. He became a member of the PGA Tour Champions’ Policy Board in 1985 and joined the PGA Tour Policy Board seven years later, and served until 2007.
Ferris was part of an ownership group that included World Golf Hall of Fame member Arnold Palmer, former Major League Baseball Commissioner Peter Ueberroth and actor and director Clint Eastwood that purchased Pebble Beach from Japan’s Taiheiyo Company.
Ferris and Uebberoth will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from the World Golf Hall of Fame on March 9.
Ferris spent much of his adult life living in Chicago, but upon retirement he moved to Orlando. He is survived by his wife, Kelsey, and three children. Funeral services are pending.
Game Horschel, Knox, Mullinax named to PAC
Billy Horschel and Russell Knox of Ponte Vedra Beach and Trey Mullinax of St. Simons Island, Ga., are among the 16 members of the PGA Tour Advisory Council for 2022, which advises and consults with the PGA TOUR Policy Board and Monahan.
Horschel, Patrick Cantlay, Peter Malnati and Webb Simpson have been selected by the Player Directors to run for PAC co-chairmen in an election of the Tour members which runs through Feb. 14. The leading two vote-getters will replace James Hahn and Kevin Kisner as Player Directors on the PGA TOUR Policy Board, serving three-year terms from 2023-25.
Also on the 2022 PAC are Paul Casey, Austin Cook, Joel Dahmen, Harry Higgs, Brooks Koepka, Justin Lower, Graeme McDowell, Maverick McNealy, Jon Rahm and Will Zalatoris.
Game PGA Tour
Event: American Express, Thursday-Sunday, PGA West, La Quinta, Calif.
At stake: $7.6 million purse ($1,368,000 and 500 FedEx Cup points to the winner).
Defending champion: Si Woo Kim.
TV: Golf Channel (Thursday-Sunday, 3-7 p.m.
Area players entered: Jonas Blixt, Jonathan Byrd, Lanto Griffin, Brian Harman, Zach Johnson, Patton Kizzire, Russell Knox, Davis Love III, Tyler McCumber, Trey Mullinax, J.T. Poston, Doc Redman, Sam Ryder, Greyson Sigg, Hudson Swafford, Jared Wolfe.
Notable: Kim beat Patrick Cantlay by one shot, despite Cantlay’s 61 in the final round. … Leading the field are Phil Mickelson, Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm, Patrick Reed and Justin Rose.
Game LPGA TOUR
Event: Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions, Thursday-Sunday, Lake Nona Golf and Country Club, Orlando.
At stake: $1.5 million purse ($225,000 to the winner).
TV: Golf Channel (Thursday-Friday, 12-3 p.m.; Saturday, 2-3 p.m.; Sunday, 1-2:30 p.m.; NBC (Saturday, 3-5 p.m.; Sunday, 2-4:30 p.m.
Defending champion: Jessica Korda.
Area players entered: Mel Reid.
Notable: Korda made a 25-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole to beat Danielle Kang. … The field of 29 players is composed of those who have won over the past two years. … Korda’s sister Nelly, the No. 1 player in the world, is playing.
Game PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS
Event: Mitsubishi Electric Championship, Thursday-Saturday, Hualalai Golf Club, Ka’upulehu-Kona, Hawaii.
At stake: $2 million purse ($340,000 to the winner).
Defending champion: Darren Clarke.
TV: Golf Channel (Thursday-Saturday, 7-10 p.m.).
Area players entered: David Duval, Fred Funk, Jim Furyk, Vijay Singh.
Notable: Clarke beat Retief Goosen by two shots.
Game KORN FERRY TOUR
Event: Great Abaco Classic, Monday-Wednesday, Abaco Club on Winding Bay, The Bahamas.
At stake: $750,000 purse ($135,000 to the winner).
Defending champion: Jared Wolfe.
Area players entered: Chris Baker, Blayne Barber, A.J. Crouch.
Notable: Wolfe, a Nocate resident now on the PGA Tour, beat Brandon Harkins by four shots.
This article originally appeared on Florida Times-Union: Tour notebook: David Duval expects success on PGA Tour Champions