In my last post, I pointed out that David Duval could possibly become the feel-good story of the decade in this week’s Buy.com Open at the CordeValle Golf Club in San Martin, California. It’s not going to happen this week.
Improbably, instead of continuing his two-day birdie barrage to work his way deeper under par, he bogeyed the first hole right out of the box yesterday and ended up 3-over on the front nine. To his credit, he fought back with three birdies on the back to get back to even par on the day. But as determined as that was, it’s not good enough on the PGA Tour when the freight train continues to rumble down the valley with the leaders shooting 4, 5, and 6-under along the way. You have to keep up.
Smart as he is, intelligence can sometimes be no match for the ego. We’ll never know why he started out headed south, but perhaps because his mind was on the great things he was in position to accomplish rather than being in the moment. It is not easy. And the only effective practice for it is being in the belly of the beast: in contention in a PGA Tour event. You can try to practice it at home, but it’s not the same…and the difference between golf and competitive golf.
It never happens as fast as you want it to—momentum always seems to be plodding—but he has a lot of the plodding behind him. And he knows it. He’ll be fine.