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July 18, 2008

David Duval


Q. 1-under today, 2-over for the week. You're three back. Did you have these sorts of expectations starting the week?
DAVID DUVAL: Yeah, frankly. That's kind of what I said yesterday when I played. I've been expecting to play quite well for some time, not exactly knowing when that might happen, and it happens to come so far at my favourite golf tournament.

Q. What's made it click this week?
DAVID DUVAL: There's nothing that's made it click this week. What's made it click is what's been going on for the last year and a half and the work I've been putting in and the time I've been using to practise. Frankly I put it back together, my golf swing and my head and everything else that I've wanted to do, and I'm getting very comfortable with what I'm trying to do now. I'm gaining confidence, and that's kind of one of the things that I've had to gain probably last, because I think results, you need a little bit of success and a little bit of result to gain that confidence.
But I've been gaining it and really just paying attention to how I've been hitting the golf ball as opposed to what my scores have been.

Q. Is there any part of you that -- obviously this atmosphere here and the great win in '01 up the road here that is stimulating, this type of golf that you love?
DAVID DUVAL: Absolutely. I'm a big fan of this championship. I think that they set this up exactly how you would want a golf tournament to be set up. It's set up for weather, and if you don't get wind and rain and stuff like that, then you can see 8-, 10-under par, 12-under par win the golf tournament. But if you get that weather and the wind, the element that is ever elusive sometimes in this golf tournament, then the golf course presents tremendous challenges.

Q. I know you're in the middle of things and you've been rebuilding the swing and whatnot, but can you step back at all and see how good of a story this is unfolding for you?
DAVID DUVAL: I'm sure I'm pretty aware of it, right, yeah. I'm very conscious of that, sure. However, I can't be on the outside looking in, either, and cheering myself on. I certainly am internally, but it doesn't do a whole lot for my score.
You know, I know it's for you guys writing, it's a funny story, it's a little different. But I've said it when I've been asked over the course of, frankly, this year, that I'm playing a lot better than my results have shown. I think if you look back to it, I've been saying that and trumpeting that, it's just frankly I've needed to gain some confidence and get a few good things to happen.
It's amazing what a good break and a good bounce can do for you. I was very pleased frankly with how I played last week in Moline. You know, what cost me making the cut and being 6-, 7-, 8-under par were a couple putts and two drives late in the round that I hit a total of six yards off line. I hit them both where I wanted to hit them basically, and it cost me, though. They were not where they should have been hit.
So I came over here feeling quite good about my golf coming off of another missed cut, I guess. But it's hard to say what's going to transpire this weekend, but I'm doing the things I want to do in this championship under difficult conditions is the most important thing. I'm hitting the golf ball solidly.

Q. Is your mentality or your outlook to the game now as opposed to '01 when you won the major --
DAVID DUVAL: I probably don't live it and die it like I may have back then, but I also haven't sought a return to be mediocre. I know what greatness is about, and I know what it takes to have greatness. I won't settle for mediocrity.
So I've been working towards greatness, not just getting back to making cuts and managing to play halfway decent. I've been trying to take the long route and the hard route and try to get back to greatness.
You know, that story is yet to be told as to whether I can get back to that point or not, but that's what I strive for.

Q. Part of that was going back to the swing. I know you went back to Puggy Blackmon that you had lost through a couple injuries. How close to that swing of 2001 are you now?
DAVID DUVAL: Well, I don't want to swing like I swung the golf club in 2001. I was already -- you know, I don't know how you would judge it, but I was well into swinging the golf club poorly at that point, and I've been trying to put my swing back together from '92, '93, even back in college days, late college days.
My golf swing started deteriorating in late '99, early 2000 after I got hurt so bad and my back was -- my golf swing as far as mechanically, I'm doing what I want to do on most days, and that's frankly probably all you can ask for.

Q. After you won in '01, your speech to the crowd was pretty heartfelt. You talked about the Scottish Open and the appreciation the fans have here, about just hacking the ball out of the gorse, as I recall, and getting it to 30 feet and they'd cheer. It seemed like they really embraced you. I wonder if you feel that as you come back here?
DAVID DUVAL: I've felt it every year I've played since then, for sure. Open champions are embraced forever. The fact that I have struggled a lot since then and slowly getting things back to where I'd like for them to be, I think they appreciate that hard work. You're talking about golfers and true golf fans. They play the game and they understand it. They know the work it takes, and I've had to work for quite some time.

Q. Greg Norman has described what happened to him as a bit like stepping back in time. I presume you see this as like sort of a one-off of your old form, but does it feel a bit like that yourself?
DAVID DUVAL: Like stepping back in time? No, I'm looking to the future and what I expect going forward. You know, I -- there's not a whole lot about what went on ten years ago for me or eight years ago or six years ago that I can do about it, so I am looking towards playing great golf from here until early, mid 40s. That's what I'm striving for. I'm not at the point of 50 whatever and looking back.

Q. Forecast tomorrow, if it blows 40 like it's supposed to, does that suit your game?
DAVID DUVAL: I don't think that suits anybody's game (laughter). You know, there's -- if we have that -- there's no such thing as conventional then, and it's simply a matter of trying to make as low of a score as you can on each hole you're playing, and figuring out a way to keep it in play.
I've heard that forecast, as well, and there's going to be a lot of holes -- if the wind blows out of that west, there's going to be a lot of holes that players won't reach, so we're going to be playing six par-5s. Who knows what the day will bring.

Q. Apart from the results and all that, can you just sort of talk about where you are personally with the two kids and the family and all that? You're probably better off between the ears and in the heart than you've been.
DAVID DUVAL: Certainly in the heart, oh, without question. I live for my family. I mean, you know, ironically, standing on this side of the mike you get asked these things, and I'm no different than anybody -- any of you guys. You live for your family. For some reason it's important to write about it, I guess. It's a story for some reason, which it seems like that should be kind of a given.

Q. Well, it wasn't always that way.
DAVID DUVAL: Well, I didn't have it so I didn't know about it. But it's kind of like having a child; you can't really describe it to anybody. You just have to live it and go through it.
I'm 100 per cent happy. I'm where I want to be and I'm doing what I want to do. The difficulty now lies in actually leaving and going and playing. You know, I've become a very good country club golfer, and I enjoy carts and two and a half hour rounds and going back home. It sometimes gets quite hard getting on the road.

Q. Did you in some ways not have anybody to share '01 with at Lytham by comparison?
DAVID DUVAL: Yeah, I mean, I was alone. It's okay; I had friends and family and such. But to have your own family, you know, I've told my wife that she'll get the first trophy and the kids will get the second. It holds a lot of nice Louis, so I've been told.

Q. You've talked about the good things having happened and you had some good things happen in Moline last week. When you got here, were there some things that just kind of started to fall into place and made you feel even better?
DAVID DUVAL: No, not at all. I don't feel like I all of a sudden got swinging the golf club better or started playing better. I felt like working on a little bit of timing, and rhythm is something that you need to be very conscious of in these conditions. But that's basically all I kind of worked on here, was because I found that, if anything, you want to hit the ball a little bit softer and a little bit flatter and you go from there.

Q. I wondered if there was something that kind of hit you as you're building to where you are right now.
DAVID DUVAL: Again, the answer is -- well, I've been saying that, certainly to myself and sometimes when I've been asked that, which hasn't been often, because my scores for the round didn't necessitate anybody coming and asking me a question. But I've felt that and known that internally, and I've finally this week put a few things together.
I felt like I played wonderful in Memphis, again, but it added up just -- it made no sense to me. I feel like I shot probably four to five shots higher than I did every day in Memphis. It just wasn't adding up. Golf is about scores and putting them together when you're done. You know, it's the little things. I've just been trying to stay patient with that.

Q. Do you think it's a coincidence that your results are finally starting to match the way you feel at this championship?
DAVID DUVAL: Well, possibly, but that also goes to, you know, my preparation in that I wasn't like a number of players who walked in off the golf course on Wednesday when it was blowing 30 or whatever. I knew very well that we could be facing those kinds of conditions, so I really wanted to play and hit good shots and see where the ball would go and what it would do.
I wake up yesterday and see what's going on, and you can either embrace it or shoot a high number and go home. I did the best I could to enjoy those conditions and go from there.

Q. You talked about needing success. Was it tough when the results weren't there? When you tell yourself that you're --
DAVID DUVAL: If you know that answer, please tell me. Frankly, I don't know, how -- that's where you -- as a player who's been working hard, you take a step back, and you're like, wait a second, I'm doing what I want to do, I'm hitting the golf ball where I want to, it's just a putt didn't go in, it got a funny bounce.
It's analyzing it, frankly, I guess, when you're done, and that's what I've had to do because I have felt like I'm playing a lot better than my results have shown.

End of FastScripts

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