Does David Duval still play golf?

Does David Duval still play golf?  The short answer is no, he doesn’t, at least not very often, professionally. In recent years, he has made the odd appearance on the PGA Tour, notably in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, but has essentially been reliant on past champions’ and sponsors’ excemptions since losing his Tour card in 2011.

All told, Duval won 13 PGA Tour tournaments between 1997 and 2001, including the 1999 Bob Hope Chrysler Classic, in which he eagled the final hole for a closing round of 59. However, his one and only major win, in the Open Champion at Royal Lytham & St. Annes in 2001, proved to be his swansong. Duval won one more tournament, the Dunlop Phoenix on the Japan Golf Tour, on November 9, 2001 – the day on which he turned 30 – but thereafter, plagued by injuries, to his back, neck and wrist, he never won again.

Does David Duval still play golf?  Winning his final tournament in Japan, rather than a more noteworthy tournament in say the USA may not have been the dream departure from high level golf for Duval, but at the same time it is a growing sport in a country that often defaults to more insular options like baseball, sumo wrestling or karate. Of course though it has to be said that Japan recently did a stellar job of hosting the 2020 Olympics (held in 2021 due to the pandemic delay) and so that may well have planted a seed for a number of new sporting pursuits in the country as well as gifted them a more global outlook. Indeed whether it’s sports, casinos like (with it’s mix of slots, roulette, card games and more) or technology, in general Japan is often now routinely at the forefront of it all. A fascinating country, and mix of tradition and modernity.

Following this win, his career nose-dived and, after 15 weeks ranked world number in 1999, by 2004 Duval was ranked outside the top 400 in the world. His decline continued, but he continued to play on the PGA Tour on medical and lifetime earnings’ exemptions. In 2010, two top ten finishes, including a second-place finish in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, really only prolonged the agony. In 2011, Duval managed just one top ten finish from 24 starts, lost his Tour card and failed to regain it at the PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament.

Of course dipping from the highs to the lows in any sport takes some mental adjustment, as many sportsmen and women dedicate their entire lives and funnel all of their abilities into their career. It’s almost always much more time limited than an ordinary profession. The transition from elite level athlete or sportsman to a new career is often a road plagued with potential pitfalls and challenges too. Some of the more common options to transition into involve trying to stay in the sport, as say a commentator, or manager etc. This is more common in football and the like, but to an extent is true of all sports. After all who better to guide you through the trials and tribulations of a sport than someone who has already been there, done that and got the tshirt!

How many holes-in-one have been recorded in the Masters Tournament?

How many holes-in-one have been recorded in the Masters Tournament?  Traditionally the first ‘major’ of the season, the, Georgia since 1934. The National corresponds to the regulation golf course layout insofar as it features four par-3 holes, which are nos. 4, 6, 12 and 16 on the scorecard. Collectively, they have seen 27 holes-in-one in the history of the Masters Tournament.

Unsurprisingly, the fourth and final par-3 on the golf course, no. 16, a.k.a. ‘Redbud’, has seen 18 holes-in-one or, in other words, exactly two-thirds of the total number recorded in the history of the Masters. Depending on conditions, no. 16 can require anything from a 5-iron to a 9-iron, over a pond, to a severely sloping green. However, on the final day of the Masters, the pin is invariably positioned on the back-left portion of the green, leaving a generous landing area to the right, from which the slope naturally funnels the ball towards the hole. In the 2016 Masters Tournament, Shane Lowry, Davis Love III and Louis Oosthuizen all recorded holes-in-one on no.16.

How many holes-in-one have been recorded in the Masters Tournament?

It can pay to go into such granular detail when it comes to what occurs within a sport, because it really feeds into an idea of likelihood. Once you’re keyed into how likely an outcome it can very much be used to your advantage with regard to golf odds and so on. While football and of horse horse racing betting is big business, it’s good to appreciate that golf is also right up there. That is partly down to the number of participants and also possibilities in the average golf tournament. The former can lead to some really big odds selections that are still in with a shot. The latter, leads to numerous niche betting options that you can use your knowledge to specialise in.

Many top gamblers take the approaches stated enough. Of course in the betting for any event there are a number of ‘mug punters’, but at the same time it doesn’t take a massive amount of people ‘in the know’ to cream off the profits. As such, whether its stats, a keen eye or expertise in value bets, having something to lift you above others placing a wager should always be your number one priority as a pro.

Equally unsurprisingly, granted that it is arguably the toughest hole at Augusta, the first par-3, no. 4, a.k.a. ‘Flowering Crab Apple’, has seen just one hole-in-one in the history the Masters. The tee was moved back 30 yards or so in 2006, thereby lengtening the hole to its current 240 yards, or the equivalent of a 3-iron or 5-wood. However, back in 1992, when the hole measured a ‘mere’ 213 yards, Jeff Sluman holed a 4-iron for an unlikely ‘ace’.

No.12, a.k.a. ‘Golden Bell’, is probably the most famous short par-3 in golf. Measuring just 155 yards, no. 12 is notoriously difficult to judge and has seen just three holes-in-one in Masters history and none since 1988. No. 6, a.k.a. ‘Juniper’, measures 180 yards and represents a bona fide birdie chance, but the pin is only really accessible when positioned on the front-left portion of the green; no. 6 has seen five holes-in-one in Masters history.

What, and where, is the Swilken Burn?

What, and where, is the Swilken Burn?  ‘Burn’ is an Old Scottish word meaning ‘brook’ or ‘stream’. Geographically, the Swilken, or Swilcan, Burn is a watercourse that rises to the northeast of the village of Strathkinness, three miles west of St. Andrews, and flows 2¾ miles into St. Andrews Bay, on the eastern coastline of North East Fife. From a sporting perspective, the Swilken Burn is noteworthy because, after flowing through the North Haugh area, it turns northeast and meanders across the Old Course at the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews.

Indeed, the route of the Swilken Burn was fixed for the first time in 1834, with the addition of brick retaining wall, such that, nowadays, it fronts the first green and continues across the eighteenth fairway. Carrying the burn on the exposed, but otherwise gentle, opening hole – fittingly, named ‘Burn’ – presents a challenge and, while the hazard is not really in play on the final hole, it does, at least, present a photogaphic opportunity, courtesy of the Swilken Bridge.

Formerly known as the ‘Golfers’ Bridge’, the Swilken Bridge is a small, unprepossessing stone arch, dating from the Middle Ages, which has, nonetheless, become one of the most landmarks in the world of golf. St. Andrews, known as the ‘home of golf’, has played host to the Open Championship 29 times and is scheduled to do so again in 2022. It is customary for previous champions, including, in recent years, Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson, to bid farewell to the gallery, and the Championship, from atop the Swilken Bridge.

In golf, what is a condor?

In golf, what is a condor?  In the natural world, a condor is a huge, but increasingly rare, New World vulture. In golf, a condor is also a ‘rare bird’; in fact, the rarest of them all. The term ‘condor’ refers to a score of four-under-par on a single hole. The odds against achieving a score of three-under-par on a single hole, known in golfing parlance, as an ‘albatross’ or ‘double eagle’, are apparently 6,000,000/1, but despite astronomical odds, albatrosses have been scored in numerous important golf tournaments, including major championships, down the years.

By contrast, the elusive condor has never been scored in professional golf, or on a professionally accredited golf course. That should come as no surprise, because a condor equates to scoring a hole-in-one on a par-five, a two on a par-six or three on a par-seven, although par-six and par-seven golf holes are few and far between worldwide.

A condor is nigh on impossible but, even so, in the entire history of golf four condors, all on par-five holes, have been reliably recorded. Three of them occurred on holes with a sharp bend, or dogleg, in the fairway, allowing players to diminish the total yardage tee-to-green by ‘cutting the corner’, or going for the green as the crow flies. The other, recorded by Professor Mike Crean, of the University of Denver, on the 517-yard, par-5 ninth hole at Green Valley Ranch Golf in 2002, was aided by high altitude, hard ground and a 30 mph tailwind, but nonetheless represented the longest hole-in-one ever recorded.

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