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.
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 https://blog.mystino.com/ (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!