Duval 'excited and scared' by return to fairways

In the week that Tiger Woods, after five years as the world No 1, could be knocked off his pedestal, the last man to do just that has chosen to return to competitive golf. David Duval has not always done the obvious and in reappearing at the 104th US Open at Shinnecock Hills the former Open champion has given himself one of the most daunting challenges.

In the week that Tiger Woods, after five years as the world No 1, could be knocked off his pedestal, the last man to do just that has chosen to return to competitive golf. David Duval has not always done the obvious and in reappearing at the 104th US Open at Shinnecock Hills the former Open champion has given himself one of the most daunting challenges.

Duval has not played since he withdrew from a tournament in Japan last November. Last season he made only four cuts and at times struggled to break 80.

Now ranked 434th in the world, Duval returns to the circuit a married man, having met his bride only last August, and at a loss to know how his game will stand up to the test of a major championship despite plenty of practice in his new home town of Denver.

"I'm excited but I am scared," said the 32-year-old, whose dramatic slump followed a period as world No 1, a round of 59 and the victory at Royal Lytham three years ago.

"I am nervous having been away for quite some time. I have no expectations. I am just going to enjoy being out there. I just didn't want to miss the US Open and I love Shinnecock Hills."

Duval joined the rest of the field in practising yesterday despite the strong breeze which gave the competitors a taste of what is to come. Exposed to the many different winds at the eastern end of Long Island, the course provides no shelter in the form of trees and in places the rough is up to waist high.

"If the wind switches, there could be mayhem," said Ireland's Padraig Harrington. "I'm really impressed by the course from every standpoint. I wouldn't compare it to any particular links in Ireland but there are times you think, 'How can you get the ball there?' If I had spent the last two years playing links golf in Ireland it would be good preparation but like everyone else I'm used to playing stadium courses."

Jim Furyk was still hoping to defend his title despite not playing since having surgery on his left wrist in March. Tiger's last major victory also came on Long Island, at Bethpage, exactly two years ago. Should Ernie Els or Vijay Singh win this week, they could replace Woods as the world No 1 depending on Tiger's performance.

Woods' only other appearance at Shinnecock came when he was an amateur and ended after six holes of the second round with a wrist injury. He will be aiming to stay out of the "fescue" rough this week.

"It's going to be a fantastic tournament," he said. "It's the best I've ever seen a US Open course set-up. It's going to be fair but I anticipate that it will be difficult."

In the last two US Opens here in 1986 and 1995, only one player finished under par and Phil Mickelson can see that list not being extended this week. "With the course as firm as it is, and the wind, if we don't get any rain I just don't see how anyone can shoot around par for the four days," said the current Masters champion.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Preening: Johnny Depp in 'Mortdecai'
filmMortdecai becomes actor's fifth consecutive box office bomb
News
peopleWarning - contains a lot of swearing
Travel
travel
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
News
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project