What does the future hold for Duval?
Believe it or not, it's been eight years since David Duval put together one of the most remarkable rounds in PGA Tour history, shooting a final-round 59 to win the 1999 Bob Hope Classic.
Since then, Duval has plunged into the depths of mediocrity, even finishing outside the top 150 on last year's money list. So, what does the future have in store for him? On the eve of the Bob Hope -- Duval's season debut -- our experts give their opinions in this week's edition of Fact or Fiction.
Bob Harig, contributor, ESPN.com: FICTION. At this point, it is hard to envision such a scenario. His best finish last year was a tie for 16th at the U.S. Open. He made just 11 cuts in 24 events after making only one in 20 the year prior.
Jason Sobel, golf editor, ESPN.com: FICTION. Never is a long time, but Duval hasn't shown signs of coming full circle in his career. With every year, he gets further and further from being the great player he once was.
Ron Sirak, executive editor, Golf World: FACT. There is too much talent there not to win again. If he follows the Paul Goydos model (once every 11 years), then we are looking at 2012.
Brian Wacker, associate editor, GolfDigest.com: FICTION. He showed signs of improvement with three top-25s in 2006 a year after making just one cut, but top-25s are a long way from being in contention or winning. And with other priorities in his life -- family, snowboarding, etc. -- Duval doesn't seem as interested in putting in the time it's going to take to get his game back to where it needs to be to win.
Harig: FACT. Duval played in 24 last year, so there's no reason to believe he won't keep trying.
Sobel: FACT. What else is he going to do? Professional golfers play golf, so expect him to go out there and tee it up about two dozen times, most of which will come via sponsor's exemption.
Sirak: FACT. There were indications last year that David is getting his taste for the game back. That taste will turn into a full hunger this year.
Wacker: FACT. There's no reason to think Duval isn't committed to playing at least 20 events this year after using a one-time, top-25 all-time money list exemption to keep his tour card for the 2007 season. Players usually save that exemption as a last resort.
Harig: FACT. Although he wasn't close last year, all it really takes is one good week or two.
Sobel: FICTION. So many players have not only caught up to him, but surpassed him in recent years. Besides, what's a money list? I thought PGA Tour players are only ranked by the new FedEx Cup points list. They get paid money, too? What a life.
Sirak: FACT. In fact, you just might see him at the Tour Championship.
Wacker: FICTION. As much improvement as he had a year ago, Duval was still a long way from finishing in the top 125. It'll take results nearly twice as good this season for him to make it, and that's asking an awful lot at this point in his career.
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