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Golf Today > Tour Schedules > 2006 > PGA Tour > Sony Open > Round 4


David Duval shows old form with round of 63

David Duval rekindled memories of his glory days by firing a sparkling seven-under-par 63 in the final round of the Sony Open on Sunday.

The former world number one, who made just one cut in 20 starts on last year's PGA Tour, reeled off five birdies in a row from the par-four sixth before finishing at two-under 278.

American Duval, the 2001 British Open champion, took full advantage of relatively calm conditions at Waialae Country Club and, for a while, entertained thoughts of shooting the second 59 of his career.

"I've been playing very well for a few days but didn't make a whole lot of putts," the 34-year-old told reporters after collecting seven birdies in a blemish-free display.

"Today, I managed to hole a few good putts and got something good going. I was as aggressive out there as I could be.

"I don't want to sit there and hold on to a score. I wanted to keep forcing the issue."

Duval, who began the day in bottom spot among the 82 players who made the halfway cut, is one of just three men to have fired a 13-under-par 59 on the PGA Tour, the others being Al Geiberger and Chip Beck.

Duval's magical 59 came in the final round of the 1999 Bob Hope Classic, which he won by a shot. He felt his ball-striking on Sunday was close to matching that of six years ago.

"It was relatively similar to the way I felt at the Hope," he said.

"I wanted to do it again today after my front nine of 30 but unfortunately the opportunities after the turn were few and far between.

"But I felt very comfortable out there and I was playing well enough to do it."

Duval, ranked 492nd in the world at the start of this week, made his first move with a superb approach to four feet at the par-four second hole.

He calmly tapped in for birdie to get to four over for the tournament.

A chip-in for birdie at the 459-yard sixth sparked his red-hot run over the next four holes. He holed a 20-footer on seven, struck his approach to five feet on eight, got up and down from a greenside bunker on nine and made a 23-footer on 10.

Although he failed to maintain momentum over the closing stretch, a final birdie of the day at the par-four 16th, where he sank a 13-footer, lifted him to two under.

Duval's fall from golfing grace is one of the most startling in the game's history.

In 1998 he led the U.S. money list with earnings of more than $2.5 million and eclipsed Tiger Woods as world number one on March 28, 1999.

He finally clinched his first major in 2001 after several narrow misses when a closing 67 gave him a three-shot victory in the British Open at Royal Lytham.

Since then, however, there have been no further additions to the Duval trophy cabinet.

He broke off an eight-year engagement to his fiancee Julie McArthur at the start of 2002 and endured an extended period of swing problems plus a series of injuries.

In 2003, he tumbled from 80th to 211th on the PGA Tour money list, making only four cuts in 20 starts. Going into 2004, he took a seven-month break from the game, which ended at that year's U.S. Open.

Last season he made just one cut on the PGA Tour, tying for 60th at the Texas Open. However, he ended the year on a positive note, taking the first-round lead at the Dunlop Phoenix in Japan with a 64 before ending the week in a tie for seventh.



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