Duval shoots 91 in 'very unique, awful situation'

PORTRUSH, Northern Ireland — Former Open champion David Duval made a 14 at one hole on his way to a score of 91 that also saw him make a triple-bogey and a quadruple-bogey during the first round at Royal Portrush.

Included in the 14 was a 2-stroke penalty for playing the wrong ball and two other penalties for a lost ball. “Just done something I’ve never done as a professional … ” said Duval, who noted he had shot 85 twice before. “It was a long day, a rough day.

“A very unique, awful situation.”

Duval originally had been credited with a 13 on the seventh hole and a score of 90, but the score was adjusted to 91 after a review by the R&A.

The winner of 13 PGA Tour events, Duval never won after capturing his only major at the 2001 Open played at Royal Lytham. For a time, he was ranked No. 1 in the world.

Duval, 47, long ago stopped playing tournament golf full time, but as a past champion is exempt through age 60 and he felt good about his game before arriving in Northern Ireland. He played in a Korn Ferry Tour event last week in Colorado and had played four other PGA Tour events this year, although he missed the cut in three and withdrew from the other.

And after two early birdies, Duval was feeling pretty good. But he made an 8 at the fifth. And then came the problems at No. 7. Duval hit two tee shots that were poor enough to cause him to hit provisional shots. When the first balls were not found, he was laying 5. At that point, Duval hit what turned out to be a ball that was not his. That’s a two-shot penalty, and it meant going back to the tee again.

But that only occurred after Duval hit several more shots with the wrong ball — that then didn’t count.

“I get up to the front of the green I discover it was the wrong No. 2 Titleist,” he said. “I am at fault, I didn’t check it myself close enough. It happened to me once before — a marshal is standing right next to the ball. … it’s just my mistake.”

After hitting what was his eighth shot, Duval needed six more shots to get down for a 14 — one of five players to make a 12 or worse at The Open in the past 20 years.

Duval shot 49 for the first nine holes and then had a triple-bogey 7 at the 17th, shooting 42 on the back for his score of 91. The last time a player had three triples or worse in the same round at The Open was in 2003 — when Duval shot a first-round 83 at Royal St. George’s.

“It’s fairly unsettling, obviously,” he said. “I came in here with some fairly high hopes. I had some good practice and I played in the Korn Ferry last week in Colorado and my scores were good, I drove the ball like I used to drive the ball and everything was there.”

Duval cited some injury woes that have not helped, including tendinitis in his left arm, but said it wasn’t bad enough to withdraw during the round.

“As a professional, if you play, you post your score,” Duval said. “Is there some hint of embarrassment to it? I don’t know, but I teed off and what I shot at the end of the day put it on the board.”

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