Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Duval Back to Old Self

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Duval Back to Old Self

Article excerpt

David Duval returned to the state where he last won on the PGA Tour, having not completed a tournament since July, with a new caddie -- sort of -- and a season's worth of doubts in his mind.

No problem. The Jacksonville native and Ponte Vedra Beach resident is a winner again.

Duval took advantage of a typical Jeff Maggert Sunday swoon with birdies on three of his last four holes, and with a final-round 65, won the Buick Challenge yesterday at the Callaway Gardens Resort Mountain View Course, in Pine Mountain, Ga.

It was the first tournament Duval had finished since the British Open in July. A ligament injury in his back forced him to withdraw from The International and the PGA Championship, and he has spent most of the late summer and early fall rehabilitating in Sun Valley, Idaho.l

Duval's total of 19-under-par 269 beat Nick Price (68) and Maggert (70) by two shots, and earned $414,000 for his first Tour victory of the year and 12th of his career. That check enabled Duval to pass $2 million in a season for the third year in a row (he now has $2,247,746) and $12 million for his career ($12,295,692).

Maggert entered the final round with a two-shot lead over Price and a three-shot lead over Duval. But Duval shot 5-under-par over the first nine holes to pass Maggert and take a share of the lead with Price (4-under through his first eight holes).

Maggert recovered with three birdies during a four-hole stretch between Nos. 10 and 13, and with a bogey at No. 14, Duval fell behind by three shots with four to play. However, he birdied three of his last four, while Maggert bogeyed the 16th and 17th holes. Duval hit booming drives and lofted wedge shots to within 2 feet of the hole at No. 17 and 4 feet at No. 18, and made both putts to win for the first time since the BellSouth Classic in April of 1999.

Maggert is now 1-7 for his career when he has led or shared a tournament lead after 54 holes. …

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