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Duval Reflects on Life & Open Championship Victory at Royal Lytham


The last time Royal Lytham & St. Annes hosted an Open Championship in 2001, David Duval - then one of the hottest golfers on the planet - fired a closing 67 to win his first and what's turned out to be, so far anyway, only major title.

Between 1997 and that Claret Jug four years later, the Floridian - now 40 - racked up 13 titles on the PGA Tour. All was not lost afterwards; he posted seven second-place finishes between 1995 and '97 and qualified for the 1996 Presidents Cup team, where he had a sparkling 4-0 record.

Other career highlights: In early 1999 he closed with a PGA Tour record-tying 59 to win the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic, and in April of that year rose to the No. 1 spot in the world rankings. At the turn of the century David Duval was on top of the golf world.

Duval hasn't won since the 2001 British Open as he gradually began a downward spiral caused by injuries to his back, wrist, knee, arm and shoulder, personal travails and even a form of vertigo. Duval's decline went so far that he lost his PGA Tour card for the 2010 season and had to rely on sponsors' exemptions. But he rebounded that same year, earning $919,584 to regain his card.

But, as he returns to the place where he found his peak moment of glory, Duval is in a good place personally and emotionally. He's happily married and has two stepchildren and two biological kids. This is a far different David Duval who, even in his heydays, was known to be morose and visibly unhappy.

"My life in general has blown up exponentially in a wonderful way," he said Wednesday at Royal Lytham, "with meeting my wife, having an instant family with stepchildren, having a couple of kids of my own biologically.

"So I'm an incredibly, incredibly wealthy man. I've got a wife that loves me. I love her. I think she hung the moon. Maybe it's not cool to say, but I think she hung the moon. The kids are wonderful. You know, they're a pain in the rear like everybody else's kids sometimes, but we have fun.

"They're high energy. They like to do stuff. And we've just had a lot of fun over the last nine years of being together. I've been lucky."

Here's what else Duval had to tell reporters on the eve of the 141st Open Championship in one of the lengthiest and most revealing interviews of his mercurial career.

MODERATOR: We have David Duval with us this morning. David is the 2001 Open champion, former world No.1. Welcome, David. Thank you for joining us. I'd like to start off, David, with asking you a little bit about your memories of your fantastic win here back in 2001.

DAVID DUVAL: Fond memories, obviously. That's I think one of the unique things of the Open, the U.S. Open, the PGA; you don't always get back to where you won very quickly. So although I haven't won this golf tournament for 11 years, I'm kind of thought of in a weird way as defending because I'm back at my site. I don't think I necessarily feel that way, but I also didn't necessarily feel like the defending champion when we went to Muirfield in '02, because of it being a fresh site.

I haven't been here for 11 years. I haven't had reason to make the trip here, so it was kind of cool to see my name just on the club board, in the gold ink on the wood, along with the other tournaments they have and stuff. It makes you feel like you're kind of part of the club here. This is a special week regardless, and I think that people and players spout about the tournaments and the best weeks of the year, but I think the majority of the time that you hear this is the best week of the year, that's when they're finally telling you the truth. They say that in a lot of places, but the majority of players feel like this is the biggest and best golf tournament of the year.

Having won here on a golf course that I don't believe favors a particular type player, on a golf course that it's not so much if you're going to challenge trying to hit it over a bunker or short of a bunker, it's kind of which bunkers are you going to take on because it's mostly the sides. There's no hokey holes. It's right in front, and it's just kind of where you want to challenge, because you've got challenges with 2 iron up to driver. You've just got to figure out which ones you want to take on, and I think that's really neat. So I like it here.

Q. With regard to that a little bit, as you've gone around the practice rounds, you obviously have a lot of good memories about what you did here 11 years ago, but do the sight lines and all that stuff that are familiar to you that you hit good shots and great shots back then, will that help you this week because you had some great memories of what you did?

DAVID DUVAL: Probably. It's a long time removed, but probably. The clubs that might be needed off the tees I think are probably a little different. The golf course played obviously a lot different. There's pictures, when I was hitting it into the last green on Sunday, you see spots of green, you don't see green everywhere like you do now. It played a lot faster and firmer. Like the approach on the second hole was just basically try to get it over those bunkers and let it run out with a 2 or 3 iron. Now you're having to drive the ball, maybe hit a 3 wood with the added tees. I think that, like you asked about the sight lines, I think they're very similar, it's just that I don't necessarily think the golf ball is going to end up where it did in the past because it's not as fast. But the way I saw things when I played a full round was - I think I was looking in very similar spots, just maybe hitting different clubs to try to get there.

Q. Can you give us a reflection, a brief reflection on your life over the last 11 years and identify the highs and lows in that period?

DAVID DUVAL: Over the last 11 years golf wise, I've had a few good events. It's well documented. I don't necessarily need to, unless you want to, go into it. I've had plenty of injuries and problems, haven't played well. I have an arm brace right now, I've got bone bruises in my knee right now, so I'm still hurting. I don't feel the greatest. I'm playing quite well. But over the last year, from when I that Sunday to the Wednesday I gave Peter the trophy back was one of the better golfing years. I feel like I acquitted myself quite well as the winner. But enough about the golf.

My life in general has blown up exponentially in a wonderful way with meeting my wife, having an instant family with stepchildren, having a couple kids of my own biologically. I've got my oldest boy here. It's kind of funny, I think I'm incredibly blessed in life, and I think I'm incredibly blessed to be in a marriage and a family that - I was talking to Miguel, and said, hey have you met my oldest boy, yesterday. And he met Dino, and he said, how old are you? I said, "I'm 40." He said, "How old is he?" And I said, "He's 22." I said, I guess he's my stepson, but I've been with him since he's this big. It's neat to be in a situation, I don't see them any different, they're like my kids.

So I'm an incredibly, incredibly wealthy man. I've got a wife that loves me. I love her. I think she hung the moon. Maybe it's not cool to say, but I think she hung the moon. The kids are wonderful. You know, they're a pain in the rear like everybody else's kids sometimes, but we have fun. They're high energy. They like to do stuff. And we've just had a lot of fun over the last nine years of being together. I've been lucky.

Q. If I remember right about 2001, you came away from the year with a feeling of, is this it. Given what you've said about your golf career between times and what you've said about going back and returning to the clubhouse and seeing your name up in gold, do you have a greater appreciation now for just what you achieved?

DAVID DUVAL: Well, you're kind of making the assumption I didn't have a great appreciation of it at the time, and I don't think that's a fair assumption for you to make, at least the way you asked the question. I fully understood the magnitude of the accomplishment, the height of the mountain, if you will. For me having had several opportunities to win a major championship before Lytham and having had those not work out and having in those events probably struck the golf ball a fair amount better than I did here, at least feeling better about it, it just all didn't gel. It just didn't quite match up is what I was more than anything trying to convey.

I certainly expressed that it was a bit of an existential moment and time period for me that I think I can answer my own question that that sure as hell wasn't all there was, all there was to it. I go back to the luck I've had in life off the golf course. That's more to it. There's what it's about. I played beautifully in 2001. I didn't feel like I was playing my best golf. I putted and chipped it quite well. But I managed myself, and I don't know if I just let go that much more, what the difference was, but I just felt and knew I was going to win the golf tournament even though I wasn't playing like I did a year earlier at other tournaments.

And it's just one of those things where it was more like, okay, I know I'm going to win it so let's just enjoy it and find out how I'm going to win it, how it's going to come about. So it was a great week. It was fun. I was very proud of how I played on Sunday. It was close for a while. I know Darren made a bogey or two or double maybe on 17. But I don't know, I think after - I don't know if anybody even caught me on the back nine. I know it wasn't necessarily three strokes difference, but I don't know if I was even tied after the 9th hole at any point. I was well in control and managed myself and basically just closed out the deal.

Q. You used the phrase there, "enough there about the golf" and then went on an answered. Does that phrase in any way explain, aside from all the injuries and everything else you've had the last 10 years, what has happened on the course for you the last 10 years? Do you understand what I'm getting at?

DAVID DUVAL: Yeah. Right. You're asking kind of is it an attitude a little bit, is my guess. What were you doing yesterday from 3:30 to 5:30 when it was pouring?

Q. What was I doing?

DAVID DUVAL: Writing an article, maybe? I was working, too. I was on the range hitting balls, soaked. It's not no, when I say enough about the golf, it's more, I mean, let's talk about the things that have really happened that are wonderful and important. No, I've worked my tail off. Unfortunately for me I've had multiple nagging little injuries. I've had tendonitis in both shoulders; I've got it in my elbows; I have bone bruises in my knees right now; I have a back problem that's well documented; had tendonitis in my wrist; I've had vertigo. Is that it? You all know, we've talked.

So, I mean, there's a laundry list of problems. And that stuff, you know what, frankly, it wrecks golf. It wrecks your golf game. And as you - the great thing about wonderful athletes, wonderful golfers and football players, whatever it may be, but also the big detriment is that we're sometimes not smart enough to stop. Our egos think that we can just play and get through it.

And I continued to play and work through it, and all it did was get worse and worse and wreck my golf game and wreck my confidence, and there you are. If I was smart - I took - I think on two occasions I took extended time off, but in hindsight the big mistake I made in my career was not stopping sometime in early 2002 and probably not playing again until '04. I should have taken at least a year, maybe more off, just made sure everything kind of got healed, protected my confidence, protected my golf game and moved on and just given away that year and a half, not give away eight years like I did.

Q. Just a follow up, you actually - are you wearing a brace on your knee?

DAVID DUVAL: They don't help. I've tried all kinds of different things. Yeah, I don't know how it happened, so don't ask me. They've been nagging me, and I haven't talked about it. They've been nagging me all year, and I finally had enough and went it saw Dr. Steadman up in Vail. And he said, I thought I knew exactly what the problem is, but you kind of stumped me here. He said, you've got this what he termed a substantial bone bruise. It's at the tip of my femur, so as my knees flex I can sit in there and hit golf balls for - I was out this morning because I couldn't sleep, so I came out early and have been hitting balls. I hit balls yesterday, like I said, and it's not a big deal. But we don't hit on flat lies.

So it's kind of where the location of my bruise I say I have it in both because the right one feels exactly the same. I just didn't actually get an MRI on that knee. Ball gets below your feet, getting down in a bunker and squatting down, as the knee flexes more, where the location is of the bruise, the patellar tendon is rubbing across the bruise. Doesn't really feel very good. So it's just one of those things. It's not a big deal. I'm trying to figure out and compensate at times. Yesterday I hit three or four shots that kind of almost put me down. But I can sit there and hit 100 balls, 200 balls like it's nothing on the flats. It's just finding out a way to do the other stuff. And so just one of those little things that you all deal with. I'm 40 years old now, so it's probably not the last thing.

Q. Given this is one of the defining moments of your life, was there a temptation to bring more of your family across to look around, or does that feel like a different David Duval and a different chapter of your life, the one that was here in 2001?

DAVID DUVAL: That's a good question. I wish everybody could come with me every week, but that's just not feasible. It doesn't work that way. Young kids, they're at home. I mean they get - they're into what I do and they pay attention, but, you know, at golf tournaments they're pretty bored. My wife really wanted to come, but it just wasn't in the cards, it just didn't work out. So I don't know if that answers all of the questions, the scope of your question, but - it was kind of two questions.

Q. I wonder if you're the same person that won here in 2001.

DAVID DUVAL: No, I'm an entirely different person. Back then it was all about me and all about golf, just like the majority of people that have marched through here this week. I mean, it revolves around them, everything. Their handlers, their trainers, their nutritionists, their managers. It's everything. And I've been fortunate in my life to be able to kind of branch out and understand there's some things that are a little more important than this. It does not mean I don't love it, don't think I'm really good at it, and don't think going to be really great at it again and don't desire to be. But that goes to where I asked about what's kind of gone on in the last however many years of my life. Life has opened up to me and I've seen life, and I love it and enjoy it and embrace it.

I'm pretty lucky to - pretty lucky to not be the same person I was 10 years ago, 11 years ago. I would imagine everyone in this room is a little different than they were at that point in their lives. Everybody changes. We're no different; we just have to talk about it.

Q. So you can go out tomorrow thinking I can win this?

DAVID DUVAL: Absolutely. I feel good about what I'm doing. I played well last week in Moline at the John Deere. I kind of was talking to my caddie about it a little bit. This is going to sound really weird and crazy; if anything, I almost played a little too well. By that I mean I hit, I don't know, 31, 32 out of 36 greens, hit most all the fairways, and just, you know, you keep having all these chances and you keep missing, and it's like, damn, you know? Never could get anything rolling. And then hit beautiful shots coming in, missed some short putts, and it's like, okay, well, now what am I going to do for a few days?

I got here - and I feel the same way every year I get here, I'm kind of dazed and foggy for a day or so. Get off the airplane, I always make a point of coming out and hitting balls and trying to play at least nine holes. I call it having a walk. I try to have a walk and hit a ball or two on the course. But it feels you're on an airplane. I feel like I'm swaying and stuff. I know it takes a day, so I don't really put anything into it. Yesterday I felt a little better, not quite like I wanted to, not quite as well as I would have liked. So that's why I stood in the rain and hit balls for a couple of hours, to try to get my hands feeling how I want my hands to feel on a golf club and my golf swing. And that's kind of what I did this morning.

I'm happy with what I'm doing. I face the same challenges everybody is going to face this week, though, and that's you have to put it in play. I hope, as my hope is really at every big event like this, that there isn't a better half of the draw that kind of balances out and you're not playing Saturday afternoon at Muirfield in '02 where it's just a 10 shot difference. So I have the same hopes and wishes like most players, and I feel good. And you know what, it's - but I have the opportunity to go play, and the only thing that matters is what I shoot. It doesn't matter how you play. All that matters is your score. And after four days you see what score you shoot.

Q. Americans have won the past three major championships, been quite close in the fourth, this one last year. Do you sense the emergence of some exciting new young American talent? If so, who are they and why, and who is going to be the next No.1 in the world?

DAVID DUVAL: As far as young American players or just - I'm asking about the No.1 question? Who is going to be the next American No.1?

Q. No.

DAVID DUVAL: Just No. 1.

Q. Correct.

DAVID DUVAL: Who is No.1 right now?

Q. Luke Donald?

DAVID DUVAL: Luke Donald. It's changed so much with him and Rory, I believe. Is he still 2?

Q. Yes.

DAVID DUVAL: Who is 3?

Q. Lee.

DAVID DUVAL: Lee is, okay. Boy, I don't know. Where is Webb Simpson ranked?

MODERATOR: Fifth.

DAVID DUVAL: Obviously he's proved himself to be a major champion, as being the most recent one. The thing I love about the young American players is that they don't look like golf machines. The young players, so many of them today look like robots and look stiff and don't look like they have any feel in their game. And I kind of believe that - if you go back through it and you look at world No.1's, you'd have to say that maybe Tiger had the most textbook swing if you would, or prettiest. But you go back through great players and I think the one one of the things they had in common was that they all swung it kind of funny and different, but they all were convinced that it was the right way to do it.

I don't think Tom Watson thought Jack Nicklaus thought he swung it the right way, I think Tom thought he swung it the right way, and same with Norman and Faldo. And you could go on and on. And you look at the Dustin Johnsons and the Rickie Fowlers, as far as Americans go, Webb Simpson. I mean, I don't - what are the other high ranks. I'm sorry, I just don't know the rankings, I don't pay attention to it specifically because they're so screwy.

Q. Jason.

DAVID DUVAL: Jason, yeah, I love how he swings it. It's just kind of funny, a little different, a little shut and closed and repeated and rotates. But to me when I see that, I see feel and awareness of the club face and the club head and where it is in your golf swing, and that's how you produce golf shots, repeatable golf shots, and that's how you produce good scores.

That's the thing I like about watching the young players we have as Americans. Who's going to be the next No.1, oh, heck, I imagine if it's any of the top five, they'd probably go to No.1 if they won this golf tournament. I wouldn't be surprised to see Webb Simpson go there. And I say that because I don't necessarily think he's the best golfer in the world, I don't necessarily think Luke Donald is the best golf player in the world. There's so much parity now that you can't really distinguish. I think the thing Webb has, especially coming off Olympic, and you can't necessarily say it's going to apply this week or in a few weeks at the PGA, but he has confidence. And confidence is as important as anything playing the game of golf.

I was impressed to see him. I don't know where he finished but I believe it was a couple of weeks after the U.S. Open I saw he was right near the top again. And that's confidence. And that's what I kind of look for when I see players playing, and I think that that's what holds people back at times and I think that's what lets other people break through.

Q. You mentioned that you had not been back here in 11 years. I'm just curious, you come over every year, no inclination to come early, pay a visit for a day?

DAVID DUVAL: Not really. My travels here don't necessarily allow for that. It wasn't like an intentional snub or anything like that, but I just flew into St. George's last year and played golf there and we left. If I was making a trip, like a lot of Americans make trips to come over here and play, I'd tell them to make a point of coming to play this one because I think it's as good as any of the courses we play in the rotation. It's every bit Muirfield is or Birkdale; it's all that. It doesn't - for some reason, it doesn't seem to get that recognition. But no, I haven't had an opportunity to, and I don't know, I think I could get on, but I don't know. I hope so. I would probably play with a member or two.

Q. Also with all the injuries and frustrations that go with injuries and the good stuff that's happening outside of golf, what keeps bringing you back to the game?

DAVID DUVAL: I love playing the game. I'm really good at it. But there's times when I feel like - it's like enough is enough. And I don't mean golf wise, but I mean talking about it. It's like kicking a dead horse. We know what's happened, so we can hammer it if you want. We don't have to. Nobody really knew about it prior to this week about my knee problems. It's just stuff I don't talk about. I don't talk about the little things, like hitting shots and my elbow is twinging out there.

I believe in what I do. I believe in myself as a person. I believe in myself as a golfer and I know I can play as well as anybody. It's just a matter of - I don't want to say the stars lining up, because it makes it sound like a one off. Everything just needs to fall into place a little bit. I need to feel a little better. You hit a couple of golf shots, you build what I talked about with confidence, and you're off. In the midst of my struggles I won the U.S. Open. So it's in there. It's just I haven't been consistently healthy enough to probably work as much as I need to and secondly feel consistent enough on a day to day basis to let it all come out.

Q. You were one of the original rivals to Tiger. Can you describe what kind of relationship you had with him at that time and what kind of relationship, if any, you have with him now?

DAVID DUVAL: Can I ask you why? What's the importance of that? I'm just curious. I haven't been asked that question before. We were decent friends 10 years ago, 12 years ago. We talked a fair amount. Now, no, I don't are we friends? I guess so. We don't talk. I'm not one to even imagine the microscope under which he has to live. As big as I may have become in golf, I don't know if I ever did, and if I did, it was just barely transcended the game and got outside of it as far as popularity or star power, if you will. But you're talking about a world star that most people in sports around the world know who he is. And that's a tough life to have to live.

We all have problems. We all make choices, but when all your choices are, you know, scrutinized and written about, it's not a -I don't know if it's a comfortable existence, really. It's not one I want. He obviously has found some peace in his life, is happy, I think, with how he's playing golf again. So I wouldn't hesitate to have a beer with him, but it would probably have to be hidden in some house somewhere; it's not like he can go to the public and do it. And that sucks that he can't do that. And that's a tough thing. And we stroll in town and have a beer and a pizza, and it's fun. That's one of the fun things when you come over here to these events, to walk around these towns, because you're not in them very often. To not be basically allowed to do that would you like to do that? Would you like to live that way? No. It's tough. I wouldn't want it.

Q. If I could go back, please, to '01. Darren Clarke is just finishing his year as Open champion, and he talked about the importance of the Claret Jug through the year as an affirmation of his place in the game more or less, and it's never been far from him wherever he's gone. Do you have any memories of the Jug and what it meant to you during that year?

DAVID DUVAL: Well, I believe this week is the most important week in golf, professional golf, therefore I believe it's the most important trophy in professional golf and the most important championship to win. He travels the world playing. That's not something I really did a whole lot of, but I didn't travel with it when I played that following year. It wasn't like I took it every tournament I went to. I left it at home. I gave it to a couple different clubs, I think, to hold on to for a while and let people back in my hometown see it and get a kick out of it. I didn't take it to golf tournaments and such.

I just had a good laugh with Darren about it, actually, because I saw - obviously it must have been kind of a setup situation, because the cameras were out when he was bringing the Jug back to Peter. And I told him, Peter quickly found me on Monday at Muirfield and asked if I had anything for him. I said, well, I remembered to bring it, but you probably won't see it until Wednesday. I said, we might have a little more fun with it the next couple of nights before we have to give it back. He said, at least make it early Wednesday so we can get it all polished up nice.

It's a neat thing. Just even the case in which it travels is cool. And that's the one thing, regardless of what happens in a player's career; you get your name on the Open trophy as an Open champion, they can't take it off, they can't take it away. And one of the neat things I was told about over here, and it's the truth, is they never forget. The fans never forget. I'm received; I hear dads telling their kids who weren't even born, that's an Open champion there, you know. That's really cool.

Q. Whether it happens this week or next, when you win again, can you talk about maybe the different level of fulfillment you'll have because of the fact that your family will see it?

DAVID DUVAL: I don't know if I can verbalize it, really, because I've - like I had a brother who died when I was young. And I'm just trying to explain a story. So it feels like I kind of have had two lives, because I don't really remember him. I was nine years old. It kind of feels like I had a brother when I was a kid, but I don't really remember that part of my life. And then I'm used to being - I have a sister, and it's the two of us. That's the kind of life I think of.

I think it will be a similar situation that, although I had a longtime girlfriend, I was kind of alone is how I felt, unfulfilled outside of golf, although - but was having great success in golf. Very narrow minded existence, will be certain to never live that way again. But now I feel like I'm not hitting balls in the rain yesterday just for myself. I'm doing this for my family, because I do believe in what I'm doing. It doesn't necessarily mean it's going to happen, but I'm going to do everything I can to be prepared to make it happen and help make it happen. And be prepared to play well and play great golf.

The great thing is I'm enjoying the preparation. I enjoy - I've enjoyed hitting golf balls for a couple of hours this morning. At some point I lost some of the enjoyment of it, and to have it back is a neat thing. I talked about it before, but there's a point at which I was just so unhappy with it and frustrated that I didn't know - I wanted to protect my love of the game, and that was the only point at which, because I've been asked, that was the only point at which I thought about stop playing competitively, because I wanted to play at home with my family and kids and enjoy it, and I wasn't willing to wreck my love of the game for competitive golf.

At this point I'm really into it, really love it again and feel great about what I'm doing and the work I'm putting in. I'm mostly prepared. I think we could all say you could be a little more prepared every week. I don't know if you're ever - but I'm at that 95, 98 percent prepared every week I play. So it's there, and it's just a matter of me getting out of my own way and playing.

Q. I apologize if this is repetitious, because it's a similar kind of theme. But when you were on top of the world, as a player you always seemed, to me, anyway, pretty closed off as a competitor and as a person. Do you think if you had had that, the happiness in your personal life that you have now, that you would have been less closed off?

DAVID DUVAL: You know, I don't know how to answer that. You're asking me if - I think my answer more would lie in that we all grow and change, at least we hope to. We all hope to improve as people. I believe we all hope to. I think that's where - don't take this the wrong way - it's almost like a loaded question. You're asking me to analyze who I was 12, 14, 15 years ago, ten years ago, and yeah, in that kind of rearview mirror, yeah, would I like to have handled things different, been a little different, yeah.

But that's the way I managed to do it and cope with it at that time. I imagine there's something in your life 10 or 12 years ago you probably could have approached differently and been a little different, and you're not that way now and you've changed. That's called life and life experiences. When we have to sit up here and talk about what we're doing golf wise, off the golf course, we're in front of the microphones, the cameras, so we get analyzed. But we go through the same trials and same stuff that you do, that anybody does.

We all have our stuff that we deal with. More people know about my stuff, a lot more people know about Tiger's stuff or Phil's stuff. That's just because of what we do. But I don't believe I've ever put myself on a pedestal. I don't believe I've ever thought of myself as any more or less of a human than anyone else. But it's all - that's just coping and coping mechanisms and how you deal with things. Do I wish I could have done it a little different? Yeah, I do. But that's how I knew to do it then.

Q. Just briefly, two things: First of all, what is the prognosis on your knees? Is there some kind of surgery in your future, or rehab, or do you know?

DAVID DUVAL: No. I wish. That's what I told Dr. Steadman when he told me. I said, thanks a lot, you just gave me a back diagnosis. I was hoping he could go in and scrape something out and six, eight weeks, I'm fine. He said, I don't know what to tell you. You've got six months, six weeks, a year. I don't know how long it will take. It's a nuisance and it's quite painful at times. Other days it's okay. I'm not playing on a broken leg, but I'm playing on a painful leg.

Q. The second thing, and this is more of a US PGA Tour question, but the schedule is about to change next year and go to a split calendar and some other things are changing, and just your thought on that whole - the whole change to the Tour, how it might affect you, what your thoughts on it are?

DAVID DUVAL: I know - I'm aware of the change, what it's doing. From what I've been told, it's more beneficial for a veteran player than it is for the young people coming out. I think I'd be inclined - I heard yesterday or the day before you can now enter Q School, go the first two stages as an amateur; is that accurate?

Q. That's correct.

DAVID DUVAL: I think I'd probably do that. But my - this really isn't going to be - here we go, right, Dave? If I was a young player right now, I wouldn't hesitate, I'd come play over here for a year or two is what I would do. I think that if you're really good, you pretty much the way the system is getting set up in the States is you're going to have to play on the Web.com Tour for a year, that's kind of how the system is getting set up. I'd come over here and play, because if you play great golf, the way the point system is working now it seems favors over outside the U.S. I'd come play over here. If you play great golf and you get in the top 50 in the world, then you back to the States and play the World Golf, the majors, invitationals, and you're on Tour. That's what I would do. And at 22, 23, 24, you get to experience the world, different cultures, get used to travel amongst different countries. I think it would be beneficial in furthering your career. Is that a good answer? No, it's not.

Q. In all the terrain you've covered in the last little while, one thing I wondered if you could just define briefly -

DAVID DUVAL: Did you say define briefly?

Q. Define, yeah. You were asked to assess the potential of some of the young guys around, and you elected Webb Simpson, you thought, had a great chance. What significance is there in a young player stepping out of winning a major as you did at a relatively young age? How crucial is that for a very gifted player to do? Presumably the earlier the better?

DAVID DUVAL: Well, I think the earlier the better simply because you don't necessarily know if it's ever going to happen. You can anoint a player and say they're going to win four or five or six or eight or whatever. Well, you still have to do it. You still have to actually go out and compete and win the golf tournament. To do it early - how old is Webb, 28, 27?

Q. 26.

DAVID DUVAL: 26? I think I was maybe 29 when I won here. Yeah, I can do math. I was 29. I think it gives you that confidence in knowing you can do it. It doesn't necessarily mean you're going to do it again. I don't mean to convey that, I'm not saying he's necessarily going to win five major championships and be a world No.1 for three years. But - I thought the question was mostly about American players, I said it based off the confidence because of what he just accomplished. And I think that - there's a point at which if you go up and down the driving range there's - you're not going to see a whole lot of difference between how players play, hit the golf ball. You're going to see different distances the ball gets hit, but the player that is confident is the one who kind of, I think, has the advantage. And I think - I was talking mostly on kind of the things that are not golf related or not the mechanics, not the part of golf, but the other things outside of the actual playing that are important. And that's why I said him. Like I said, I don't think he's any better than some of the other players, but he just won one and he knows what it's about.

Q. I suppose the relevance from a British perspective would be somebody like Luke Donald who is No.1 but doesn't seem to be able to come to terms with winning this thing we're talking about.

DAVID DUVAL: That goes to answering your question. I mean, the sooner you can do it, the better. I think the longer it drags on, the harder it gets, the more you get in your own head, and the more you press and the more you think about it. I don't think there's any way - I don't think you could argue anything other than that, I really don't, at least not in making an honest argument. I don't think you could. You could talk all you want, but the longer it goes on, the harder it gets and the more self doubt there is, whether you admit it or not.

Q. The depth of person I'm listening to here prompts me to ask, what happens next after golf? Do you want to be a politician, a lawyer?

DAVID DUVAL: No. Shit, no. Sorry.

Q. What is the career like in your head past golf?

DAVID DUVAL: I'd like to be involved with the golf. I love it. I love the game. I love watching it, talking about it. Because of my life circumstances and the age at which I got married, had kids and stuff, if you'd have asked me, obviously - hell, I was more than clear about it, I just never thought I'd play on the Champions Tour, but I'd like to play out there some at some point, frankly. At that point in my life I'll be able to travel with my wife alone, and it will be nice. She and I can go to tournaments and hang out and dinners and have fun. And I think that would be great because I definitely will want to play.

But between now and then I plan on playing. That's what I'm focused on right now and that's what I'm working for and that's what I'm planning on doing. If you're asking me to say if I'm not doing that, what would I be doing, I would probably try to be involved with the game somehow. I like it. I like being around it. There's certain camaraderie that is enjoyable. Why would you ask me if I want to be a politician, though?

Q. You're articulate.

DAVID DUVAL: Oh.

MODERATOR: Thank you very much for taking the time today, David, and best of luck this week.

The transcript for the above interview is courtesy of ASAP Sports.