There was a lot of carnage at last week's PGA, but David Duval
was the sorriest sight. After opening with an 80, Duval was six
over on his first four holes on Friday before withdrawing after a
painful tee shot on the 5th hole, citing a bad back. This was
just the latest setback in Duval's spiraling slump. Here's how
his struggles compare with the slumps that derailed the careers
of other elite players.
This is an article from the Aug. 25, 2003 issue
CAREER HIGH No. 1 in the World Ranking for 14 weeks in 1999; won
the 2001 British Open.
ROOTS OF SLUMP Injuries led to compensating moves in swing;
personal problems; even a bout of veritigo.
FIRST SIGN OF TROUBLE Over the first 15 events of '02 he finished
better than 12th only once, missing six cuts (age 30).
NADIR Shot first-round 83s in back-to-back starts last month.
KEY STATS This year Duval is 195th in driving accuracy, 117th in
distance (in 2000 he was 39th in accuracy and 18th in distance);
has missed 11 cuts and withdrawn twice in his last 15 starts.
HOW THE STORY ENDS Stay tuned.
CAREER HIGH Shot a front-nine 29 on Saturday to set up his win at
the 1991 British Open.
ROOTS OF SLUMP Swing changes in a quest for more distance.
FIRST SIGN OF TROUBLE After winning in Australia in 1992--his
first victory since the Open--he felt "relief, not joy" (age 31).
NADIR At the 1995 British Open at St. Andrews, playing with
Arnold Palmer, he snap-hooked his tee shot O.B. on the 1st hole,
across one of the widest fairways in the world; at the '97
British, shot an opening 92.
KEY STATS His streak of 34 consecutive missed cuts is a Tour
HOW THE STORY ENDS He quit competitive golf in '98 and is now an
CAREER HIGH Between 1979 and '88 he won three British Opens and
two Masters; six European money titles, the last in 1991. (He
finished third in '94.)
ROOTS OF SLUMP Preeminent feel player began taking advice from
scores of instructors in an ill-fated effort to find the form of
FIRST SIGN OF TROUBLE From 1994 to '95, his stroke average on the
Euro tour jumped nearly 2 1/2 shots (age 38).
NADIR At the '95 Ryder Cup he drove so wildly, some players
averted their gazes.
KEY STATS Since his last top 10, in 1998, he has made the cut in
only 26 of 94 starts.
HOW THE STORY ENDS Ballesteros doggedly plays on, trying to
restart his career.
CAREER HIGH Won back-to-back U.S. Opens in 1937 and '38, as well
as the '39 Masters.
ROOTS OF SLUMP Folklore has it that after seeing footage of his
Masters win at a movie theater, he tried to refine his violent
lunge at the ball.
FIRST SIGN OF TROUBLE He quit the game in 1935 to work as a car
salesman (age 23).
NADIR In the semis of the '40 PGA, he was all square with Byron
Nelson but collapsed on the 36th hole to blow the match.
KEY STATS: After his final victory in 1940, he was winless in
more than 60 tournaments before quitting in '42.
HOW THE STORY END: He retired to a teaching position at Braemar
Country Club in Tarzana, Calif. Guldahl died in 1987.