Sometimes, it is unfortunate how fast success can be reached. Then again, when you lose that feeling of achievement, it is very hard to recreate.
David Duval soared to extreme heights early in his career. As an amateur, Duval claimed the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship in 1989, numerous All-American selections, and even 1993 National Player of the Year honors.
In 1995, Duval earned his PGA Tour card and quickly earned a name on the tour. He notched his first victory in 1997, but before that earned seven second-place finishes in the two previous years. However, once Duval won, he then claimed victories in his next two tournaments, including the Tour Championship.
In some forums, money is a sign of great accomplishment. Duval was the PGA Tour's leading money winner in 1998. From 1997 to 2001, Duval won 13 PGA tournament events, culminating in a No. 1 world ranking after winning the Open Championship.
Golf pundits say that The Masters is golf's ultimate championship; Duval was close, never earning that magical green jacket but placing second twice, in 1998 and 2001.
His dominance in the late '90s earned spots on two victorious U.S. Ryder Cup teams, in 1999 and 2002.
Since his 30th birthday, Duval has not won a single tournament. His last came at the Dunlop Phoenix Tournament. Since the clock struck 30, he has spun into a downward spiral on the golf course, even taking a break from the sport for a full year.
His return to the course came during the 2004 U.S. Open, where he shot 25 over par and clearly missed the cut. It was thought that Duval was not enjoying the game of golf.
2009 brought new life to his career, though, making his first cut at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am in February.
Duval competed in sectional qualifying for the U.S. Open at Bethpage Black, and, as sports fans witnessed this weekend, made the most out of his opportunity. With two holes to play, Duval was tied for the lead at his first U.S. Open since 2006. A heartbreaking putt on the 71st hole lipped out, and he ended up tying for second place.
Hopefully the Ryder Cup chairmen were watching Duval at Bethpage and will consider him for this year's cup.
I know golf fans around the world will be rooting for Duval to continue his resurgence on the Tour and once again compete at a level we once knew.