On this day in 2001 David Duval won the 130th Open Championship, held at Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club in Lytham St Annes, England. This was Duval’s only major championship victory of his career.
After his Open Championship win, Duval entered a downward spiral in form that saw him drop to 80th on the money list in 2002, and 211th in 2003, prompting an extended break from the game. Numerous reasons have been postulated for the decline, including back, wrist, and shoulder problems; private difficulties; and a form of vertigo. Duval has not won a tournament on the PGA Tour since his Open Championship victory in 2001. His last worldwide win was the Dunlop Phoenix Tournament in November 2001, on his 30th birthday. His 30s have proved much less lucrative on the golf course.
Many commentators believed Duval’s career to be over, but he returned to golf at the US Open in 2004, where he shot 25 over par and missed the cut. Duval struggled with his best results until 2009 being a T-13 at the Deutsche Bank Championship in 2004 and a T-16 at the US Open in 2006. He made the cut in only one PGA Tour event in 2005, but did finish in the top ten at the Dunlop Phoenix tournament in Japan. While Duval at his peak was viewed as aloof and distant and was not a fan favorite, now galleries sympathize with his plight and root for him to overcome his issues and to enjoy playing golf.