Recently, on the Champions Tour, David Duval and his stepson, Nick Karavites, won the PNC Father/Son Challenge at Grand Lakes in Orlando. For those who are big golf fans, Duval’s story is likely known. For the mild fan, maybe not so. His one-stroke win at the Father/Son Challenge was the first in his professional career in over 15 years.
Duval was a golfing beast at an early age. As a high school senior, he was the U.S. Junior Amateur Champion. In college, he was the 1993 National Player of the Year. He took the PGA Tour by storm. From 1997-2001, he won 13 times, including a major title. He was on the fast path to the world’s #1 ranked player, and would make Tiger Woods have to earn every win. But it didn’t happen.
After his 2001 Open Championship, his career hit a major downward spiral. In just two years, he dropped to 211th on the money list. He wasn’t Tiger Woods’ most fierce competitor as many thought was inevitable. He would take an extended break from the game, and finally announced 2014 would be his last on the PGA Tour.
Now on the Champions Tour, he raised his first trophy in professional golf for the first time since 2001. He said after the win, “This is as good as anything,” Duval said. “It truly is. I know it’s not winning THE PLAYERS or something like that, but this is what the progression of life is.
Duval is well aware that life is a rollercoaster, of ups and downs and twists and turns. Golf is very symbolic of life. Who knew that at the age 45, he would do something he hadn’t done since he was 30. It tells you that age doesn’t matter. You can play your best at any age, especially if you keep yourself fit and do some regular exercising. So if you can’t keep the driver in play, can’t seem to knock down a 10-foot putt, or your game has apparently disappeared…give it time…like Duval. You’ll find yourself, and that smile again — like he did.