Monday, January 22, 2007

Why We’d Rather Love Duval than Mickelson

I was looking at the standings of the recently completed Bob Hope Chrysler Classic and noticed that former #1 golfer in the world, David Duval shot an 8-under 352 to finish T-39, AHEAD of Phil Mickelson who shot a 7-under 353 and finished T-45. Currently, Mr. Duval is ahead of Mr. Mickelson in earnings too, taking home a $20,000 paycheck to Mickelson’s $15,500.

Now this might not seem like much, but it got me to thinking about two things: Mickelson will always be a bridesmaid never a bride and we'd love to see Duval rocket back up the standings and back into our hearts.

It's clear that the most dominant golfer in the world today is Tiger Woods. No question about it. In head-to-head competition with the best, he usually comes out victorious. No one has been able to touch him since he turned pro. He seems to have an extra gear that the other golfers don't have and turns it on when it really matters.

Phil Mickelson, a crowd favorite, has an attractive wife and kids, is camera-friendly, but is erratic and unpredictable. When Tiger isn’t in contention or is sitting out the week, Phil can be brilliant. When Tiger is there, look out. He tends to melt like overheated plastic in a microwave.

The guy we really want to love is David Duval. The son of a prominent golfing family, a former #1 in the world golfer, wearer of those cool wraparound sunglasses, he had Tiger Woods-type dominance when he was "da man".

We feel for his freefall from the covers of all the golf magazines. We shake our heads at his sad reliance on exemptions just to keep playing and avoid Q School. We want to love him because we've been there. We understand the pain of losing one's game.

We want to love David Duval because we devour rags-to-riches stories and we'd like to see him relive his former glory. Michelson is old news. Duval should be our new flame.

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