Duval reports no pain, only high expectations

AUGUSTA, Georgia, AP

David Duval gripped his driver, took a big cut on the 10th tee at Augusta National, then screamed in pain and started shaking his right wrist. “Gotcha,” he said with a smile. Duval played 18 holes on Sunday, his first full round of golf since he injured his wrist three weeks ago, and reported no pain. “It’s gotten better every day,” he said. “I want to play some golf.” He hasn’t been able to since Doral. While spending about five hours a day on the practice range during his week off, Duval developed tendinitis in his right wrist March 5 and had to withdraw from the Bay Hill Invitational and The Players Championship. Duval had a cortisone shot Monday to reduce the swelling, and plans to play a limited practice schedule the rest of the week. While the wrist is not fully healthy, and probably won’t be for at least another two weeks, Duval said his expectations about winning the Masters have not changed. “I feel like I have just as good of a chance to win this tournament as I did last year, and the year before that, and the year before that,” he said. The lasting image of Duval at Augusta National was a year ago as he stood in the 13th fairway and tried to figure out which club to hit into the par-5 13th. His 5-iron from 178 meters (196 yards) bounded into Rae’s Creek for a bogey, and he never caught Vijay Singh. What kind of game he’ll bring to this Masters is unclear. Duval, who along with his wrist injury has been burdened with a lawsuit Titleist filed for breach-of-contract, is off to his worst start in five years. He has played only five tournaments, missing the cut twice and finishing out of the top 50 on two other occasions. Still, Augusta National has been a course he plays well. “I expect a lot,” he said. “I feel like when I hurt my hand I was swinging the golf club the best I have all year. Today when I played, the swing was where it was when I got hurt. I do wish I could have played some more golf.”