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Duval Backs Up Stellar '98 Season with Fine '99 Performance
November 24, 1999
KAPALUA, Maui, Hawaii - When David Duval arrived at Kapalua resort in January 1999 for the season-opening Mercedes Championships, he was coming off a career season difficult to duplicate, let alone surpass.
It didn't take Duval long, however, to serve notice that he was prepared to improve on his stellar 1998 campaign. He did that by winning in convincing fashion the first Mercedes Championships contested at Kapalua's formidable 7,263-yard Plantation Course.
Amid ideal scoring conditions in Maui, Hawaii, Duval blitzed a field composed of PGA TOUR winners from the previous year with a 26-under-par 266 total. He was nine shots better than his nearest pursuers, Mark O'Meara and Billy Mayfair. The victory margin, aided by a bogey-free 10-under 63 in the second round, was the largest of the year on the PGA TOUR. More than 11 million households tuned in during prime time to see Duval win $468,000 and a new Mercedes SL 500 Roadster.
Starting the new millennium, Duval will have the opportunity to defend his Mercedes Championships title January 6-9, 2000, at The Plantation Course with expectations to raise his game still one notch higher - if possible.
Consider these 1998 statistics: four wins, a PGA TOUR low 69.13 scoring average and the year's leading money winner with a record $2.59 million.
He was even better in 1999. Duval finished second to Tiger Woods on the PGA TOUR money list with $3,642,462 and won another four times, including the Players Championship. In addition to his spectacular play at Kapalua, Duval won the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic with a final-round 59, the first man ever to shoot sub-60 on Sunday to win. His 69.17 scoring average also was second to Woods.
He became the first man since Johnny Miller in 1974 to win four times before the Masters. He won four of his first eight starts in '99, and it all began at Kapalua.
"It's a satisfying win, no doubt about it. Especially in a tournament in which everybody knows how to win." Duval said after his runaway victory on Maui, which was his eighth in his last 27 starts. "That's what makes it the most special."
Duval enjoyed another special year in '99, as further statistical data attests. He made 21 cuts in 22 starts and finished in the top-10 on 12 occasions. Forty-five of his 74 rounds were under par and 29 were in the 60s.
He ranked among the top 10 in six other categories: driving distance (ninth), total driving (seventh), greens in regulation (third), birdie average (second), putting (10th) and all-around (third).
Duval, of Jacksonville Beach, Fla., will have plenty of competition when he returns to Maui to compete on Kapalua's Plantation Course for a $2,900,000 purse. In fact, the Mercedes Championships annually boasts one of the best fields of the year.
The list of the 2000 challengers qualified to compete include Tiger Woods,
winner of the PGA TOUR money title and Vardon Trophy. Other multiple
in the Mercedes field include Woods' former Stanford teammate Notah Begay,
Duffy Waldorf and Carlos Franco.
Requests for media credentials are now being accepted for the 2000 Mercedes Championships. For an application form, contact Linn Nishikawa, Media Coordinator, (800) KAPALUA, (808) 669-4480 fax.
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