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Duval`s Struggle Toward First Major Title

Posted July. 23, 2001 19:00,   


The winner of 130th British Open was shrouded in the thick fog.

Even after the completion of three rounds, no one can anticipate who will earn the glorious trophy, `Claret Jug`.

In the third round, a `lonely No. 2`, David Duval (30, USA) shot a 6-under-par 65 with 7 birdies and 1 bogey, which is the lowest score thus far this tournament at the Royal Lytham & St. Annes GC (par 71) in Lancashire, England yesterday. He seemed like he was wreaking his shuddering grudge of no major title.

Joining him at 6-under 207 for three rounds, Duval shared the leader with former Masters champions, Ian Woosnam (43, GB) and Bernhard Langer (44, Germany), and unknown Alex Cejka (31, Germany).

Duval, who moved up the top of leaderboard even before Colin Montgomerie who held on the lead for two rounds teed off, has mysteriously borne little relation with the major championship titles. Duval finished the Masters in the second place. And in the US Open, he held on the leader for three rounds, but fell to 16th place with 74 strokes in the fourth round. Duval told that ``I had been the runner-up a lot of times in the major tournaments, but I have failed to win the title. I`m gonna show my ability to win even among any unfavorable conditions ``.

Although Duval is burning with passion for first major title, he might be just one of thousands of cars jammed in the traffic. He shared the leader with three European golfers, and 9 golfers such as Montgomerie, Spain`s Miguel Angel Jimenez, Jesper Parnevik of Sweden, Nick Price of Zimbabwe etc. are chasing the leader position by 1 stroke, tying the fifth place. And sharing the fourteenth place, South African Ernie Els and Spanish star Sergio Garcia are also threatening the leader group with total 4-under-par 209, just 2 strokes behind the leader. The victory trophy is still not far from them.

On the other hand, a defending champion Tiger Woods (USA) recorded total 1-under-par 212 for three rounds to share 28th place, shooting two-over par 73 with 3 birdes, 3 bogeys and 1 double bogey in the third round. Woods lowered 2 strokes till the fourth hole, but unfortunately his tee shot fell to the rough and his second shot was declared to be unplayable in the seventh hole (par 5). At last, he had to give up thanks to a double bogey with 5-on and 2 putts in this hole.

Woods, who had troubles with landing the tee shots in the fairways, however, expressed his enthusiasm for defending the title, practicing for 45 minutes with his coach Butch Harmon in the driving range after finishing the round. Woods said that ``it was a very disappointing round. If the leader group gets in trouble due to the bad weather, it will be possible to reverse the game``.

A three time runner-up for the major titles, Montgomerie was also nudged out of the first place due to the shaky puttings, recording just 2-over par 73 in the third round.

Kim Jong-Seok kjs0123@donga.com