Duval's 62 ties Pebble record He leads Pro-Am by 3, but now Woods gets into the hunt

February 02, 1997|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,SUN STAFF

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. -- Tiger's coming.

That warning spurred David Duval to change his body and his golf game 14 months ago.

It's also the message he received at the end of the third round of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am yesterday, as Duval tied the course record with a 62, but Woods vaulted into contention with an angry 63.

Woods took a bite out of Pebble Beach with nine birdies, then chewed out his new-found fans and made a veiled threat that he may not bother to come back next year.

Tied for 67th at the start of the day and in danger of missing the cut for the first time in his brief pro career, Woods vaulted into a share of fifth place heading into today's fourth and final round.

He's 11-under-par, three strokes behind Jesper Parnevik (67), four behind four-time champion Mark O'Meara (67) and Jim Furyk (69) and seven behind Duval, who's 18-under in an event in which the scoring record is 17-under.

Duval has never won on the PGA Tour, but the $1.86 million he earned in his first two years is a record.

It's one that Woods will presumably surpass this year, and while he grudgingly buys into the theory, Woods' potential was among the reasons that Duval is literally leaner and hungrier than he was as a rookie in 1995.

"I knew I had gotten fat, and I had to do something about it," Duval said. "The first day I went running, I was at 226 [pounds]. I kind of cussed myself for a while, but I kept at it. Since the end of '95, I've lost more than 30 pounds. I'm at 190, 195. I feel a thousand times better."

At 25, Duval is viewed as one of the young Turks who could keep Woods from being totally dominant into the next century. Didn't the promise shown by Woods make Duval realize that his best had better improve?

"I can't say that's the only reason I'm working hard," Duval said. "The players are few and far between who can play out here without working at it."

Few fans noticed Duval play the first seven holes in 8-under -- he eagled Nos. 2 and 6, the par-5s on the front -- as he was in the first group off at No. 1. Duval had spike-free greens to work on, but he didn't really need them, because his longest putt on that magical first seven holes was 8 feet.

"I've never been in a situation where I had played that long, and was more under par than the number of holes I had played," said Duval, a Georgia Tech product via Jacksonville, Fla. "That's something you don't ever think about doing. It's great whenever you can share a course record with someone like Tom Kite."

Kite's 62 came in 1983, when he won and, like this year, winter rules were enforced for the entire tournament because of damp conditions. Duval didn't need any break on his final birdie, as his 7-iron on No. 17 stopped two inches from the cup on the surprisingly still par 3.

There has been no calm here for Woods, who's finding there's a down side to adulation and being teamed with Kevin Costner. Followed by huge galleries at Spyglass Hill on Thursday and at Poppy Hills on Friday, Woods enjoyed the more open spaces at Pebble Beach, where his putter finally got going.

"Pebble Beach is a little easier because you're not playing in the trees," Woods said. "When you're in the trees, everything echoes. Here [Pebble Beach], it's nice, wide-open spaces. Granted, people are still taking pictures when you're swinging."

There are babies crying, cell phones ringing and drunks singing at this tournament, but the distraction that most miffs Woods is the click of a camera. Working photographers know not to snap the shutter on a players' backswing, but the fans, who are allowed to bring cameras to the four Pro-Am events on the tour, don't.

As a child, Woods' focus was honed as his father shouted during his putting stroke. Isn't he used to the click-click-click by now?

"You can't get used to that," Woods said. "They're taking pictures as you're swinging, which is wrong. They're using flash photography, which is absolutely ridiculous. People want that right shot, but it's at our expense."

Would the policy deter Woods from coming back?

"We'll see," Woods said.

Pub Date: 2/02/97

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.