The PGA Tour Player Handbook has a section titled “Conduct Unbecoming a Professional.” But what about conduct becoming a professional?
It does not address that, but that’s OK. David Duval did so in the wake of his 20-over par 91 in the first round of the British Open at Royal Portrush in Portrush, Northern Ireland, on Thursday.
Duval, who has a claret jug on a resume that is borderline World Golf Hall of Fame calibre, took a 14 on the par-4 seventh hole en route to a front nine of 49. It was the kind of hole in the kind of round that might have caused integrity-challenged golfers to walk off the course, or at the very least to avoid the ignominy of having their score posted for all to see by not signing the scorecard and taking a disqualification.
Not Duval. Here’s what he said after his round:
“You have an obligation as a professional athlete. If you play, you post your score. Am I happy about that? Is there some embarrassment to it? I don’t know. But I teed off in the Open and I shot 90 today. So put it on the board.”
Well played on a day he did not play well.
“Oh, well,” Nick Faldo said when learning of Duval’s score. “We’ve seen a lot today.”
We certainly have.