David Duval’s day at Royal Portrush started solidly. The 47-year-old from Jacksonville (Fla.) notched consecutive birdies on the first two holes Thursday to open this year’s British Open.
Things started to unravel on the fifth hole. He recorded a quadruple bogey, followed up by a single one on the next hole. At 3-over par, there was still time to recover, especially with others such as local Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy struggling with similar scores.
Hole No. 7 ended up being the worst one in tournament history, or at least since officials started recording scorecards hole-by-hole in 1983. Duval managed to shoot a 14 on the par-5 hole. Golf.com explained the horrific sequence of events:
Duval hit two provisionals off the tee and thought he was playing his third ball before realizing it was the second provisional ball, according to the Open radio broadcast. Duval, who was assessed a two-shot penalty for playing with the wrong ball, then had to go back to the tee to start the hole over again.
Duval originally had been credited with a 13 on the seventh hole and a score of 90, but the score was adjusted to 91 after a review by the R&A.
At the moment, he is sitting in dead last at 20-over par overall, which included a triple bogey on the 17th hole. His overall finish for the round was a 90. As mentioned earlier, he’s not the only golfer battling with Portrush, which hasn’t hosted an Open Championship since 1951.
McIlroy, whose hometown in County Down sits just an hour to the northwest of Portrush, tripped up immediately. He posted a quadruple bogey on the first hole and has been fighting uphill ever since. His two birdies to close out the front-9 lead to a score of 3-over-par. A double and triple bogey on the last three holes led to an 8-over-par finish.
Other elite golfers dealing with adversity are Phil Mickelson at 5-over and Adam Scott at 7-over. However, nothing compares to Duval, who won the British Open in 2001 at Royal Lytham.
Here are some of the reactions about Duval’s infamous day. First, England’s Eddie Pepperell expressed shock at the number.
In addition, Golf Digest writer Joel Beall posted Duval’s scorecard at the time of the debacle on the seventh hole. Originally, he reported it was a 15, but the score has since been recorded as a 13.
Stay tuned for more on Thursday in Northern Ireland.