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Wrong Turn
Jim Gorant
October 08, 2007
Davis Love has a major problem
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October 08, 2007

Wrong Turn

Davis Love has a major problem

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HAVE WE heard the last of Davis Love III? The onetime No. 4 player in the world suffered a serious ankle injury last week that will knock him out for the rest of 2007. His recuperation also means that early 2008 will see Love fighting to extend his Tour- leading streak of consecutive majors played, which stands at 70, and perhaps his competitive career. While playing at Sea Island Golf Club, near his home in St. Simons Island, Ga., Love stepped in a hole and tore all the ligaments on the outside of his left ankle. "Those ligaments are very significant for a golfer because they stabilize the foot during the swing," said Dr. Melvin Deese, who is scheduled to perform surgery on Love sometime in early October. Deese said it would be a minimum of eight weeks before Love could resume play. The timing is terrible because after last month's Turning stone Championship, Love fell to 51st in the World Ranking, meaning that he will enter next season without an exemption to the first three majors. (He's a past champion at the PGA.) To get into the Masters, Love will need to win one of the early-season events or get back into the top 50 by the end of March. The odds are against him because he's coming off a year in which he had only three top 10s and he's 82nd on the money list, guaranteeing his worst finish ever. Even if he does make it to Augusta and beyond, the chances of his being a factor seem small. He'll be 44 the week after the Masters, and he's missed the cut in five of the last eight majors. The idea that his days as a Tour stud may be over could make Love's rehab more daunting, but Champions tour riches are right around the corner, so Love's labor will not be lost.

? AT THE Viking Classic, Chad Campbell picked up his first win since the 2006 Hope, but the more impressive reclamation story might have been David Duval's, who made three cuts in his first five '07 starts but disappeared from the Tour after the Nissan Open last February. That's when his wife, Susie, who was pregnant with the couple's second child, began experiencing complications, so Duval stayed home to take care of her. In August, the baby, Sienna, was born, and she and her mother are doing well, which is why Duval reappeared at the Viking. Coming in with little practice, he shot a one-under 287 and finished 44th. He's not scheduled to play again this year but is starting to prep for '08 with designs on regaining his old form. "There's a part of me that wants to show my family the golfer that I was eight years ago," the 1999 No. 1 told Reuters. "And I'd certainly like for my newest little addition to see me play at some point.". . . After earning a battlefield promotion by winning three times this year on the Nationwide tour, Nick Flanagan made the most of his first two starts as a PGA Tour member, finishing 18th at the Turning Stone and 17th at the Viking, for a two-week total of $112,029. If he keeps up the pace, he's only 16 starts from a win.

For live Valero Texas Open coverage, go to GOLF.com.

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