IRVING-- When it comes to his golf game, David Duval has had one foot in the grave for several years. Although in this case, it might be one elbow in the grave.
Duval has returned to golf relevancy -- for how long, we don't know. But for one round at least, Duval is tied for second place and back where he spent so much time during his 20s, in contention and near the top of the leaderboard.
His 66 was incredible even before we learned just how bad his elbow is. Duval told the media after his round that he doesn't know how he injured his right elbow, or even what the injury is exactly, only that it kept him from spending any real time on the driving range this week. Duval says he has hit maybe 60 to 70 balls on the driving range since Tuesday.
'My oldest boy who was caddying for me, he had to drive,' said Duval about his day on Wednesday, when he planned to play nine holes but could only manage to hit about 20 balls on the driving range. 'I was like, I can't drive a car. I can't use my right arm. So he had to drive us back.'
Duval said he didn't know whether he would be able to play for sure until 25 minutes before his round began. By the time it was over, Duval had posted a 66 and his elbow felt better.
Duval's 66 has him in a second-place tie with Marc Leishman and Tim Wilkinson, and behind the leader Peter Hanson. Hanson shot a 5-under 65, and did all his work on the front nine, when he shot a 30.
'Whoever can get around here and be in control of his striking is going to have a great chance,' said Hanson. 'I think we've seen that with the past winners.'
Twenty-year-old Dallas native Jordan Spieth is playing in the Nelson for the fourth time, second time as a pro. A double-bogey on his 12th hole nearly derailed him, but Spieth played his final three holes at 2-under par. After it was all said and done, he had an even par 70.
'I'm really happy with the way I'm keeping myself in it around the greens,' said Spieth, who felt like he hit only two bad shots all day. 'I feel very confident and comfortable around the greens and once I hit a few fairways, my iron play will be there and hopefully get back on track and make a run.'
One of the guys Spieth hopes to make a run at is Duval, who was the number one player in the world in April 1999, when Spieth was only five years old.