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Diagnosis for a dizzy Duval: It is vertigo

By BOB HARIG, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published March 9, 2003

MIAMI -- It turns out there was a good reason for David Duval's score of 80 in the second round of the Ford Championship at Doral. He is suffering from vertigo.

"I felt terrible," Duval told the Associated Press on Saturday. "I was wobbly, lightheaded. It was a weird feeling."

Duval said he was diagnosed on Saturday with positional vertigo, an inner-ear problem that can result in severe dizziness. It kept him from driving to the airport after he missed Friday's cut, which was why he was in town Saturday.

In a major slump, Duval, once the No. 1 player in the world, has missed three cuts in the four stroke-play events he has played this year and lost in the first round of the Match Play Championship. His last PGA Tour victory was the 2001 British Open.

Duval said he does not expect to miss the Players Championship this month or the Masters in April.

"I just have to let it run its course," he said. "The next four or five days I can't drive a car, but I can hit balls and things like that."

WARMING UP: Until Saturday it had not been the best year for Billy Mayfair.

The five-time PGA Tour winner, whose past two victories were in 1998, has failed to finish in the top 50 at any tournament this year, missing two cuts in five tries. A score of par 72 in the second round was the source of more frustration.

Then he got it going during the third round. Mayfair shot 7-under 65 to put himself in contention for the first time this year. The reason?

"Warm weather. I like warm weather," said Mayfair, who lives in Scottsdale, Ariz. "I just haven't been able to get it going. I worked a lot this week with my psychologist, Dr. (Bob) Rotella. Just keep being patient, get results, keep going until it finally happens and it finally happened. I knew this was in me. I didn't know when it was going to come out."

ODDS AND ENDS: It was a day of birdie streaks. Nick Faldo birdied his first six holes but didn't finish strong and ended up with 69. Dade City's Tim Petrovic made seven birdies from the fifth through 11th holes and shot 65. That's the longest streak on tour this year. ... Monday qualifier Matt Peterson, a non-exempt player on the Nationwide Tour, was so anonymous the standard bearer with his group had the name "Petterrson," which was for Carl Petterrson, who missed the cut. Peterson had the lead before two double bogeys on the back nine. ... Steve Elkington lost his grip on the club on his tee shot on the par-3 13th hole. The club nearly went farther than the ball, which traveled barely 100 yards on the 250-yard hole. Elkington made double bogey.

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