Despite what everybody else on the PGA Tour might think, David Duval is not perfect.
It just seems that way."I'm not going to play a perfect game of golf - never have, never will," Duval said Sunday after his 2-under-par 68 gave him a 2-shot victory in the NEC World Series of Golf at Akron, Ohio. "If you realize that and if you realize that you're going to play poorly in spots, you maximize the good shots and minimize the bad shots."
There hasn't been much bad about the past year for Duval.
Over the past 11 months he has won six times and collected more than $3.3 million, stashing $405,000 more into his wallet by winning the World Series. His total 1998 winnings of $2,070,283 is $3,450 more than Tiger Woods' previous single-season record.
Just a year ago, there were some who wondered if Duval - winless in his first 21/2 years on tour - would ever be much more than a contender. Now he may arguably be the best young player in the world.
"I believe in what I do," Duval said. "I always stayed true to the course I wanted to follow, even when people questioned it and didn't think I could win."
The World Series was his third win this year - more than anyone else on tour. With more than $2 million earned in 1998, he now leads the money list.
Since he will defend the three consecutive starts he won late last year, don't be surprised if he pushes the envelope for earnings to the $3 million stratosphere.
"Yeah, I absolutely could. But to do that I would have to win the Tour Championship," said Duval, who did win it last year.
Duval started the day with a one-shot lead over local favorite John Cook, then made a downhill 15-foot putt for an eagle on the par-5 2nd.
"His eagle at No. 2 was kind of a little springboard for him," said Cook, who shot a 71 to finish alone in fourth at 273.
VANCOUVER OPEN: At Surrey, British Columbia, Brandel Chamblee made a 36-foot birdie putt on the final hole to win the Greater Vancouver Open. Cham-blee's 5-under-par 66 gave him a 19-under 265 total and his first PGA Tour victory, edging Payne Stewart by three strokes.
Lee Porter was alone in third at 271, one stroke ahead of Brian Claar .
RAIL CLASSIC: At Springfield, Ill., Pearl Sinn had a final-round 7-under-par 65 for a 16-under 200 total to beat Michelle Redman by a stroke and win the Rail Classic for her first LPGA tour victory.
Sinn birdied the last two holes after Redman opened the door by pulling her second shot into the water and bogeying the par-5 15th. Redman had a 68, and was followed by Tammie Green (69) at 202. First-round leader Dottie Pepper (68) headed a group of six at 203.
Se Ri Pak (66) finished in an eight-way tie for 10th at 204 and won the $250,000 Mercury LPGA Series bonus pool, which was based on performances in seven televised LPGA events.
BMW OPEN: At Munich, Germany, England's Russell Claydon captured the first tour title of his 10-year career, breaking away from several players with a birdie at the 17th hole to win the BMW International Open.
U.S. AMATEUR: At Rochester, N.Y., Hank Kuehne, a recovering alcoholic whose brother lost to Tiger Woods in the 1994 final, beat one-time pro Tom McKnight 2 and 1 to win the 98th U.S. Amateur championship.