Duval Returns for PNC Father/Son Challenge Title Defense
Defending Champions David Duval and Nick Karavites return The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Orlando quietly confident of defending the title they won in sensational fashion last year with a final round 62 (-10).
Lining up against a field including more than 500 victories across the PGA TOUR, European Tour and PGA TOUR Champions, 57 major championships and 9 World Golf Hall of Fame members, the pair took a look at the course today in the Pro-Am and continued to finalize their pre-tournament preparations ahead of the first round on Saturday, December 16.
Duval said, ‘We’re as ready as we can be. Would I be prepared to go and play in a U.S. Open, no, but I’ve done what I could to be ready for this week.’
Commenting on why they were successful last year and the family team set up this week, he continued...
‘‘I’d like for us for us to laugh and have fun like last year, we have the same set up where Nick’s older brother Dino, caddies for me and Brady caddies for Nick. That was one of the coolest things of last year. We didn’t have professional caddies that had mapped the course and the greens we had two boys and an eleven year old. It was cool. Our family is strong.’
Talking about how it felt to win last year and where the tournament ranked in his career highlights, which includeThe PLAYERS Championship and the Open Championship, Duval said,
‘It felt spectacular. As fulfilling as any. Had I won the Players or Open two years ago I might not have the same answer but when you’re on the back end of your career, eighteen years removed from some of these things, it’s a huge thing. We played well, I was proud of Nick.’
Tournament debutant, Justin Leonard, who is paired with his Father, Larry, as the only Son/Father pairing in the field are ready to make history as the first pair to try out the reverse partnership. Justin watched last year's action unfold as a commentator on NBC and having spent most of the season off course this year, he needed no persuasion from David Duval to take his place up in the prestigious tournament.
‘I spoke with David Duval this fall about it and he said you absolutely have to come, it’s one of the greatest weeks beyond all the other stuff we’ve done as individuals. We got in yesterday and we’re already having a blast.’
A proud moment for Father, Larry, who admitted to feeling queasy when thinking of the opening tee shot added...
‘it’s just the greatest joy playing with Justin. I’ve watched him play millions of shots on the golf course before but to have to step up and hit one behind him, is a lot different. We’re looking forward to winning the son and father division as the only ones competing.’
Three-time former champion Bernhard Langer (twice with son, Stefan, and once with Jason) returns with 17-year-old son, Jason, having played last year's tournament with daughter, Christina. When discussing how they decided who have selected who gets to play with the Champions TOUR legend, Jason commented,
‘We considered having a sibling qualifier but it never happened. We now just alternate
With seven victories under his belt already this season, Bernhard will be looking to add an eighth to his resume but admitted the week was more than an average golf tournament to him and family…
‘It is really a week to celebrate family and enjoy the environment and enjoy the fact I have two of my kids here, I have my wife and a few friends. That’s what its about, it’s almost the Olympic idea, to be here is great, if we do well then that’s great but just to be a part of it, paired with my son and some of golf legends of the game.’
The PNC Father/Son Challenge is operated in partnership by IMG and NBC Sports.
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About Grande Lakes Orlando
Grande Lakes Orlando is a 500-acre resort with a luxury 582-room Ritz-Carlton and deluxe 1,000-room JW Marriott hotel situated at the headwaters of the Florida Everglades. Orlando’s luxury leader provides an authentic, local experience from its farm-to-fork dining offerings to its Grande Lakes Sports experiences, which include kayaking, eco-tours on Shingle Creek, mountain bike trail and a fishing school. Grande Lakes presents the culinary mastery of award-winning Chefs Norman Van Aken and Melissa Kelly’s PRIMO. The resort’s renowned farm-to-fork culinary program showcases its on-site apiaries and 18,000-square-foot Whisper Creek Farm in Whisper Creek Farm: The Kitchen at JW Marriott Orlando and Highball & Harvest at The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, as well as The Brewery, an on-property nano-brewery and Chef’s Table.
Guests at both hotels can enjoy all the facilities and services at Grande Lakes Orlando, including the 18-hole championship golf course, designed by Greg Norman, the 40,000-square-foot three-story Ritz-Carlton Spa with total-wellness treatments and a rooftop eco-space. The Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott are connected by a robust conference center, with more than 170,000 square feet of meeting space, six ballrooms, 58 breakout rooms, and over 107,000 square feet of outdoor space. The estate is located 15 minutes from the Orlando International Airport, five minutes from the Orange County Convention Center and minutes from the major theme parks. Membership offerings are also available through The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes Members Club. For more information about Grande Lakes Orlando, visit www.grandelakes.com. Follow Grande Lakes Orlando on Twitter at @RC_Orlando and @JW_Orlando