New father Duval returns to PGA Tour

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HOUSTON, Sep 27 (Reuters) Former world number one and new father David Duval returns to the PGA Tour at this week's Viking Classic in Madison, Mississippi after a seven-month break.

The 2001 British Open champion has not played since the Nissan Open in February when he missed his second cut of the season in just five starts.

Duval has spent most of this year at home in Colorado taking care of his family while his wife, Susie, endured a difficult pregnancy.

''I wouldn't be surprised if I have a chance to win the golf tournament and I wouldn't be surprised if I struggle a little bit,'' the 35-year-old American told yesterday's edition of the Clarion-Ledger.

''I've played really well at home when I've played but I haven't quite put in the time that's necessary.'' Duval, who has not won a title since the 2001 Dunlop Phoenix tournament in Japan, said his wife and new daughter Sienna, born last month, were both doing well.

The 13-times PGA Tour winner, who considered quitting the game after tumbling out of the world's top 400, cites his family as a prime factor behind his decision to stay in golf.

''I think there's a part of me that wants to show my family the golfer that I was eight years ago before they knew me,'' he said.

''And I'd certainly like for my newest little addition to see me play at some point as much as anything.'' Duval, who eclipsed Tiger Woods as the game's leading player on in March 1999, joins fellow major champions Lee Janzen of the US and Australian Steve Elkington in this week's field at Annandale Golf Club. Many of the tour's leading players are taking part in the Presidents Cup.

D J Trahan defends the title he won last year in a playoff against fellow American Joe Durant.

REUTERS BJR PM1325

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