Furyk nearly perfect through three rounds
July 26, 2014
By Adam Stanley, PGATOUR.COM
- Jim Furyk leads the field in greens in regulation (83.33 percent) and is tied for the lead in most birdies (16). (Charles Laberge/Getty Images)
L’ILE BIZARD, Quebec – In baseball, when a pitcher goes the full game without allowing a baserunner, it’s a perfect game. Save for one blemish, Jim Furyk is entering the ninth inning of the RBC Canadian Open, and is nearly perfect.
He’s only recorded one bogey all week, and the success he’s seen from tee-to-green has given him a three-shot lead over Tim Clark heading into Sunday’s final round.
“For the most part of the day, I felt like I played really solid. I hit the ball well again. It was a fun round of golf, really,” he explained.
Much has been made of the 44-year-old’s inability to close out a tournament over the last few years, and Furyk is first to admit he hasn’t finished the deal.
“Sometimes I just got outplayed,” Furyk said, when asked to reflect on his recent final-round collapses. “Other times I felt like I got in my own way, and not closing it out when I had the opportunity.”
Furyk’s 5-under 65 was highlighted by an all-world par save on the par-4 11th, and an approach on No. 9 that landed a mere five inches from the cup. He leads the field in greens in regulation at 83.33 percent.
Furyk, a two-time RBC Canadian Open champion, won in 2006 at Hamilton Golf and Country Club (a classic course) and in 2007 at Angus Glen (a modern course). Fittingly, he described Royal Montreal as a course that had both modern and classic features earlier this week.
He’s in a fine position to get that third Canadian Open victory, but he knows he still has a job to do Sunday.
“Not really worrying about what position I’m in the golf tournament, not looking at the leaderboard too much, going out there and trying to attack the golf course the same way that I have the first three days will be key,” he explained.
South African Tim Clark is chasing Furyk. Clark, who’s only PGA TOUR victory came at the 2010 PLAYERS Championship, had a “dream start” Saturday – he made a birdie on No. 1, then holed his approach on No. 2 for an eagle. Clark, like Furyk, has only made one bogey all week.
“It’ll be great to be in the final group. Jim (Furyk) is a really tough competitor, and this course seems to fit into our sort of game,” Clark explained. “It’s an Open Championship. You need to hit fairways and greens, and that’s both of our strengths.”
Kyle Stanley will join Furyk and Clark in the final group at 10:05 a.m. The players will be going off in threesomes off split tees because of impending inclement weather in the Montreal area.
BEST SOCIAL MEDIA OF THE DAY
Jim Furyk has gone 50 holes without a bogey @RBCCanadianOpen and takes a three-shot lead into Sunday's finale.— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) July 26, 2014
If Furyk puts up the hat trick at the @RBCCanadianOpen ...does that make him an honorary Canuck?— Amanda Balionis (@Amanda_Balionis) July 26, 2014
DISAPPOINTED DELAET: He said the hairs on his arms stood up at a few points today, but a couple of late mistakes turned what could have been a great round into a mediocre one for Graham DeLaet.
DeLaet made the turn at 1 over, with two bogeys and birdie. He then converted an eagle putt on the par-5 12th and a birdie on 14. He gave one back on 15 after driving into the water and then the frustration showed outside the scoring area. The Canadian slammed his yardage book to the ground after a three-putt bogey from nine feet on No. 18.
“I really wanted to make that birdie and got overly aggressive. It was an unfortunate finish,” he explained.
That said, he’s hoping to channel some positive energy into Sunday’s final round.
“I felt tons of support, and hopefully I can do something special tomorrow.”
Graham DeLaet converts a 19-foot putt for eagle at RBC Canadian
PGA TOUR CANADA LEADER MAKING MOST OF OPPORTUNITES: Joel Dahmen knows that golf isn’t life and death.
The current leader of PGA TOUR Canada’s order of merit – with two victories under his belt so far this season – is also a cancer survivor. He was diagnosed with testicular cancer in March 2011, and after going through a few rounds of chemotherapy, he had a renewed sense of focus on the game he loved.
“It’s one of those things where I didn’t get to play golf for a few months because I was out. I really missed the game,” he said.
Dahmen, who shot a 2-under 68 Saturday at the RBC Canadian Open, moving to 4 under on the tournament, is making his PGA TOUR debut this week.
The magnitude of this tournament isn’t lost on him.
“My Dad said last night: ‘you know on Monday you’re going to be back at a PGA TOUR Canada event in Calgary?’ and yeah, that kind of stinks compared to this,” he said laughing.
Dahmen leads the order of merit by slightly more than $10,000 thanks to his two victories, but just because he’s so far ahead, doesn't mean he’s planning on changing his approach.
“The goal is still to be No. 1 on the money list, but with six events (left) anything can happen. I just want to get back to doing what I was doing,” he explained.
One of those things is realizing that golf isn’t life and death.
“I made three bogeys coming down the stretch that really ticked me off, but does it really matter in the whole scheme of things?” he asked.
“Not really. Its just golf.”
Shot of the Day
Tim Clark holes eagle pitch for Shot of the Day
In Canada, most guys grow up playing hockey in the winter and golf in the summer (see: DeLaet, Graham), but for Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban, starting at age four it was all hockey, all the time.
One of the best defensemen in the NHL – Subban won the Norris Trophy in 2013, awarded to the league’s top blue-liner – Subban was on-site at Royal Montreal Saturday to support his new friend and fellow RBC ambassador, Graeme McDowell.
“He’s a great guy, and obviously a great golfer,” said Subban. “I had an opportunity to sit down for dinner and pick his brain a little bit last night.”
McDowell, who shot an even-par 70, was equally complimentary to the young hockey star.
“P.K. is obviously an up-and-coming superstar, it was great to hang with him and listen to how motivated he is,” McDowell explained. “He comes from very humble backgrounds like myself. I wouldn’t consider myself a monster hockey fan, but now I’ve got a team to pull for.”
Subban admitted golf is a sport he “needs to work on.”
“I watch the guys put the ball in the hole, and they make it look so easy! It’s not my game, that’s for sure.”
Graeme McDowell makes birdie from the fringe at RBC Canadian
“Fans are great. I wish I could give them something to cheer about.” ~ Mike Weir on the strong fan support at Royal Montreal
“I was aiming my driver pretty good all day, so might as well just step up and rip it.” ~ Taylor Pendrith on why he has no fear with the driver
“It's nice to be noticed walking up to tee boxes and greens. You never get the 'who is this' guy type of thing.” ~ Brad Fritsch on being recognized this week
“You dream of a start like that.” ~ Tim Clark on his birdie/eagle start on Nos. 1 and 2
“I’ve got 35 million people pulling for me, so that’s pretty cool.” ~ Graham DeLaet on the Canadian support he’s felt this week
Jim Fuyrk nearly holes out from fairway at RBC Canadian
ODDS & ENDS: RBC Golf Ambassadors have won the last three RBC-sponsored events on the PGA TOUR: 2013 Heritage (McDowell), 2013 Canadian Open (Snedeker), 2014 Heritage (Kuchar).
A victory this week would move Jim Furyk into a tie for 48th on the PGA TOUR all-time wins list.
Jim Furyk is looking to become the fourth three-time winner of the RBC Canadian Open joining Tommy Armour (’27, ’30, ’34), Sam Snead (’38, ’40, ‘ 41) and Lee Trevino (’71, ’77, ’79).
Furyk is winless in his last six attempts when carrying the lead into the final round.
Canadian Update: Mike Weir +1 (71), Taylor Pendrith -2 (68), David Hearn -3 (70), Adam Hadwin -3 (68), Brad Fritsh -3 (67).
Mother nature is expected to arrive into Montreal Sunday morning, causing the players to go off on split tees in threesomes tomorrow.
Tim Clark made his 284th start on the TOUR this week, earned his last TOUR victory at the 2010 PLAYERS Championship.
Jamie Lovemark has made 12 of 18 cuts on TOUR this season, but is looking for his first top-25 finish.
CALL OF THE DAY: Tom Werme of PGA TOUR Radio on SiriusXM and PGATOUR.COM calls Graham DeLaet's 19-foot eagle putt at RBC Canadian Open.
Live play-by-play coverage of the final round streams from 12-6 p.m. ET Sunday on PGATOUR.COM.
Click on the photo below to see all the best images from Saturday's third round.