MARANA, Ariz. -- Jim Furyk won four straight holes, including three with birdies, on the way to a 4-and-2 victory over Ryan Moore.
The match was all square when the two returned to Dove Mountain on Thursday to hit their second shots on the seventh hole. Moore had split the fairway while Furyk hit what he called an "ugly little low hook" into the rough when the siren blew.
"So I knew that's what would be waiting on me this morning," Furyk said. "My goal was to go out and if I could somehow manage a halve on 7, it would feel like a victory. ... I hacked it out, knocked a wedge up there from about 106 and knocked it to about four feet and made it for par, and it gave me a boost of confidence."
Then Furyk started the birdie barrage. He made a 6-footer at the par-5 eighth hole, then won No. 9 with a par and made birdie putts of 14 and 7 feet on the next two holes to take a 4-up advantage. He bogeyed the 12th hole but answered with two more winning birdies and it was only a matter of time.
"So really get being off to a really good start this morning with the halve on 7 and then winning four holes was a big jump for me," Furyk said.
He now faces Bubba Watson, who beat Chris Wood 2 and 1, in the second round.
"Bubba is a very talented player, obviously a lot of power versus me who doesn't, so we have a little bit different styles of game, but he's able to maneuver the ball a lot, hit a lot of creative shots and is very good around the greens,: Furyk said.
"The one thing I look at is he's had a lot of success on this golf course in the past and played well, and I expect a very, very difficult match, and I'll have to play well to win."
Each week, PGATOUR.COM's Fantasy Insider Rob Bolton offers his Power Rankings for the weekly TOUR event as well as his Sleeper picks. But what about the players who don't make the Power Rankings but who can't really be considered Sleepers? Bolton will make one "wild card" selection from the large group of players who fall into that middle range but might rise up to claim the title. This week's pick is ...
First start anywhere since a tie for fourth at the World Challenge in December. Closed out the 2012 season with three top 10s. He's 15-for-16 at Pebble Beach with five top 15s. He would have cracked the Power Rankings but he hasn't cracked the top 30 in any of the last four editions of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. However, he tied for 16th at the U.S. Open there in 2010.
To preview the 2013 PGA TOUR season, PGATOUR.COM is counting down the Top 100 Players to Watch in 2013. For an archive page with the top 100 players and for an explanation on how the list was compiled, click here.
2013 PREVIEW: Look at the stats, and you'd think 2012 was a pretty good year for Jim Furyk. His scoring average improved from 40th to third while his tally in the final round went from 77th to 27th. That said, Furyk squandered four golden Sunday opportunities to win his 17th TOUR event -- so finding a way to reverse that trend in 2013 will be key.
2012 DEFINING MOMENT: Of the four near-misses, the U.S. Open looms largest. Furyk, who won the 2003 Open and now has five other top-five finishes in the national championship, entered the final round with a share of the lead. But he bogeyed three of his last six holes on the way to a 74 that put him two strokes behind Webb Simpson. –- Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
ALBERS’ QUICK TAKE: I am sure Jim looks back on 2012 and thinks of what might have been. He was a swing away from winning Transitions, the U.S. Open and the Bridgestone Invitational. Jim is an athlete and mentally tough. He will bounce back. A couple quick hooks hurt him at the U.S. Open but I thought he also played too quickly on the final hole at Bridgestone. -- Fred Albers, SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio
BOLTON’S FANTASY OUTLOOK: Despite his series of unrequited runs at greatness, let's not overlook the value in the fact that he played himself into multiple opportunities to make history. We must also underscore his tenacity to fight back, not that anyone was surprised. Winning is hard, and no one banked more than he did ($3.623 million) without a trophy in 2012. Gamers will forever take two second-place finishes, one third and another five top 10s in a single season. With only one season outside $3.4 million since 2005, he belongs in the back half of your first round. Even at 42 years of age, that assessment is supported by a full schedule. -- Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM Fantasy expert
2012 QUICK REVIEW
Regular Season ranking 17th
Final Playoffs ranking
|Best finishes||2nd||Transitions Championship|
|By the Numbers
Cuts made: 20
Rounds played: 88
Top-10 finishes: 8
Money List rank: 12th
Driving distance: 171st
Driving accuracy: 4th
Greens in regulation: 23rd
Strokes gained-putting: 19th
Scoring average: 3rd
NOW IT’S YOUR TURN What is your prediction for Jim Furyk in 2013? Fill out the form below and let us know
Jim Furyk makes a birdie at the par-5 15th at The McGladrey Classic on Sunday.
Europe (Rory McIlroy & Graeme McDowell)
U.S. (Jim Furyk & Brandt Snedeker), 1 up
Click for more: Hole by hole
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
MEDINAH, Ill. – In the opening match of the Ryder Cup, Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell won the match on the 18th hole after Americans Jim Furyk and Brandt Snedeker rallied on the back nine.
MATCH FLOW: The Americans led for two holes early, but then the Northern Irishmen reeled off four straight birdies, two for wins and two to halve, and Europe was 1 up through seven holes. The U.S. squared the match at the eighth when Snedeker made a 5-footer to save par but Europe seemingly seized control when it won three straight holes starting at No. 9. The Americans, though, began to whittle at their lead, winning the 13th with a par, halving the par-5 14th with a birdie and making another for the win at No. 15. Furyk forced Europe's hand there by going for the green and McDowell, hitting second, found the water. A third straight birdie at the 16th after a brilliant Furyk approach to 4 feet squared the match. But McDowell, who made the clinching putt at the 2010 Ryder Cup, came up with another clutch putt, this one for par from 12 feet, at the 18th for Europe's win.
BY THE NUMBERS: The European team won six holes and shot a combined 2 under. The U.S. team won five holes and shot a combined 2 under.
TIPPING POINT: Many will point to the second hole where Furyk questioned the ruling McDowell was hoping to get with his ball perched near a sprinklern head. He didn't get the ruling but it appeared to fire the two Northern Irishmen up. Granted, Snedeker and Furyk fought back but McDOwell is nothing it not a clutch putter and he got the chance at the 18th hole.
N OTES & QUOTES: "It was a great game today against two really great competitors. Jim Furyk played particularly magnificent. My job is fairly easy. I've got the best player in the world beside me and he makes my job extremely easy." -- Graeme McDowell. …
“They did a good job of getting the ball up‑and‑down and making the putt. I know Graeme was nervous but like I said, he has ice in his veins, hit a 6‑footer straight up the hill. It looks easy to everyone else, being in that position, I know how difficult it was and he poured it in. I tip my hat to him.” – Jim Furyk …
“Got to 18 with a chance to win the match which is what you're trying do. I just put an awful shot, put Jim in a terrible position. Hate to do that to Jim, let alone my team, but the team can pick us up this afternoon and get us back in this thing, and I look forward to the next chance to go and put a point on the board.” – Brandt Snedeker …
“That match to me just personifies The Ryder Cup. Myself and Rory played some great golf to go 3‑up, and then you're playing against two very gutsy players who clawed their way back to all‑square coming down the last two holes. “ Graeme McDowell …
McIlroy and McDowell now have been paired in four Ryder Cup matches. They are 2-1-0 in Foursomes and 2-2-0 in team play together. McDowell is now 2-1-1 in Foursomes and 3-2-2 in team play. …
McIlroy/McDowell were 4-under par on the front nine today, with five birdies. …
Furyk is now 1-4-1 in the first session of matches in the Ryder Cup and 3-6-2 in Foursomes.
By D.J. Piehowski, PGATOUR.COM
ATLANTA – Today wasn’t the day to challenge Jim Furyk.
Making one of Friday’s rare slip-ups, Furyk missed the green at the par-4 16th, failing to get up-and-down from a nearly impossible short-sided lie. Rather than taking on the hole, Furyk played it safe and found the opposite side of the green.
After bailing out with his third shot, the 16-time PGA TOUR winner heard a member of the gallery yell, “I could hit that shot!” Furyk smiled, two-putted for his bogey and walked back to his bag. He grabbed his golf ball and marker and wrote the fan a message before throwing him a souvenir.
What did the ball say? “Not a chance! – Jim Furyk”
ATLANTA – Jim Furyk’s second-round 64 on Friday is the second-lowest round he has ever shot in 54 career rounds of the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola and his lowest at East Lake.
Friday’s 6-under 64 puts Furyk at 7 under through 36 holes and gives him the clubhouse lead with several players still on the course.
Furyk is making his first start at East Lake since winning the tournament and the FedExCup in 2010. He has to feel good about his chances entering the weekend, since he generally plays better in the final two round of the TOUR Championship than the first two.
Of his last 18 rounds on the weekend – dating back to 2001 – Furyk has posted 13 rounds under par and another three at even par.
JIM FURYK’S CAREER AT TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP
|Year||Course||Rd. 1||Rd. 2||Rd. 3||Rd. 4||Final score||Position|
|2010||East Lake||67||65||70||70||8 under||Won|
|2009||East Lake||72||68||71||67||2 under||T-7|
|2008||East Lake||72||70||69||69||Even par||T-6|
|2007||East Lake||71||69||67||66||7 under||T-11|
|2006||East Lake||69||71||67||65||8 under||2|
|2005||East Lake||70||70||67||70||3 under||13|
|2002||East Lake||68||73||72||67||Even par||T-18|
|1998||East Lake||67||67||69||71||5 under||T-3|
|1996||Southern Hills||72||71||73||70||6 over||T-15|