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March 17 2012

10:45 PM

Furyk adjusts equipment, finds game

Interview: Jim Furyk

Following his third-round 66, Jim Furyk talks with Bob Stevens from SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio.

By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM

PALM HARBOR, Fla. -- It was only two years ago that Jim Furyk was on top of the world having won the FedExCup trophy after what amounted to one of his best years on the PGA TOUR with three wins, including one here at the Transitions Championship.

Fast forward to the end of last season, however, and Furyk was faced with possibilities he hadn’t thought about in 10 years -- like whether he would get into the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking, which would qualify him for this year’s Masters.

He did, but barely, finishing the year exactly 50th.

The reason Furyk fell so far so fast?

He admitted to making some mistakes with his equipment, tinkering too much as he tried to get better.

“It was a product of maybe trying to get a little bit longer, maybe trying to find new ways to improve and maybe then hurting my strengths,” said Furyk who at the time played a TaylorMade driver and golf ball. “Trying to make my weaknesses better but in doing so, hurting your strengths, which is rule No. 1. You don't do that.”

So the week before the Presidents Cup, Furyk switched to a Callaway driver and golf ball (the same one Phil Mickelson uses) after amicably parting ways with TaylorMade.

The results haven’t necessarily shown it, but Furyk is playing better. He tied for 11th at Riviera last month and enters the final round here at the Transitions Championship tied for the lead with Retief Goosen at 11 under after a 66 on Saturday.

“I feel a lot better than I did last year,” said Furyk who despite hitting just six fairways in the third round still managed to hit 14 greens in regulation and make six birdies and just one bogey.

The other major change Furyk made was going from a belly putter to a standard length putter late last year.

The former was a Band-Aid fix and the latter a long-term solution.

Furyk even employed a long-standing drill many TOUR players use of sticking two tees in the ground about the width of the putter head and putting between it, even though he hadn’t done anything like that since he was a kid.

“When I was putting poorly last year I was not hitting putts solid, and it was frustrating,” Furyk said. “I was missing the center of the putter [face].”

Through three rounds here, Furyk hasn’t missed much. He leads the field in greens in regulation and is eighth in putts per green in regulation.

He also leads the tournament and has a chance for his first win in two years.

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