Driven to succeed: Jim Furyk is testing out a double-driver strategy this week in San Antonio. (Cohen/Getty Images)
By Tim Price, PGATOUR.COM Correspondent
SAN ANTONIO -- People can talk about the last-minute preparation Rory McIlroy is making for the Masters by coming this week to the Valero Texas Open, but McIlroy has nothing on Jim Furyk.
At least McIlroy got to play a full practice round and saw his pro-am tour go deep into the back nine before rained washed it out as he is making his first trip to San Antonio. Furyk is here for the first time, too, but he arrived the night before the pro-am and he got in four holes before lightning halted play.
So his preparation for the event almost turned into a video game.
“I tried to go online (to) get an idea where guys were hitting balls off the tee,” Furyk said.
Furyk should keep his laptop handy. He followed Thursday’s score of 69 with a 2-under 70 Friday, and is currently a shot out of the lead with his 5-under total at TPC San Antonio’s AT&T Oaks Course.
To add to the complications of playing well enough to make the cut (this will be his eighth-straight cut made), Furyk has two drivers in his bag this week and is hopeful it works out well enough that he can take the long sticks to Augusta. He’s finding out his less-lofted driver (at 9.5 degrees) appears to be set up with a tendency to work left.
“I wanted to give it a practice run,” he said. “I’m having a hard time. I may have to switch shafts out.”
Furyk said it may take until Wednesday at Augusta before he gets it ironed out, so it sounds like he’s committed to the two-driver approach even if it means visiting the equipment truck on Monday.
“(I’ll) make a couple of adjustments and try to play through it,” he said.
Furyk remains his green-hitting self this week (almost 70 percent, right at the top 10 through two rounds) and looks to be in the top 50 in fairways hit despite alternating between drivers with one degree of difference between them.
And his two official drives have him at a 287-yard average. He sounds like that’s the component that will go a long way to determining his success at Augusta next week after a week where he may not make many birdies in San Antonio.
“There aren’t many birdies at Augusta anymore either,” Furyk said. “(If) they lengthen it out another 400 yards, there would be no birdies at Augusta.”