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August 11 2013

10:35 AM

History not on Furyk's side

Furyk takes a one-shot lead into the final round at Oak Hill. (Cannon/Getty Images)

By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM

PITTSFORD, N.Y. -- Jim Furyk, an avid Pittsburgh Steelers fan, will take a little bit of a football mentality into today's final round of the PGA Championship, where he leads by one over Jason Dufner.

History hasn't been on Furyk's side when he's been in this position before.

Not only has no 54-hole leader of a major this year gone on to win, Furyk just last year failed to convert all four of his leads, including at the U.S. Open at The Olympic Club, where he snap-hooked his tee shot into the trees on the 70th hole and eventually tumbled to a fourth-place finish.

"You kind of have to have that, if you will, like a cornerback mentality," Furyk said. "You're going to get beat up in this game a little bit. You have to have forget it about it.

"I've talked about it countless times over what I could have done at the stretch at the U.S. Open or the Ryder Cup or at Akron better to change those situations. They are gone. I've made peace with that. Hopefully what I do is I draw from that experience."

So what will Furyk try to do differently this time? Less than you might think.

"I'm not going to try to do that much different," he said. "Hopefully down the stretch I stay within myself and hit some good shots.

The other three opportunities, in case you're wondering, came at the Tampa Bay Classic, where he lost in a playoff, and the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational (T-2) and the McGladrey Classic (third).

For his career, Furyk, who is making his 500th start this week, has converted nine of 21 third-round leads and one of two 54-hole leads in majors -- he won the 2003 U.S. Open at Olympia Fields.

Also, the last time players in their 40s won back-to-back majors? Ronald Reagan was still in the White House when Jack Nicklaus won the Masters and Ray Floyd the U.S. Open in 1986.

Recent Major Championship Trends

Year
Tournament
54-hole leader
Margin
Final-round score
Finish
2013
Open Championship
Lee Westwood
2
75
T-3
2013
U.S. Open
Phil Mickelson
1
74
T-2
2013
Masters
Brandt Snedeker/Angel Cabrera
1
75/70
T-6/P2
2012
PGA Championship
Rory McIlroy
3
66
Won
2012
Open Championship
Adam Scott
4
75
2nd
2012
U.S. Open
Graeme McDowell/Jim Furyk
1
73/74
T-2/T-4
2012
Masters
Peter Hanson
1
73
T-3
2011
PGA Championship
Brendan Steele/Jason Dufner
1
69/77
2nd/T-19
2011
Open Championship
Darren Clarke
1
70
Won
2011
U.S. Open
Rory McIlroy
8
69
Won
2011
Masters
Rory McIlroy
4
80
T-15
2010
PGA Championship
Nick Watney
3
81
T-18
2010
Open Championship
Louis Oosthuizen
4
71
Won
2010
U.S. Open
Dustin Johnson
3
82
T-8
2010
Masters
Lee Westwood
1
71
2nd
2009
PGA Championship
Tiger Woods
2
75
2nd
2009
Open Championship
Tom Watson
1
72
P2
2009
U.S. Open
Ricky Barnes
1
76
T2
2009
Masters
Angel Cabrera/Kenny Perry
2
71/71
P1/P2

 

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