September 13 2013
By Fred Albers, PGA TOUR.COM Correspondent
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Do you know what was the coolest thing about Jim Furyk’s 59?
It wasn’t the fact he hit all 14 fairways or 17 of 18 greens in regulation. It wasn’t Furyk’s 23 putts or the fact he hit the ball a tournament-best average of 16 feet from the cup. Strokes gained-putting numbers show he gained 4.106 strokes on the field and made 123 feet, 9 inches of putts in the second round.
All that is impressive stuff but the coolest thing was to see the support of his fellow competitors and PGA TOUR staff.
Brandt Snedeker watched as Furyk birdied his 18th hole and pumped his fist in delight. He was excited even though that birdie putt on the ninth meant Snedeker was no longer in sole possession of the 36-hole lead and was now tied with Furyk.
Several players came out of the locker room to watch the historic moment. TOUR officials gathered by the green as well.
The PGA TOUR is as competitive as any professional sports league in the world. At the same time, it’s also a family. When a player is sick or when there is an illness in the family, all of the TOUR comes together in support. It also celebrates accomplishments in unison.
The entire PGA TOUR family is rejoicing in Furyk’s accomplishment.
Add two: It is always crowded and cramped in scoring and can be confusing. Reporters line up outside, waiting for players to emerge and when Tiger Woods remained longer than unusual, it was evident there was a problem. Woods’ day started with a double bogey and ended with a two-shot penalty that turned his 6 on the opening hole into a quadruple-bogey 8. Woods approach into the first green was long and ran into a patch of trees and brush behind the green. Woods played quickly, chipped the ball out and eventually made 6. However, video evidence showed Woods caused his ball to move and when he did not replace the ball, it turned into a two-shot penalty. Woods was obviously irritated as he left scoring and did not stop on his way to his car. He changed shoes in the parking lot without comment. PGA TOUR rules official Slugger White was left to explain the situation.
Hole location: Furyk’s lone bogey came on the fifth hole when he three-putted from 28 feet, 10 inches. His birdie putt slid 5 feet past the cup and he missed the comebacker. Join the club. The hole was cut on a slope in the back quadrant. Players repeatedly had their first putts slide down the hill and were then faced with lengthy par putts.
Still leading: Consider Snedeker’s situation. Furyk just shot 59 and yet Snedeker is still tied for the lead. That’s impressive. Snedeker followed up his opening round 63 with a 68 on a very windy day. He continues to lead the field in putting with rounds of 22 and 26 putts. Snedeker may have absorbed the best the field could fire at him and is still in the lead.
Putting: Long before the two-shot penalty was assessed, Woods was having a tough putting day. He has a trio of three-putts in 36 holes and is ranked 47th out of 70 players in strokes gained-putting this week. He made only 72 feet, 7 inches in putts during the second round and a third of that total came on the 16th hole with a 25-foot birdie. Perhaps most telling is Woods has missed three putts from less than five feet. Now also consider, Woods has endured inconsistent putting, has been assessed a two-shot penalty and is still T13. He might be ready for a weekend charge.
Fred Albers is a course reporter for SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio. For more information on SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio, click here.