September 14 2013
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Following up a 59 was the easy part.
Trying to win for the first time in three years is another story.
"How upset are you going to get today?" said Jim Furyk a day after his historic round. "I think there's probably a mental battle to (the next round). I felt good with my swing today. I felt like I played a solid round of golf.
"I think winning a golf tournament is obviously the tougher one. It's been a while. I'm going to put pressure on myself. That'll be the struggle."
Except for a mental lapse early in his round -- he played his first four holes in 1 over -- Furyk did anything but struggle on Saturday.
He stuck his approach shot on the par-4 seventh to 7 feet for the first of three birdies in a five-hole stretch and went on to add one more on the par-4 15th after hitting it to 4 feet.
The only other hiccup came on the par-5 18th, where Furyk drove it in the rough, laid up then three-putted. Still, it was the first fairway Furyk had missed in 32 holes and he'll take a one-shot lead over Steve Stricker to the final round after a 2-under 69.
The rest of the time he just soaked in all the adulation that came with reaching golf's magic number.
"I had probably twice as many emails and texts last night than I have ever had after winning a golf tournament," said Furyk, who got messages from Russell Knox, who shot 59 on the Web.com Tour earlier this summer, and from Paul Goydos, who did it at the John Deere Classic in 2010 and told Furyk, "Nice playing, my friend."
Furyk answered them all and will try to answer to himself on Sunday.
Since his victory at the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola in 2010, Furyk has had multiple opportunities to win: at Tampa, the U.S. Open, Firestone and Sea Island last year; at the PGA Championship this season.
"When I've won golf tournaments, I've been able to win that battle within," Furyk said. "There's always pressure to win, and I'm going to put pressure on myself because I expect myself to play well, and I expect more of myself than anyone else.
"It's been three years. No one has to remind me of the TOUR Championship in '10, and as I've had some of the close calls last year, I definitely put some more pressure on myself, and that'll be part of the mental game and the mental aspect of it (Sunday). I'll play my best if I'm focused on the task at hand, not on the results."