The Daily Wrap-up, Round 4: THE TOUR Championship

September 26, 2010
Staff and wire reports

ATLANTA -- One clutch shot gave Jim Furyk two big trophies Sunday.

Final-round coverage
DOUBLING UP: A season's worth of accomplishment was rewarded in the form of two trophies for Jim Furyk. Mike McAllister column
EMOTIONAL VICTORY: Jim Furyk built his career on being tough in the clutch. That's why his gritty FedExCup-winning effort was no surprise. Helen Ross column
WINNER'S NEWS CONFERENCE: Watch Furyk describe how the events unfolded as he speaks to the media after his win. Video
Furyk transcript
SHOT OF THE DAY: Luke Donald chips in for birdie at the 17th hole. Video
LIVE REPORT: Check out how the events unfolded on a busy and rainy final round. Live Report
PLAYER RECAPS: A brief look at how each player in the 30-man field performed on Sunday. Recaps
FINAL RESULTS: Standings, money earned and FedExCup points won at THE TOUR Championship. Results
FedExCup bonus winnings
TRANSCRIPTS: Luke Donald discusses waiting in the scorer's trailer hoping to get into a sudden-death playoff. Luke Donald
Casey | Kuchar | Watney

He sat between them Sunday afternoon after his dramatic victory in the rain at East Lake, the crystal trophy for THE TOUR Championship presented by Coca-Cola on his left and the sterling silver FedExCup trophy on his right.

Which one meant more?

Furyk reached out his right hand and gently tapped the silver cup, which might be more valuable than the $10 million that comes with it.

Clinging to a one-shot lead, in a bunker so deep he could only see the top of the lip, Furyk hit a clean shot and watched it head for the flag. It landed inches from the cup and spun to a stop 2 feet away for an easy par and a one-shot victory over Luke Donald.

He put his name on a trophy with Tiger Woods and Vijay Singh. He finally won THE TOUR Championship, giving him three victories in a season for the first time in his career. He stated a strong case -- three victories and FedExCup champion -- as PGA TOUR Player of the Year.

Maybe that explains why his stoic demeanor gave way to a celebration never before seen out of Furyk.

"It just hit me," said Furyk, who closed with an even-par 70. "I was excited and dropped the putter and ... I don't know. I guess at that moment, you're not really responsible for what happens next."

He thrust his fist toward the grandstand with such force that it looked like he heaved his golf ball into the crowd. And he shared a hug with his wife, Tabitha, asking her, "Did I win the bonus?"

Furyk had a pretty good idea when he walked off the 18th tee, and the cheer of the crowd when he tapped in only confirmed it.

It was the kind of finish the TOUR had in mind when it created the FedExCup four years ago. Six players had a chance to claim the $10 million prize over the final hour at East Lake, from Matt Kuchar as the top seed to Nick Watney all the way down at No. 28.

Final standings
The 2010 PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup is over. To see the final FedExCup points standings, click here.

Then came the final hole.

Donald chipped in for birdie from 100 feet on the 17th hole to keep his hopes alive. Furyk, who had a three-shot lead with three holes to play, made bogey on the 16th and 17th holes and hit his hybrid into a bunker on the 18th. If he made bogey, Furyk and Donald would go back to the 230-yard 18th hole for a sudden-death playoff with $11.35 million riding on the outcome.

Then came a bunker shot that defined a career worth of grit. He was in a bunker nine times at East Lake, and saved par every time.

Donald didn't bother going to the range. He waited in the scoring trailer.

"I didn't feel like going out in the rain and drowning myself even more," Donald said. "So I was just watching the action, seeing if there was a chance I was going to get in a playoff. But Jim made a great up-and-down at the last and deserved the victory."

Furyk finished at 8-under 272 and earned $1.35 million, along with the $10 million bonus, the biggest payoff in golf. He moved to No. 5 in the Official World Golf.

Furyk wins FedExCup

Jim Furyk reflects on his first win at East Lake and becoming the 2010 FedExCup Champion.

Furyk was the No. 3 seed when the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup began, but was disqualified from the opener when he missed his pro-am time at The Barclays because the battery died in his cell phone, which he used for an alarm. He was No. 11 in the standings going into THE TOUR Championship, and became the first player out of the top 10 to win the cup.

Turns out he joins Woods as the only FedExCup champions to miss the first playoff event -- Woods in 2007 because he didn't want to play, Furyk this year because he couldn't.

He still ranks the U.S. Open as his biggest win, although this was a close second.

"It's only 4 years old," he said of the FedEx Cup. "But 40 years from now, there should be a lot of history in this trophy. And to have 'Tiger Woods, Vijay Singh, Tiger Woods, Jim Furyk' ... I'm very proud of that, because those two can flat play -- two of the most dominant players of my era, for sure."

This Sunday was so bizarre that Kuchar, who shot 71 and tied for 25th in a 30-man field, still had a chance to win the FedExCup. He wound up second for a $3 million bonus. Donald moved up to third in the standings and picked up an extra $2 million.

Retief Goosen also had a chance at both trophies until a bogey on the 17th. He shot a 71 and finished alone in third at THE TOUR Championship. Watney (67) and Casey (69) tied for fourth.

Shot of the Day

Luke Donald chips in for birdie on No. 17.

The celebration was dampened by a two-hour rain delay that sent most of the fans home from East Lake. For those who stayed, it was tough to applaud with one hand on the umbrella as the rain pounded the players over the final hour of competition.

Even so, a FedExCup finale has never had so many possibilities, so much movement.

Watney wasn't even a remote candidate when he went into the weekend tied for 25th in the 30-man field, 13 shots out of the lead. Then came a 63 in the third round, and he kept right on going. Watney shot a 28 on the back nine Saturday, then had a 30 on the front nine Sunday to pull within one shot of the lead.

Watney could have won the FedExCup with a victory at East Lake, provided Kuchar did not finish alone in 25th. Kuchar missed a 7-foot par putt on the final hole.

That became irrelevant when Watney failed to birdie the par-5 15th and made his first bogey of the round on the 16th.

Even when Furyk had a three-shot lead after his birdie on the 15th, the FedExCup remained in doubt.

Casey, who has not won a tournament all year, could have claimed the $10 million bonus by finishing alone in second place. Casey was at 6 under -- one shot behind Goosen in second -- when he hit his approach toward the corporate tents on the 17th. After a free drop, he hit a wedge to just outside 5 feet and badly missed the putt.

Player Reports: Round 4
Player (FEC rank) Score Comment
Ernie Els (9) 65 Bogeyed the 18th for the third day in a row, but 65 was his best since third round in Akron.
Ben Crane (27) 66 Best round of week featured four straight birdies on the back and five in seven holes
Dustin Johnson (5) 66 Lanky South Carolinian finally got handle on East Lake, hitting eight fairways and 15 greens
Nick Watney (12) 67 Gave the FedExCup a great run with a 30 on the front but two late bogeys proved costly
Zach Johnson (17) 67 Only subpar round of week should be a good sendoff to Wales
Tim Clark (24) 67 PLAYERS champ ranked No. 1 in fairways hit but hit no more than 12 greens in any round
Justin Rose (T15) 67 Holed bunker shot at 16 to cap string of three straight birdies
K.J. Choi (T15) 68 Rebounded from Saturday's costly 74, hitting 11 fairways and 11 greens with 27 putts
Hunter Mahan (18) 68 Made six birdies on Sunday -- only two less than the first three rounds combined
Paul Casey (6) 69 Englishman needed to finish second but was all but eliminated with bogey on 17
Camilo Villegas (20) 69 2008 champ closed third straight round in the 60s despite two late bogeys
Ryan Moore (21) 69 Fueled Sunday round with a string of three straight birdies on the back nine
Jim Furyk (1) 70 Lost three-shot lead with bogeys at 16 and 17 but clutch par from bunker won it all
Luke Donald (3) 70 Recovered from 37 on the front to birdie three of last six holes, still came up one short
Charley Hoffman (4) 70 Put himself behind the 8-ball with three bogeys starting at No. 3
Kevin Streelman (25) 70 Acquitted well with fourth round of par or better in East Lake debut
Robert Allenby (28) 70 Veteran Aussie hung tough and shot 70 despite two double bogeys on the front
Ryan Palmer (23) 70 Opened with three straight bogeys but played final nine holes in 3 under to shoot even par
Retief Goosen (10) 71 Pressured Furyk throughout back nine but bogey from beside grandstands at 17 costly
Bubba Watson (22) 71 Nearly holed bunker shot on 18 but still heads to first Ryder Cup on a high note
Bo Van Pelt (30) 72 Made his first TOUR Championship on the number and remained 30th after Sunday
Matt Kuchar (2) 71 No. 1 seed struggled but had a chance to win the FedExCup had Watney won at East Lake
Jason Day (8) 73 Young Australian started the weekend 2 under but didn't break par in the final two rounds
Martin Laird (11) 73 Double bogeyed his first hole and went out in 40; at least he finished before the delay
Jeff Overton (29) 73 Ryder Cup rookie continued to struggle; hasn't shot in the 60s since Playoffs opener
Adam Scott (19) 74 Former TOUR Championship winner closed with two bogeys and bookend 74s
Geoff Ogilvy (14) 75 Started strong with a birdie but didn't make anymore on Sunday, shot 40 on the back
Phil Mickelson (13) 75 Headed in right direction early Sunday but shot 40 on back with double bogey-bogey finish
Steve Stricker (7) 75 Mr. September didn't make a birdie, eliminated Kuchar from title race by tying him for 25th
Kevin Na (26) 76 Extremely frustrating finish featured a bogey at 16, double bogey at 17 and bogey at 18
East Lake: Round 4
The par-5 ninth hole was the easiest with a Sunday scoring average of 4.567.
The par-4 17th hole was the toughest with a Sunday scoring average of 4.433.

Furyk has no time to celebrate. He was to join his teammates on a charter flight to Wales on Sunday night with another cup to try to win -- the Ryder Cup -- this one worth no money at all.