Furyk surges on Sunday at Oakmont
June 19, 2016
By Mike McAllister , PGATOUR.COM
- June 19, 2016
- Jim Furyk salutes the fans in the gallery as he walks off the 18th green during the final round of the U.S. Open. (David Cannon/Getty Images)
OAKMONT, Pa. – The last time Jim Furyk played the drivable par-4 17th at Oakmont in the final round of the U.S. Open, he was tied for the lead. He opted for the aggressive play, pulled driver, found the rough, made bogey – and lost his chance to win his national championship in front of his home fans.
On Sunday afternoon, he was in hot pursuit of the leaders as he stepped onto the 17th tee. This time, he went conservative, opting for an iron. His second shot left him 26 feet – and he drained the birdie putt.
“A little retribution for the last time,” Furyk said.
Unfortunately for Furyk, that’s all it was.
The birdie pushed him to 2 under for the tournament. At the time, he was thinking another birdie at the final hole might give him a chance, but instead he found the rough with his tee shot and the bunker with his next shot. The bogey left him at 1 under after a final-round 4-under 66.
It wasn’t enough for the win, but it was more than enough for Furyk to feel much better walking off Oakmont after 72 holes than the last time he did it here.
“It would have been fun to knock in a birdie and then have them look at it say, well, s---, there’s the number. We’ve got to beat 3,” Furyk said. “It didn’t work out that way."I played my heart out today.
Considering Furyk has spent most of this year on the sidelines recovering from wrist surgery, the top-five finish was probably better than most could expect. But Furyk, the 2003 U.S. Open winner, thrives in these tough conditions.
He also seems to thrive when playing in front of the hometown fans. He said fans kept shouting out local places in his honor.
“I had a ton of support this week from my birthplace, West Chester,” Furyk said. “I heard Lancaster, where I grew up. I heard Manheim Township, where I went to high school. I heard all kinds of stuff from western PA. My dad was a pro in Uniontown. I heard every little town and borough through here. My mom and dad grew up in Natrona Heights and Lower Burrell. I heard that. I heard their high schools being called out. I had a lot of places claiming me.
“It was a lot of fun.”
And it might have been more successful if not for the 6-over 41 he shot on the front nine in the third round on Saturday. That essentially took him out of the tournament, but he did well to claw his way back and make things interesting Sunday. He posted three birdies on the front nine and was bogey-free until 18.
“I look back, it was my front nine yesterday,” Furyk said. “I shoot 6 over -- and I didn't do a lot wrong. I missed one fairway, No. 4. I parred that hole. I don't know how I screwed it up from the fairway so bad. Oakmont has a way to turn pars into bogeys and bogeys into doubles. It all kind of happened to me in nine holes.
“I was happy to collect myself. Even through that, I played the weekend at even par. I had a 6 over and brought it back to 1 under for the weekend before I made bogey at 18. Fun ride.”
Christian Petersen/Getty Images