Furyk ends drought wins Transitions Championship

By Doug FergusonMarch 22, 2010, 3:58 am

Transistions Championship

PALM HARBOR, Fla. – A PGA Tour winner again after 32 long months, Jim Furyk walked into an interview room at Innisbrook with a three-page transcript that had been folded in half.

It wasn’t a statement or a speech. They weren’t even his words.

As Furyk was finishing off a messy 18th hole that wrapped up a most beautiful victory at the Transitions Championship, ESPN and the Golf Channel broadcast the first interviews of Tiger Woods since his Nov. 27 accident, which set off a shocking sex scandal that has dominated sports news the last four months.

Jim Furyk
Jim Furyk holds his 14th career PGA Tour trophy. (Getty Images)

Furyk, one of the closest players to Woods on tour, feigned disappointed and joked, “No one was watching me, then.”

Considering how long it had been since his last tour victory – 58 tournaments over 32 months dating to the 2007 Canadian Open – he didn’t seem terribly bothered.

“You know what? Tomorrow, the paper is going to read that I won the golf tournament, and I don’t really care if it’s a three-page spread or a little blurb in the corner of the paper because the article is about him,” Furyk said.

“I won the damn thing, and it really doesn’t matter to me.”

The timing was coincidental in at least one respect.

While it only counted in the world ranking, Furyk won the Chevron World Challenge against a world-class field of 18 players in December, a tournament hosted by Woods when this sordid saga was just beginning to unfold.

This was more about Furyk, and a badly needed victory.

He almost wanted it too badly.

The facts – no matter how much space or attention they receive – will show that Furyk closed with a 2-under 69 for a one-shot victory over K.J. Choi, and that he earned $972,000 for his 14th career victory.

It was a final round that was at times brilliant, at times sloppy, and uncertain to the very end, which includes weather delays of nearly six hours that left in doubt whether the tournament would end on Sunday.

Whenever he felt the most pressure, Furyk answered with crisp iron shots and clutch putts. No sooner had he built a cushion, Furyk managed to keep it interesting with bogeys, including a trio of three-putt bogeys on the par 3s.

He simply couldn’t get out of his way.

“I made it difficult, there’s no doubt,” said Furyk, who finished at 13-under 271. “It seemed like every time K.J. got close … I was able to bounce right back and hit some really good shots, make a bunch of birdies and get some more distance. And then as soon as I got the distance, I went back to making that same mistake again, or he played well.”

It worked out in the end, but getting there was quite the ride.

As a small consolation prize, being the runner-up meant Choi goes from No. 75 to No. 47 in the world ranking, and he only needs to stay in the top 50 after the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill this week to secure an invitation to the Masters.

Upon hearing this news, Choi raised his arms in strongman style with a wide grin.

“It’s actually better than what I thought I would be at this point,” Choi said. “So definitely I’ve exceeded my expectations. All I can say is I will try my best next week to maintain or better that position.”

Equally surprising is that he had a chance – several of them – as did Bubba Watson, who shot 68 and finished third.

Furyk had a three-shot lead, which was erased by Choi’s four birdies through six holes. The turning point for Furyk came at the par-3 eighth, when he rolled in a birdie and Choi missed the green and made bogey, a two-shot swing that Choi never made up.

Furyk knocked in a 35-foot birdie putt on the 12th as Watson was starting to make a move, and after Furyk three-putted the 13th, he answered with another splendid shot, a knockdown 8-iron from 136 yards into the breeze to 3 feet for birdie on the par-5 14th.

And then came another three-putt bogey.

Furyk failed to hit the green in regulation on the final two holes, but he escaped with pars on the first two – a lag from 80 feet off the green on the 16th to tap-in range, and a superb bunker shot from sand that had been washed out by the earlier rain to 8 feet on the 17th.

More negative thinking crept into his head. Furyk had hit the ball beautifully on the 18th all week, but knowing that a tee shot left could lead to a big number, he hit right into the trees. Trying to advance the ball close to the green, he hit what Furyk called a half-shank that nearly took out NBC Sports reporter Roger Maltbie.

“I have a habit of making it tough on myself,” Furyk said. “Just nerves got me, to be honest with you.”

From a good lie in the rough, Furyk kept his shot pin-high and removed all drama by lagging that par putt to an inch, assured victory when Choi failed to chip in for birdie from just short of the green.

And that’s when the Woods interview began, although it was only about five minutes.

“Pretty much the same stuff that we already knew,” said Furyk, who managed to scan one page of the transcript. “But I think it’s good for him to get his face out there and have people see him. They are going to make their judgments, but I think it allows him to kind of move on and get focused for the next thing.”

The good news for Furyk? He no longer has to focus on the past.

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What's in the bag: API winner McIlroy

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 19, 2018, 12:59 pm

Rory McIlroy closed in 64 to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Here's a look inside the winners' bag.

Driver: TaylorMade M3 (8.5 degrees), with Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Orange 70X shaft

Fairway woods: TaylorMade M3 (15 degrees) with Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White 80TX, (19 degrees) with Fujikura Rombax P95X shaft

Irons: TaylorMade P-750 (4), P-730 RORS prototype (5-9), with Project X 7.0 shafts

Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (48, 52, 56 degrees), Hi-Toe(60 degrees), with Project X Rifle 6.5 shafts

Putter: TaylorMade TP Black Copper Soto prototype

Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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API purse payout: What Rory, Tiger, field made

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 19, 2018, 12:08 pm

Rory McIlroy won the Arnold Palmer Invitational and collected one of the biggest non-major paychecks of the year. Here's a look at how the purse was paid out at Bay Hill.

1 Rory McIlroy -18 $1,602,000
2 Bryson DeChambeau -15 $961,200
3 Justin Rose -14 $605,200
4 Henrik Stenson -13 $427,200
T5 Tiger Woods -10 $356,000
T5 Ryan Moore -10 $320,400
T7 Marc Leishman -8 $249,992
T7 Kevin Chappell -8 $249,992
T7 Luke List -8 $249,992
T7 Sean O'Hair -8 $249,992
T7 Patrick Rodgers -8 $249,992
T7 Patrick Reed -8 $249,992
13 Chris Kirk -7 $186,900
T14 Kyle Stanley -6 $137,950
T14 Charles Howell III -6 $137,950
T14 Sam Horsfield -6 $137,950
T14 Bud Cauley -6 $137,950
T14 Grayson Murray -6 $137,950
T14 Byeong Hun An -6 $137,950
T14 Rickie Fowler -6 $137,950
T14 Charley Hoffman -6 $137,950
T22 Brian Gay -5 $89,000
T22 Harris English -5 $89,000
T22 Jason Day -5 $89,000
T22 Graeme McDowell -5 $89,000
T26 Tom Hoge -4 $59,319
T26 Martin Laird -4 $59,319
T26 Emiliano Grillo -4 $59,319
T26 Tommy Fleetwood -4 $59,319
T26 Francesco Molinari -4 $59,319
T26 Keegan Bradley -4 $59,319
T26 Zach Johnson -4 $59,319
T26 William McGirt -4 $59,319
T26 John Huh -4 $59,319
T26 Talor Gooch -4 $59,319
T36 Alex Noren -3 $41,919
T36 Kevin Na -3 $41,919
T36 Brandon Harkins -3 $41,919
T36 Brian Stuard -3 $41,919
T36 Austin Cook -3 $41,919
T41 Ian Poulter -2 $30,305
T41 C.T. Pan -2 $30,305
T41 Adam Scott -2 $30,305
T41 Aaron Wise -2 $30,305
T41 Kevin Streelman -2 $30,305
T41 J.B. Holmes -2 $30,305
T41 Jamie Lovemark -2 $30,305
T41 Ollie Schniederjans -2 $30,305
T49 Lucas Glover -1 $21,965
T49 Ernie Els -1 $21,965
T49 Hideki Matsuyama -1 $21,965
T49 Chesson Hadley -1 $21,965
T49 Sam Burns -1 $21,965
T54 Li HaoTong E $20,470
T54 Mackenzie Hughes E $20,470
T54 Brian Harman E $20,470
T54 Billy Horschel E $20,114
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After Further Review: Woods wisely keeping things in perspective

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 19, 2018, 3:17 am

Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

On Tiger Woods' career comeback ...

Tiger Woods seems to be the only one keeping his comeback in the proper perspective. Asked after his tie for fifth at Bay Hill whether he could ever have envisioned his game being in this shape heading into Augusta, he replied: “If you would have given me this opportunity in December and January, I would have taken it in a heartbeat.” He’s healthy. He’s been in contention. He’s had two realistic chances to win. There’s no box unchecked as he heads to the Masters, and no one, especially not Woods, could have seen that coming a few months ago. – Ryan Lavner

On Tiger carrying momentum into API, Masters ...

Expect Jordan Spieth to leave Austin with the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play trophy next week.

After all, Spieth is seemingly the only top-ranked player who has yet to lift some hardware in the early part of 2018. Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas have all gotten it done, as have Jason Day, Phil Mickelson and most recently Rory McIlroy.

Throw in the sudden resurgence of Tiger Woods, and with two more weeks until the Masters there seem to be more azalea-laden storylines than ever before.

A Spieth victory in Austin would certainly add fuel to that fire, but even if he comes up short the 2015 champ will certainly be a focus of attention in a few short weeks when the golf world descends upon Magnolia Lane with no shortage of players able to point to a recent victory as proof that they’re in prime position to don a green jacket. – Will Gray

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Davies not giving up on win, HOF after close call

By Randall MellMarch 19, 2018, 3:06 am

PHOENIX – Laura Davies knows the odds are long now, but she won’t let go of that dream of making the LPGA Hall of Fame.

At 54, she was emboldened by her weekend run at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup. She tied for second, five shots behind Inbee Park.

“The more I get up there, I might have a chance of winning again,” Davies said. “I'm not saying I will ever win, but today was close. Maybe one day I can go closer.”

Davies is a World Golf Hall of Famer, but she has been sitting just outside the qualification standard needed to get into the LPGA Hall of Fame for a long time. She needs 27 points, but she has been stuck on 25 since her last victory in 2001. A regular tour title is worth one point, a major championship is worth two points.

Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

Over her career, she has won 20 LPGA titles, four of them major championships. She was the tour’s Rolex Player of the Year in 1996. She probably would have locked up Hall of Fame status if she hadn’t been so loyal to the Ladies European Tour, where she won 45 titles.

Though Davies didn’t win Sunday in Phoenix, there was more than consolation in her run into contention.

“Now people might stop asking me when I'm going to retire,” she said.