Furyk: 'I don't expect anyone to feel sorry for me'

By Doug FergusonAugust 27, 2014, 12:55 am

PARAMUS, N.J. – The good news for Jim Furyk is that people finally stopped talking about his golf swing that only a mother could love and a father could teach.

Now it's whether he knows how to win.

Forgotten are his 16 victories on the PGA Tour. Among full-time players, only Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Vijay Singh, Davis Love III and Ernie Els have won more times. Furyk has a major championship. He has played on nine straight Ryder Cup teams, one short of the U.S. record held by Mickelson. And perhaps more impressive than his $60 million in career earnings is that at age 44, he is the highest-ranked American in the world.

He's not in a rut on the golf course. He's in a rut when he talks to the media.

Since his last victory in 2010 at the Tour Championship, Furyk has been in front eight times going into the final round and has not converted. The most recent occasion was Sunday at The Barclays. He was tied for the lead with Jason Day. Fifteen players were separated by three shots going into the final round, which is like having no lead at all. It was anyone's tournament to win. Just not his.

So when he was asked about another Sunday when he didn't ''punch it in,'' Furyk punched back.

''I feel like every time I go to the press room, I understand the questions coming and I feel like we're in a morgue,'' he said. ''Like everyone is looking at me with this blank stare and they ask me depressing questions. And they bring up the Ryder Cup the last time (a singles loss to Sergio Garcia), and we go through Akron (a double bogey on the 18th hole) ... and I leave there like I lost my dog.

''It's golf. I didn't die out there today,'' he said. ''I don't expect anyone to feel sorry for me.''

Furyk doesn't have a great record as a closer. Not many do. Even as Furyk was fighting to stay in the hunt as he made the turn, Shawn Stefani spoke for just about every Tour player when he said, ''I picked the worst sport for winning.''

Love has 20 career victories, including a major. He holed the winning putt the last time the Americans won the Ryder Cup on European soil.

Love also had a stretch once that was similar to what Furyk is going through now. He went six straight tournaments over three years when he didn't win after taking at least a share of the lead going into the final round. In his last 12 chances, Love converted only two of them.

Not everyone can be Tiger Woods. No one is.

Part of the problem for Furyk – and so many others – is that Woods set a standard that no one should be held against, whether it's his untouchable record as a closer (54-4 on the PGA Tour), making the cut in 142 consecutive tournaments over seven years or winning the career Grand Slam twice before he turned 30.

And part of the problem is perception.

There's no harm in criticizing Furyk for having eight consecutive chances without cashing in. Furyk knows as well as anyone in golf that a player is judged by his score. It's that simple. There are explanations. No one wants to hear excuses, and Furyk rarely offers any.

What's amazing is that he's had that many chances.

Furyk is a pea shooter in an era of heavy artillery. Golf is about power, and has been for the majority of his career. He still has been among the top players for two decades. Even now, at age 44, he finished No. 3 in the Ryder Cup standings.

A top player who considers himself a friend suggested Furyk wouldn't be able to sustain a high level of play on the PGA Tour for much longer. There were too many players who were young, hungry, polished and powerful. That was four years ago. Furyk had chances in two majors since.

Furyk recalls one writer who asked him in 2006 if the game was passing him by. When he won the FedEx Cup in 2010, he saw the writer and smiled.

He's not out to prove anything. He is trying to win tournaments. And he is being reminded more often than he'd like that it's not easy and never has been. He's also not trying to lash out at the media.

''I understand why y'all ask the questions,'' he said. ''I guess I want everyone to know that I'm like, 'God, this is kind of a sad conversation.' I want to walk in there happy. I guess I've got to win to do that. So if and when it happens, I'll have a big smile on my face.''

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After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 2:19 am

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

On the current state of golf as Tiger Woods returns to competition ...

Less than four days before Tiger Woods returns to official competitive golf for the first time in a year, Jon Rahm, the new second-ranked player in the world, won on the PGA Tour and Rory McIlroy made an impressive 2018 debut on the European Tour (T-3).

Not since Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus crossed paths at the 1960 U.S. Open has there been so many superstars all poised for big seasons, with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson having already won this year and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas both coming off stellar seasons.

It’s a good time for golf. - Rex Hoggard


On Tommy Fleetwood's continued success ...

There have been scores of talented European players whose skills didn’t translate to the PGA Tour … and maybe, in a few years, Tommy Fleetwood will prove to be no different.

He sure looks like the real deal, though.  

His title defense in Abu Dhabi – on the strength of a back-nine 30 in windy conditions – was his third title in the past 12 months and 11th top-10 overall. A few of those have come in majors and World Golf Championship events, too, which led the reigning Race to Dubai champion to accept PGA Tour membership for this season.

Beginning at Riviera, he plans to play exclusively in the States through May, then reassess for the rest of the year. Hope he sticks, because he’s a fun personality with tons of game. - Ryan Lavner

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Rahm passes Spieth to become world No. 2

By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:25 am

With his win Sunday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, Jon Rahm picked up his second PGA Tour victory and moved to No. 2 in the FedExCup points standings.

He picked up one more No. 2, too.

The 23-year-old Spaniard passed Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, behind only Dustin Johnson.

In 19 months, since June 2016, Rahm has rocketed from No. 776 in the world to No. 2, thanks in part to his low divisor, his number of events played.

Asked after his playoff victory over Andrew Landry to discuss his rapid ascent up the world rankings, Rahm was almost at a loss.

“It's hard to believe to be honest, passing Jordan Spieth,” he said. “That's a three-time major champion. I only have two wins. He's got 10-plus, right? It's again – I've said it many times – I never thought I was going to be at this point in my life right now.”

Rahm may only have two PGA Tour titles, but this is his fourth worldwide win in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. He also took the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and the DP World Tour Championship on his way to claiming the European Tour’s 2017 Rookie of the Year Award.

Dating back to the start of last season on the PGA Tour, Rahm has racked up 12 top-10s, three runner-ups, and two wins.

He will head to Torrey Pines next week ready to defend for the first time.

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Brady compares self to Woods after winning AFC title

By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 1:05 am

Tom Brady and Tiger Woods are two of the all-time greats in their respective sports ... a fact that is not lost on the five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.

Fresh off leading the New England Patriots to a AFC Championship victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brady was asked about winning the game despite a cut on his throwing hand - which made national news heading into the matchup.

His response invoked the name of a certain 14-time major winner, something that would be tough to pull off, if not for the fact that he is, you know, Tom Brady.

“I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that," the 40-year-old told reporters after the game. "It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament."

Tiger Woods winning with his "C game" may be a distant memory for golf fans, but no matter what game he brings, his next chance to win comes next week at Torrey Pines during his official comeback to the PGA Tour.

Brady has a shot at his sixth Super Bowl title in two weeks. The Patriots would probably benefit from him bringing a little better than his "C game" as well.

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Rahm beats Landry in playoff to win CareerBuilder

By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:00 am

Jon Rahm birdied the fourth extra hole Sunday to defeat Andrew Landry in a playoff, win the CareerBuilder Challenge and move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Here’s how things played out in overtime at PGA West:

Leaderboard: Rahm (-22), Landry (-22), John Huh (-20), Adam Hadwin (-20), Martin Piller (-20), Kevin Chappell (-19), Scott Piercy (-19)

What it means: This is Rahm’s second PGA Tour win and his fourth worldwide victory in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. Rahm took the early lead Thursday with an opening 62 and after rounds of 67-70, he started the final round two back. On Sunday, he made five birdies without dropping a single shot on the intimidating Stadium Course. In the clubhouse at 22 under, Rahm watched as Landry made birdie on 18 to force a playoff.

Rahm missed birdie putts that would have ended the tournament on the final hole of regulation and on each playoff hole. Finally, on his fourth trip down 18 of the day, his birdie bid found the cup. With the victory, Rahm passes Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, trailing only Dustin Johnson. He enters next week at Torrey Pines looking to defend for the first time.

Best of the rest: A two-time Web.com winner playing his second full season on the PGA Tour, Landry shot 68 Sunday, making birdie on the 72nd hole to force extras. Once Rahm finally made birdie on the fourth playoff hole, Landry's putt to extend slid by on the right edge. This is Landry's best career finish on the PGA Tour. Had he won, he would have secured full Tour status through the 2019-20 season and earned invites to the Masters, Players, and PGA Championships.

Round of the day: Sam Saunders fired an 8-under 64 to register this best finish of the season, a tie for eighth at 18 under. The reigning Web.com Tour Championship winner was 9 under par through 12 holes before making bogey at 13 and parring his way into the clubhouse.

Biggest disappointment: Overnight leader Austin Cook was eyeing his second win of the season but never contended. The RSM champion carded two double bogeys Sunday en route to a 3-over 75, dropping him from the 54-hole lead to a tie for 14th.

Shot of the day: Rahm's putt to win:

Quote of the day: "One of us had to do it and either one of us would have been a well-deserving champion." - Rahm on his playoff victory over Landry