Furyk wins Chevron World Challenge

By Doug FergusonDecember 7, 2009, 3:47 am
Chevron World Challenge

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Jim Furyk had a lot of expectations when he arrived at the Chevron World Challenge. They didn’t include winning for the first time in more than two years.

He is good friends with tournament host Tiger Woods, his partner for nine matches in cup competitions. They are an odd couple on the surface, linked mainly by the grit in their golf games.

Furyk sent Woods a text message when he heard about the Nov. 27 car accident and never heard back. Before long, speculation gave way to allegations of extramarital affairs, until Woods posted a statement on his Web site acknowledging “personal failings.”

Jim Furyk
Jim Furyk celebrates his par save on the 17th hole Sunday. (Getty Images)

“I expected a lot of questions would be asked about Tiger a lot this week,” Furyk said after closing with a 5-under 67 for a one-shot victory Sunday. “I can honestly say not one person has asked me for a quote or an opinion or anything like that. He and his wife are friends of mine. And as friends, you want to support them and wish them the best.”

No one bothered him because Furyk was in the middle of the pack in the 18-man field at Sherwood Country Club.

He was easy to miss until the final round, when he took the lead with a wedge to close range for birdie on the 10th, kept it by knocking in a 35-foot par putt on the 17th hole and making his best shot of the day the winning shot – a 9-iron from 146 yards on the 18th hole that landed near the cup and spun 5 feet away for a birdie.

Even more noticeable was the red shirt Furyk wore on Sunday, the color Woods has made famous during his 82 worldwide victories and 14 major championships.

Furyk said that was a coincidence, nothing more.

Even so, it was a fitting conclusion to a week dominated by talk of Woods.

Woods wasn’t around to present the trophy to one of his favorite players on the PGA Tour. He withdrew because of unspecified injuries from his accident, yet he remained part of every conversation because of worldwide publicity over his off-course scandal.

Woods posted a statement on his Web site as the final round was under way to thank his sponsors, staff and volunteers. “And I am sincerely sorry I was unable to fulfill my duties as host and player in this important event,” he said.

Furyk recalls wearing red – a rarity for him – in the final round of the 2007 Canadian Open, his last victory at a tournament recognized by the world golf ranking.

“Maybe I need to start,” he said. “But no, I didn’t mean to make a statement or didn’t really think about it. So you like the outfit? I’m curious what my grade is.”

Considering it was bright red with a brown stripe and brown pants, leave that to fashion experts.

His golf – especially at the end – was simply superb.

With a one-shot lead and in a horrible spot in the bunker well below the 17th green, Furyk played it safe to 35 feet beyond the hole and was hopeful of lagging a tricky putt to 3 feet to make no worse than bogey. Instead, he watched it break sharply to the right over the final few feet and drop into the cup for an unlikely par.

“It was a deep sigh of relief that the ball went in,” Furyk said. “I knew at that point it was still my tournament to win, and I played very aggressively down the stretch.”

He followed that with a 9-iron from 146 yards that landed near the hole and spun back to 5 feet. Before he could putt, Furyk saw on the leaderboard that Lee Westwood had birdied the 17th and was tied for the lead. He calmly rapped in the birdie putt.

Westwood, who recently won the European tour money title for the second time this decade, had a chance to force a playoff until he failed to hole his chip from just off the green. Then, he missed the short par putt for a 70 that left him in a tie for third with Padraig Harrington, who twice chipped in for eagle on his way to a 70.

Graeme McDowell, the replacement for Woods at this tournament, had to hole out from 18th fairway to tie Furyk, and his shot looked as though it had a chance until it spun by the hole. The birdie gave him second place alone.

That was enough to move McDowell to No. 38 in the world, making him a lock for the Masters next year. The top 50 at the end of the year earn invitations to Augusta National, and McDowell had decided not to chase ranking points at the end of the year.

Then came a phone call about Woods withdrawing, and everything changed quickly.

“Timing is everything,” McDowell said. “To get the call-up was good, although I wish it had been different circumstances. Sometimes this game gives you something back when you least expect it.”

Furyk said he wouldn’t be surprised to get a text from Woods for winning his tournament for the first time. And if he did, “then I would reply and wish him the best.”

“Tough times,” Furyk said. “So they need the support of their friends right now, and I know that people are thinking about them.”

Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo

By Grill Room TeamDecember 15, 2017, 1:05 am

Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.

With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.

Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.

The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.

Image via tom.lovelady on Instagram.

In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.

Getty Images

Awards season: Handing out the 2017 Rexys

By Rex HoggardDecember 14, 2017, 7:00 pm

After careful consideration and an exhaustive review of 2017 we present The Rexys, a wildly incomplete and arbitrary line up following one of the most eventful years in golf.

 There will be omissions – just keep your calls, concerns and even e-mails to yourself. We appreciate your patronage, but not your feedback.



It’s Not You, It’s Me Award. You know the deal: You can’t be a part of two until you’re a better one; but on this front it’s really just a desire to find a better two.

It was a tough year for caddies, and not just any caddies. In June, Phil Mickelson split with longtime bagman Jim “Bones” Mackay. Both player and caddie cited the need for “change,” but the move reverberated throughout the game.

“The fairytale is over,” mused one caddie when told of the high-profile split.

In the wake of the Lefty/Bones break, Rory McIlroy split with his caddie J.P Fitzgerald, and Jason Day replaced looper/swing coach Colin Swatton on his bag. It all proves yet again that there are only two kinds of caddies, those who have been fired and those who are about to be fired.



Run for the Rose Cup. Sergio Garcia got the green jacket, a lifetime exemption to the game’s most coveted member-member and a long-awaited major, but Justin Rose took home the slightly less prestigious “Rose Cup.”

Following a frenzied afternoon at Augusta National in April, Rose lost to Garcia on the first playoff hole, but he won so much more with his honesty and class.

“You're going to win majors and you're going to lose majors, but you've got to be willing to lose them,” Rose figured following the final round. “You've got to put yourself out there. You've got to hit the top of the leaderboard. There's a lot of pressure out there and if you're not willing to enjoy it, then you're not ready to win these tournaments. I loved it out there.”

Few have made losing look so dignified and fewer still are as easy to root for.



Half-Empty Cup. It was the perfect setting, with sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline and the promise of the Tristate masses descending on this fall’s Presidents Cup.

If only all those rowdy New Yorkers had something to cheer.

For the sixth time in the last seven matches, the U.S. team rolled to a victory of at least three points. This particular edition was even in danger of ending on Saturday afternoon thanks to a particularly dominant performance by a young American squad led by Steve Stricker.

Officials spoke of the purity of the competition and the attention the ’17 cup generated, but however you spin the 19-11 rout, this cup is half empty.



Enigma Award. The actual hardware is simply an oversized question mark and was sent directly to Tiger Woods’ South Florida compound following the most curious of seasons.

While it’s become customary in recent years to consider the uncertain path that awaits the 14-time major winner, this most recent calendar brought an entirely new collection of questions following fusion surgery on his lower back in April, his arrest for DUI on Memorial Day and, finally, a glimmer of hope born from his tie for ninth at the Hero World Challenge earlier this month.

When will he play again? Can he compete against the current generation of world-beaters? Can his body withstand the rigors of a full PGA Tour schedule? Should Jim Furyk make him a captain’s pick now or wait to see if he should be driving a vice captain’s golf cart instead?

Little is certain when it comes to Woods, and the over-sized question mark goes to ... the guy in red and black.



After Further Review Chalice. In April, Lexi Thompson endured a heartbreaking loss at the ANA Inspiration, the byproduct of a surreal ruling that arrived a day late via a viewer e-mail and cost the would-be winner a major championship.

The entire event was so unsavory that the USGA and R&A made not one but two alterations to the rules and created a “working group” to avoid similar snafus in the future.

That working group – it turns out the U.S. Ryder Cup team has some sort of copyright on “task force” – initially issued a decision that introduced a “reasonable judgment” and a “naked eye” standard to video reviews, and last week the rule makers kept the changes coming.

The new protocols on video review will now include an official to monitor tournament broadcasts and ended the practice of allowing fans to call in, or in this case e-mail, possible infractions to officials. The USGA and R&A also eliminated the two-stroke penalty for players who sign incorrect scorecards when the player is unaware of the penalty.

While all this might be a step in the right direction, it does nothing to change Thompson’s fate. The AFR Chalice won’t change the harsh reality, but at least it will serve as a reminder of how she helped altered the rulemaking landscape.



Nothing Runs Like a Deere Award. Nothing gets fans fired up like officials turning fields of fescue rough into hay on the eve of a major championship, and the USGA’s decision to do some 11th-hour trimming at Erin Hills in June certainly caught many by surprise.

Officials said the nip/tuck on four holes was in reaction to a particularly foreboding forecast that never materialized, and the maintenance drew the ire of some players.

“We have 60 yards from left line to right line,” Rory McIlroy said. “You’ve got 156 of the best players in the world here; if we can’t hit it within that avenue, you might as well pack your bags and go home.”

The record low scoring at the U.S. Open – winner Brooks Koepka finished with a 16-under total – didn’t help ease the fervor and had some questioning whether the softer side of the USGA has gone a bit too far?

Getty Images

Podcast: Daly takes big pride in 'Little John'

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 14, 2017, 5:28 pm

John Daly is a two-time major champion, but the newest trophy in his household belongs to someone else.

That’s because Daly’s son, 14-year-old Little John “LJ” Daly, rallied to capture an IJGT junior golf event over the weekend. The younger Daly birdied the first extra hole to win a five-person playoff at Harbour Town Golf Links, site of the PGA Tour’s RBC Heritage.

Daly recently sat down for a Golf Channel podcast to describe what it’s like to cheer for his son and PNC Father-Son Challenge partner, share the unique challenge presented by the upcoming Diamond Resorts Invitational and reflect on some of the notable highs of a career that has now spanned more than 25 years.

Sneds starts slowly in Masters invite bid

By Will GrayDecember 14, 2017, 4:22 pm

Brandt Snedeker flew halfway around the world in search of a Masters invite, but after one round of the Indonesian Masters it appears he'll likely return home empty-handed.

Snedeker made only two birdies during his opening round in Indonesia, shooting an even-par 72 that left him in a tie for 77th and 10 shots behind leader Justin Rose. This is the final OWGR-rated event of 2017, and as a result it has drawn several notable entrants, including Snedeker, who hope to crack the top 50 in the world rankings by year's end to secure a trip to Augusta National.


Full-field scores from the Indonesian Masters


Snedeker started the year ranked No. 28, but after missing five months because of injury he entered the week ranked No. 51 and is projected to slip even further by the end of the month. As a result, he likely needs a top-3 finish in order to secure a return to the Masters, which he has missed only once since 2007.

World No. 55 Dylan Frittelli also struggled, shooting a 4-over 76 in the opening round, while No. 56 Kiradech Aphibarnrat is tied for 14th at 4 under. Yusaku Miyazato, currently 58th in the world, is tied for ninth and five shots behind Rose.

Should Snedeker and the other hopefuls fail to crack the top 50 by the end of the year, two paths to the Masters remain: win a full-point event on the PGA Tour in early 2018 or be inside the top 50 in the world rankings when the final cutoff is made on March 25.