Tiger Furyk Love Their Matchup

By George WhiteSeptember 19, 2006, 4:00 pm
36th Ryder Cup MatchesJim Furyk knows what the danger is. He realizes that pairing himself, No. 3, with Tiger Woods, No. l, runs the risk of the U.S. shooting its biggest cannon in one match and leaving nothing for the next three.
But he knows thats assuming there is nothing left in the American arsenal. Number 1, he says, that assumption is just not true. And No. 2, its difficult to argue with the final result of last years Presidents Cup, which was won by the Americans. Deciding which players to team up, after all, is a very iffy business.
I think that there are so many different ways to pair players and so many different ideas, says Furyk on the eve of the Ryder Cup. Some people say you want to pair games. Other people want to pair personalities. Sometimes you want people with similar personalities.
And then I've heard (you pair) opposites. You stick, like, Luke Donald and Sergio Garcia together. They're good friends, but their personalities couldn't be further apart - but it seems to work out well.
Last September, the Presidents Cup captain was Jack Nicklaus, and Furyk began the week battling a rib injury. The Presidents has a different schedule ' competition is held in five matches on Thursday and five on Friday, instead of a morning-and-afternoon session on Friday and Saturday with four matches each session as in the Ryder Cup.
So Furyk teamed with Fred Funk in the opener Thursday and they halved with Michael Campbell and Angel Cabrera playing in foursomes (alternate-shot). Woods played with Fred Couples and that duo was summarily dusted by Adam Scott and Retief Goosen, 4-and-3.
Furyk was busy getting treatment for the rib injury when word came that Nicklaus planned to pair Jim and Tiger for Fridays fourball (better-ball) matches. Furyk was thrilled ' he had been lobbying for the pairing since the Ryder Cup in 1997. And the twosome downed Stuart Appleby and Mark Hensby, 3-2.
He (Woods) basically whipped them, said Furyk. Furyk won a hole when both he and Woods had 10-footers and Furyk holed first. And, On the last hole I knocked in about a 6-footer for birdie to win the match. And that's about all I helped the whole day. The rest of the time I could have just watched because he played so well.
That was Friday. On Saturday, the Presidents Cup format included both a morning session and an afternoon session. Because the pairing was successful Friday, Furyk expected to be teamed again with Tiger. But Furyk expected to play just one match, since he was still slightly favoring his ribs.
Jack looked at me (Friday) and said, 'Can you go tomorrow? I said, I'll be fine to play 18. But the guy who was treating me said that 36 probably wasn't a good idea.
Nicklaus, obviously, had other plans.

On my way to the pairings, he told my wife be sure I'm ready to go two rounds the next day. She said, OK. On the bus ride home he said, You're playing 36 tomorrow. I said, No, I told him 18. Well, he told me 36. I said, OK, I'll be ready.
That's kind of how it went. So I think how that pairing came about, I'm not sure, but Jack put us together and we hit it off pretty well and he kept us together.
Tiger, of course, was thrilled.
Believe it or not, Jim and I play the game the same way, said Woods. It's just, I hit the ball further. But our belief in how we play the game, strategically, how we read greens, the philosophical way of getting around the golf course, we're almost identical.
So when we paired up, it was great. It was like we were playing the same game. When we were reading each other's putts, it was great, because we read putts exactly the same way. Some guys read putts totally differently and sometimes you have to make that adjustment and it's hard to make that type of adjustment because you're not used to hearing that type of information. Jim and I, I think we were a fantastic team then, and hopefully Tom will let us go out there together again.
It seemed obvious to Tiger that was a pairing that would work way back nine years ago, when Woods and Furyk were first-timers on the Ryder Cup.
Jim and I have been suggesting that pairing since '97, Tiger said. We like to go out there together, and it's never happened because everyone sees that I hit the ball further than Jim and they think that we have very dissimilar games. But I think we have very similar games.
And Furyk, just as obviously, is not about to disagree. Nicklaus was the first to do it, Jack even twisted a few arms (and maybe a back) to keep it going. But Furyk is very, very pleased.
We (Furyk and Woods) get along real well, he says. We have obviously different styles of game, and he has a lot more power than I do, but we tend to think our way around the golf course similarly, and we read putts very much alike.
And our attitudes out there are very much alike. I enjoy the banter and the talk and he's a friend and someone that I - he's actually very witty and very funny. But yet, there's not many people that have the opportunity to get close to him.
But thats OK with Furyk. He just hopes that he has the opportunity to get a W while playing with Woods.
Email your thoughts to George White
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - 36th Ryder Cup Matches
  • Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

    By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

    Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.

    Tributes pour in for legendary caddie Sheridan

    By Randall MellNovember 23, 2017, 2:54 pm

    Tributes are pouring in as golf celebrates the life of Greg Sheridan after receiving news of his passing.

    Sheridan, a long-time LPGA caddie who worked for some of the game’s all-time greats, including Kathy Whitworth and Beth Daniel, died Wednesday in Indian Rocks Beach, Fla., at 63. He was diagnosed in July 2016 with brain and lung cancer.

    Sheridan worked the last dozen years or so with Natalie Gulbis, who expressed her grief in an Instagram post on Wednesday:

    “Greg…I miss you so much already and it hasn’t even been a day. 15+ seasons traveling the world you carried me & my bag through the highs and lows of golf and life. You were so much more than my teammate on the course…Thank you.”

    Sheridan was on Whitworth’s bag for the last of her LPGA-record 88 titles.

    “When I first came on tour, I would try to find out how many times Greg won,” Gulbis told Golfweek. “It’s a crazy number, like 50.”

    Matthew Galloway, a caddie and friend to Sheridan, summed up Sheridan’s impressive reach after caddying with him one year at the LPGA Founders Cup, where the game’s pioneers are honored.

    “Best Greg story,” Galloway tweeted on Thanksgiving morning, “coming up 18 at PHX all the founders were in their chairs. Greg goes, `Yep, caddied for her, her and her.’ Legend.”

    In a first-person column for Golf Magazine last year, Gulbis focused on Sheridan while writing about the special bond between players and caddies. She wrote that she won the “looper lottery” when she first hired Sheridan in ’04.

    “Greg and I have traveled the world, and today he is like family,” Gulbis wrote. “Sometimes, he’s a psychologist. Last year, my mom got sick and it was a distraction, but he was great. When I used to have boyfriend issues and breakup issues, he was my confidant. In a world where caddies sometimes spill secrets, Greg has kept a respectful silence, and I can’t thank him enough for that. He’s an extension of me.”

    Four months after Gulbis wrote the column, Sheridan was diagnosed with cancer.

    “The LPGA family is saddened to hear of the loss of long-time tour caddie, Greg Sheridan,” the LPGA tweeted. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and players he walked with down the fairways. #RIP.”

    Dean Herden was among the legion of caddies saddened by the news.

    “Greg was a great guy who I respected a lot and taught me some great things over the years,” Herden texted to GolfChannel.com.

    Here are some of heartfelt messages that are rolling across Twitter:

    Retired LPGA great Annika Sorenstam:

    LPGA commissioner Mike Whan in a retweet of Gulbis:

    Golf Channel reporter and former tour player Jerry Foltz:

    Christina Kim:

    LPGA caddie Shaun Clews:

    LPGA caddie Jonny Scott:

    LPGA caddie Kevin Casas:

    LPGA pro Jennie Lee:

    Fitzpatrick one back in 2018 Euro Tour opener

    By Associated PressNovember 23, 2017, 1:37 pm

    HONG KONG – S.S.P. Chawrasia had six birdies and a bogey Thursday for a 5-under 65 and a one-stroke lead at the Hong Kong Open, the first event of the 2018 European Tour season.

    Playing in sunny but breezy conditions at the Hong Kong Golf Club, the greens had the players struggling to gauge the approach.

    ''Very tough conditions today,'' Chawrasia said. ''It's very firm greens, to be honest. I'm just trying to hit the second shot on the green and trying to make it like a two-putt.''

    Full-field scores from the UBS Hong Kong Open

    Shubhankar Sharma and Matthew Fitzpatrick (both 66) were one shot behind, while seven others were tied for fourth a further stroke behind.

    ''Hit it great tee to green,'' Fitzpatrick said. ''I think I had like seven or eight chances inside 15 feet, and on a day like today when it's so windy and such a tough golf course, with how tight it is, yeah, it was a good day.''

    Justin Rose, who won the title in 2015, shot was 2 under with five birdies and three bogeys.

    ''I think the course played a couple shots harder than it typically does,'' Rose said. ''I like this course. I think it offers plenty of birdie opportunities.''

    Masters champion Sergio GarciaRafa Cabrera Bello and defending champion Sam Brazel (69) were in a group of 16 at 1 under.

    Day, Spieth chasing Davis after Day 1 of Aussie Open

    By Jason CrookNovember 23, 2017, 6:50 am

    The PGA Tour is off this week but a couple of the circuit’s biggest stars – Jordan Spieth and Jason Day – are headlining the Emirates Australian Open, the first event in The Open Qualifying Series for the 2018 Open at Carnoustie. Here's how things look after the opening round, where Cameron Davis has opened up a two-shot lead:

    Leaderboard: Davis (-8), Taylor MacDonald (-6), Nick Cullen (-5), Day (-5), Brian Campbell (-4), Lucas Herbert (-4), Stephen Leaney (-4), Anthony Quayle (-4)

    What it means: Spieth has won this event three of the last four years, including last year, but he got off to a rocky start on Thursday. Playing in the windy afternoon wave, the world No. 2 bogeyed his first two holes but rebounded with birdies on Nos. 4 and 5. It was more of the same the rest of the way as the 24-year-old carded three more bogeys and four birdies, getting into the clubhouse with a 1-under 70. While it certainly wasn't the start he was hoping for, Spieth didn't shoot himself out of the tournament with 54 holes left to play, he has plenty of time to claw his way up the leaderboard.

    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

    Round of the day: With Round 1 in the books, the solo leader, Davis, is the easy pick here. The 22-year-old Aussie who turned pro last year, came out of the gates on fire, birdieing six of his first seven holes, including four in a row on Nos. 4 through 7. He did drop a shot on the ninth hole to go out in 30 but rebounded with three more birdies on the back to card a 8-under 63. Davis, who was born in Sydney and played this year on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada. He will attempt to get his Web.com Tour card next month during qualifying in Arizona.

    Best of the rest: Making his first start in his home country in four years, Day started on the 10th hole at The Australian Golf Club and made four birdies to one bogey on the back side before adding four more circles after making the turn. Unfortunately for the 30-year-old, he also added an ugly double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole and had to settle for a 5-under 66, good enough to sit T-3. Day, who has dropped to No. 12 in the world rankings, is looking for his first win on any tour since the 2016 Players Championship.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Can the upstart 22-year-old Davis hold off the star power chasing him or will he fold to the pressure of major champions in his rearview mirror? Day (afternoon) and Spieth (morning) are once again on opposite ends of the draw on Friday as they try to improve their position before the weekend.

    Shot of the day: It’s tough to beat an ace in this category, and we had one of those on Thursday from Australian Brad Shilton. Shilton’s hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole came with a special prize, a $16k watch.

    Quote of the day: “Just two bad holes. Pretty much just two bad swings for the day,” – Day, after his 66 on Thursday.