Furyk Facing the Flipside of Fame

By Golf Channel NewsroomJuly 3, 2003, 4:00 pm
LEMONT, Ill. (AP) -- Jim Furyk used to have order in his life. He'd show up for a tournament later in the day Tuesday, play in a pro-am Wednesday and get ready for Thursday.
In between he'd sign a few autographs and get some practice in. If he went out for dinner with his wife and daughter, a few people might recognize him, but he was generally left alone.
Then he won the U.S. Open.
Now he gets recognized wherever he goes. Even people who don't follow golf know the winner of the U.S. Open. And those perfectly planned days at the course? Forget it. He was so busy at the Buick Classic he didn't even have time to practice.
'I know I'm going to have to leave for the course a little earlier, and I'm going to come home a little later because there's going to be a few extra questions and just a few extra demands on your day,' Furyk said Wednesday. 'It's just a matter of staying patient and realizing you can't rush, can't get anywhere quickly and you go about your own business.
'It's a good problem to have. I'd rather win the U.S. Open, and I'm definitely not complaining. There are more time demands and that's part of it. I'm definitely not complaining about it. I'd love to go win another major and have to worry about it again.'
The British Open is still two weeks away, so Furyk will have to settle for winning the Western Open for now.
Though the U.S. Open was just three weeks ago at nearby Olympia Fields, most of the marquee players are back in Chicago for the 100th Western Open. Six of the top 10 are here, and it was seven until Davis Love III withdrew Monday because of a stiff neck.
After playing at Westchester, where he tied for 22nd, Furyk took last weekend off to recharge. Now he's refreshed, and ready to contend again.
'It was nice to get home last week and get away from golf,' he said. 'I didn't practice that much. I put the clubs away and wanted to get mentally refreshed so I was ready to come out here and wanted to be here and wanted to play golf.'
Woods also is back after a week off, and he'd like nothing more than to end all that 'slump' talk that's been following him. He hasn't won since the Bay Hill Invitational in March, and doesn't own at least one of the four major titles for the first time in four years.
But he's getting a little sick of everyone worrying about his game.
'It's frustrating, because I've got to answer it all the time now,' he said. 'I haven't been playing poorly. Golf is very, very difficult. And to be honest with you, I'm pleased at the way I've been playing. I just need to get a few more putts in the hole and I'll be all right.'
The Western might be just the place for him to do it. Woods has won the tournament twice, and his victory in 1997 was one for the ages. Who can forget the thousands of fans who broke through the ropes to follow him up the 18th fairway?
'As far as a tour event, I think it's one of the best stops and one that every one of us looks forward to,' he said. 'The history behind it and the champions that have won these events make it that much more special.'
The Western is one of Furyk's favorites, too. He played in some Western Amateurs, and has played the Western Open since he turned pro.
After missing the last two years - a wrist injury forced him to withdraw in 2001, and he skipped last year because his daughter was born the week before - he's happy to be back.
'I had a lot of really good finishes here through the late '90s and into 2000 with a lot of top-10s, top-fives. I like the golf course,' he said. 'My game is in OK shape right now. I've got to make a few adjustments and I'll be ready to go hopefully.'
One thing Furyk doesn't have to adjust is his attitude. Some players have said they felt they had something to prove after winning their first major, as if they had to justify their worthiness as a champion.
But Furyk doesn't feel that kind of pressure. No matter how much criticism was leveled at his unorthodox swing, he's always been his own worst critic. He's one of the hardest-working players on the tour, spending hours honing his game.
Winning the U.S. Open simply validated all that effort, not made him think he needed to give more.
'I'm not any different a player than I was three weeks ago,' he said. 'I proved something to myself, and mentally it's a boost to have that confidence knowing that I can accomplish that. But I don't expect any more out of myself now because of it.'
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    Kelly beats Monty with two-shot swing on final hole

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 3:21 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Jerry Kelly made an 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole, Colin Montgomerie missed a 6-footer for par and Kelly turned a one-shot deficit into a victory Saturday in the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    After Kelly drove it well right into lava rocks on the par-4 16th, leading to bogey and giving Montgomerie the lead, Montgomerie made a mistake with his tee shot on the last, finding a fairway bunker. Montgomerie's approach went over the green and after Kelly converted his birdie, the 54-year-old Scot jammed his par putt well past the hole.

    Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship

    It was the third win on the over-50 tour for the 51-year-old Kelly, who finished tied for 14th last week at the PGA Tour's Sony Open in Honolulu. That gave him confidence as he hopped over to the Big Island for his tournament debut at Hualalai. The limited-field event includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Kelly closed with a 6-under 66 for a three-day total of 18-under 198. Montgomerie shot 69. David Toms shot 67 and finished two shots back, and Miguel Angel Jimenez was another stroke behind after a 66.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, closed with a 70 to finish at 10 under.

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    Rahm manages frustration, two back at CareerBuilder

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 1:21 am

    Jon Rahm managed the winds and his frustrations Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge to give himself a chance to win his fourth worldwide title in the last year.

    Rahm’s 2-under-par 70 on the PGA West Stadium Course left him two shots off the lead going into the final round.

    “I wasn’t really dealing with the wind that much,” Rahm said of his frustrations. “I was dealing with not being as fluid as I was the last two days.”

    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    The world’s No. 3 ranked player opened with a 62 at La Quinta Country Club on Thursday and followed it up with a 67 on Friday at PGA West. He made six birdies and four bogeys on the Stadium Course on Saturday.

    “The first day, everything was outstanding,” Rahm said. “Yesterday, my driver was a little shaky but my irons shots were perfect. Today, my driver was shaky and my irons shots were shaky. On a course like this, it’s punishing, but luckily on the holes where I found the fairway I was able to make birdies.”

    Rahm is projected to move to No. 2 in the world rankings with a finish of sixth or better on Sunday.

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    Cook leads by one entering final round at CareerBuilder

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 12:51 am

    LA QUINTA, Calif. – Austin Cook hit a hybrid into the fairway bunker on the par-4 18th on a breezy Saturday afternoon at La Quinta Country Club, then chunked a wedge and raced a chip 20 feet past the hole.

    Kip Henley, the longtime PGA Tour caddie who guided Cook to a breakthrough victory at Sea Island in November, stepped in to give the 26-year-old former Arkansas star a quick pep talk.

    ''Kip said, 'Let's finish this like we did on the first day at the Nicklaus Course.' We made a big par putt on 18 there and he said, 'Let's just do the same thing. Let's get this line right and if you get the line right it's going in.'''

    It did, giving Cook an 8-under 64 and a one-stroke lead in the CareerBuilder Challenge going into the final round on the Stadium Course at PGA West. Fellow former Razorback Andrew Landry and Martin Piller were tied for second, and Jon Rahm and Scott Piercy were a another stroke back after a tricky day in wind that didn't get close to the predicted gusts of 40 mph.

    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    ''I know that I wouldn't have wanted to play the Stadium today,'' Cook said. ''I think we got a great draw with the courses that we got to play on the days that we got to play them.''

    Cook played the final six holes on the front nine in 6 under with an eagle and four birdies.

    ''Starting on my fourth hole, I was able to make a birdie and kind of get the ball rolling and it never really stopped rolling,'' Cook said. ''Kip and I were doing really good at seeing the line on the greens.''

    After a bogey on 10, he birdied 11, 12 and 15 and parred the final three to get to 19-under 197.

    ''I think that tonight the nerves, the butterflies, all that will kind of be a little less,'' Cook said. ''I've been in the situation before and I was able to finish the job on Sunday. I think it would be a little different if I didn't play like I did on Sunday at Sea Island.''

    He's making his first start in the event.

    ''I came in from Hawaii on Monday, so I only had two days to prepare for three courses,'' Cook said.

    Landry, the second-round leader, had a 70 at the Stadium. Piller, the husband of LPGA tour player Gerina Piller, shot a 67 at La Quinta. Winless on the PGA Tour, they will join Cook in the final threesome.

    ''Piller's a good guy and we have played a lot together and same with Cookie,'' said Landry, the only player without a bogey after 54 holes. ''Hope the Hogs are going to come out on top.''

    Rahm had a 70 at the Stadium to reach 17 under. The third-ranked Rahm beat up the par 5s again, but had four bogeys – three on par 3s. He has played the 12 par 5s in 13 under with an eagle and 11 birdies.

    ''A little bit of a survival day,'' Rahm said.

    The wind was more of a factor on the more exposed and tighter Stadium Course.

    ''The course is firming up,'' Rahm said. ''I know if we have similar wind to today, if we shoot something under par, you'll be way up there contesting it over the last few holes.''

    Piercy had a 66 at the Stadium.

    ''I controlled my ball really well today,'' he said.

    Adam Hadwin had a 67 at La Quinta a year after shooting a third-round 59 on the course. The Canadian was 16 under along with Grayson Murray and Brandon Harkins. Murray had a 67 on the Nicklaus Course, and Harkins shot 68 at the Stadium.

    Phil Mickelson missed the cut in his first tournament of the year for the second time in his career, shooting a 74 on the Stadium to finish at 4 under – four strokes from a Sunday tee time. The 47-year-old Hall of Famer was playing for the first time since late October. He also missed the cut in the Phoenix Open in his 2009 opener.

    Charlie Reiter, the Palm Desert High School senior playing on the first sponsor exemption the event has given to an amateur, also missed the cut. He had three early straight double bogeys in a 77 on the Stadium that left him 1 over.

    John Daly had an 80 at La Quinta. He opened with a triple bogey and had six bogeys – four in a row to start his second nine - and only one birdie. The 51-year-old Daly opened with a 69 on the Nicklaus layout and had a 71 on Friday at the Stadium.

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    Phil misses CareerBuilder cut for first time in 24 years

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 am

    Phil Mickelson missed the cut Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge. It’s a rare occurrence in his Hall of Fame career.

    He has played the event 15 times, going back to when it was known as the Bob Hope Classic. He has won it twice.

    How rare is his missing the cut there?

    The last time he did so, there was no such thing as a DVD, Wi-Fi, iPods, Xbox, DVR capability or YouTube.

    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    The PGA Tour’s Jon Rahm didn’t exist, either.

    The last time Mickelson missed a cut in this event was 1994, nine months before Rahm was born.

    Mickelson struggled to a 2-over-par 74 in the heavy winds Saturday on the PGA West Stadium Course, missing the 54-hole cut by four shots. He hit just four of 14 fairways, just nine of 18 greens. He took a double bogey at the 15th after requiring two shots to escape the steep-walled bunker on the left side of the green.

    Mickelson won’t have to wait long to try to get back in the hunt. He’s scheduled to play the Farmers Insurance Open next week at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif.