Furyk Will Try to Defend at Shinnecock

By Rich LernerJune 14, 2004, 4:00 pm
It looked like business as usual. Fluff Cowan toweled off a sand wedge and handed it to his man. The defending U.S. Open champion then proceeded to do what he does better than maybe all but a few human beings on the planet. Pitch the ball close to the hole.
Jim Furyk is back, his heart stronger than the surgically repaired wrist which kept him away from competition for six months.
Its the U.S. Open, its Shinnecock, and Im the defending champion, he told me after a short game session on a breezy, beautiful Sunday. Otherwise I wouldve waited.
The target all along had been next months Western Open. That changed while practicing at home in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
I had a really good week last week, he said. Im not sure Im ready but Im close enough to show up. Ill play practice rounds and give it a try.
Its an effort New Yorkers will appreciate. I reminded Furyk that New York Knicks basketball great Willis Reed cemented his legend more than 30 years ago when he dragged his battered leg to center court to jump ball against the taller, healthier and more talented Wilt Chamberlain for game seven of the NBA Finals. The garden came unhinged. Willis scored the first four points. He left the game minutes later, and the Knicks went on to destroy the Lakers.
Ill welcome some of that, Furyk said with a smile.
Naturally, hes realistic. Is my game 100 percent? You cant take six months off then come back and play Shinnecock and expect a whole lot. Im just trying to get back in the flow.

Furyks also proceeding with caution over the next two days. Hell play no more than nine holes and limit the amount of balls he hits. By Tuesday afternoon he should know for certain if hell be teeing off in round one on Thursday.
If I have any pain, Ill withdraw, he said plainly. Im not crazy. If I cant take a swing in the rough, then Im done.
His doctor, Andrew Weiland, is based in Manhattan and will be nearby to help in the ultimate decision.
Had he not injured the wrist, Furyk might well have been in good position to defend. His talents are well suited to Shinnecock.
Boy is it difficult, he said. At Olympia Fields it didnt matter if you drew it or cut it off the tee. But here you have to work it. And the greens are extremely severe in spots. You have to put the ball in the correct position. Definitely, you have to think here.
Asked for a player to watch outside of the obvious heavyweights, he offered David Toms.
He can work it both ways, Furyk explained. He doesnt make a lot of mistakes. Sounds a lot like Corey Pavin.
Sounds a lot like Jim Furyk, who says he missed the game but that contrary to what some good natured friends had predicted, the layoff didnt kill him. He spent time with his young family'wife Tabitha, six month old Tanner and two year old Cali. If he couldnt polish his game, he did sharpen his perspective.
Things can change in a hurry, he said. I appreciate that Ive been able to play this game for the last 10 to 12 years. But Im hungry get to back, too.
Jim Furyk is hungry again. Business as usual.
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    Watch: Tiger throws dart, pours in birdie at 8

    By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 18, 2018, 7:31 pm

    Starting Sunday five off the lead, Tiger Woods teed off his final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational with a laced 2-iron and a par at No. 1.

    Woods hit the green at the par-3 second but left himself a 50-foot birdie putt and a 6-footer to save par, which we walked in.

    A two-putt 4 at the par-5 fourth gave Woods his first birdie of the day and moved him to 8 under for the week. Apparently energized, Tiger pulled driver at the short par-4 fifth and unleashed this violent swing.

    A pitch from the thick rough hit a sprinkler head and stopped on the apron, leading to this birdie try, which fortunately hit the pin but unfortunately didn't fall.

    Looking to pick up another stroke - or two - at the par-5 sixth, Woods took his drive 317 yards over the water and hit this second shot from 227 yards to 13 feet, leading to another two-putt birdie when his eagle try burned the right edge.

    Returning to his trusty 2-iron, Tiger found the fairway at par-4 eighth and then threw this dart from 176 yards to 6 feet and rolled in his third birdie putt of the day to move to 10 under.

    (More coming...)

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    Tiger Tracker: Arnold Palmer Invitational

    By Tiger TrackerMarch 18, 2018, 5:00 pm

    Tiger Woods will start Sunday five off the lead at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. How will he follow up last week's runner-up? We're tracking him at Bay Hill.

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    McIlroy: Time for Tour to limit alcohol sales on course

    By Ryan LavnerMarch 18, 2018, 1:50 pm

    ORLANDO, Fla. – Rory McIlroy suggested Saturday that the PGA Tour might need to consider curbing alcohol sales to stop some of the abusive fan behavior that has become more prevalent at events.

    McIlroy said that a fan repeatedly yelled his wife’s name (Erica) during the third round at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

    “I was going to go over and have a chat with him,” McIlroy said. “I think it’s gotten a little much, to be honest. I think they need to limit the alcohol sales on the course, or they need to do something, because every week it seems like guys are complaining about it more and more.

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    “I know that people want to come and enjoy themselves, and I’m all for that, but sometimes when the comments get personal and people get a little bit rowdy, it can get a little much.”

    This isn’t the first time that McIlroy has voiced concerns about fan behavior on Tour. Last month at Riviera, he said the rowdy spectators probably cost Tiger Woods a half-shot a round, and after two days in his featured group he had a splitting headache.

    A week later, at the Honda Classic, Justin Thomas had a fan removed late in the final round.

    McIlroy believes the issue is part of a larger problem, as more events try to replicate the success of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, which has one of the liveliest atmospheres on Tour.

    “It’s great for that tournament, it’s great for us, but golf is different than a football game, and there’s etiquette involved and you don’t want people to be put off from bringing their kids when people are shouting stuff out,” he said. “You want people to enjoy themselves, have a good day.”

    As for a solution, well, McIlroy isn’t quite sure.

    “It used to be you bring beers onto the course or buy beers, but not liquor,” he said. “And now it seems like everyone’s walking around with a cocktail. I don’t know whether (the solution) is to go back to letting people walking around with beers in their hands. That’s fine, but I don’t know.”

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    Confident Lincicome lurking after 54 holes at Founders

    By Randy SmithMarch 18, 2018, 2:45 am

    PHOENIX – Brittany Lincicome is farther back than she wanted to be going into Sunday at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup, but she’s in a good place.

    She’s keeping the momentum of her season-opening Pure Silk Bahamas Classic victory going this year.

    Her confidence is high.

    “Last year, I won in the Bahamas, but then I didn't do anything after that,” Lincicome said. “I don't even know if I had a top 10 after my win in the Bahamas. Obviously, this year, I want to be more consistent.”

    Lincicome followed up her victory in the Bahamas this year with a tie for seventh in her next start at the Honda LPGA Thailand. And now she’s right back on another leaderboard with the year’s first major championship just two weeks away. She is, by the way, a two-time winner at the ANA Inspiration.

    Missy Pederson, Lincicome’s caddie, is helping her player keep that momentum going with more focus on honing in the scoring clubs.

    “One of our major goals is being more consistent,” Pederson said. “She’s so talented, a once in a generation talent. I’m just trying to help out in how to best approach every golf course.”

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    Pederson has helped Lincicome identify the clubs they’re likely to attack most with on the particular course they are playing that week, to spend more time working with those clubs in practice. It’s building confidence.

    “I know the more greens we hit, and the more chances we give ourselves, the more our chances are to be in contention,” Pederson said. “Britt is not big into stats or details, so I have to figure out how to best consolidate that information, to get us exactly where we need to be.”

    Lincicome’s growing comfort with clubs she can attack with is helping her confidence through a round.

    “I’ve most noticed consistency in her mental game, being able to handle some of the hiccups that happen over the course of a round,” Pederson said. “Whereas before, something might get under her skin, where she might say, `That’s what always happens,’ now, it’s, `All right, I know I’m good enough to get this back.’ I try to get her in positions to hit the clubs we are really hitting well right now.”

    That’s leading to a lot more birdies, fewer bogeys and more appearances on leaderboards in the start to this year.