Furyk Still Ahead Thanks to Eagle

By Sports NetworkJune 24, 2005, 4:00 pm
HARRISON, N.Y. -- Jim Furyk posted a 2-under 69 on Friday to remain atop the leaderboard after 36 holes of the Barclays Classic. He stands at 8-under-par 134 and leads by one over Brian Gay at Westchester Country Club.
Jim Furyk
Jim Furyk is seeking his first tour win since the 2003 Buick Open.
Padraig Harrington (65), Len Mattiace (65), Kenny Perry (68), John Senden (67) and Hidemichi Tanaka (68) are knotted in third place at 6-under-par 136. Kevin Sutherland is alone in eighth place at minus-4 after a second-round 68.
Furyk began his second round on the back nine and parred his first five holes. He tried to cut a driver around the trees at 15, but struck one and fell backward. Furyk hit a low slice in front of the green, but took three to get in the hole and left with bogey.
At the par-5 18th, Furyk laid up with his second, then hit a wedge to 6 feet to set up birdie. He hit an 8-iron 18 feet from the flag at the third, then rolled that in for a birdie.
The remaining holes were quite interesting for Furyk, the 2003 U.S. Open champion. He parred four, then missed a 3-footer for birdie at No. 5. It was another missed opportunity at 6 when his 12-foot birdie putt did not fall.
Things got worse for Furyk on the par-4 seventh. His drive did not roll far enough past the tress and he hit a branch with his second. Furyk managed to get his third on to the green, but the ball rolled back off the putting surface. He chipped his fourth 10 feet past the hole and Furyk holed the breaking putt to save bogey.
Furyk hit a good drive at eight that cleared the trees, but had a decision as to go with an 8- or 9-iron. His caddie talked him into a soft 8-iron and the decision paid off, as Furyk's ball landed, rolled a few feet and fell into the cup for an eagle.
He parred No. 9 to polish off his wild finish and his round of 69.
'I had kind of a wild ride there,' said Furyk. 'I kind of flipped back and forth there a bunch those last few holes. Had some opportunities that I wasted, hit some great shots that went in the hole; so it was kind of an exciting finish.'
After Furyk opened with a 6-under 65 on Thursday, he remained cautious about having an 18-hole lead. His lead is down to one, but the four-time Ryder Cupper is more comfortable on Friday.
'It is a good feeling after coming off a good round yesterday,' said Furyk. 'I separated myself from the field a little bit. I am happy with the position I am in. I played well the first two days and tried to put myself in a good position.'
Gay also played the back nine first on Friday and his first drive landed in a divot on the fairway. He knocked a pitching-wedge 15 feet below the hole and ran home the birdie putt.
He dropped a shot at 13 when his ball ran through the green. Gay collected a pair of birdies at 15 and 17, both from inside 7 feet, to make the turn at 2-under 33.
Gay played even par through the first four holes, then caught fire late in his round. At the par-5 fifth, Gay laid up, then hit a wedge to 10 feet to set up birdie. He made it two in a row with a seven-foot birdie putt at the par-3 sixth.
Gay got within one of the lead at the par-5 ninth. He reached the green in two and lipped out his eagle try. Gay tapped in for birdie and sole possession of second place.
'It just feels good to play well,' admitted Gay, who has only two top-25s and eight missed cuts in 2005. 'It's always good to be in a position to have a chance, and hopefully I'll have a good weekend and just continue to play smart. I don't know what to say besides that.'
Vijay Singh, a two-time winner of this event, struggled to an even-par 71 on Friday and is tied for ninth place with Tom Pernice, Jr., who shot a second-round 69. The duo is tied at 3-under-par 139.
Defending champion Sergio Garcia carded an even-par 71 and is part of a group tied for 33rd place at 1-over-par 143.
The 36-hole cut fell at 3-over-par 145 and among the notable players who will not be around on the weekend are 2002 winner Chris Smith (146), Jay Haas (147) and Fred Couples (147).
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    What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

    Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

    Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

    Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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    Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

    Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

    While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

    The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

    So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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    Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

    By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

    The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

    As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

    Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

    And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

    And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

    McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

    The Ryder Cup topped his list.

    Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

    When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

    “Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”

    McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

    Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

    “The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

    European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

    And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

    The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

    Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

    And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

    Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

    The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

    The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

    More bulletin board material, too.

    Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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    Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

    Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

    The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

    It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

    The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

    “I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

    Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.