Furyk: No one should feel sorry for me

By Will GrayJuly 29, 2014, 10:43 pm

AKRON, Ohio – Since the 2010 Tour Championship, Jim Furyk has teed it up in 87 PGA Tour events.

He has 26 top-10 finishes across that span, including six runner-ups, and has made just over $12.5 million.

What he doesn’t have is a win.

It’s been nearly four years since Furyk lifted both the Tour Championship and FedEx Cup trophies in the rain at East Lake, and since then the 44-year-old has discovered a variety of ways to lose a golf tournament.

He has seen heartbreak, like two years ago at Firestone when a double bogey on the 72nd hole handed the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational to Keegan Bradley.

“I lost the tournament here to Keegan,” Furyk said Tuesday as if two years has done little to assuage the pain from that particular defeat.

He has been in position to win but simply has been beaten by a better player, like last year at the PGA Championship at Oak Hill.

“Jason Dufner outplayed me,” he said. “I got no bones with that.”


WGC-Bridgestone Invitational: Articles, videos and photos


Then there are the instances when Furyk’s final-round lead evaporated at the hands of a player who got hot at the right time. It happened last year at the BMW Championship, when Zach Johnson passed him two days after Furyk shot a 59 at Conway Farms. It happened again last week, when Tim Clark snatched the RBC Canadian Open from him with a back-nine 30.

“No one hit it better than me in that tournament, I’ll promise you that,” Furyk said two days after losing to Clark by a shot. “I should have won that tournament, and I did not. My hat’s off to him because he did everything he needed to to win, and I did not.”

Make no mistake, each close call comes with a sizeable consolation prize. Furyk is now over $60 million in career earnings, and trails only Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Vijay Singh on the PGA Tour’s all-time money list. He has clinched another spot on the Ryder Cup team and will represent the U.S. for the ninth straight time.

But watching another player hold a trophy that was nearly his weighs on Furyk, and he admitted as much as he prepares for tournament No. 88 since his last victory.

“Each time I finish second, it definitely is testing my ability to be positive,” he said. “It’s a mental grind, if that makes sense, more than anything.”

Furyk’s current drought, which includes a streak of seven times failing to win after holding at least a share of the 54-hole lead, is yet another example that winning on the PGA Tour isn’t easy, and it’s certainly not as easy as Woods made it look over the last 17 years.

“Great players don’t win all the time,” said Gary Woodland, whose four top-10 finishes this season include a playoff loss at the CIMB Classic. “It’s hard to do. There’s tough competition out here from top to bottom.”

Jordan Spieth broke records when he won at age 19 last summer, but a successful 2014 campaign has yet to include a victory. While his close calls don’t resemble the heartache endured by Furyk, he echoed many of the veteran’s sentiments.

“It’s just like with a round of golf, once you get one to go your way it can open the floodgates,” Spieth said. “It’s tough when you come up short. I don’t care if I’m at a club championship or at a major, I want to win and it stings when you can’t close the deal.”

For Furyk, that sting has been somewhat negated this year by his impending Ryder Cup berth, especially after being left off the Presidents Cup squad at Muirfield Village last fall.

“I start out every year wanting to make the Presidents Cup or Ryder Cup team,” Furyk said. “I didn’t know if the last one would be the last, and I’m glad it’s not.”

He also employs the perspective of a man who has been on the PGA Tour for more than two decades.

“I’m not really a ‘feel sorry for me’ type of person,” he said. “I get to do what I love to do for a living. I play a game. I get to make a pretty darn good living doing it.

“I would venture that close to 100 percent of the world’s not going to feel too bad for me, and I don’t think they should.”

Even without a victory, Furyk’s season should be seen as a success. His trio of runner-up finishes include The Players Championship, and he has netted a top-15 in each of the first three majors.

But with each passing week, the burden to re-enter the winner’s circle grows as the memories of his most recent triumph continue to fade.

After another layer of scar tissue was created last week in Canada, will Furyk hesitate the next time he finds himself in contention?

Not exactly.

“What’s the worst thing that’s going to happen? I finish second again,” he said. “So it’s not the end of the world. I’ll be firing at the pin again, and I’ll be trying to bury the last hole. It will happen eventually.”

Lexi 'applaud's USGA, R&A for rules change

By Randall MellDecember 11, 2017, 5:15 pm

Lexi Thompson’s pain may prove to be the rest of golf’s gain.

David Rickman, the R&A’s executive director of governance, acknowledged on Golf Channel’s "Morning Drive" Monday that the new protocols that will eliminate the use of TV viewer call-ins and emails to apply penalties was hastened by the controversy following Thompson’s four-shot penalty at the ANA Inspiration in early April. The new protocols also set up rules officials to monitor TV broadcasts beginning next year.

“Clearly, that case has been something of a focus point for us,” Rickman said.

Thompson reacted to the new protocols in an Instagram post.

“I applaud the USGA and the R&A for their willingness to revise the Rules of Golf to address certain unfortunate situations that have arisen several times in the game of golf,” Thompson wrote. “In my case, I am thankful no one else will have to deal with an outcome such as mine in the future.”

Thompson was penalized two shots for improperly returning her ball to its mark on a green during Saturday’s round after a viewer emailed LPGA officials during Sunday’s broadcast. She was penalized two more shots for signing an incorrect scorecard for her Saturday round. Thompson ultimately lost in a playoff to So Yeon Ryu.

The new protocols will also eliminate the additional two-shot penalty a player receives for failing to include a penalty when a player was unaware of the penalty.

Shortly after the ANA Inspiration, the USGA and R&A led the formation of a video review working group, which included the PGA Tour, LPGA, European Tour, Ladies European Tour and PGA of America.

Also, just three weeks after Thompson was hit with the four-shot penalty, the USGA and R&A released a new Rules of Golf decision decision (34-3/10) limiting video evidence in two ways:

1. If an infraction can’t be seen with the naked eye, there’s no penalty, even if video shows otherwise.

2. If a tournament committee determines that a player does “all that can be reasonably expected to make an accurate estimation or measurement” in determining a line or position to play from or to spot a ball, then there will be no penalty even if video replay later shows that to be wrong.

While the USGA and R&A said the new decision wasn’t based on Thompson’s ANA incident, LPGA players immediately began calling it the “Lexi Rule.”

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PGA Tour, LPGA react to video review rules changes

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 1:32 pm

The USGA and R&A announced on Monday updates to the Rules of Golf, including no longer accepting call-ins relating to violations. The PGA Tour and LPGA, which were both part of a working group of entities who voted on the changes, issued the following statements:

PGA Tour:

The PGA Tour has worked closely with the USGA and R&A on this issue in recent years, and today's announcement is another positive step to ensure the Rules of Golf align with how the game is presented and viewed globally. The PGA Tour will adopt the new Local Rule beginning January 1, 2018 and evolve our protocols for reviewing video evidence as outlined.

LPGA:

We are encouraged by the willingness of the governing bodies to fully vet the issues and implement real change at a pace much quicker than the sport has seen previously. These new adaptations, coupled with changes announced earlier this year, are true and meaningful advances for the game. The LPGA plans to adopt fully the protocols and new Local Rule as outlined.

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Sharma closes on Monday, wins Joburg Open

By Associated PressDecember 11, 2017, 12:43 pm

JOHANNESBURG – Shubhankar Sharma won his first European Tour title by a shooting 3-under 69 Monday in the final round of the weather-delayed Joburg Open.

The 21-year-old Indian resumed his round on the eighth green after play was halted early Sunday afternoon because of storms. He parred that hole, birdied No. 9 and made par on every hole on the back nine.


Full-field scores from the Joburg Open


Sharma finished at 23-under 264, three strokes ahead of the pack, and qualified for next year's British Open, too.

''I actually wasn't going to come here about a week ago ... so I'm really happy that I came,'' said Sharma, who shot 61 in the second round. ''I don't think I'm ever going forget my first time in South Africa.''

Erik van Rooyen (66) was second, three strokes ahead of Shaun Norris (65) and Tapio Pulkkanen (68).

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 pm