Furyk to Defend Title at Buick Open

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GRAND BLANC, Mich. -- Jim Furyk really enjoyed being Mr. Mom. Now, he's ready to go back to playing golf most of the year.
 
Furyk confirmed on Monday his plans to defend the Buick Open title at the end of July. He made the announcement one day after the end of the U.S. Open, his first competitive outing since having wrist surgery in January.
 
'I've never spent six months at home, straight, before. It was awkward, but it was very fun spending time with my kids,' Furyk said in a conference call during Buick Open media day. 'It gave me time to reflect, and sit back and think about golf, and also to get away from it and get refreshed.
 
'It was lot of fun for the family to almost be normal again, instead of traveling. I'll miss some of that, but it's also good to be back, playing and doing my job.'
 
Furyk was thrilled to have an opportunity to defend his U.S. Open title at Shinnecock Hills after having surgery on his left wrist in March. He made the cut by one shot, then struggled on the weekend - like many did - and finished tied for 48th at 18 over.
 
'I was really surprised at how well physically I was at the U.S. Open,' he said. 'I didn't expect to be there, to start with.'
 
Furyk, who will relax this week, plans to compete every other week and to limit the amount of time he practices to aid his comeback.
 
His next tournament will be the Western Open (July 1-4), followed by the British Open (July 15-18) and Buick Open (July 29-Aug. 1).
 
'I've always really enjoyed Warwick Hills, and the Flint area. It's been one of my favorite events,' Furyk said. 'I'm looking forward to coming back and defending this year.'
 
Furyk will have a shot at being the tournament's first back-to-back winner since Tony Lema in 1964-65.
 
Vijay Singh, John Daly, K.J. Choi, Jose Maria Olazabal, Jeff Sluman and Billy Andrade also will be part of the 156-player field, which is expected to be sprinkled with notable players by the July 23 deadline.
 
Tiger Woods has not said yet whether he will participate.
 
'He makes his own schedule and we try to influence it with our relationship, so we're hopeful,' said Larry Peck, Buick's golf marketing manager.
 
Outside the Warwick Hills clubhouse on Monday morning were Buick Rendezvous sport utility vehicles with Woods' likeness on them to promote the Buick Open.
 
Woods has had a sponsorship agreement with Buick since 1999, and agreed to a new deal this year with the automaker believed to be worth more than $40 million over the next five years. Buick has said the contract does not require Woods to play in specific PGA Tour events it sponsors.
 
The purse for the event will be a record $4.5 million, up $500,000 from last year. The purse for the inaugural Buick Open in 1958 was $52,000.
 
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