GFC Search

 

Florida Swing in Full Effect

RSS

After an exciting West Coast Swing, which saw nine different winners in nine events, the PGA Tour heads South for the first of four straight events in the Sunshine State, the Genuity Championship.
 
The name's changed but the location's the same. Formerly the Doral Ryder Open, the Genuity will be held on Doral Country Club's Blue Course in Miami, Fla., for the 40th time.
 
Behind the Scenes: Preparing the Blue Monster!
 
Course Preview: How is the course set-up for play?
 
Who to Watch: Who are people picking to win?
 
Defending champion Jim Furyk heads a field that includes David Duval, Ernie Els, Davis Love III, Jack and Gary Nicklaus, Greg Norman, Jesper Parnevik, Nick Price, Vijay Singh and Hal Sutton.
 
Also schedule to attend is Robert Allenby, the Tour's most recent winner. Allenby won the Nissan Open on the first extra hole of a six-man playoff.
 
The elder Nicklaus is making his first PGA Tour start of the season. Two weeks ago, Jack led after the first round of the Senior Tour's Verizon Classic. But followed his opening 67 with rounds of 71-75 to tie for 20th.
 
Duval is looking for a fresh start in his home state. The Ponte Vedra Beach resident skipped last week's Nissan Open to rest up for a run at the Masters, which will be contested April 5-8.
 
Speaking of the Masters, Singh is in top shape five weeks prior to his title defense. The Fijian has won consecutive events in Malaysia and Singapore. This will be his first stateside start since his runner-up finish at Pebble Beach.
 
The Genuity has been able to entice such a talented field thanks to a $1.5 million purse increase to $4.5 million overall. This year's winner will take home $810,000. Last year, Furyk was awarded $540,000.
 
Furyk needed a late rally and tournament-tying record score to take home the first prize in 2000. The unorthodox swinger won his first PGA Tour event outside of Las Vegas and Hawaii by overcoming a six-stroke deficit with seven holes to play in the final round.
 
Furyk earned his fifth career Tour triumph by carding six birdies for a back-nine 30. He shot 7-under-par 65 on the day for a 23-under-par 265 total, tying the tournament record set by Norman in 1993.
 
Franklin Langham was the unfortunate victim to Furyk's late rally. Langham held the lead for 28 consecutive holes but managed just two pars and no birdies over his final six holes for a 2-under-par 70.
 
It was the second straight year at Doral that a player going after his first Tour victory stumbled down the stretch. In 1999, Greg Kraft chunked a 5-iron into the water on the 18th to finish in second place.
 
Furyk's triumph at Doral awarded him a trip to the Mercedes Championships in January, which he won. Furyk overcame a four-stroke deficit as the day began by shooting a 4-under-par 67. He avoided a playoff when Rory Sabbatini missed a two-foot putt on the 72nd hole.