Furyk Still Hoping to Defend Title


Dont count Jim Furyk out of the U.S. Open just yet.
Furyk practiced Sunday at Shinnecock Hills, saying that he still holds out hope of being able to defend his title when the seasons second major championship starts Thursday.
I had a real good week practice-wise, as far as my wrist was concerned, Furyk told The Golf Channel Sunday. Right now Im not sure if Im going to be able to play in the U.S. Open, but the fact that Im here is good news. Im going to play some nine-hole practice rounds and see how things feel, play it by ear.
Furyk, who had surgery on his left wrist March 22, said his wrist started bothering him at last years British Open and continued to be an annoyance and an increasing pain over the remainder of the season. He tried rest, but when the conservative approach proved ineffective ' and when he further aggravated it in February ' surgery was required to repair the torn cartilage.
He hasnt played since the Sony Open.
His doctor initially gave him a three-to-six month window of recovery, under which the U.S. Open did not fall. His early goal was to make sure that he was fully healed by the Ryder Cup in mid-September, six months after the surgery, but he feels he will be ready for competition much sooner ' perhaps this week.
Im hoping that Ill tee it up Thursday, but Im not positive. Well see how my wrist feels, said Furyk, who won his first major a year ago at Olympia Fields.
Furyk has missed only one U.S. Open since joining the PGA Tour: 1995 at Shinnecock.
Of course, the U.S. Open is synonymous with thick rough. And Shinnecock Hills has plenty of dense heather as well. In 95, Tiger Woods had to withdraw during the second round after injuring his wrist while trying to play out of the rough.
If Im concerned ' Im going to go in there and try and play out of it, and if I cant do it then Im not going to tee it up Thursday, Furyk said.
The heather, the really thick stuff is unplayable. If and when I hit it in that area Im going to have to be very careful. As far as playing out of the regular rough I think I should be OK.
He said its questionable as to whether or not he would be attempting to come back this soon were he not the reigning U.S. Open champion.
If I wasnt defending I dont know. Knowing when to pull the trigger and knowing when the right time is, its hard. I dont know, he said.
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