Memorial Road Leads to Majors


Jim Furyk wants to be a major champion. And as the years go by, he continues to climb the tenuous ladder that leads to the title Best Player to Never Win a Major.
But if the past is harbinger of things to come then a breakthrough may be on the horizon.
Nine of the last 10 players to win the Memorial Tournament have won or have gone on to win at least one of golfs four biggest titles. Furyk, the lone exception, would soon like to make it 10-in-a-row.
First, however, he has some business to take care of in Dublin, Ohio, where he came from behind to win last years Memorial Tournament by two shots over John Cook and David Peoples.
Furyk has made a habit of wiping away 54-hole deficits en route to victory. He was three back after three rounds of the 2000 Doral event, shot a Sunday 65 and won. He was four back heading into the final round of the 2001 Mercedes Championships, shot 67 and won. And last year, he won at Muirfield Village by filling in a five-shot hole with a closing 65.
Four of Furyks seven career PGA Tour victories have been in come-from-behind fashion (He also won the 1996 Hawaiian Open when trailing by one through three rounds.). In fact, hes never converted a 54-hole lead into victory in a 72-hole event. His three other triumphs came when leading after four rounds of the 90-hole Las Vegas Classic.
With only two events remaining before the U.S. Open, the tour regains a bit of normalcy.
Annika Sorenstam is gone, and Tiger Woods has returned.
Woods is making just his second start since the Masters Tournament, where he tied for 15th. He competed in the European Tours Deutsche Bank SAP-Open two weeks ago and tied for 29th.
The worlds No. 1-ranked player was vying for his third consecutive victory in Germany ' something that hes already accomplished at the Memorial.
Woods won from 1999 to 2001. He tied for 22nd in his effort for a four-peat after breaking 70 only once in 2002.
He is joined in the field by tournament host Jack Nicklaus, Ernie Els, Padraig Harrington, Davis Love III, Vijay Singh and Mike Weir.
The purse is $5 million, with $700,000 going to the winner.
Related Links
  • PGA Tour Statistical Preview
  • Full coverage of the Memorial Tournament