“I’ve heard those two words [I’m sorry] about 150 times today,” Furyk said as he boarded a plane that would take him back to his home in northern Florida. “I’ve got no one to blame but myself. If you ask me how I feel about the rule now, I’m in a no-win situation .Last week I could have spoken open and freely about how I wasn’t in favor of penalizing guys Thursday for something they did Wednesday. If I do that this week, I’m a whiner.”
Maybe not, but Furyk is a two-time winner in 2010, which means his DQ from the FedEx Cup playoff opener puts a serious crimp in his pursuit of the overall title, which is worth $10 million, which will buy you a lot of alarm clocks. Having awakened on his own at 7:23 for a 7:30 shotgun start, Furyk dashed to the course in record time, something fairly close to a New York minute.
He arrived at the course at approximately 7:35 – PGA Tour rules stipulate you have a five-minute grace period on pro-am and tournament starts. There was just one problem: Furyk was teeing off on the 11th hole in the morning shotgun.
“I was hoping no one would ask me that,” Furyk said of his feelings on the Tour’s mandatory expulsion for those who do not play in the Wednesday gathering. “I’ve never thought it was a great rule. I understand the need for something, but I voted against it. I’ve never been one to skip out on the pro-ams, but a rule is a rule.
And some are uncool. Furyk entered the week trailing only Ernie Els and Steve Stricker in the FedEx Cup standings, but this latest occurrence will cost him heavily in a postseason points system designed to be volatile. It’s hard to say where Furyk will rank when play ends Sunday night – though the Tour said it won’t be worse than 19th – but this would have been an ideal venue for him if the course dries up, which is likely to be the case by the weekend.
We’ll leave the last word to the man who ranks right behind Furyk in the standings.
“The rule itself applies to only half the field,” said Phil Mickelson. “So if you’re going to have a rule that does not apply to everybody, because everybody doesn’t play in the pro-am, you cannot have it affect the competition. There has to be a different penalty. I cannot disagree with it more. I have no idea how the commissioner [Tim Finchem] let this rule go through. It’s ridiculous.”