By REX HOGGARDCall it the new math. Call it revisionist history. Call it a chance to keep history in perspective during an era that defies order and reason. Whatever the case, it’s time to call Jim Furyk, among others, a future Hall of Famer.
A decade ago 15 Tour titles and a U.S. Open high card would have been borderline, at best, for HOF selection. But that was before Tiger Woods started collecting hardware like octogenarians hoard green stamps.
In the 240 Tour events Woods has played since turning pro in 1996 he’s won 71, that’s roughly a .300 batting average. The world No. 1 has a similar line in the Grand Slam category with 51 starts and 14 take homes (.274). The point is, in the Tiger era it’s necessary, in all fairness, to grade on a curve.
Take 30 percent off the top of what used to be the norm for HOF selection – Ben Crenshaw, 19 Tour victories, two majors; Leo Diegel, 28 wins, two majors; Hubert Green, 19 wins, two majors; Hale Irwin, 20 wins, three majors; Johnny Miller, 25 wins, two majors – and Furyk’s card matches up favorably.
Do the math, 15 and one never looked so good, and is getting better all the time.
By RANDALL MELLJim Furyk is knocking on the door to the World Golf Hall of Fame, but he’s likely another major championship short of entry.
With 15 PGA Tour titles, including one major championship, his 2003 U.S. Open title, Furyk is on a doorstep that can leave a player feeling cold for want of access later in life.
In the modern era, Tommy Bolt, Tom Kite and Lanny Wadkins made it to the Hall of Fame with just a single major championship. Bolt also won 15 PGA Tour titles and a single major (the ’58 U.S. Open), but his “Thunder” Bolt persona aided his inclusion.
There are a handful of players with records similar to or better than Furyk’s who aren’t in the Hall of Fame. There’s Doug Ford (19 PGA Tour titles, two majors), Mark O’Meara (16 PGA Tour titles, two majors), Tom Weiskopf (16 PGA Tour titles, one major), Ken Venturi (14 PGA Tour titles, one major) and Jim Ferrier (18 PGA Tour titles, one major).
Furyk, who turns 40 on May 12, has an advantage in that he is still writing his story with a pair of victories in the last month initiating this early Hall of Fame conversation.