Talk about a tough assignment!
Looking for a story on a guy who, in the words of Neal Lancaster, is straighter off the tee than cable wire, then Jim Furyk's your man. Looking for a story on the player who drops five-footers the way Mike Tyson used to drop the stiff of the month, then Jim Furyk's the right guy. Looking for a story on a 33-year-old who's now among a handful of favorites at tree lined Oak Hill, then hone in on Furyk.
But color? It's just not Furyk's style. Still, he did allow for a glimpse of a tender heart. During the awards presentation, Jim nearly cried when he explained that his wife, Tabitha, couldn't be here to share the moment with him for the first time since they married. She's home with the baby but will be at the PGA Championship.
There, Furyk will find tree-lined Oak Hill to his liking. He loves traditional golf courses, having grown up in eastern Pennsylvania playing Lancaster Country Club, a beautiful Willie Flynn design. And if Furyk does prevail, he's the player of the year with no questions asked. Win two majors and there's no debate.
His caddie, Fluff Cowan, told me that Jim's putting's improved, and he's always been one of the premier rollers of the golf ball. Fluff added that his man's a very good player, on the verge of greatness.
Interesting, Furyk's last four wins have come at the site where Tiger, Fluff's former bag, was defending champ--The Buick Open, The U.S. Open, The Memorial and the 2001 Mercedes Championship.
Looking for color? Fuyrk may not be exactly the right guy, and that suits him fine. Looking for a tough, steady and consistent winner? Furyk fits the bill very nicely, thank you.