Furyk claims Tour Championship FedEx Cup title

By Doug FergusonSeptember 27, 2010, 1:36 am
2006 The TOUR Championship presented by Coca-ColaATLANTA – The biggest shot of his career gave Jim Furyk the biggest payoff in golf.

Clinging to a one-shot lead, with a $10 million bonus riding on the outcome, Furyk nearly holed a bunker shot and knocked in the 2 1/2 -foot par putt he had left to win the Tour Championship and capture a FedEx Cup that came down to the very last hole Sunday.

Furyk closed with an even-par 70 for a one-shot victory over Luke Donald in a steady rain at East Lake.

Donald, who chipped in from 100 feet for birdie on the 17th hole to keep his hopes alive, was waiting in the scoring trailer when Furyk hit his hybrid on the 230-yard closing hole into the bunker. A bogey would mean a sudden-death playoff to decide the FedEx Cup.

It was the 16th career victory for Furyk, but none that ended like this.

When he rapped in his short par putt with his cap turned backward, he plucked the ball out of the cup, just like always. Then, he dropped his putter and turned toward the grandstand with a powerful thrust of his fist and screamed with delight.

Furyk earned $1.35 million for winning the tournament, and $10 million from the FedEx Cup. He moves to No. 5 in the world ranking.

In its fourth year, it was by far the most riveting finale of the FedEx Cup. With an hour to go, the five players who had a chance to win the cup included Nick Watney, who started the week as the No. 28 seed in a 30-man field.

It was all in Furyk’s hands when he birdied the 15th to build a three-shot lead, and Paul Casey bogeyed the 17th hole ahead of him. But Furyk had to scramble for bogey on the 16th, couldn’t reach the green on the 17th and made another bogey as he watched his lead slip to a single shot playing one of the toughest holes at East Lake.

The sand shot could pay off in more ways than a big bonus. It was the third victory of the year for Furyk, which could be enough for him to be voted PGA Tour player of the year. No one else has won more than twice.

The $10 million should at least help buy the greatest alarm clock ever made.

Furyk was the No. 3 seed when the playoffs began, but was disqualified from the opener when he missed his pro-am time at The Barclays because the battery died in his cell phone, which he used for an alarm.

In the end, Furyk joined Tiger Woods as the only FedEx Cup champions to miss the first playoff event – Woods in 2007 because he didn’t want to play, Furyk this year because he couldn’t.

Furyk finished at 8 under to become the first player to be outside the top 10 in the standings at the Tour Championship to win. Matt Kuchar, the No. 1 seed, shot a 71 and tied for 25th. This Sunday was so bizarre that Kuchar still had a chance to win the FedEx Cup.

Kuchar wound up second in the FedEx Cup and earns a $3 million bonus. Donald, who closed with a 70, moved up to third in the standings and picked up an extra $2 million.

Retief Goosen also had a chance at East Lake until a bogey on the 17th. He shot a 71 and finished alone in third at the Tour Championship. Watney (67) and Casey (69) tied for fourth.

The celebration was dampened by a two-hour rain delay that sent most of the fans home from East Lake. For those who stayed, it was tough to applaud with one hand on the umbrella as the rain pounded the players over the final hour of competition.

Even so, a FedEx Cup finale has never had so many possibilities, so much movement.

Watney wasn’t even a remote candidate when he went into the weekend tied for 25th in the 30-man field, 13 shots out of the lead. Then came a 63 in the third round, and he kept right on going. Watney shot a 28 on the back nine Saturday, then had a 30 on the front nine Sunday to pull within one shot of the lead.

Even as the 28th seed, Watney could have won the FedEx Cup with a victory at East Lake, provided top-seeded Matt Kuchar did not finish alone in 25th. Kuchar missed a 7-foot par putt on the final hole. He wound up in a two-way for 25th.

That became irrelevant when Watney failed to birdie the par-5 15th and made his first bogey of the round on the 16th.

Furyk took the lead for good on the fourth hole, and really showed his mettle at the start of the back nine. He saved par with a 6-foot putt on the 10th hole, made a 15-foot birdie on the 11th and escaped big trouble on the 12th when he pulled his tee shot into the trees. He got his next shot into the front bunker, blasted out to 4 feet and walked off with a par.

With the rain at its heaviest, he drilled a hybrid onto the green at the 15th and two-putted for birdie, giving him a three-shot lead. Then came the back-to-back bogeys, turning the final hole of the tournament – and the FedEx Cup – into a nail-biter.

Winning the Tour Championship was important in its own right – it’s the first time Furyk has won three tournaments in a year.

But even with a three-shot lead, the FedEx Cup remained in doubt.

Casey, who has not won a tournament all year, could have claimed the $10 million bonus by finishing alone in second place. Casey was at 6 under – one shot behind Goosen in second – when he hit his approach toward the corporate tents on the 17th. After a free drop, he hit a wedge to just outside 5 feet and badly missed the putt.

Furyk has no time to celebrate. He was to join his teammates on a charter flight to Wales on Sunday night with another cup to try to win – the Ryder Cup – this one worth no money at all.

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Randall's Rant: Tiger vs. Phil feels like a ripoff

By Randall MellOctober 15, 2018, 7:45 pm

Usually, you have to buy something before you feel like you were ripped off.

The wonder in the marketing of Tiger vs. Phil and “The Match” is how it is making so many people feel as if they are getting ripped off before they’ve shelled out a single penny for the product.

Phil Mickelson gets credit for this miscue.

Apparently, the smartest guy in the room isn’t the smartest marketing guy.

He was a little bit like that telemarketer who teases you into thinking you’ve won a free weekend getaway, only to lead you into the discovery that there’s a shady catch, with fine print and a price tag.

There was something as slippery as snake oil in the original pitch.

In Mickelson’s eagerness to create some excitement, he hinted back during The Players in May about the possibility of a big-money, head-to-head match with Woods. A couple months later, he leaked more details, before it was ready to be fully announced.

So while there was an initial buzz over news of the Thanksgiving weekend matchup, the original pitch set up a real buzzkill when it was later announced that you were only going to get to see it live on pay-per-view.

The news landed with a thud but no price tag. We’re still waiting to see what it’s going to cost when these two meet at Shadow Creek in Las Vegas, but anything that feels even slightly inflated now is going to further dampen the original enthusiasm Mickelson created.

Without Woods or Mickelson putting up their own money, this $9 million winner-take-all event was always going to feel more like a money grab than real competition.

When we were expecting to see it on network or cable TV, we didn’t care so much. Tiger and Phil’s hands would have felt as if they were reaching into corporate America’s pockets. Now, it feels as if they’re digging into ours.

Last week, there was more disappointing news, with the Las Vegas Review-Journal reporting that tickets won’t be sold to the public, that the match at Shadow Creek will only be open to select sponsors and VIPs.



Now there’s a larger insult to the common fan, who can’t help but feel he isn’t worthy or important enough to gain admittance.

Sorry, but that’s how news of a closed gate landed on the heels of the pay-per-view news.

“The Match” was never going to be meaningful golf in any historical sense.

This matchup was never going to rekindle the magic Tiger vs. Phil brought in their epic Duel at Doral in ’05.

The $9 million was never going to buy the legitimacy a major championship or PGA Tour Sunday clash could bring.

It was never going to be more than an exhibition, with no lingering historical significance, but that was OK as quasi silly-season fare on TV on Thanksgiving weekend (Nov. 23), the traditional weekend of the old Skins Game.

“The Match” still has a chance to be meaningful, but first and foremost as entertainment, not real competition. That’s what this was always going to be about, but now the bar is raised.

Pay per view does that.

“You get what you pay for” is an adage that doesn’t apply to free (or already-paid for) TV. It does to pay per view. Expectations go way up when you aren’t just channel surfing to a telecast. So the higher the price tag they end up putting on this showdown, the more entertaining this has to be.

If Phil brings his “A-Game” to his trash talking, and if Tiger can bring some clever repartee, this can still be fun. If the prerecorded segments wedged between shots are insightful, even meaningful in their ability to make us understand these players in ways we didn’t before, this will be worthwhile.

Ultimately, “The Match” is a success if it leaves folks who paid to see it feeling as if they weren’t as ripped off as the people who refused to pay for it. That’s the handicap a history of free golf on TV brings. Welcome to pay-per-view, Tiger and Phil.

Celia Barquin Arozamena Iowa State University athletics

Trial date set for drifter charged with killing Barquin Arozamena

By Associated PressOctober 15, 2018, 7:28 pm

AMES, Iowa – A judge has scheduled a January trial for a 22-year-old Iowa drifter charged with killing a top amateur golfer from Spain.

District Judge Bethany Currie ruled Monday that Collin Richards will stand trial Jan. 15 for first-degree murder in the death of Iowa State University student Celia Barquin Arozamena.

Richards entered a written not guilty plea Monday morning and waived his right to a speedy trial. The filing canceled an in-person arraignment hearing that had been scheduled for later Monday.

Investigators say Richards attacked Barquin on Sept. 17 while she was playing a round at a public course in Ames, near the university campus. Her body was found in a pond on the course riddled with stab wounds.

Richards faces life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted.

LeBron's son tries golf, and he might be good at everything

By Grill Room TeamOctober 15, 2018, 5:36 pm

LeBron James' son seems well on his way to a successful basketball career of his own. To wit:

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Finally got it down lol

A post shared by Bronny James (@bronnyjames.jr) on

But with just a little work, he could pass on trying to surpass his father and try to take on Tiger and Jack, instead.

Bronny posted this video to Instagram of him in sandals whacking balls off a mat atop a deck into a large body of water, which is the golfer's definition of living your best life.

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How far, maybe 400 #happygilmore

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If you listen closely, at the end of the clip, you can just barely hear someone scream out for a marine biologist.

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Sponsored: Callaway's 'Golf Lives: Home Course'

By Grill Room TeamOctober 15, 2018, 4:20 pm

In this original series, Callaway sets out to profile unique golf locations around the country based on their stories, communities and the characters that surround them. The golf cultures across the series are remarkably diverse, yet in all cases it's the course itself that unifies and ignites the passions of those who play.

“Golf Lives: Home Course” focuses on three distinct home courses across the country – one in D.C., one in Nebraska and one in Portland, Ore. All have very different golf cultures, but are connected by a deep love of the game.

Click here for a look at all three episodes in the series, as well as past Golf Lives films (check out the trailer below).



And here’s a breakdown of the three courses in focus: 

FILM 1

Langston Golf Course (Washington, D.C.)

Opened in June 1939, Langston is steeped in a rich history. Known for its triumphant role in the desegregation of public golf, the course has been integral to the growth of the game’s popularity among African Americans. With its celebratory feel, Langston shows us golf is not unifies individuals, but generations. 


FILM 2

Edgefield Golf Course (Portland, Ore.)

The air is fresh, the beers are cold and the vibes are electric at Edgefield. You'd be hard pressed to find a more laid back, approachable and enjoyable environment for a round. Overlooking stunning panoramic views of northeast Portland, two par-3 pub courses (12 holes and 20 holes) wind through vineyards, thickets of blackberry bushes and a vintage distillery bar. All are welcome at Edgefield, especially those who have never swung a club. 


FILM 3

Wild Horse Golf Club (Gothenburg, Neb.)

In 1997, the locals and farmers living in the tight-knit town of Gothenburg decided to build a golf course. A bank loan, a couple of tractors, and a whole lotta sweat-equity later, their prairieland masterpiece is now considered one of the best in the country. Wild Horse is the soul of the community, providing unforgettable memories for all who play it.