Furyk misses Presidents Cup for first time since '96

By Doug FergusonSeptember 4, 2013, 10:47 pm

Jim Furyk kept waiting for the phone to ring to learn about the Presidents Cup. News came from the buzz of a text message, a peculiar way to find out he would not be part of an American team for the first time since Tiger Woods was still trying to get his PGA Tour card.

U.S. captain Fred Couples used his captain's picks Wednesday on Webb Simpson and Jordan Spieth, the 20-year-old rookie and youngest American in Presidents Cup history.

''I'm disappointed,'' said Furyk, who began his streak of 15 consecutive teams at the 1997 Ryder Cup. ''I'm sure Dustin Johnson is disappointed and Bubba (Watson) is disappointed. Webb and Jordan, I think they're good picks and they're going to be excited. You've got to say 'yes' to somebody and 'no' to somebody.''


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Getting the news through a text was awkward, especially because Furyk at first thought the picks were to be announced on Tuesday, one day after the final qualifying event at the Deutsche Bank Championship.

''I felt he would pick Webb because he was so close to making the team, the difference of about $6,000 in the last tournament,'' Furyk said. ''I thought I was the last guy up in the air.''

Couples said Furyk and Steve Stricker were two players ''I wanted dearly to be on the team.'' Stricker was runner-up at the TPC Boston to earn one of the 10 qualifying spots. Furyk essentially was beaten out by Spieth, who started the year with no status and already has a win, a runner-up after losing in a playoff and is guaranteed a trip to the Tour Championship.

Couples said he couldn't handle a phone call, so he ''took the easy way out and sent him a text.''

''The whole thing was not fun,'' Couples said.

Furyk wound up 13th in the Presidents Cup standings, about $250,000 short of Zach Johnson at No. 10. Just his luck, this was a year like few others when it came to making two captain's picks. Couples narrowed it down to Furyk, Dustin Johnson, Spieth and Simpson. Furyk is No. 15 in the world, a higher ranking than every player on the International team except for Masters champion Adam Scott. Dustin Johnson is at No. 22, one spot behind Watson in the ranking.

''Before we started Boston, I was looking at the list of guys who could be picks - Stricker, DJ, Bubba ... wow, '' Furyk said. ''The bad news is it's always tough to pick. Everyone is going to argue what the right call is and hindsight is 20-20. He had so many good players in and around the top 12, he wasn't going to make a bad choice.''

Being left off the team was the latest blow for Furyk over the last few years. He had at least a share of the 54-hole lead three times last year without winning, including the U.S. Open. He finished bogey-bogey in the Ryder Cup to lose a pivotal singles match to Sergio Garcia. He also had a one-shot lead over Jason Dufner going into the final round of the PGA Championship, where Dufner outplayed him and closed with a 68 to win.

The Presidents Cup is Oct. 3-6 at Muirfield Village, where Furyk won the Memorial in 2002 and was runner-up to Tiger Woods in 2009. Furyk isn't sure where he'll be that week. He isn't sure if he will watch. These are questions he hasn't had to think about since 1996.

''I have a lot of good friends and teammates, guys I admire and respect on the team, as well as three captains,'' Furyk said. ''My heart will be with them. I'll be rooting hard for them.''

Furyk is seen as a shoo-in to be a Ryder Cup captain when the time is right, though missing out on a team isn't enough to make him think he won't be at Gleneagles next September for the next team competition in the Ryder Cup. Nor is being left out any additional motivation.

''I'm sure I'll hear that question a lot,'' he said. ''I'm not really a 'slight' guy. I'm not into bulletin-board material or whatever. I push myself hard and I expect a lot out of myself. I don't think I'll push myself any harder the next time.''

Meanwhile, he is No. 15 in the FedEx Cup, set for the Tour Championship and still with a chance at the $10 million prize. This year, that will have to do.

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Actor/Comedian Kevin Nealon Joins "Feherty," Monday, Aug. 20 at 9 p.m. ET

By Golf Channel Public RelationsAugust 16, 2018, 1:15 pm

Actor/comedian Kevin Nealon (Saturday Night Live) will join David Feherty on his self-titled, Emmy-nominated series Feherty presented by Farmers Insurance®, Monday at 9 p.m. ET on Golf Channel.

Filmed at the Laugh Factory in Los Angeles last month, the episode will focus on numerous topics, including:

  • Nealon discussing his start in comedy in Los Angeles, where he worked as a bartender and filled in for comics who failed to show up for their act.
  • Reminiscing about his appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson in 1984.
  • Reflecting on his nine-year run as a cast member on Saturday Night Live.
  • Recounting the time when his golf ball struck Adam Sandler during a round they were playing with filming Happy Gilmore.
  • Recalling time spent with Arnold Palmer during the filming of a commercial a few years ago.

The following Monday (Aug. 27), Feherty will be joined by 20-time LPGA Tour winner Cristie Kerr at 9 p.m. ET, and then on Monday, Sept. 3 (9 p.m. ET), major champion Jimmy Walker will join as a guest for the series’ season finale.

A two-time Emmy-nominated host (Outstanding Sports Personality – Studio Host) Feherty has been described as “golf’s iconoclast,” by Rolling Stone, and “the last unscripted man on TV,” by Men’s Journal. His all-star lineup of golf-enthused and culturally relevant guests feature celebrities from across entertainment, sports and politics. To date, Feherty has sat down with four U.S. Presidents (Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump); sports legends Charles Barkley, Nick Saban, Stephen Curry and Bobby Knight; Hollywood icons Matthew McConaughey, Larry David and Samuel L. Jackson; World Golf of Fame members Nancy Lopez, Jack Nicklaus, Annika Sorenstam, Lee Trevino and Tom Watson; and a host of current golf superstars including Paula Creamer, Jason Day, Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and Michelle Wie. Feherty is produced by Golf Channel’s original productions group, which also oversees production for Driver vs. Driver, Golf Films as well as the network’s instruction platforms.

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Thomas talks Tiger, plays 'Facebreakers' on 'Tonight Show'

By Grill Room TeamAugust 16, 2018, 1:14 pm

Justin Thomas didn't successfully defend his title at last week's PGA Championship, but he did get a guest spot on "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon."

Thomas appeared on the talk show Wednesday night and, of course, a primary topic was Tiger Woods' run at the Wanamaker Trophy.



Thomas also played a game of "Facebreakers" with host Fallon, in which both men tried to break panes of glass emblazoned with the other's face with golf shots. Thomas nearly took out the real Fallon on his first shot, and after several uncessful attempts by both men, massive cheating ensued.

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Bhatia loses U.S. Am match after caddie-cart incident

By Ryan LavnerAugust 16, 2018, 2:21 am

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – One of the hottest players in amateur golf had his U.S. Amateur run end Wednesday under unusual circumstances.

Akshay Bhatia, the 16-year-old left-hander who has been dominating the junior golf circuit over the past year, squandered a late lead in his eventual 19-hole loss to Bradford Tilley in the Round of 64.

Bhatia was all square against Tilley as they played Pebble Beach’s par-5 14th hole. After knocking his second shot onto the green, Bhatia and his caddie, Chris Darnell, stopped to use the restroom. Bhatia walked up to the green afterward, but Darnell asked what he thought was a USGA official for a ride up to the green.

“The gentleman was wearing a USGA pullover,” Darnell explained afterward. “I asked if I could get a ride to the green to keep up pace, and he said yes. So I hopped on the back, got up to the green, hopped off and thought nothing of it.”

Conditions of the competition prohibit players and caddies from riding on any form of transportation during a stipulated round unless authorized.

It turns out that the cart that Darnell rode on was not driven by a USGA official. Rather, it was just a volunteer wearing USGA apparel. A rules official who was in the area spotted the infraction and assessed Bhatia an adjustment penalty, so instead of winning the hole with a birdie-4 to move 1 up, the match remained all square.


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Even more interesting was what Darnell said happened earlier in the match.

“I had already seen the other caddie in our group do it on the ninth hole,” Darnell said. “Same thing – USGA pullover, drove him from the bathroom up to the fairway – so I assumed it was fine. I didn’t point it out at the time because everything seemed kosher. He had the USGA stuff on, and I didn’t think anything of it.”

Bhatia won the 15th hole to go 1 up, but lost the 17th and 19th holes with bogeys to lose the match. He didn’t blame the outcome on the cart incident.  

“What can you do? I’ll have plenty of opportunities to play in this tournament, so I’m not too upset about it,” he said. “It’s just frustrating because I deserved to win that match. That wasn’t the outcome I wanted, but I can’t do anything about it.”

Bhatia, of Wake Forest, N.C., has been a dominant force in the junior ranks, going back-to-back at the Junior PGA (including this dramatic hole-out), capturing the AJGA Polo, taking the Sage Valley Invitational and reaching the finals of the U.S. Junior.

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1, 2, 3 out: Thornberry, Suh, Morikawa lose at U.S. Am

By Ryan LavnerAugust 16, 2018, 1:14 am

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – The top three players in the world had a tough afternoon Wednesday at Pebble Beach.

Braden Thornberry, Justin Suh and Collin Morikawa – Nos. 1-3, respectively, in the World Amateur Golf Ranking – all lost their Round of 64 matches at the U.S. Amateur.

Thornberry lost, 2 and 1, to Jesus Montenegro of Argentina. As the No. 1 amateur in the world, the Ole Miss senior was in line to receive the McCormack Medal, which would exempt him into both summer Opens in 2019, provided he remains amateur. But now he’ll need to wait and see how the rankings shake out.

Suh and Morikawa could have played each other in the Round of 32, but instead they were both heading home early.


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Suh, a junior at USC, never led in his 1-up loss to Harrison Ott, while Cal's Morikawa lost to another Vanderbilt player, John Augenstein, in 19 holes.

Englishman Matthew Jordan is the fourth-ranked player in the world, but he didn’t make the 36-hole stroke-play cut.

The highest-ranked player remaining is Oklahoma State junior Viktor Hovland, who is ranked fifth. With his college coach, Alan Bratton, on the bag, Hovland beat his Cowboys teammate, Hayden Wood, 3 and 2, to reach the Round of 32.