AKRON, Ohio – Jim Furyk will take a 36-hole lead into a weekend for the 20th time in his career.
He has gone on to win two of the last three times he did so, but only four times overall.
If Furyk, 42, takes his lead at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational to 54 holes, it will also mark the 20th time he has done that in a PGA Tour event. He has gone on to win nine of those.
Though Firestone has a reputation as a bomber’s course, Furyk feels comfortable here. He ranks just 175th on the PGA Tour in driving distance this year but has finished second, third and fourth in past events at Firestone.
“I don’t know why everyone thinks of this as being a power-dominated course,” Furyk said. “I've never really thought that. I think if it gets real wet and you get a lot of rain, it'll play quite long and maybe become a little bit more power oriented. But this golf course has always been about keeping the ball in the fairway, and thinking your way around the golf course, especially if it plays firm and fast.”
Furyk’s putting bodes well. He leads the field this week in strokes gained putting and putting average. He struggled with his putting last year, slumping to 150th in strokes gained putting.
“I putted horrible last year, I’ll be the first to admit it,” Furyk said.
After trying a belly putter late last year, Furyk committed back to a standard putter. He said he found a fix in his stroke before the Presidents Cup last year, and he called it the best putting week of his life on the difficult greens at Royal Melbourne in Australia. He took confidence in his stroke into the new season.