Furyk Still Ahead Thanks to Eagle

By Sports NetworkJune 24, 2005, 4:00 pm
HARRISON, N.Y. -- Jim Furyk posted a 2-under 69 on Friday to remain atop the leaderboard after 36 holes of the Barclays Classic. He stands at 8-under-par 134 and leads by one over Brian Gay at Westchester Country Club.
 
Jim Furyk
Jim Furyk is seeking his first tour win since the 2003 Buick Open.
Padraig Harrington (65), Len Mattiace (65), Kenny Perry (68), John Senden (67) and Hidemichi Tanaka (68) are knotted in third place at 6-under-par 136. Kevin Sutherland is alone in eighth place at minus-4 after a second-round 68.
 
Furyk began his second round on the back nine and parred his first five holes. He tried to cut a driver around the trees at 15, but struck one and fell backward. Furyk hit a low slice in front of the green, but took three to get in the hole and left with bogey.
 
At the par-5 18th, Furyk laid up with his second, then hit a wedge to 6 feet to set up birdie. He hit an 8-iron 18 feet from the flag at the third, then rolled that in for a birdie.
 
The remaining holes were quite interesting for Furyk, the 2003 U.S. Open champion. He parred four, then missed a 3-footer for birdie at No. 5. It was another missed opportunity at 6 when his 12-foot birdie putt did not fall.
 
Things got worse for Furyk on the par-4 seventh. His drive did not roll far enough past the tress and he hit a branch with his second. Furyk managed to get his third on to the green, but the ball rolled back off the putting surface. He chipped his fourth 10 feet past the hole and Furyk holed the breaking putt to save bogey.
 
Furyk hit a good drive at eight that cleared the trees, but had a decision as to go with an 8- or 9-iron. His caddie talked him into a soft 8-iron and the decision paid off, as Furyk's ball landed, rolled a few feet and fell into the cup for an eagle.
 
He parred No. 9 to polish off his wild finish and his round of 69.
 
'I had kind of a wild ride there,' said Furyk. 'I kind of flipped back and forth there a bunch those last few holes. Had some opportunities that I wasted, hit some great shots that went in the hole; so it was kind of an exciting finish.'
 
After Furyk opened with a 6-under 65 on Thursday, he remained cautious about having an 18-hole lead. His lead is down to one, but the four-time Ryder Cupper is more comfortable on Friday.
 
'It is a good feeling after coming off a good round yesterday,' said Furyk. 'I separated myself from the field a little bit. I am happy with the position I am in. I played well the first two days and tried to put myself in a good position.'
 
Gay also played the back nine first on Friday and his first drive landed in a divot on the fairway. He knocked a pitching-wedge 15 feet below the hole and ran home the birdie putt.
 
He dropped a shot at 13 when his ball ran through the green. Gay collected a pair of birdies at 15 and 17, both from inside 7 feet, to make the turn at 2-under 33.
 
Gay played even par through the first four holes, then caught fire late in his round. At the par-5 fifth, Gay laid up, then hit a wedge to 10 feet to set up birdie. He made it two in a row with a seven-foot birdie putt at the par-3 sixth.
 
Gay got within one of the lead at the par-5 ninth. He reached the green in two and lipped out his eagle try. Gay tapped in for birdie and sole possession of second place.
 
'It just feels good to play well,' admitted Gay, who has only two top-25s and eight missed cuts in 2005. 'It's always good to be in a position to have a chance, and hopefully I'll have a good weekend and just continue to play smart. I don't know what to say besides that.'
 
Vijay Singh, a two-time winner of this event, struggled to an even-par 71 on Friday and is tied for ninth place with Tom Pernice, Jr., who shot a second-round 69. The duo is tied at 3-under-par 139.
 
Defending champion Sergio Garcia carded an even-par 71 and is part of a group tied for 33rd place at 1-over-par 143.
 
The 36-hole cut fell at 3-over-par 145 and among the notable players who will not be around on the weekend are 2002 winner Chris Smith (146), Jay Haas (147) and Fred Couples (147).
 
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    Woods on firing shot into crowd: 'I kept moving them back'

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 3:14 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – It added up to another even-par round, but Tiger Woods had an eventful Friday at The Open.

    His adventure started on the second hole, when he wiped a drive into the right rough. Standing awkwardly on the side of a mound, he prepared for a quick hook but instead fired one into the crowd that was hovering near the rope line.

    “I kept moving them back,” he said. “I moved them back about 40 yards. I was trying to play for the grass to wrap the shaft around there and hit it left, and I was just trying to hold the face open as much as I possibly could. It grabbed the shaft and smothered it.

    “I was very, very fortunate that I got far enough down there where I had a full wedge into the green.”

    Woods bogeyed the hole, one of four on the day, and carded four birdies in his round of 71 at Carnoustie. When he walked off the course, he was in a tie for 30th, six shots off the clubhouse lead.

    It’s the first time in five years – since the 2013 Open – that Woods has opened a major with consecutive rounds of par or better. He went on to tie for sixth that year at Muirfield.

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    Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

    By Tiger TrackerJuly 20, 2018, 2:30 pm

    Tiger Woods shot his second consecutive 70 on Friday at Carnoustie and enters weekend play at even par for the championship, still in contention for major No. 15.


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    Scott and Sunesson a one-week partnership

    By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 2:13 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Adam Scott has been in between caddies for the last month and went with a bold stand-in for this week’s Open Championship, coaxing veteran looper Fanny Sunesson out of retirement to work for him at Carnoustie.

    Sunesson caddied for Nick Faldo in his prime, as the duo won four major titles together. She also worked for Henrik Stenson and Sergio Garcia before a back injury forced her to retire.

    But for this week’s championship, Scott convinced the Swede to return to the caddie corps. The results have been impressive, with the Australian following an opening 71 with a second-round 70 for a tie for 16th place.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    “It's been going great. Fanny is, obviously, a fantastic caddie, and to be able to have that experience out there with me is certainly comforting,” Scott said. “We've gotten along really well. She's picked up on my game quickly, and I think we think about things in a very similar way.”

    Scott was also asked about a potential long-term partnership between the duo, but he didn’t sound hopeful.

    “It's just for this week,” he said. “It would be up to her, but I don't think she's making plans of a comeback. I was being a bit opportunistic in contacting her and coaxing her out of retirement, I guess. But I think she's having a good week. We'll just take it one week at the moment.”

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    After tense Augusta Sunday, Rory ready to be aggressive

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 1:51 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy temporarily lost his superpowers during the Masters.  

    In one of the most surprising rounds of the year, he played tentatively and carefully during the final day. Squaring off against the major-less Patrick Reed, on the brink of history, with the backing of nearly the entire crowd, it was McIlroy who shrank in the moment, who looked like the one searching for validation. He shot a joyless 74 and wound up six shots behind Reed.

    No, the final round was nowhere near as dispiriting as the finale in 2011, but McIlroy still sulked the following week. He binge-watched TV shows. Devoured a few books. Guzzled a couple of bottles of wine. His pity party lasted a few days, until his wife, Erica, finally dragged him out of the house for a walk.

    Some deeper introspection was required, and McIlroy revealed a healthier self-analysis Friday at Carnoustie. He diagnosed what went wrong at Augusta, and then again two months later at the U.S. Open, where he blew himself out of the tournament with an opening 80.

    “I was worrying too much about the result, not focusing on the process,” he said. “Sunday at Augusta was a big learning curve for me because, even if I hadn’t won that tournament, but I went down swinging and aggressive and committing to every shot, I would have walked away a lot happier.”


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    And so McIlroy has a new mantra this week at The Open.

    Let it go.

    Don’t hold back. Don’t worry about the repercussions. Don’t play scared.

    “I’m committed to making sure, even if I don’t play my best golf and don’t shoot the scores I want, I’m going to go down swinging, and I’m going to go down giving my best,” he said. “The result is the byproduct of all the little things you do to lead up to that. Sometimes I’ve forgotten that, and I just need to get back in that mindset.”

    It’s worked through two rounds, even after the cool, damp conditions led McIlroy to abandon his ultra-aggressive strategy. He offset a few mistakes with four birdies, shooting a second consecutive 69 to sit just a couple of shots off the lead.

    During a sun-splashed first round, McIlroy gleefully banged driver on almost every hole, flying or skirting the bunkers that dot these baked-out, undulating fairways. He wasn’t particularly accurate, but he also didn’t need to be, as the thin, wispy rough enabled every player to at least advance their approach shots near the green.

    Friday’s weather presented a different challenge. A steady morning rain took some of the fire out of parched fairways, but the cooler temperatures also reduced much of the bombers’ hang time. Suddenly, all of the bunkers were in play, and McIlroy needed to adjust his driver-heavy approach (he hit only six) on the fly.

    “It just wasn’t worth it,” he said.

    McIlroy hit a few “skanky” shots, in his words, but even his bigger misses – on the sixth and 17th holes – were on the proper side, allowing him to scramble for par and keep the round going.

    It’s the fifth time in his career that he’s opened a major with back-to-back rounds in the 60s. He’s gone on to win three of the previous four – the lone exception that disastrous final round (80) at Augusta in 2011.

    “I don’t want to say easy,” he said, “but it’s felt comfortable.”

    The weekend gets uncomfortable for everyone, apparently even four-time major winners who, when in form, ooze confidence and swagger.

    Once again McIlroy has that look at a major.

    The only thing left to do?

    Let it go.