With just one top-10 result on the PGA Tour Champions, back in January, and two missed cuts in three PGA Tour starts, jim Furyk hasn’t been playing his best golf in 2022. Furyk would have been a wise choice if you were putting up a fantasy lineup for the U.S. Senior Open at Saucon Valley last week, which Padraig Harrington ultimately won.
Furyk is a fairways-and-greens enthusiast and a tough competitor, two traits that are highly advantageous on demanding U.S. Open course layouts. Second, there’s his performance at the U.S. Open. Furyk is only the eighth player to have won both the U.S. Open and U.S. Senior Open, with seven top-5 finishes at the U.S. Open (young-guy edition) and a victory in 2003.
Finally, for Furyk, who grew up in West Chester, approximately 75 miles south from last week’s event in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, was a little bit of a homecoming. Even “Furyk’s Fanatics” showed up to cheer him on; they were wearing blue shirts with a “58” on the back to represent Furyk’s record-breaking score in the 2016 Travelers Championship final round.
Furyk put up a fight despite being unable to take advantage of having the home field advantage.
Furyk shot a calm third-round 66 in the first pairing out on a Saturday after making the cut on the number, giving him some optimism for Sunday. Furyk’s form subsequently failed him once more in the final round, particularly on the greens.
He signed for a Sunday 75, dropping him to four over for the week and tying him for 25th. “I putted beautifully yesterday and putted awful today,” he remarked. “It’s just been kind of an up-and-down season, and this week was very indicative of kind of how it’s been.”
Then, a reporter informed Furyk that he played “a very solid week” in the U.S. Open at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts, two weeks prior, shooting rounds of 74-70 to narrowly miss the cut.
The reporter said, “Did that make you think you were going to have a pretty good week here coming in?”
Furyk had much greater expectations for his time in Boston.
“The two weeks prior, the two months prior, nothing’s really been that good,” he told reporters. “So I’m kind of still climbing up the mountain right now. When I miss a cut and you call it a solid week, I’ll be honest, it kind of pisses me off. Get that one on tape.”
The reporter reportedly said, “You missed it by one,” in an effort to make Furyk feel better about his performance in stressful circumstances against the finest players in the world.
Furyk answered, “Well, when I start missing cuts and that’s solid, I’m quitting.
The heat of Furyk must be noted. Since he began competing on the PGA Tour in 1994 and went on to win 17 PGA Tour championships, his drive and refusal to give up have been a major component of his approach. Furyk still holds himself to a high standard, so it would be foolish to sell him short on the Champions circuit nearly three decades later. He might even still pose a danger on the PGA Tour with the correct setup.
At Saucon Valley earlier in the week, Furyk had been questioned about recent changes to his game.
He stated, “I’ve been working hard on it and I feel like I’m making some headway. But definitely you can jump off the cliff and you get to the bottom a lot quicker than you can climb back up to the top, but right now I’m working on that climb.”
I wouldn’t bet against him returning to the top once again.
Original article posted on Golf.com
Photo cred: Micah Green