Featured Golf News
Furyk Wins Canadian Open
Steady but sure Jim Furyk won for the second time on the PGA Tour this year, closing with the dayís best round, a five-under 65, to win the Canadian Open. The victory was the 12th in the career of the 36-year-old, whose game is rounding into form in preparation for his fifth Ryder Cup appearance in two weeks.
Furyk beat Bart Bryant (67) by a stroke, finishing at 14-under 266 at the chilly and windswept, par-70, 6,983-yard Hamilton Golf & Country Club in Anacaster, Ontario. Furykís win was worth $900,000.
Furyk began the final round two strokes behind Justin Rose, who faltered with a four-over 74 and dropped from contention. Early in the round, three players were tied for the lead at 11 under and seven more were at 10 under. Furyk made a birdie on the par-4 10th hole for a share of lead at 12-under with Jonathan Byrd.
He narrowly missed birdie putts on the next two holes, then holed out an improbably 12-foot birdie on the par-3 13th for a two-shot lead that sufficed the rest of the way.
ďThat was probably the hole for me,Ē Furyk said of No. 13. ďI missed the green the first three days going in there with my hybrid, but I made a pile of putts. It was 235 yards today. I hit a soft 3-wood in there past the ole and had a really fast, tricky putt. I missed relatively benign putts on 11 and 12 and I was able to knock that one in. Thatís like stealing, making two.Ē (See below for more of Furykís post-round comments.)
In 2007, the Canadian Open, a long-time regular stop on the PGA Tour, will be moved to late July to open up September spots for the Tourís new FedEx Cup playoffs. The event at Angus Glen in Markham will be played the week after the British Open, with the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational and PGA Championship the next two weeks.
Some insiders feel the PGA Tour is squeezing out the Canadian Open. Despite some potential scheduling conflicts, Furyk will return and defend his title. ďIíll be honest, I probably wouldnít play if I hadnít won. I feel itís a point of honor. I feel I should be here and Iíll come back to play.
ďIíve never won a tournament and not shown up to defend,Ē he added. ďIíll be here. Iím going to play the Canadian Open next year. Iíll figure it out.Ē
Jim Furyk Interview
Editorís Note: Following his victory in the Canadian Open, Jim Furyk sat down with the media and discussed his final round and other topics.
MODERATOR: We welcome 2006 Canadian Open winner Jim Furyk. Congratulations, Jim. We talked earlier in the week how this was a course well suited, you liked it. Talk about how special it is to get your second win this year here.
JIM FURYK: It's real nice. Obviously I like the golf course because I won the golf tournament, but earlier in the week, I really enjoyed an old style golf course, really able to shoot the scores we did because of the soft conditions. We were fortunate that way. But it's a good golf course, and winning the third of the Open tournaments in golf is also a very proud moment.
I'm still a little bit taken aback. Just finished, kind of a whirlwind after you win. I'm trying to collect my thoughts. It's been a good, solid year so far, only the second season where I've had multiple wins. I kind of go back and keep comparing this year to '03 where I really had a breakout year and played very well and won the U.S. Open and won the Buick in Flint with two victories and now victories this year with Canadian and Wachovia. It's been a great year and still have some events left, so hopefully I can keep riding the wave and finish it out well.
MODERATOR: You've finished in the top 4 in six of your last seven tournaments. What has been the key for you during that streak or what allowed that good golf to come out?
JIM FURYK: If I would have putted more consistent this year than I have in previous. That's been a key. I didn't putt real well my last two outings, the PGA and the Bridgestone, but this year overall, it's been very consistent, and I've improved in that quite a bit, I think. I've just kind of found a way to get the ball in the hole and score and hang around, kind of like a round on Friday this week where I go out and shoot the good number on Thursday, 63, shoot a good number today, 65, and then sometimes those rounds on Friday where I made some bad decisions, made some mental mistakes, put myself into tough position, but yet I was able to fight through it, grind it out, finish out the round pretty strong with a birdie coming in and almost birdied 18 on top of it.
Still 1 over for the day, I held myself within one shot of the lead, and I was able to play some rounds like that where instead of throwing myself out of a tournament I've been able to kind of fight through it, hang around, figure some stuff out on the weekend, go out and shoot 8 under on the weekend and finish it off pretty well. So that's the been the difference.
MODERATOR: You didn't have to fight it out but you did hang around. You had a couple birdies on the front and weren't in the lead until about the 13th or 14th hole. Just talk about today's round.
JIM FURYK: I hit the ball pretty well on Thursday, and Friday I made some bad swings, and I've been I've haven't been hitting the ball bad but fighting my swing a little bit the last couple of days. I went out and did the same thing early this morning and hit some balls on the range, and still, I was hitting it okay but hitting some loose shots and shots that I wasn't real comfortable with and wasn't giving me the confidence that I needed.
So the first few holes, kind of getting it around but not giving myself a lot of opportunities, and I bogeyed 6, kind of hung a 5 iron out to the right side of the green, and I just got in a good rhythm out there starting about No. 7. I hit two good shots, knocked in a birdie putt, and from that point in, I really hit the ball well. From 7 to 17, I probably couldn't have hit the ball any better. I gave myself a lot of opportunities and just got in a real good rhythm with my swing. My timing and everything seemed to click. But on that back nine I had a lot of confidence. I felt like if I went out on the back and shot 3 under, which I did, that was kind of the number I was looking for. So I figured if I could go out and shoot 3 under on that side, I'd win the golf tournament or at least be in a playoff, but I thought it would win the golf tournament, the way the golf course was playing.
Q. Did you feel any different this morning, not so much in your swing, but here you are, here, close to the top of the leaderboard? Is it kind of like, may as well go out and win this thing? Where is your head?
JIM FURYK: I felt comfortable. I loved getting off to that quick start on Thursday and shooting a low number and kind of being on top. You control a lot of your destiny that way. I guess I felt confident because I was able to fight through Friday and just keep hanging around. Yesterday I really wasn't on top of my game and I made some swings that weren't all that great, but yet I just kind of found a way to get it in the hole. I knew I was hanging around, I just needed to get in a good rhythm out there and get some confidence, and I was able to do that somewhere in the middle of that front nine.
Standing on the 10th tee I was pretty calm and confident about it, and I felt really good out there. Despite making I made a bad swing I didn't hit a good first putt at 17, that was a tricky putt, if I would have gone it down there three feet and in, it would have been a really good putt. That's what I was able to do with six feet. I made a little bit of an errant shot at 18; that ball should have been right of the pin, never should have missed it left, but a wedge and a putter made up for some sin. I hit the ball down the middle of a lot of fairways and I had a lot of 15 footers for birdie out there.
Q. Can you talk about the putts on the last two holes, those character distance putts, what you were thinking and where you played them, inside the hole, outside the hole?
JIM FURYK: 17 was a little bit easier putt in that it was straight uphill and kind of a right center to inside right type of putt. I kind of liked inside right, my caddie liked right center. If you can split the difference, I tried to put it in there somewhere. I tried to get it right of the putt somewhere, and I hit a good, solid putt. 18 was definitely a little tricky and a tough putt. It was only about five feet, but the green has got a lot of slope to it and I was pretty much pin high, so I was playing that ball out of the hole quite a bit, probably a cup out of the hole even from that distance. A lot of break in it, and I hit a pretty darn good putt.
So from those distances you've got to I really tried to calm myself down and think about picking out a good line with my caddie, committing to it, and then just trying to hit a solid putt, and that's the best you can do. You can't really control what happens after that, and I was able to hit two solid putts.
Q. Seems like a number of players were feeling the pressure today and slipping back as a result. Can you comment on the type of mental exercises you use over the course of the round not to let that pressure get to you?
JIM FURYK: You know, I think a lot of it is how comfortable you are with your game. I really just tried to there's all kinds of sayings and this and that, but really I didn't look at the board that much today. I didn't know actually I had a two shot lead until I think I knocked in the birdie putt on 13, the par 3, and I saw the board on the way to the 14th tee and realized I was 2 up at that time. It might even have been on the next hole, on 14 green I think I realized I was 2 up. 14th green I looked at the board and realized I was 2 up before the play, and I was caught off guard by that. I thought I was going to be in the lead, probably 1 up or tied, and to be 2 up was a good feeling.
Really just trying to concentrate on what it's going to take and not getting ahead of yourself, not staring at the board all day, not figuring out what you have to make, just making a solid shot, put the ball in the fairway, put the ball on the green, hit a solid putt and move to the next hole. If you hit a bad shot figure out a way to get it on the green and make par and move on. Just staying in the shot and not getting ahead of yourself.
Q. Given next year's schedule, will you come back next year and be able to defend it?
JIM FURYK: It's a tough date. I've never won a tournament and not showed up. I'll be here. I'm going to play the Canadian Open next year, and I'll figure out I forget, I think it's after the British Open? What's the week before the British? British, Canada, Bridgestone, PGA, week off, then hopefully four more in a row. It's a tough spot, but I'll make a commitment and I'll be here to defend.
Q. Do you feel this is something that you owe the people?
JIM FURYK: I'll be honest, I probably would not play the tournament if I hadn't won, but yeah, I think it's a point of honor. I know there's times where there's an extenuating situation or circumstance and guys can't make it back, but in this situation I feel yeah, I feel I should be here and I'll come back to play.
Q. Todd talked about your record the last seven outings, which is pretty incredible. Does capping it with a win this close to the Ryder Cup add anything to your level of confidence?
JIM FURYK: Yeah, I think it has. I wanted to play I looked at the schedule and I looked at the weeks leading up to the Ryder Cup and I like to play my way into shape. I don't want to take a couple weeks off and then show up at the Ryder Cup. I looked at the schedule and the events come up, and I knew I was going to the Match Play next week. You can go there and play well and lose, so I started looking, and this was just a perfect fit in there perfectly as a preparation.
Saying something like that is kind of slighting a golf tournament, so for the Canadian Open, it's the third Open and it's played at a good golf course. Had this been played in October or June, I was coming because of the golf course and what I had heard about it. But looking at the schedule and trying to prepare leading up to the Ryder Cup, it was nice to come here and play, it was comfortable, and play well, and I think when you get yourself in contention, get under the heat, under the gun, you learn a lot about yourself and your swing and your faults and your mistakes show up glaringly at those points. There's going to be a lot of pressure at the Ryder Cup, and any time you can put yourself in contention, get comfortable, do something well, I'll take that experience with me and will it help out at the Ryder Cup. Hopefully it will help a lot.
Q. You've made a couple of references to what you've heard about Hamilton. Can you remember anything specific from Mike Weir or Tway or anything specific?
JIM FURYK: I can remember talking I remember being at THE PLAYERS Championship this year and being in the scorer's tent and someone mentioned the Canadian Open and mentioned this golf course. We were talking about course setup because at the TPC at Sawgrass they're talking about maybe not having as high a rough, maybe doing this around the greens, really talking about how we're going to set the golf course up, maybe trying to tweak things and change things, and someone started coming up with I like the courses that are set up this way, that way, and in our scorer's tent, the official in there said when Hamilton came up, he said he never saw so many guys come into the scorer's tent shooting 75 and 76 raving about how good a place is. That kind of struck me as odd, that usually we're pissing and moaning when we're playing bad (laughter), but it's good information to know that it was a very tough but fair golf course, it was set up well, guys liked it and it was kind of around the board that that's a place you want to go to play.
Q. A good player, real good young player Justin Rose was leading after the third round. He has a problem closing the deal on Sundays, as a lot of other players do, Mike Weir among them. What's your mindset going into a Sunday? You seem to be just mentally tough. Do you work with anyone or is this just something that's in you?
JIM FURYK: Well, I mean, I definitely don't have any Tiger Woods records going. We talked about the last six events last seven events I've been in the top 4 six times, so I guess if my approach were better I'd have more than one win in one of those. I think everyone goes through streaks and times where hopefully you get on a good run, you close out some tournaments, you get some wins, but it's a humbling game. I have not worked with a sports psychologist in my career. I have nothing against that. I think it's helped a lot of people mentally and I have no really rhyme or reason why I have not. In a lot of ways, I've really relied on my father as a teacher, both mentally and physically. He really has no background mentally. He's a golf professional a little bit. I'm also self taught in a lot of ways.
Golf is really no different than any other sport, and that's all I did growing up was football, basketball, baseball. If it had a ball or a bat or a glove or whatever, that's all I did as a kid. So it's no different. It's just going out there and competing and trying to win, and I think in all those other sports you have to do the same thing. That was good training in itself.
But a lot of it is really it's experience. You can't teach someone how to I guess you can. You can teach someone how you want them to act or react in a situation, but the best teacher is being in that position and learning from your mistakes, unfortunately, and learning how you're going to do better the next time. I stall on Sunday just as much as the next guy, and it's nice to stand up here and win and talk about how great it was, but I've been pissed off enough times on Sunday than I care to remember. You try to take from those, pull from those, learn from those experiences and mistakes instead of just throwing them out and going into next week and having a short memory. It's good to think about how you can improve and what you could have done and learn from that and take it to the next time.
Q. Next week at Wentworth, that's also a Colt design. That's kind of interesting to play two of those in a row. Have you played that course before?
JIM FURYK: I have not. I know the big buzz is Ernie has redone it and it's not going to affect me much because I never saw it to start with. I've never been there. A lot of us are going to be worn out from a tough week through Sunday here, getting on a plane tonight and getting to London tomorrow afternoon around 11:00.
I would like to get around that golf course a couple of times. I always feel comfortable with two practice rounds. You can see it the first time, but I think you start picking up a few extra things on the second round. I would like to try to figure out a way around that but I also want to be fresh because the matches are 36. I'll have to sit down with my caddie a little bit and see what my body is telling me tomorrow and see how I'm going to prepare. But I hear a lot of good things about the golf course.
Q. Just a few comments if you will on No. 6, a tough hole for a lot of guys this week for a lot of different reasons. Can you give me your thoughts on that hole and how you played it this week and what makes it such a tough par 3? JIM FURYK: Well, it's about 215 yards to start, so there's a good it's a pretty good length hole, but the green is short from front left to back right, so it sits at a little bit of an angle with the bunker in the front left. It's tough. When the wind is not right to left the hole is going to play a little bit easier because you can ride the wind on the ball for the angle of the green. Today it was playing downwind, and both my partner and I were surprised, Brett Quigley, we thought the wind had a touch of left in it, and we both hit our shots up, and as we expected them to start falling left, they started falling right.
The reason that made it so tough is the green was short on the right side, and he ended up in the fringe and I ended up in the short cut on the right. The pin was back in the left corner. He got it close with a putter and I couldn't chip it close and I made bogey there. It's a pretty hole, pretty setting, kind of a valley short of the green. The green sits up on a nice little plateau, it's got a good surrounding, and I think the green is just an old, traditional green. It kind of runs at a funny angle, protected by a bunker, and you've got to shape a shot in there a lot of times to kind of work it around that bunker onto the green. It's a pretty hole. I think if I look back, I made three pars and a bogey on that hole. I can remember two pars and a bogey so far. I think there's another par in there somewhere.
Q. Another par 3, 13, seems like it was right in that zone where you said you were swinging with a lot of confidence.
JIM FURYK: That was a lot of it for me today. I missed the green the first three days, going in there with my hybrid. Usually kind of in that little valley front right. I made the power putts on that hole because I pitched it about six feet the first day, had an easy pitch and got it six feet by, made it, had a tough pitch the second day, got it about 16 feet and made it, yesterday had an easy pitch and didn't hit it all that good, hit it six feet by, made a little downhill curler, and today it was playing a little bit longer and I went in with kind of a soft 3-wood, hit it in there probably ten feet, long right of the hole, and had a really fast, tricky putt, and after missing a bunch of I shouldn't say a bunch, but I missed a good birdie putt at 11 and 12. They were relatively benign putts, kind of right edge putts, I had a little bit trickier, touchier putts and I was able to knock that one in. That's like stealing, making 2.
Q. Heading into Wentworth with the potential for four 36 hole matches and with the Ryder Cup lurking on the other side of that, is that a scary prospect for you?
JIM FURYK: Yes and no. I've thought long and hard about that before committing to the event. After I committed, Tom asked me which events I was playing and I told him I was going there as well as Tiger, and he said he loved the idea of me being over there, the positive being playing match play. If you happen to get four matches in and play well, you're playing some really good golf, and a lot of match play experience there, so I don't think that's an issue considering the Ryder Cup, you're starting on Friday. You've got four days to recover, so that helps out a little bit. You can go in and shoot 68, 68 and play good and lose and be out in one round.
One of the reasons I wanted to load up either this week or last week with an event is I didn't want to go two weeks off, go to Wentworth, maybe play pretty good and lose and have 36 holes of golf in in three weeks in preparation for the Ryder Cup. A long time ago I was looking ahead at the schedule and I was real happy to see Hamilton Golf and Country Club sitting here and a prime event. When you say I came to this event because it was good prep for the Ryder Cup, it's slighting the golf tournament, and I don't want to say that. I would have come to play this golf tournament no matter where it was at. I'm happy that it was in this position, though.
Q. How much more special is a win like this because you get to share with your family, and what is your kids' understanding of what you do for a living?
JIM FURYK: It's funny, when I went to sign my card, they were supposed to be long gone. My wife kind of hung back and changed the flight around so they could see me finish, but they had to leave immediately from the scorer's tent. Both my kids know that I'm leaving for three weeks to go to Europe, and my son was a little sad about that, which is good and bad. It's nice to see that he's sad and upset, but it makes you feel awful that you have to leave. I've never left my family for that long. We've kind of always made it a rule that I wouldn't be gone more than two weeks at a time from them. They're not in school, they're traveling with me almost full time. Next year will definitely throw some wrenches in. I never leave for more than two weeks, and we made an exception for this schedule coming in. I'm upset about that. But it was really nice.
I saw them on 11 and we had just been told by a rules official that the group in front of us was falling behind, they were kicking them in the rear end and then they were kicking us in the rear end, so when I wanted to say hi because I knew they had to go to their flight, I couldn't. I was telling my wife we're now on the clock, and she kind of waved goodbye and I kind of waved goodbye to the kids and I thought they were gone, so it was nice to see them after the round. And their understanding of what I do for a living? They see dad in the paper and on TV once in a while. They know I play golf. Actually we could be home, and if golf comes on, my son thinks my son points at the TV. No, no, I'm not playing this week, we're off this week. If he sees golf on TV, that's dad.
Q. Getting back to the golf course, what were your thoughts on the short par 4 almost drivable 5th hole, and in general, what's your thoughts on those short drivable par 4s and maybe some of the best ones on Tour?
JIM FURYK: Yeah, a hole doesn't have to be 490 yards to be a good golf hole. I don't think a par 3 has to be 230, either. It has a good mixture of length. Certainly the golf course is under 7,000 yards, but it's still a good golf course. I think sort holes are great as long as there's a strategy to them. A guy that's long and can reach that green, if he hits it left of the green, he's going to get himself in a lot of trouble because there's a big hill. If he hits it right of the green with a lot of pin placements he's not going to leave himself a very good opportunity to get the ball up and down, and for someone average like me I tried to lay it back a few days where I left myself a wedge, and the last two days I was able to pop it up there short of the green. Today I hung it way out to the right and hit kind of a bad drive and just had to play safe in the center of the green and take my two putts. But it's good because it gives you a lot of options and it gets you thinking on the tee.
I think depending where the pin is, what the wind is doing, it gives you a lot of options and a lot of things to think about to try to make a birdie or a par.
Q. You've had Fluff as your caddie for a while now. Can you talk about your professional relationship and why it appears to be working quite well?
JIM FURYK: I think that I've always been a hard worker, and I spend a lot of time not only beating balls, you but I spend a lot of time preparing for a golf course as far as trying to get yardages on fairways and trying to figure out what the best possible way and percentages are to play a golf course, and I do that in my practice rounds.
Mike is a good complement to that. One, he's an easy going guy who's got a lot of friends out here. He's been at it for it's getting close to 30 years now. He gets along with anyone. He's a good, calming person on the bag. He just enjoys what he does. I think that's what I appreciate most about him is that he likes get being up and coming to work and carrying the bag and being around golf. That's what he's always wanted to do and he enjoys doing it, and I have a feeling he's going to do it as long as his body lets him. It's nice coming to work every day and seeing someone that's happy and enjoys what he's doing, and I think that rubs off on you.
Q. I was just wondering if you have any comments on the city of
Hamilton and the hospitality and whatnot.
JIM FURYK: I'll tell you, the fans and the people were wonderful to me all week. I had a lot of people pulling for me even before shooting the opening round. After getting close to the lead and hearing people and getting messages and people telling me they wanted me to win, I thought the crowd treated me fantastic this week.
The transcript for the above interview is courtesy of ASAP Sports.
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