Furyk Wins FedExCup
Jim Furyk drained long putt to clinch title.
By: Rob Doster | 10/12/10, 12:51 PM EDT
The PGA Tour’s FedExCup playoffs were like the reverse of a Stephen King novel — the payoff vastly outshone the build-up.
After weeks of confusing mathematical calculations and countless permutations, with lesser lights like Charley Hoffman and winless players like Paul Casey in contention for the big prize, the FedExCup came to a fitting conclusion, as the first player to three wins won the $10 million bonus check in dramatic fashion. Jim Furyk capped a stellar season by clinching the Tour Championship and the FedExCup with a clutch up-and-down from the greenside bunker on the 72nd hole to provide the Cup with a worthier champion that it probably deserved.
Like most players, Furyk places a greater premium on winning golf tournaments than on vague statistical formulations, so his celebration centered on his win against an elite 30-player field — although the Cup and the bonus are nice add-ons.
“Three wins is very, very special to me,” he said. “I’ve always put a big emphasis on winning golf tournaments. I was very disappointed in ’08 and ’09 not to win … To go out and turn that around and get three Ws this year is pretty special, and then to top it off here at the right time at the Tour Championship — this golf course, I love this golf course. … So to win this on a golf course that I admire and respect is a lot of fun.”
Furyk was forced to clinch the win and the Cup with a tense 30-inch putt following a stellar shot from the greenside bunker at the par-3 18th at Atlanta’s East Lake. A miss, and Furyk would have gone to Sudden Death against Luke Donald with the tournament and the Cup still on the line. Instead, Furyk calmly drained the putt — his ninth up-and-down from a bunker in nine attempts on the week — and unleashed a Tiger-style fist pump that put a fitting exclamation point on the playoffs. “I get criticized a lot and you hear a lot of people from the crowd sometimes say, ‘God, would you just smile?’ It’s my way to kind of stay in my own little world and stay focused,” Furyk said.
“And then it’s funny, when I do, when I pump my fist and I run around — Tiger would have done that and no one would have thought anything about it. But because it’s me — and when I don’t, people go, God, it looks like he's not even having fun out there. Trust me, I’m having a blast. But when I do, it’s funny, and I understand why. But I’m just happy.”
Furyk — who, celebration aside, really didn’t know he had won the FedExCup until his wife told him — played the good Tour soldier and paid homage to the big trophy sitting next to him on the podium. “It’s only four years old, but 40 years from now there should be a lot of history in this trophy, and to have Tiger Woods, Vijay Singh, Tiger Woods, Jim Furyk — I’m very proud of that because those two can flat play. You know, two of the most dominant players of my era for sure.”
His loopy swing hasn’t exactly swept the golf world; we’ll see if Furyk’s latest stylistic choice has any better luck. On 16 and then again on the climactic hole, amid the falling rain, Furyk flipped his cap around to prevent water from pouring off the bill into his face. No big deal — just another logo exposure for his sponsor. “I tried to dry it off, but by the time I got to 18 it was coming off pretty quick, so I wanted to make sure I had no distractions, and good thing it says Srixon on both sides,” Furyk said.
Furyk’s celebration was short-lived; now, it’s all about the Ryder Cup. The newly minted FedExCup champ will no doubt be looked to for leadership at Celtic Manor, and he’d ready to provide it. “Tonight, when I get on the plane, we’ll click the switch,” Furyk said. “We’ll be Ryder Cup-bound. If you can’t get up for the Ryder Cup, there’s something wrong. There’s something wrong. You’re representing your country and doing it with 11 of your friends and your teammates and guys that I admire.
“So I’m hoping to just keep this roll going and keep the pedal down next week. If I don’t, it won’t be anything from a mental perspective, I promise you that.”
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