Jim Furyk could make it the "Big 6"
Jim Furyk is quietly building a very strong resume and may be the next player that has to be considered in the top echelon of the best golfers in the world. Doubtless you know that he won the Nedbank Challenge in South Africa last week by chipping in for birdie on the second hole of a playoff with Darren Clarke, Adam Scott and Retief Goosen. Furyk showed a lot of the grit by overcoming a 72nd hole bogey that caused the playoff in the first place. Most golfers don’t seem to be able to recover from the final hole gag like that. Even more impressive, he was carrying the emotional baggage of a final hole/playoff collapse in Las Vegas just 6 weeks ago. You can rest assured those unpleasant thoughts were lurking in the back of his mind.
In 2003, Furyk had a tremendous year, winning 2 times including the US Open and over $5 million. Then he suffered an injury which required surgery and took away his 2004 season away for all intents and purposes.
In this 2005 season he spent the first few months getting his game back in golf-shape. Finally, in mid April Furyk was able to put 4 good rounds together and he’s been a threat ever since. A second place finish at Heritage was followed by a playoff loss to Vijay Singh 2 weeks later at Wachovia. The good news for Furyk was that he played very well while in the hunt in both tournaments on Sunday. After several weeks of solid play Furyk had the Westchester tournament ripped from his hands when Padraig Harrington sank a sea-going 70 footer for eagle on the final hole. Apparently unfazed, he then wins the Western Open on the following week by holding off a charging Tiger Woods. At the Presidents Cup in September all US golf fans were excited as Furyk partnered Tiger so well that most folks think Tiger has finally found the partner that can play with him. And of course, he has never lost a singles match in either the Presidents or Ryder Cup competitions.
All of this points to Jim Furyk being back at the top of his game heading into 2006. Only 35 years old, he is heading into his prime years right now. The future has got to be looking mighty sweet from where Furyk is standing.
|« Michelle Wie versus the Big Boys||Ernie Els approaching golf crossroads »|
1 Tiger Woods 17.39
2 Vijay Singh 10.26
3 Phil Mickelson 8.42
4 Retief Goosen 8.13
5 Ernie Els 7.76
6 Sergio Garcia 7.75
7 Jim Furyk 5.94
8 Adam Scott 5.17
* First I think we have to give Garcia his due, he is fairly entitled to be defined in the big 6 at the moment. Even if Els score is artifically low for now.
* I agree than Furyk looks like he is getting there, to maybe the big 7. However I thought the same about Padraig Harrington before unfortunate events. I think he will be a HUGE factor next year.
* Another thing, Monty is at number 9. When exactly is he going to stop rising up the world rankings.
Garcia is a terrific golfer - top 10 in anybody's world - but his frequent putting woes keep him a notch below Furyk.
You bring up Furyk's wrist-induced poor result's prior to April 05. I averaged each player's unweighted OWGR points post-Masters 05 to present and found Garcia averaged 7.86 points per tournament and Furyk 6.55. That number doesn't really show Garcia as notch below Furyk or vice-versa. If you want to talk about the Big "X" as Norman put it, Garcia and Furyk could belong in the "Big 7."
I wouldn't have thought Garcia did better post the Masters.
The big 5 sounds better, doesn't it. I think if X becomes too big, it sort of loses it's meaning a bit.
In recent times the big 5 has probably gone anyway, with Woods being the BIG 1, once again.
But my point was that Furyk is just arriving back to the top of his game and when he is there, he is slightly better than Sergio has ever been (yet).
As regards Ernie Els, the guy has been out injured the last few months and is just back in action. Give him a bit of time.
Also, he would be ahead of Phil in rankings if not for his injuries.
No disrespect to Garcia or Furyk, but I think the players in the "Big 5" are at another level.
I'd like to see both Els and Garcia focus more/most of their efforts on the PGA Tour to see what they can do. All that int'l travel has to take away from their efforts here in America.
I think there would be a great argument that Tiger is at another level all his own, and I don't think he has been playing at a level equal to '99/'00.
He still has changes to incorporate and solidify in his swing. Once he does, he will be entering perhaps the most productive years of his golfing career. Maybe we see an extended run to meet or exceed '99-'00.
I like Furyk, alot. I root for him.
But I have to be realistic. He is a "plodder". A grinder. I see him much in the same light as Scott Hoch, minus the c@%&!. Steady game, always in the $$. I just don't see him hitting the ball long enough to compete in the majors other than the US Open. He may just be another Hale Irwin.
Look at what they did in Augusta. Lengthening AGAIN. The PGA is tantamount to a "birdiefest" compared to the other majors. Going low isn't Furyk's strength. I don't think "the Open Championship" is conducive to Furyk's higher ball flight, either.
I see the top golfers vying for the majors. I see Furyk being a contender, but only in the US Open. I see Els, Woods, Goosen and Mickelson being a contender in all 4.