2004: Newsmakers - Open defense unlikely for Furyk

Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

U.S. Open champion Jim Furyk underwent arthroscopic surgery March 22 in New York to repair cartilage damage in his left wrist and expects to be sidelined three to six months.

That means Furyk likely will be unable to defend his Open title June 17-20 at Shinnecock Hills in Southampton, N.Y., and might miss all four major championships.

“I’m not going to come back until I feel like I’m 100 percent,” Furyk said March 24.

He said he hopes to play in the Ryder Cup in late September. If he doesn’t qualify on points, he would be a prime candidate as one of the two captain’s picks by Hal Sutton.

“That’s the one that I would love to slate and would love to be playing and be healthy for,” Furyk said.

Furyk hasn’t played since the Sony Open Jan. 18. Because of the inactivity, he said “cabin fever has set in.”

Furyk decided on surgery after consulting “four to five” doctors. He said he originally hurt the wrist last year through the wear and tear of playing for years.

“The doctors have given me every indication that the surgery went great and I’ll be able to play for many years to come,” Furyk said. “That was the goal.”

Last year, Furyk tied the 72-hole record of 272 when he won the U.S. Open at Olympia Fields outside Chicago.

The only other U.S. Open he did not play in his 10 years on the PGA Tour was when he failed to qualify in 1995 at Shinnecock Hills.

“Something about that place must not be good for me,” he said.

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