Notes: Extra club costs Furyk $131,250
Sunday, August 30, 2009
JERSEY CITY, N.J. – Jim Furyk was penalized four strokes in the third round of The Barclays when he and caddie Mike “Fluff” Cowan left an extra club in the bag, a mistake that ended up costing Furyk $131,250 and 188 FedEx Cup points.
Furyk discovered the 15th club while preparing to play a shot near the second green Saturday and had to take two penalty strokes for each hole, turning his opening pars into double bogeys. He finished with a 70 in the rainy morning round, then shot a 69 on Sunday to tie for 15th at 3 under – six strokes behind winner Heath Slocum.
Without the penalty strokes, Furyk would have tied for sixth. He dropped from 16th to 18th in the FedEx Cup points race, finishing the event with 1,458.
The extra club was a 60-degree wedge with extra bounce, something Furyk thought he might need on shots into the grain from the many runoff areas around the greens. He decided to go with his usual low-bounce model with a sharp leading edge, but the other club was inadvertently left in the bag and went unnoticed – in part because he had the rain hood on his bag throughout the warmup session and on the course.
“It was a chain of events that added up to a stupid mistake,” Furyk said. “I assumed he (Cowan) knew I was going to play this 60 and he didn’t know which way I was going to go. ... It’s one of the simplest rules in golf. It’s so easy.
“I pride myself on being really prepared – and to do something like that. I think mental errors are much harder to overcome on the golf course than physical errors. The ones that you make because of an absent mind or not paying attention or not doing your homework, those are the ones that hurt the most because you can control that.”
Furyk tried to put the error quickly behind him
“He (Cowan) was kicking himself,” Furyk said. “I said, “Hey, I don’t want to hear it. Let’s just play golf and we’ll figure it out.’
“We’ve been through too much together for a long, long time. He’s been on my bag for over 10 years. He does what he does. He shows up on time. He’s a good person and he’s a good caddie. The last thing I want anyone to do is blame it on Mike. The fact that we both made the error is what surprises me. That’s the shocker. I can see one person being a bonehead for 30 minutes, but two people is disappointing.”
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PLAYOFF POSITIONS: Daniel Chopra took the 100th and final spot in the Deutsche Bank Championship next weekend outside Boston, edging K.J. Choi by two points and Ben Curtis by three in the FedEx Cup standings.
Chopra shot a 1-over 72 on Sunday to tie for 58th and earn 53 points in the playoff opener at Liberty National. He also entered the tournament – limited to the top 125 – in the 100th spot.
Choi, 92nd after the regular season, and Curtis, 94th entering the event, missed the cut. Chris Riley, 119th at the start of the week, bogeyed the final hole – missing a 5-foot par putt – to finish five points behind Chopra.
Tournament winner Heath Slocum jumped from 124th to third, and Fredrik Jacobson, Troy Matteson and Richard S. Johnson also moved into the top 100 – bumping Choi, Curtis, George McNeill and Matt Bettencourt out of the playoffs.
Jacobson tied for sixth to go from 107th to 48th, Matteson tied for 20th to jump from 125th to 83rd, and Johnson tied for 31st to go from 108th to 85th.
After the Deutsche Bank, the playoff field will be cut to 70 for the BMW Championship and to 30 for the Tour Championship.
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CHAMPION TOURIST: Tournament winner Heath Slocum and wife Victoria planned to stay an extra day to do some sightseeing in Manhattan with infant daughter Stella.
“I have a feeling that no one is going to know who I am,” Slocum said. “When I was living in Pensacola, I’m not huge by any means, but people didn’t know who I was there. Maybe this will change. Maybe in New York tomorrow somebody will at least recognize me. I doubt it, but ...”
Victoria Slocum is expecting their second child in January.
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BIG MOVE: Padraig Harrington made a big move in the FedEx Cup standings with his second-place tie, jumping 52 spots from 66th to 14th.
“It’s nice to be in contention,” said Harrington, winless on the tour since the 2008 PGA Championship. “It’s nice to play better as I got more in contention. That’s always a good sign. My focus is better. I hit the ball better.”
Two days after saying Liberty National was worthy of a major, the Irishman again praised the ultra-exclusive course near the Statue of Liberty.
“The course is fantastic. It really is,” Harrington said. “It’s an intimidating test. It’s exactly where we need to be. We got to be pushed to the limits.”
• • •
STRONG FINISH: Dustin Johnson shot a bogey-free 7-under 64 – the best round of the week – to tie for 15th at 3 under. He opened with rounds of 70, 74 and 73.
“Finally, today, I drove it in the fairway,” said Johnson, 20th in the FedEx Cup standings. “First time all week I hit fairways. ... I missed four putts inside of 7 feet for birdie. I mean, it was good, but chipped in twice.”
He won the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am in February for his second tour title.