The story behind Jim Furyk’s $39 putter

Jim Furyk during the final round of the Tour Championship.

Jim Furyk during the final round of the Tour Championship.

Doing morning radio talk show interviews isn’t the normal fare for Mark Petrucci and the folks at Joe & Leigh’s Discount Pro Golf Shop in South Easton, Mass.

Then again, it’s not every week when one of your used putters is in the hands of a guy who wins $11.35 million on national television.

That was the case Sunday when Jim Furyk won both the Tour Championship and FedEx Cup title using a $39 putter purchased Sept. 5 at Joe & Leigh’s. When Brad Faxon on the NBC broadcast mentioned the story of Furyk’s golf shop purchase, “he apologized for not remembering the name of our shop, but you could tell it was on the tip of his tongue,” Petrucci said.

When Michael Witmer of the Boston Globe confirmed with Furyk at a post-tournament news conference that it was Joe & Leigh’s, he included that in his story, which in turn set off a frenzy of sorts.

“It’s been crazy all morning, with people calling us, even a radio show,” Petrucci said. “I actually couldn’t believe he was still using it, but we were all rooting for him.”

The story behind Furyk’s purchase dates to the third round of the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston in Norton, Mass. He had used a belly putter each of the first three days, using 30, 31, and 28 putts to shoot 66, 73, 71, respectively.

That Sunday night, Furyk asked folks at TPC Boston if there was a nearby golf shop that had a wide variety of putters. Shortly after 6 o’clock that night, Furyk walked into Joe & Leigh’s, and Petrucci directed him to the back room and a wide selection of used putters.

“He probably spent 45 minutes and looked at a couple hundred,” Petrucci said. “Not that he tried them all. He pretty much knew the specific style he wanted.”

Furyk mentioned the Wilson 8802 as something that fit his eye. Eventually he settled upon a Yes! Sophia model that actually had a nick in it.

“It was marked for $69, but it’s our policy to give all Ryder Cup players a discount,” Petrucci said, laughing.

For $39, Furyk walked out of Joe & Leigh’s with the Yes! Sophia putter. (Petrucci said that many of the Yes! putters sell in the neighborhood of $140 brand new.) “One of the kids working with me that night asked if I thought he’d even use it and put it into play. I said I didn’t think so.”

Petrucci has never been so glad to be wrong, because after Sunday’s broadcast of the final round and the buzz prompted by Faxon’s storyline to Furyk’s win, there’s been a sense of great pride for the folks at Joe & Leigh’s.

“We’re the second largest on-course shop in the country,” Petrucci said. “But this was good fun for us. Jim couldn’t have been nicer. He actually took a picture with us, and we put it up on our website.”

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