On a rainy day, a funny tale from Furyk

Jim Furyk

HONOLULU – Rainy days at the golf course aren’t always a bad thing. Prime time for story-telling time, to be honest.

And when there’s a tale with great flavor, like Jim Furyk recalling the first time he played as a member of the PGA Tour, right here at Waialae CC, it makes you forget about the rain.

It was the United Airlines Hawaiian Open that year, and while he shot 72-71 to miss the cut, what Furyk vividly recalls is a practice-range incident that left him a bit embarrassed.

Prepared to warm up in a traditional manner, meaning he took out his wedge, Furyk surveyed a hard right-to-left wind he was going to hit into and took aim at a flag to his left.

“I hit it really fat . . . I blew all this dirt and sand up in the air and it just coated the guy next to me,” he said.

Furyk looked and was sick to discover it was Lanny Wadkins, sort of an iconic figure on the PGA Tour back then, renowned for being the ultimate no-nonsense guy.

Sheepishly, Furyk went back to his business.

“I proceeded to hit the next shot fat and covered him again,” he said. “Two shots in a row. I didn’t know what to do or say.”

Finally, the embarrassed rookie settled on this: “I said, ‘I guess I’ll aim a little farther right on the next one.’ ”

Wadkins looked up, nodded, and said, “That would be nice.” Then he went right back to work.

“I turned around and looked at my dad (then his caddie) and said, ‘I can’t believe I just did that,’ ” Furyk said. “But it was pretty funny at the time. (Wadkins) probably didn’t think so, but it was an interesting start.”

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