Only one week after Ernie Els brought his long losing streak to an end, it was the turn of another PGA Tour veteran to wander back onto the winner’s trail. This time it was Jim Furyk’s turn to come home in front at the PGA Tour’s Transitions Championship in Florida and bring to an end a title drought lasting almost three years.
Furyk finished one shot ahead of South Korea’s KJ Choi after seemingly in command throughout the day’s rain-delayed final round and the American Ryder Cup star stood on the final tee with a two-shot lead. But an attack of nerves threatened to undo Furyk’s title hopes and the player drove into the trees off the tee. Furyk’s second shot almost brained NBC reporter and former PGA professional Roger Maltbie and the player eventually settled for a bogey to close out the round.
Furyk had made life tough for himself before the last hole however, after he failed to find the green in regulation on any of the closing three holes but managed to save par on both the 16th and 17th holes. Indeed, Furyk’s putter kept him ahead of Choi as he threatened to throw the title away during the nervy run-in.
Furyk’s win lifts him back to sixth spot in the world rankings, while two-time Transitions champion Choi also has reason to celebrate despite missing out. After starting the tournament in 75th position in the world, Choi’s runners-up spot lifts the South Korean to 47th in the world rankings and puts him in the running for a spot at the US Masters.
Bubba Watson finished in third position, a further two shots behind Choi while Nick Watney finished fourth and Retief Goosen in fifth place. Watson, who has never won on either the PGA Tour or Nationwide Tour gave Furyk a tough challenge and was within two shots throughout the back nine during the final round before a bogey at the par-3 15th hole knocked him back. Watson couldn’t claw back the dropped shot and parred in for a round of 68 to finish alone in third place.
Furyk’s last win had come in the 2007 Canadian Open, and the player had made 58 starts since without success before Sunday’s final round.
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