Jim Furyk shrugged off any US Masters hangover he might have had with victory in the Verizon Heritage tournament at Hilton Head, South Carolina. Furyk prevailed in a play-off against Englishman Brian Davis.
However, rather than Furyk win the playoff, it was more a case of Davis giving it away after the English player, who was chasing a first PGA Tour title, called foul on himself after he touched a loose impediment – a reed – during his backswing.
Despite his shot finding the green, Davis immediately called PGA Tour rules chief Slugger White, and after consultation with fellow judges applied Davis with a two-shot penalty. Furyk had been in the driving seat in any case with just a five-footer for par but Davis’ incredible honesty gave the American a simple win.
Davis’ error, a violation of rule 13.4 against moving a loose impediment during a takeaway, was indiscernible but for slow motion replays but Davis claimed afterwards that he had seen something move out of the corner of his eye, hence his call to the Rules judge to review.
Furyk finally got his head in front at Harbour Town, after recording two runners-up finishes and a fourth-place finish since 2005 and his win earned him just over one million dollars. Davis earned $615,000 for his runners up finish, but will collect a whole lot more in terms of his reputation.
Davis could have won the tournament in regulation holes, as his second shot threatened the flag before rolling through to 18 feet. Davis’ birdie return, however, kept him in the hunt and forced the playoff as it dropped into the cup. He had already seen a one-shot lead over Furyk with just four holes to go evaporate as he scored back-to-back bogeys on the 15th and 16th holes while Furyk played steadily.
Third place went to United States’ Bo Van Pelt and England’s Luke Donald who tied together at 10-under par, two shots back while a three-way tie for fifth place saw American duo Ricky Barnes and Kris Blanks join Columbian Camilo Vilegas a further stroke behind.
Australians Stuart Appleby and Nick O’Hern, and United States’ Heath Slocum and PGA Tour rookie Rickie Fowler finished together in a tie for eighth place. The finishing position was particularly hard for Slocum who had led the field midway through his final round before dropping back.
But the day belonged to Furyk, who added the Verizon Heritage to the Transitions Championship he won a few weeks previously.
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