Sports

Jim Furyk joins the 59 club at BMW Championship

With a shot at golf's magic number, Jim Furyk had no trouble finishing the job.

Furyk birdied two of his last holes at Lake Forest, Ill., stuffing a gap wedge into just over three feet on his final hole Friday at the BMW Championship, and knocked in the putt to become the sixth player in PGA Tour history to shoot 59.

Standing in the ninth fairway at Conway Farms, 103 yards from a front pin, Furyk didn't want to let his chance get away from him.

"I said, 'How many opportunities are you going to have in life to do this again,'" he said. "Got to take advantage of it. Tried to knock it in there tight and make it as easy on yourself as you can."

The gallery lined both sides of the fairway about 150 yards down from the green and gave him a huge ovation when he walked onto the green. One fan screamed out, "Jimmy, I'll give it you!" Furyk smiled and waved at him.

He made the putt and repeatedly pumped his fist, turning for the gallery in the grandstands to see, and then he hugged caddie Fluff Cowan and tapped him on the head. It looked like a Sunday afternoon, and had the occasion of a winning putt.

This at least gave Furyk a share of the lead at the BMW Championship with Brandt Snedeker, who was nine shots clear of Furyk at the start of the day and shot 68.

It was the first 59 on the PGA Tour since Stuart Appleby in the final round of the Greenbrier Classic in 2010.

The others with a 59 were Al Geiberger in the 1977 Memphis Classic; Chip Beck in the 1991 Las Vegas Invitational; David Duval in the 1999 Bob Hope Classic; and Paul Goydos in the 2010 John Deere Classic.

"There's not much I could have improved on today," Furyk said.

For a change, everything went right at the end. Furyk has been haunted in the last two years with a bogey on the 16th hole that cost him a shot at the 2012 U.S. Open, a double bogey at Firestone last year that kept him from winning a World Golf Championship event, a bogey-bogey finish in the Ryder Cup to lose a key match to Sergio Garcia last year in Chicago, and a one-shot lead he failed to hold last month at the PGA Championship.

Making it worse, he was left off a U.S. team for the first time in 15 years when Presidents Cup captain Fred Couples did not make him a wild-card selection. On this day, Furyk gave Couples 59 reasons to reconsider.

Meanwhile, Tiger Woods was involved in another rules violation and was given a two-shot penalty.

Woods began the round with a double bogey from behind the green. Slugger White, the PGA Tour's vice president of competition, says the tour was notified that the ball moved as Woods was removing twigs from behind it.

White says video indicated the ball moved, although he says Woods was adamant that it only oscillated. White says the video was clear evidence, and Woods was given two more shots. That made it a quadruple-bogey 8 on the first hole, and turned his 70 into a 72.

Woods was at four-under 138, seven shots out of the lead. The penalty means he is paired with Sergio Garcia for the third round.

Miyazato leads in France

Mika Miyazato of Japan shot a six-under 65 to take the lead after the rain-delayed first round of the Evian Championship, the year's fifth and final major. The tournament was shortened to 54 holes after Thursday's play was washed out at Evian-les-Bains, France.

Top-ranked Inbee Park, making a bid for golf history, got off to a bad start with a 74. The 25-year-old South Korean is trying to become the first professional to win four majors in a season. But she double-bogeyed the second hole and capped a frustrating day with a bogey on the 18th.

Suzann Pettersen of Norway bogeyed the last hole to fall one shot behind Miyazato, along with Hall of Famer Se Ri Pak of South Korea and Sandra Gal of Germany

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
Loading
68°