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Furyk Clinches Sun City Crown

FURYK CLINCHES SUN CITY CROWN

Jim Furyk revealed how he had to calm himself down mid-round on the way to clinching victory in the Nedbank Challenge for the second consecutive year.

The American carded a final round of 74 for a 12-under-par total of 276, giving him a two-shot victory over Sweden's Henrik Stenson.

Furyk had not carded a single bogey in his first three rounds but eventually dropped a shot on the third today and also bogeyed the eighth, 11th and 12th.

However, birdies on the first, sixth and ninth were enough to keep him clear of the chasing pack and he could even afford the luxury of another bogey on the 18th.

That mixed run around the turn briefly gave hope to Furyk's rivals, however none of the contenders made a run at the likeable 36-year-old and he was eventually a comfortable winner at the Sun City event.

"I was disappointed with the bogeys on 11 and 12," said Furyk, the US Open champion in 2003.

"On 11 I got fooled by the wind today. On the eighth I came up short of the green even though I hit a crisp iron shot.

"I made a very poor swing at 12, so I think that is when I kind of had to regroup and collect myself. Good pars on 13 and 14 with some really steady golf shots calmed me down a little bit."

Stenson's 69 was the lowest score on a testing last day which saw Ireland's Padraig Harrington, who started the final round in second place, struggle to a 75 to finish third on eight under.

Local favourite Ernie Els was fourth on seven under, ahead of fellow South Africans Charl Schwartzel and Retief Goosen.

Scotland's Colin Montgomerie propped up the 12-man field after a closing 76 left him 22 shots off the lead on 10 over par.

Furyk began the tournament with a 68, followed it up with 66 and then carded another 68 on Saturday.

Such a run of scores afforded him the luxury of a closing two-over 74 and he was pleased to see few low scores over the closing 18 holes.

"The course was set up well for me to go out there and play my game and put the ball on the fairway," said Furyk.

"The tough course set-up was definitely in my favour today.

"It allowed me not to play conservatively, but to make a few bogeys and not worry about it.

"I'm happy with the way I played the front nine and on the back I got a little loose and hit some bad shots.

"I might have played a little bit conservative on the back nine at times. On the front nine I kept the pedal down and played very, very well."

Collated final-round scores (Rsa unless stated, par 72):

276 Jim Furyk (USA) 68 66 68 74

278 Henrik Stenson (Swe) 67 71 71 69

280 Padraig Harrington (Irl) 69 71 65 75

281 Ernie Els 72 67 70 72

282 Charl Schwartzel 70 69 71 72

286 Retief Goosen 70 70 71 75

287 Trevor Immelman 71 69 73 74, Sergio Garcia (Spa) 72 76 68 71

288 Chris DiMarco (USA) 74 75 66 73

291 David Howell (Eng) 69 73 73 76

292 Jose-Maria Olazabal (Spa) 71 73 69 79

298 Colin Montgomerie (Sco) 75 77 70 76
 

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Woods Not A Worry For Furyk

WOODS NOT A WORRY FOR FURYK

American Jim Furyk capped probably the second best year of his career by retaining his Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa but accepted he was a long way from catching world number one Tiger Woods.

Furyk, winner of the 2003 US Open, finished 2006 second on the PGA Tour's money list in a year which saw him climb the rankings to leave only Woods ahead of him.

The invitational Nedbank event, with its 12-man field, is something of an end-of-season knockabout but that did not get in the way of the Ryder Cup star becoming the fifth player in the 26-year history of the event to successfully defend his title and take home the £600,000 first prize.

But despite his great year, in which he also won twice in America, Furyk cannot see him threatening Woods just yet.

"What's important to me is improving my game and getting better, whatever that ranking says," said the 36-year-old in Sun City.

"Besides, Tiger is a very gifted and driven player and he'll be very difficult to catch on the rankings.

"It will take me a long time at my current level, which is my best level and his is still better, to catch him.

"I've had a good year but will evaluate where I can improve. My strengths are my driving and putting the ball in play off the tee.

"My weakness is my distance. I'm a very average length player and would like to increase my distance.

"But I don't want to do so at the expense of my other strengths. I think I've had a very well rounded year in terms of my game, and I've putted better than previous years."

Furyk carded a final round of 74 for a 12-under-par total of 276 and a two-shot victory over Sweden's Henrik Stenson.

The American's first bogey of the tournament came at the third yesterday and he also dropped shots at the eighth, 11th and 12th.

However, birdies on the first, sixth and ninth were enough to keep him clear of the chasing pack and he could even afford the luxury of another bogey on the 18th.

Stenson's 69 was the lowest score on a testing last day which saw Ireland's Padraig Harrington, who started the final round in second place, struggle to a 75 to finish third on eight under.

Local favourite Ernie Els was fourth on seven under, ahead of fellow South Africans Charl Schwartzel and Retief Goosen.

Scotland's Colin Montgomerie propped up the 12-man field after a closing 76 left him 22 shots off the lead on 10 over par.
 

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Furyk does it again

wow, what a finish against a solid field. some of the hottest young golfers in the world were in contention, not to mention Singh...

he came from the middle of the leaderboard to steal the Canadian Open on sunday, and i was even more impressed than usual. (i'm always impressed by the PGA.)

the announcers said he stayed late into saturday evening working on a specific range of putts (~6 footers, i think), then went out and shot a 66. talk about a pro's pro. he kept the up-and-comers at bay through hard work and experience for one more weekend.

nice work Mr. Furyk. keep 'em comin, i'll be rooting.
 

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The birdie,birdie,par, hole in one start got Jim on the move on Sunday. I am glad he won our National Championship.
Damn shame that so many of the Top 50 did not bother to show for this tournament. I realize it was not held at the best course available. However it is the second oldest PGA event and a National Title. Apparently that means next to nothing to the rich boys on tour now. It used to mean a lot to guys like Nicklaus, Trevino, Palmer etc.
 

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Its nice to see so many other fans on here.
 
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