Furyk strikes it true, and rich, at FedEx Cup fi­nale

Los Angeles Times - - Morning Briefing - Jeff Shain re­port­ing from at­lanta jshain@or­lan­dosen­tinel.com

The per­mu­ta­tions flew fast and fu­ri­ous for a time, some stretch­ing the bounds of cred­i­bil­ity on the most tangled fi­nal Sun­day since the FedEx Cup be­came the PGA Tour’s ver­sion of the post­sea­son.

One per­fect storm could have given the Cup to a man who opened the week 28th on the points list. An­other might have crowned points leader Matt Kuchar with a 25th-place fin­ish. Paul Casey could have been the sea­son cham­pion with­out a tour­na­ment win.

By the end, though, the for­mula was pretty sim­ple. Win the Tour Cham­pi­onship, win the FedEx Cup.

Not that Jim Furyk didn’t pro­vide some rain-soaked drama there as well.

“I have a ten­dency to make it in­ter­est­ing,” said Furyk, who shook off backto-back bo­geys with a bunker save at No. 18 that de­liv­ered the whole $11.35-mil­lion en­chi­lada.

The for­mer U.S. Open cham­pion’s sand shot checked up 30 inches be­yond the hole, set­ting up a win­ning par and a one-stroke tri­umph over Luke Don­ald.

Furyk’s vic­tory, com­bined with stum­bles by those above him on the points list, al­lowed the Ponte Ve­dra Beach, Fla., pro to jump all the way from 11th in the stand­ings to the top spot. See­ing the fi­nal putt drop, he punched the air with his fist as he let his exhilaration flow.

Even though, he later ad­mit­ted, he wasn’t en­tirely sure the Cup was his.

“To be hon­est with you,” he said, “com­ing up [No.] 18 I as­sumed I was play­ing for the FedEx Cup, but I wasn’t 100% sure.”

Furyk fin­ished with 2,980 points in the fi­nal stand­ings, with Kuchar fall­ing to sec­ond at 2,728. Don­ald moved from sev­enth to third with 2,700.

“This one is a sea­son,” Furyk said, point­ing to the fu­tur­is­tic FedEx Cup bowl. “This one [Tour Cham­pi­onship] is in this one [FedEx Cup], if that makes sense.”

Sun­day’s tri­umph also was Furyk’s third of 2010, more than any­one else on the PGA Tour. He pock­eted $1.35 mil­lion for the tour­na­ment win, plus the $10 mil­lion an­nu­ity that goes to the FedEx Cup champ.

“That’s what Jim Furyk is, Mr. Un­flap­pable,” Casey said. “There is no sur­prise to any of the guys play­ing in this tour­na­ment that Jim has hung around at the top of the leader­board and hasn’t given any­thing to any­body.”

Furyk carded an even­par 70 Sun­day, fin­ish­ing at eight-un­der 272. Don­ald also shot a 70, chip­ping in for birdie at No. 17 to give him­self a chance but un­able to con­vert a 43-foot birdie putt at the 18th.

“I told my cad­die [at No. 17] I need to chip this in and make a two at the last. Ob­vi­ously, I did half of it,” said Don­ald, who also would have claimed the Cup with a vic­tory.

Retief Goosen (71) placed third at 274, with Casey (69) and Nick Wat­ney (67) an­other shot back. Wat­ney was the long­shot, start­ing the week 28th on the points list but mov­ing into con­tention with a back-nine 28 on Satur­day and a front-nine 30 Sun­day.

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