Furyk hop­ing to fi­nally con­vert

SundayXtra - - GOLF - By Doug Fer­gu­son

PARA­MUS, N.J. — Jim Furyk doesn’t see an­other chance to fail, only an­other chance to win.

Seven times since Furyk last won at the 2010 Tour Cham­pi­onship, he has had at least a share of the 54-hole lead. Seven times he has failed to con­vert. He gave him­self yet an­other op­por­tu­nity Satur­day with a bo­gey-free round of 2-un­der 69 that left him tied with Ja­son Day go­ing into the fi­nal round at The Bar­clays. Ner­vous? Mo­ti­vated? De­ter­mined? “Ex­cited about one more op­por­tu­nity,” Furyk said.

This one is not his to lose. It’s for just about ev­ery­one to win.

As steady as Furyk was on a cloudy Satur­day at Ridge­wood, Day was all over the place. He lost a ball in a mound of high grass and took dou­ble bo­gey on the par-5 13th, the third­easi­est hole at Ridge­wood in the third round. He took four shots to get down from a bunker on the par-5 17th for a bo­gey.

Each time, the Aus­tralian bounced back with one or more birdies. Day, who has made 13 birdies the past two days, wound up with a 68.

They were at 9-un­der 204. And they had a lot of com­pany.

Fif­teen play­ers were sep­a­rated by three shots go­ing into the fi­nal round, an eclec­tic group that fea­tures play­ers try­ing to get into the top 100 to ad­vance to the sec­ond event in the FedEx Cup play­offs (Mor­gan Hoff­mann, Bo Van Pelt, Gon­zalo Fer­nan­dez Cas­tano) to play­ers with far more ex­pe­ri­ence (Hunter Ma­han, Matt Kuchar).

A few no­table play­ers were miss­ing from that group.

Adam Scott, tied for the lead go­ing into the third round, made only one birdie and shot 75 to fall five shots be­hind. Bri­tish Open and PGA cham­pion Rory McIl­roy, go­ing af­ter his fourth straight vic­tory, made an early move be­fore he was slowed by a pair of bo­geys around the turn. He could only man­age a 70 and was five be­hind. Phil Mick­el­son was headed home. For only the sec­ond time in six years, the 54-hole cut was used dur­ing the FedEx Cup play­off. Mick­el­son shot 75 and did not ad­vance.

For only the sec­ond time in six years, the 54-hole cut was used dur­ing the FedEx Cup play­off. Mick­el­son shot 75 and did not ad­vance. Still un­clear was whether he would play next week in the sec­ond play­off event out­side Bos­ton. If he doesn’t, Mick­el­son could risk fail­ing to ad­vance to the third event in Den­ver.

Mick­el­son still man­aged to keep it en­ter­tain­ing. For the sec­ond straight day, his tee shot on the par- 4 fifth hole wound up on the ter­race of a grand­stand left of the green. He played it off the car­pet, and at least this time saved par. But it wasn’t enough to save him.

There were wild shifts in mo­men­tum, birdies and bo­geys ev­ery­where at Ridge­wood. Through it all, Furyk was a steady pres­ence. He picked up his only two birdies on the back nine and saved par with a long bunker shot to tap-in range on the 18th to get into a familiar po­si­tion.

Now all he has to do is change the re­sult.

He has lost chances at a World Golf Cham­pi­onship and two ma­jors. His last op­por­tu­nity was a month ago in the Cana­dian Open, when only a few play­ers had a re­al­is­tic chance to win. Tim Clark beat him one shot. This was one is dif­fer­ent. “There’s a ton of guys between 5and 9-un­der par,” Furyk said. “Go­ing to be a lit­tle bit of a shootout to­mor­row. So I’m happy to be at 9 (un­der) and look­ing for­ward to it. Had some op­por­tu­ni­ties this year and I felt like I’ve played well on Sun­day.”

— The As­so­ci­ated Press

DAVE CHIDLEY / THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

Aza­hara Munoz of Spain watches her tee shot on the 17th hole dur­ing third-round play at the Cana­dian Pacific Women’s Open.

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