Furyk leads Tour Championshp by 1 after three rounds
ATLANTA (AP) – Jim Furyk headed to the first tee Saturday in the Tour Championship and heard his father and coach, Mike Furyk, give him a simple instruction to “just play golf.”
It’s a reminder he has uttered over the years not to get too caught up in mechanics or strive for the perfect swing, but to hit the ball, find it and get it in the hole as quickly as possible.
That might not be bad advice for Sunday, either.
Just play golf. Don’t think about the $10 million at stake.
Furyk twice walked off a green happy to make bogey, made consecutive birdies late in his round that put him atop the leaderboard at East Lake and wound up with an even-par 70 for a one-shot lead over Retief Goosen and Luke Donald.
That set the stage for a FedEx Cup finale that has never had so many possibilities.
Furyk, Goosen and Donald all can win the FedEx Cup and its $10 million bonus by winning the Tour Championship, which comes with a $1.35 million prize of its own. So can Geoff Ogilvy, only three shots behind. Paul Casey and Charley Hoffman, both within five shots of the lead, can win golf’s biggest payoff without even winning the tournament.
And there are enough video boards along the back nine that players should have a pretty good idea what they need to do.
“The first part of the scenario is I have to win, and the rest of it I can’t control,” Furyk said. “So the idea, really … it makes it very simple. I have to win tomorrow, and the idea is just to go out and do the best I can to do that.”
Furyk was at 8-under 202, and a victory today could be a real breakthrough. He has never won three times in a season, and his third PGA Tour title this year might warrant strong consideration for player of the year.
Even so, Furyk is aware not only of how many players are behind, but how many possibilities exist.
• A victory gives Furyk or Goosen the FedEx Cup as long as Casey isn’t the runner-up or Hoffman doesn’t finish third alone.
• Donald can win the cup as long as Matt Kuchar, the top seed, doesn’t finish second. Kuchar shot 72 and was 10 shots behind.
• Ogilvy, who shot a 72 was three shots behind at 5-under 205, can win the $10 million provided Casey isn’t second, Hoffman isn’t third and Kuchar doesn’t find a way to finish seventh.