Sunday, May 27, 2018

Furyk shoots 59 at BMW Championship

LAKE FOREST, Ill. — Jim Furyk crouched to study the 3 feet of green between his ball and the cup, a short distance with such large implications.

He then capped off a magical second round at the BMW Championship with a birdie on his last hole to become the sixth player in PGA Tour history to shoot 59.

And the first to do it with a bogey on his card, no less.

Standing in the ninth fairway (he started on the back nine), 103 yards away and a gap wedge in his hand, he realized what was at stake: "I said, 'How many opportunities are you going to have in life to do this again?' Got to take advantage of it. Tried to knock it in there tight and make it as easy on yourself as you can."

After rolling in the putt, he repeatedly pumped his fist, turning for the gallery in the grandstands to see, and then hugged caddie Mike "Fluff" Cowan and tapped him on the head.

Furyk signed his glove with "59" and put the date beneath his signature for the World Golf Hall of Fame. He signed leftover balls for the volunteers helping his group. And then he reached into his pocket and pulled out another ball. "That's the one that went in on 9," he said, grinning. "And it's staying with me."

Furyk's 12 under left him at 11-under 131 and tied for the lead with Brandt Snedeker (68). Snedeker saw a video board as he finished on 18 that Furyk needed a birdie for 59: "I thought, 'What the heck? Are you serious? There's no way.' On a day like this, when the wind is blowing 20 mph out of the north, I don't think anybody out here saw that score coming."

Zach Johnson (70) was three shots back.

On the opposite end of the fortune spectrum was Tiger Woods, who thought he had finished with 70 to be five back, only to be penalized two shots after video showed his ball moved while he was removing twigs on No. 1.

That gave him a quadruple-bogey 8 on the hole and 72, leaving him seven shots behind and paired with nemesis Sergio Garcia in the third round.

Slugger White, tour competition vice president, said a PGA Tour Entertainment videographer had taped Woods behind the green moving a loose impediment, which caused the ball to move. Someone editing the film noticed and informed officials.

Woods didn't believe the ball moved, and he still wasn't convinced after watching the video, White said. Woods did not comment to reporters. "(He was) very frustrated," White said.

At the Masters this year, Woods was tied for the lead in the second round when his wedge to the par-5 15th hit the flag and caromed into the water. He dropped a yard or so behind his original position to avoid hitting the flag and bogeyed. Later it was discovered he took the wrong drop option and should have been penalized two shots. A TV viewer reported the infraction.

Augusta National issued the penalty but allowed him to stay in the tournament though he signed for the wrong score.