Furyk looks forward to duel with McDowell
Furyk won’t get caught up in even a friendly duel with Graeme
McDowell in the final round of the US Open, knowing his biggest foe will
be the Olympic Club course itself.
Over three rounds Olympic’s Lake Course has pummelled the world’s
best golfers. Only Furyk and McDowell head into the final round under
par, sharing the lead on one-under 209, with Sweden’s Fredrik Jacobson
two strokes back.
“I like Graeme a lot,” said Furyk, the 2003 US Open champion who was
paired with 2010 winner McDowell in the first two rounds here. “I have a
lot of respect for him and his game. I enjoy playing golf with him. I
think it’s a great pair for tomorrow.” In fact, the two sounded like a
mutal admiration society, with Furyk welcoming McDowell’s verdict that
the American’s “plodding” style was just what a US Open required.
“He actually saw me in the locker room and said, ‘I don’t know what
they told you in the press room, but I meant everything as a compliment
and I didn’t want it to come across the wrong way,’” Furyk said. Furyk
soothed McDowell’s fears and “joked with him that I said some nice stuff
about him -- but if I needed to retract it I could always go back.” In
fact, Furyk knew just what McDowell meant - and that McDowell’s an
excellent plodder, too.
“On a golf course like this, you have to go from spot to spot and it
doesn’t have to look or be fancy. It has to work.
“I think we have styles of games where we put the ball into play, we
put the ball on the green and take our chance at the putt and then move
Furyk expected their friendly relations to make for a relaxed pairing
on Sunday, but the exacting nature of the course and the prize at stake
meant there would be little time for any sort of socializing.
The 42-year-old veteran got plenty of practice keeping his focus when
he played in the final group with Tiger Woods on Saturday. The two
started the day in a three-way tie for the lead with David Toms. Woods
slipped back with a five-over 75, to the dismay of his legion of fans.