Jim Furyk will need more than a victory today at the Tour Championship to claim golf’s biggest prize.
Furyk, seeking his first three-title season, shot an even- par 70 yesterday at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta to get to 8- under par, a stroke ahead of Retief Goosen, who shot a 4-under 66, and Luke Donald, who dropped out of a tie for the lead with a 1-over 71.
If Furyk wins the playoff-deciding tournament today, his chance of grabbing the FedEx Cup and its $10 million prize still will depend on five other golfers.
There are several scenarios that could determine who claims the four-event playoff. A victory by either Furyk, Goosen, or Geoff Ogilvy, who is three strokes back at 5-under, likely would give them the title so long as Paul Casey (4-under) and Charlie Hoffman (3-under) finish outside the top three.
“It’s hard to put the FedEx Cup, and trying to win that, out of your mind, but you really can’t focus on that,” Furyk said at a post-round news conference. “First and foremost I want to go out there and try to win a golf tournament.”
If Donald, Casey or Hoffman wins the Tour Championship, which itself comes with a $1.35 million prize, they’ll walk off with the playoff victory as well, regardless of how anyone else performs.
With rain in the forecast for today’s final round at East Lake, tee times were moved up to 9 a.m. local time.
Furyk had nine pars to open his round before bogeying the 10th. He made consecutive birdies at 14 and 15 before recording another bogey at the 17th. He’s hit 43 of 54 greens this week, best among the 30-man field.
Furyk’s chances of winning the FedEx Cup were hurt by a disqualification from the playoff-opening Barclays tournament on Aug. 25 for oversleeping and missing his pro-am tee time.
Tour Championship defending champion Phil Mickelson, who is second in the World Golf Rankings behind Tiger Woods, shot a 2- under-par 68 to get to 1-under for the week, seven strokes off the lead. Woods didn’t qualify for the final leg of the playoffs. Should Mickelson, who is tied for ninth, finish in a three-way tie for second or better, he would move ahead of Woods as the world’s top-ranked golfer.
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