Well, I’m not sure what there is to add. I’m still a little bewildered that Jim Furyk lost the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, but obviously not as much as he is. The ending was painfully similar to what happened at the U.S. Open in June when he blew the lead on the 70th hole instead of the 72nd.
I was standing to the right of the green, which gave me a good view of Furyk’s five-foot putt for bogey to force a playoff. Wait, what playoff? I thought he had the tournament locked up. Most of us figured Furyk would finish off his wire-to-wire victory, especially after he got off to a fast start, birdieing the first three holes.
It was brutal to watch him miss that putt on the 18th hole. I had a bad feeling about it. He took a lot of time looking at it and backed off a few times (which he often does and then makes the putt). He just didn’t seem confident — and he didn’t have the extra gear he needed. <;<;Insert Five-Hour Energy joke.>;>;
The post-round interviews also felt uncomfortably similar to his loss at the U.S. Open. In fact, it was like déjà vu. After the disappointing finish at the Olympic Club, Furyk had to comfort his son Tanner, who was crying.
The tears fell again.
“I have no one to blame but myself, but when things go wrong, it’s an empty feeling,” said Furyk in an interview after the loss. “I’m disappointed. I walked over, my boy is crying right after the round, and I guess it reminds you as an adult, as a parent that you have to act the proper way. You have to do and say the right things to try to give the right lessons.
“But there’s no way I could have made any worse than 5 on the last hole, there’s no way I could have done worse than a playoff. Put the third shot on the green, that would have put a lot of pressure on him to make that putt and it would be a lot more difficult and it would have given me a 5- or 6-footer, and then I hit the worst putt of the week.”
All class. Still, we felt for him. Like we did less than two months ago.
Sunday’s result shouldn’t be a surprise at this point. Players blowing leads and not closing out the tournament has been a constant theme in 2012. Furyk’s loss and Keegan Bradley’s win was the 11th time of the season that the victor rallied from at least a four-shot deficit at the start of the day.
“I go back to the U.S. Open and the chances I had there, coming in tied with three holes to play, and played poorly the last three holes,” said Furyk. “And here, I led the golf tournament the entire way and lost it on the very last hole. To get that close and to know that I played more than good enough to win the golf tournament and not close the door is disappointing…
“It is a cruel game, and I’ve lost some tournaments in some pretty poor fashions, but I don’t think I’ve let one ever slip nearly as bad as this one. This was my worst effort to finish off an event.”
(Getty Images/Gregory Shamus)