Jim Furyk Jim Furyk rallies to defend title at PGA Tour's Canadian Open

Trailing Vijay Singh by three strokes entering Sunday's final round of the Canadian Open, Jim Furyk got just the start he needed.

Furyk, the defending tournament champion, started his final round birdie-par-birdie before making a hole-in-one at No. 4 to take over the tournament lead. The world No. 3-ranked player continued on with four birdies on the back side and wasn't forced to pay for his lone mistake -- a bogey on No. 18 -- while holding on for a one-shot victory over Singh at Angus Glen's North Course in Markham, Ontario.

Ryan Palmer and George McNeill tied for third at 13-under 271. Bob Heintz and Hunter Mahan shared fifth place at 12-under 272.

Furyk's final-round score of 7-under-par 64 left him with a total of 16-under 268. He also earned a $900,000 payday, climbed from sixth to third in the FedExCup standings and became the first player since Jim Ferrier (1950-51) to repeat as the Canadian Open champion.

And none of it probably would've happened if not for Furyk's furious early burst.

"It was a dream start really," Furyk told reporters after recording his 13th career PGA Tour win and his first of the year. "I have a lot of respect for Vijay and his game and I expected him to fire a pretty good number today, so to get off to a good jump, I thought, was key."

So was his ace at the 209-yard, par-3 fourth - a hole in which he played 5-under for the tournament, making birdie there in each of the first three rounds. It marked Furyk's third hole-in-one during a competitive round and he became the first golfer to make a one and go on to win the tournament since Mark Hensby in the 2004 John Deere Classic.

"Tough pin on four and to be able to fly a 5-iron back there on the fringe, have it release out (and) go in the hole is obviously a special bonus," said Furyk, noting that he didn't actually witness the ball going into the hole. "I could see the reaction of the people. When the ball hit it, looked like it was on line in a good spot and you could see kind of their growing in enthusiasm and then everyone's arms up in the air and cheering."

After taking over sole possession of the lead at 13 under following the hole-in-one, Furyk said he wasn't about to relax.

"I was basically starting even with the leaders at that point," Furyk said. "So I wanted to kind of keep the pedal down."

Furyk finally left an opening for those pursuing him on No. 18 when he three-putted as his six-footer for par lipped out. Singh gave himself an opportunity to set up a sudden-death playoff, hitting his second shot at the last hole to within 20 feet of the pin.

"Obviously, 18 was a little bit of a slip-up and playing maybe a touch conservative away from the pin," Furyk said. "I thought I hit actually a pretty good little second putt, but I thought it was going in and it leaked out on me."

However, Singh's aggressive birdie putt missed, leaving Furyk with the victory.

"I had my chances, but I couldn't get it going on the front nine," Singh told reporters after his 3-under 68 failed to hold a one-shot lead entering the final round. "Jim played the front 4 or 5 under, so that's a big swing there.

"I had a chance on the last, but Jim played well. Anyone who shoots 7 under on the last day is deserving."

And relieved

"I'm glad it didn't cost me," Furyk said. "I would have loved to have closed the door there knowing I was going to win the tournament.

"It feels good to get a victory. The 13th one was a lucky one for me."

July 30, 2007

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