Landing on the schedule the week after the British Open and the week before the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, Jim Furyk might be tempted to skip the RBC Canadian Open just to get a week off.
Of course, that decision would be easier if Furyk would quit winning the Canadian Open, leaving him feeling compelled to come back and defend his title. Coming off a tie for fifth in the British Open at Royal Birkdale, the world No. 5-ranked player is in Oakville, Ontario, looking to capture his third consecutive Canadian Open.
"I'm a firm believer ... if you've won the year before, unless something major comes up in your life, I think you've got to be there to defend," Furyk told reporters. "It's no secret it's a tough spot in the schedule, just after the British Open, before World Golf Championships and the PGA [Championship], but it's a great problem to have."
Furyk heads to Glen Abbey Golf Club having performed well so far in 2008, but still looking for his first win of the year. He successfully defended his title last year at Angus Glen's North Course, taking the lead with a hole-in-one and finishing with a 7-under-par 64 for a one-shot victory over Vijay Singh.
Singh, who was a playoff winner over Canadian star Mike Weir in 2004 at Glen Abbey, is in the field along with Weir, fellow Canadian standout Stephen Ames, Anthony Kim, Fred Couples, Retief Goosen, Scott Verplank and Camilo Villegas.
Just like every other year, Weir and Ames can't escape the pressure to win their country's open tournament. Ames would appear to be the best bet this year, coming off a seventh-place finish in the British Open.
"We have 19 players playing this year, and everybody has an opportunity of winning," Ames told reporters. "We're all good enough to be out here, obviously, if we're playing in the event. So I think overall it just gives us more opportunity of one of us hopefully to win it."
In 2006, Furyk won the Canadian Open at Hamilton Golf and Country Club. Furyk said the setup this week at Glen Abbey is probably more similar to the course he won on last year at Angus Glen.
"Obviously, I like Angus Glen; I won there, but I wouldn't stereotype it as a golf course where it fits my style perfectly," Furyk said. "I have a lot of confidence in my game and my ability and when I'm playing well, I feel like I can win anywhere, on any type of golf course."
Furyk, who had his wrist taped Wednesday for what he called a precautionary measure, heads north of the border hoping to once again be in the winner's circle.
"I've kind of had some spurts where I've played well this year and some lulls where I wasn't happy with my results, but my last two events have been pretty good," said Furyk, who tied for third in the AT&T National prior to tying for fifth in the British Open. "Right now, I want to keep getting some rest, start feeling a little bit better every day and get some rhythm. I played a little bit Monday and took yesterday off, so just trying to get the rhythm of my game and flight of the golf ball, getting a little higher."
• SCHEDULE: Thursday-Sunday
• SITE: Oakville, Ontario
• COURSE: Glen Abbey Golf Club (7,112 yards, par 72)
• PURSE: $5 million (winner's share: $900,000)
• FEDEX CUP POINTS: 25,000 (winner's share: 4,500)
• TV: Golf Channel (Thursday-Friday, 3-6 p.m., 8:30-11:30 p.m. EDT) and CBS (Saturday-Sunday, 3-6 p.m. EDT)
July 24, 2008
Davis Love III, who played the final 57 holes of the Children's Miracle Network Classic without a bogey, finished at 25-under 263 in the season-ending event played at the Walt Disney World Golf Resort in Florida. It has been a long road back for Love, who severely sprained his ankle late last year. After tearing ligaments, he needed surgery, and he's spent much of this year rehabilitating the injury.
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