Jim Furyk picked up the biggest cheque of his career in winning the Tour Championship at East Lake by a single shot from England’s Luke Donald. The American earned $1.35 million for the tournament victory and $10 million for claiming the 2010 FedEx Cup.
Furyk took a one-shot lead into the final round at East Lake and that was his eventual margin of victory, though it looked like being a far more comfortable procession at one point.
After a two-hour rain delay, play resumed in extremely wet conditions. Furyk coped well with the weather and extended his lead with birdies at the 11th and 15th. With three holes left the American had built a three shot advantage over Retief Goosen.
But, Luke Donald pitched in from the side of the 17th green to join Goosen at 7-under-par – three behind Furyk. The American began to feel the pressure as he made bogeys at both the 16th and 17th holes. He stood on the final tee with just a one-stroke lead over Donald (Goosen dropped a shot at the 17th) knowing a par would be worth $11.35 million. Donald was still in the hunt for the top prize but he needed to win the tournament to capture it.
With the Englishman watching on nervously from the scorer’s hut, Furyk put his tee-shot on the tough closing par 3 into the greenside bunker. Another bogey looked a possibility, it would have resulted in a tie between Furyk and Donald and a playoff for the tournament and the FedEx Cup itself.
But, with a steely nerve and the exquisite short game touch he’d displayed all day, Furyk played a sublime, checking, bunker shot that ended just two feet from the cup. He rolled it home and so joined Tiger Woods and Vijay Singh as a winner of the FedEx Cup.
“It just hit me,” he said. “I dropped the putter and I guess at that moment you’re not really responsible for what happens next…. 40 years from now, there should be a lot of history in this trophy. And to have ‘Tiger Woods, Vijay Singh, Tiger Woods, Jim Furyk’ … I’m very proud of that.”
It was an amazing result for Furyk who was disqualified from the first FedEx Cup playoff event – The Barclays – for missing his pro-am tee time. He had dropped to 11th place on the standings prior to the Tour Championship and he is the first player from outside the top-10 going into the final event to walk away with the trophy.
Nick Watney was, at one point, 13 shots off the lead. But he put on an incredible comeback with a 28 over the back nine on Saturday and a front nine of 30 on Sunday to give himself a chance of victory. But the rain dampened his fire and he could only manage a tied fourth finish with Paul Casey.
The Tour Championship presented by Coca-Cola
East Lake Golf Club, Georgia
Sep 23-26, purse $7,500,000, par 70
1 Jim Furyk (USA) 67 65 70 70 272 $1,350,000
2 Luke Donald (Eng) 66 66 71 70 273 $810,000
3 Retief Goosen (RSA) 71 66 66 71 274 $517,500
T4 Paul Casey (Eng) 66 71 69 69 275 $330,000
T4 Nick Watney (USA) 71 74 63 67 275 $330,000
6 Charley Hoffman (USA) 71 67 69 70 277 $270,000
T7 K.J. Choi (Kor) 68 68 74 68 278 $247,500
T7 Ernie Els (RSA) 71 71 71 65 278 $247,500
T9 Zach Johnson (USA) 74 72 66 67 279 $208,125
T9 Ryan Moore (USA) 70 72 68 69 279 $208,125
T9 Kevin Streelman (USA) 70 70 69 70 279 $208,125
T9 Camilo Villegas (Col) 73 69 68 69 279 $208,125
Note: Player name in bold signifies Titleist ball usage only