Monday, 7 December 2009

World Challenge win for Furyk and a handy lift for wee Graeme.

He might not have won the tournament but the Graeme McDowell certainly acheived what he set out to do at the start of the week. Hovering on the wrong side of the top 50 in the world rankings, McDowell was dangerously close to missing out on next years Masters but after claiming a runners up spot, our wee Graeme should now be guaranteed to be teeing it up at Augusta come April. That must have been his main concern when he was handed this opportunity when it was clear Tiger was unable to attend due to his, ahem, injuries, so bully for him.

He was of course in with an excellent chance of winning yesterday, coming into the final round sharing the lead with YE Yang after a sensational 66 on saturday. He was overhauled in the end though by Jim Furyk, who finished strong to record his second 67 in a row for a total of 13 under. Despite making birdie on the last McDowell still finished one off Furyk. Westwood and Harrington finished joint third, making it a pretty good week for the European big dogs.

Big Jim will be a popular winner. Amazingly it's his first win for over two years. I guess it seems surprising as he has remained a consistent presence on leaderboards throughout that time, finishing runner up as recently as the BMW Championship. It raises him up the rankings to sixth in the world.

His winless streak is something that has bothered him...

"It's bothered me. I'd be lying if I said otherwise. That's your goal every year
to go out and win, and I haven't been able to do it. Hopefully, this will be a
stepping stone."

Fingers crossed it is, we need guys who do it their way up there at the front, and no one swings a club quite like Jim Furyk, with good reason....


Tiger did not make any appearance, he's still in head down mode as the revelations continue, but did post a message on his website.

"As the final round of the Chevron World Challenge begins, I would like to
extend my heartfelt thank you to everyone affiliated with the event, especially
our amazing title sponsor, Chevron. They've been title sponsor for the last two
years and have a vision and passion for creating real opportunities for my
Foundation. I thank them for their ongoing commitment.
I'd also like to thank all of our supporting sponsors and my tireless, dedicated staff, board and volunteers who collectively produce this first-class golf tournament. I am so grateful to them for their efforts, and I am sincerely sorry I was unable to
fulfill my duties as host and player in this important event.
There are also 18 outstanding pros in the field, and I thank them for providing us all with some excellent competition this week.
Lastly, I'd like to thank our fans for continuing to support us. Like them, I am extremely dedicated to this tournament, to my Foundation and the millions of young lives we serve. Thank you all for your support."

I'm sure that the sponsors will find this apology more than makes up for the masses of lost revenue this week. We'll see him next year I guess, if not on Oprah first....

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