PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – A final-hole bogey wasn’t the worst thing that could have happened to Jim Furyk in the third round.
He could have gone swimming.
Furyk found himself in a perilous position on 18, standing with his heels dangling over the bulkhead that borders the left side of the fairway. He awkwardly advanced the ball 75 yards up the fairway, then pitched on and was unable to convert his 12-footer to save par.
His third-round 71 left him five shots off the lead, in a tie for sixth at The Players.
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“I just couldn’t get in there,” Furyk said afterward. “I only had to fly the ball probably 110 yards and I was going to roll it up there on the green somewhere. But because my heels were hanging over, I didn’t have real good balance, and I felt like I was going to fall forward. It just gave me that feeling like I was going to shank it.”
Though he knew he hit his drive slightly off the toe, Furyk was surprised to see that his ball ended up in such a challenging position – from the tee it looked like he was safely in the fairway.
“I can’t say I’m disappointed where it ended up,” he said, “because it could have been a lot worse.”
From that tricky lie he made clean contact, then chased after his ball to safety.
“I didn’t think I’d fall back because my heels were about that much over,” he said, demonstrating on the podium. “I just didn’t have the stability. I needed like three more inches and I would have been fine.”