August 25, 2010
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Here we go again ... another rules controversy has cost a player a tournament. And this time, the player didn't even have a chance to get out of bed!
Actually, that's the heart of the problem. Jim Furyk may be one of the best golfers on the planet, but he's got some seriously bad luck. Early Wednesday morning, Furyk's cell phone alarm didn't go off, making him late for his pro-am tee time in The Barclays. And the PGA Tour's rules on this are very clear: no pro-am, no tournament.
"I'm kicking myself," Furyk said.
Fortunately for Furyk, missing the first round of the FedEx Cup playoffs won't be too devastating to his hopes of winning the $10 million prize. He currently sits No. 3 in the standings, and doesn't figure to fall too far below that. Still, that's not exactly how you want to start a playoff run, is it?
Here's the sequence of events, familiar to everyone who's ever sweated through a nervous night before a big final exam. Furyk apparently woke up at 7:23 a.m., threw on whatever clothes were lying around, and got to the course 12 minutes later. Problem is, the tournament was a shotgun start at 7:30, and as Furyk was starting at the 11th hole, there was no way on earth he'd make his tee time in time.
Now, unlike some of the more esoteric/ridiculous rules of golf that can cost a player a tournament, as discussed earlier this week, it's easy to understand why the PGA Tour has a rule in place that players have to be at the pro-am. Too often, players were skipping out on the Wednesday sponsor meet-and-greet, leaving executive VPs and similar corporate types unhappy that they drew a no-name -- or no name -- instead of the marquee player they'd been promised.
Still, as the AP notes, it's not the end of the road for Furyk. Last year, Zach Johnson was ranked third going into the Barclays, and had he not played, he would have only fallen to fifth going into next weekend's Deutsche Bank championship. (Memo to stars: Don't take this as an excuse to sleep in.)
"I played my heart out all year," Furyk said. "I’ve got no one to blame but myself."
Bet he's wishing he set a wake-up call right about now.
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