need to miss that fairway to the right, never to the left. So
it makes my shot twice as bad.”
As ever, McDowell was just as philosophical and honest
in his assessment of a day and round that began badly and
for him never really got going. Hitting only four fairways
didn’t help much either.
“To have the chance to win and come up one short the
way I was hitting it makes me believe I can win more ma-
jor championships,” he said. “I am disappointed, but part
of me is proud that I battled back from a poor start. My
heartache is not as bad as Jim’s right now. He had it and
couldn’t finish the job. It was never really in my grasp, but
I nearly got there.”
Indeed, it can surely be argued that the 32-year-old
Ulsterman came within six inches of a playoff. That was
how far his tee shot at the 72nd hole finished into the
semi-rough, an eventuality that made the difference be-
tween McDowell being able to spin his approach close and
having to settle for a safer shot long and right of the flag.
“If we had been in the fairway and he had hit the same
shot, we would have been no more than six-to-eight feet
away,” claimed McDowell’s caddie, Ken Comboy. “He had
the ideal number from where he was. We had 103 yards to
the front of the green and 115 yards to the hole. That’s a
perfect middle wedge for Graeme.
“I’m gutted for him,” said Comboy. “I really thought he
had a great chance. He’s as hungry as he ever was, and he
thrives in situations like today. He’s not just a gutsy player,
he hits the shots. He’s a great student of courses too. All his
practice rounds are played as if they are Saturday or Sunday.
He actually hit that putt he had on the last green before, on
Wednesday. Of course, he misread it then too (laughs).”
The 18th hole will live long in the mind
of Furyk also. Having made that unex-
pected 6 at the 16th, he failed to birdie the
reachable 17th. Understandably flustered,
he followed that up by trying to “force” his
wedge to the last green.
Highs and lows:
sizes up a bunker
shot during the
Furyk vents after
his second shot on
No. 12 Sunday.