Jim Furyk, now known as Mr. 58, shot the lowest score ever on the PGA Tour with a 58 on Sunday at the Travelers Championship. But that round came after struggling early on in the week. Furyk opened with a 73 on Thursday, had to shoot a good round on Friday to make the cut, and then lost it again shooting 72 on Saturday.
“We’ve been working on a few things,” said Mike Furyk, Jim’s dad and swing coach. “We talked about his setup on Thursday after the round. He said it felt good. He was hitting it solid and straight, and went out and shot a good round on Friday. And we thought Ok it’s under control. But then on Saturday, it started to fall apart. He called me and said he was totally confused and needed help.”
To figure out what was wrong, Mike, who was home in Florida at the time, did some deductive reasoning. He realized that Jim had been playing some really wet courses. The PGA Championship was soaked, and it was wet at the Travelers, too. Jim’s not the longest guy on tour, so when courses get wet and start to play even longer, he’s at a disadvantage. Mike, who knows everything about Jim’s swing, remembered that Jim has a tendency to get long in his takeaway when he’s trying to hit it higher and further – which is exactly what he would be doing on wet courses.
“You associate your swing being long with hitting it high, but it doesn’t work like that,” says Mike. “In talking to him, I realized his body was stopping and his arms and club were continuing on. It was all out of synch, and causing him to hit it with a glancing blow. When we were on the phone, I asked him to shorten it up a little bit. When his body stopped at the top of the backswing, I wanted everything else to stop, too.” Words from his father got through, a superlative round unlikely to be repeated anytime soon. Jim Furyk’s scorecard is now in the World Golf Hall of Fame in Florida.