Bridgestone Invitational 2012 Leaderboard: Why Jim Furyk Won't Win Despite Lead

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Bridgestone Invitational 2012 Leaderboard: Why Jim Furyk Won't Win Despite Lead
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Jim Furyk has played very well through the first two days at the 2012 Bridgestone Invitational, but there’s no way that he keeps it up through the weekend.

Furyk posted a seven-under 63 on Thursday and went four-under on Friday, to give himself a small two-stroke lead over Rafael Cabrera-Bello heading into the weekend pairings.

One of the main reasons for Furyk’s opening round success was due to an eagle on the par 5 second. That immediately raised Furyk’s confidence and spirits and allowed him to play better for the majority of the round. He birdied seven holes and really only struggled on the par 3’s—where he bogeyed two of them.

Furyk played well again on Friday, but was comparable to the rounds produced by Cabrera-Bello, Louis Oosthuizen and several others. He birdied the second hole as well as four other holes on the day while just bogeying the par 4 eighth.

Driving has been one the best parts of Furyk’s game this year, ranking fourth among all golfers with a 69 percent driving accuracy percentage. Through two rounds at Firestone Country Club, however, he’s only been 60 percent accurate.

Furyk has been a little better at hitting the green in regularity over these first two rounds compared to what he’s done over the course of the season. He’s hit nearly 70 percent of the green in regulation this week whereas he usually only hits 66 percent.

Birdieing the par 3’s scattered over the course will be why Furyk doesn’t hold his lead throughout the weekend. He only birdies or better on par 3’s less than 11 percent of the time over the season and has struggled with them this week as well.

Furyk is one-over par on the eight par 3’s he’s played thus far. He can’t rely on eagling the par 5’s or playing well on every par 4. He has to be able to get the ball close to the pin on the par 3 tee shots and capitalize on short putts. From what I’ve seen from him so far, I don’t see that happening.

Another thing to consider is that Furyk hasn’t always been that great on the weekend despite solid weekday rounds. In February, he shot seven strokes higher in rounds three and four at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. At the Memorial Tournament, Furyk shot eight strokes higher. At the U.S. Open, he shot five strokes higher. Furyk is far from a lock to play well over the next two days.

Furyk might be the name atop the Bridgestone Invitational leaderboard for now, but don’t expect to see it still there come Sunday afternoon.

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