For Jim Furyk, the 2012 season might best be described as a fishing tale about the one that got away. Actually, it was two, er, three that got away.
Three holes got away, and if played differently, Jim Furyk might have wound up winning the U.S. Open, grabbing the Brigestone title and helping the Americans grab the Ryder Cup.
As he stood on the 18th green at Medinah, Furyk seemed disconsolate about what just transpired. A bogey-bogey finish, after climbing into a 1-up lead, left him without a contribution to the American side. And, Sergio Garcia. the same Sergio Garcia he beat soundly in 1999 at Brookline, exacted revenge on the Pennsylvania native.
"It's been a low year. I've played very well this year but haven't closed the door," said Furyk after his match with Garcia.
17th at Medinah
If Furyk manages a par out of the bunker or by any other route on the 17th hole at Medinah, the 18th hole becomes a non-factor. He at least grabs half a point. At this point in the Ryder Cup, the U.S. was on snorkel and fins mode. A half point makes the match between Martin Kaymer and Steve Stricker a little different. It also eases the pressure on Tiger Woods to score.
Which hole does Furyk want back?
18th at Firestone
Furyk's colossal double bogey on the 72nd at Firestone left him again grasping for air. Uncharacteristic of Mr. Steady, Furyk opened the door for the fiery Keegan Bradley to see hope and he claimed the top prize.
16th at the Olympic Club
It was the tee shot on the 16th hole at the Olympic Club that he wants back. The USGA's Mike Davis suggested the change in yardage at the 16th from (671 yards) Saturday, to (575 yards) Sunday would mean an adjustment for the players. Furyk made an adjustment which sent his three-wood tee shot like a fish hook (not his swing, the flight of the ball) into the left rough leaving him in scramble mode.
Furyk is savvy and has been a stalwart in the top 10 in the World Golf Rankings, but the competitor in him was a reason Davis Love III made him a captains selection for the Ryder Cup. He won the 2003 at Olympia Fields, which is in the same nape of the neck as Medinah.
"Losing the U.S. Open this year, losing Bridgestone, I'll be honest, it's been a very difficult year," said Furyk.
What could have been for Furyk in 2012 was another major, a Ryder Cup victory and a win at Firestone.
Will he look at the 2012 campaign as a missed chance in the twilight of his career, or motivation to come back in 2013?
Quotes courtesy of ASAP Sports.