2012 should have been a great year for Jim Furyk.
The golfer best known for one of the most unconventional swings in the game’s history had final round leads at both the United States Open and WGC-Bridgestone Classic.
Sadly for Furyk, those leads never held.
Sorry, Jim. The double-bogey six on the 72nd hole at Firestone—when all you needed was a bogey five for a playoff—shows that the glass is half-empty.
Furyk will turn 43 in May. He had eight top 10 finishes last year, made the cut in all four majors and finished 12th in the FedEx Cup.
The 2003 U.S. Open champion has 16 wins on the PGA Tour and should be a no-brainer Hall of Famer when the time comes. He also has made every Ryder Cup and President’s Cup team since 1997. Furyk has been one of the most consistent golfers in the modern game.
He also seems to have forgotten how to win.
His last win came at the 2010 TOUR Championship, which in turn earned him the 2010 FedEx Cup crown.
After taking just one out of his three matches at the Ryder Cup—including a loss in the Sunday singles to Sergio Garcia—Furyk looked spent.
There is absolutely no question that he owns one of the best fundamental games in the sport today. Where he is lacking right now is the game between his ears.
You could almost literally see him thinking about what he was going to achieve both Sundays at Olympic Club at the Open and at Firestone at the WGC-Bridgestone.
The second you lose focus in pro golf, you are toast.
The biggest challenge in the sport is believing you are capable of actually doing what you are really doing. There is a reason why the younger golfers excel on some of the early season tournaments and struggle when spring comes. When they reach some of those harder courses, their game does not do what they did easily a few weeks before.
The ability has not gone anywhere, but by the time summer comes, the belief to perform has taken a hit.
In Furyk’s case after a bad 2011 season, his game came back—maybe better than it has ever been—but his trust of his game did not.
Until he finds that way to win, the glass sits half-empty.