Jim Furyek moves into position to win the Schwab Cup
Phoenix Jim Forek’s shot from a tee into hole 3 at Phoenix Country Club to clear the bunker nearly went into the hole and settled 3 feet away.
When the former University of Arizona star walked into the green, fans in the sky sang him the fight song from his alma mater. Furyk took off his hat and waved again after puncturing the flying duck.
Another run like that and he could do it again on Sunday – with the Schwab Cup in his hands.
Furek fired 6-under-65 on Saturday to take the lead in the third round in the Charles Schwab Cup, putting him in a position to win the PGA Tour Champions points title of the season.
“I put myself in a good position,” Furek said. “I don’t know where it will compare to the lead, but if I give myself a good chance and come out, if I play well tomorrow, I have a chance to win the championship.”
Furyk was comfortable all week at Phoenix Country Club, less than two hours from where the All-American twice in Arizona.
He started round three behind leader Kirk Triplett and quickly pitched the ground with an eagle on the first hole of a Par 5 at Phoenix Country Club. Playing with fan favorites and Arizona State’s Phil Mickelson, Furyk heard a lot of ASU cheers during his tour, but got a nice tune from Arizona fans after being close to the ace at No. 15.
Furyk finished his day by going up and down equal on 18 par-5 for a no-stealth run placed in 16 under – ahead of Triplett, who shot 69. Furyk could win his first Schwab Cup victory or by a high finish and if Bernard Langer falters .
“Today I just wanted to go out and play a really strong run,” said Furik. “The scores are low, but you still have to be patient.”
Langer, who had been battling back pain all weekend, booked his third round with the Eagles for a 63-game stealth-free stay to stay in the hunt for a sixth Schwab Cup. He was 10 less, and six behind the lead heading into the final round on Sunday.
Stephen Ames hit 65 to hit 14 underground and tied with New Zealander Stephen Alker, qualifier less than four months ago who hit 68. Mickelson saved again after 68.
Furyk won the 2003 US Open at Olympia Fields, was the 2010 FedExCup Champion and won 17 times on the PGA Tour. The 51-year-old has won three times since joining the PGA Tour Champions last year, including the US Open in July.
Furyk has a chance adding to his resume after three steady days in the Schwab Cup. He has three stealths through 54 holes and he has four sparrows to go with his eagle on Saturday’s Tour.
Langer played through intense pain to take his opening 68 points, then beat more pain and three shots in the penalty areas for the second round of 72.
With Triplett’s trio trailing by 11 shots, the 64-year-old German was feeling somewhat better in the third round, even if bending his ball was a strain.
Langer opened the eagle on the first hole of the Par-5 and added two volleys on the front nine. He had birds on numbers 10 and 17, then finished his run by making a roughly 20-foot-tall eagle at number 18.
Langer’s low run – less than his age – puts him on the hunt for the fifth Schwab Cup for the fifth time in seven years.
“It’s one of my best rides ever, under the circumstances, for sure,” Langer said. I played hard. “Finally found the groove with the driver and also hit some good iron shots.”
Triplett couldn’t support his second inning 64 with another low round, and finished with four birds and two ghosts.
Alker had no status after turning 50 in July and qualified for the Boeing Classic in August. He’s had a roll, piecing together the top 10 finals each week to continue playing and qualify for post-season, including last weekend’s win at TimberTech in Florida.
Alker followed Round 66 with four sparrows and a ghost on Saturday.
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