Citizen Staff Writer
University of Arizona alum Jim Furyk received plenty of “Bear Down” cheers Wednesday, befitting a man who proudly bleeds red and blue and backs it up with hundreds of thousands of dollars in contributions to the school.
Nothing would please him more than to stay in the field the rest of the week at the Accenture Match Play Championship.
“It’s obviously a lot of fun to be back in Tucson,” said Furyk, after his 2-and-1, first-round win over Anders Hansen at the Ritz- Carlton, Dove Mountain course.
Furyk earmarked $85,000 for UA after the U.S. Ryder Cup victory, and the PGA of America donated $200,000 to Furyk’s charities. He has now contributed like amounts after five Ryder Cup appearances.
He came back to UA in the fall for a fundraiser and to hang out with UA golf coach Rick LaRose
“I hung out with the team,” Furyk said. “I’d like to get back more than anything to watch the football and basketball games.”
His opponent Thursday is German Martin Kaymer, with both equally mystified by the Ritz- Carlton course. Furyk is confident a second competitive time on the course should calm things.
“If you haven’t figured it out by three, you’re not going to,” he said. The greens – so convoluted and undulating they resemble unfurled flags – are everybody’s problem.
“There’s a lot going on on them,” Furyk said. “There’s a lot of slopes and undulations, a lot of pockets and places where they can tuck pins.”
The weather has been dry and warm, giving hope to stroke artists such as Furyk.
“You have to subtract for the altitude, dry air and balls running so much on the fairways,” he said.
“If this place were soft, it would be a bomber’s paradise, but I’m going to bet a lot of the bombers are going to walk in here and tell you they’re hindered or limited off the tee because the ball is bouncing through the fairways and along the doglegs.”