Grading the Canadian Open
Tim Clark outlasted Jim Furyk in a thrilling duel down the stretch of the 2014 Canadian Open.
I'm not sure at what moment in time something becomes a trend in the sport of golf but whatever that tipping point is, we're approaching it with Jim Furyk.
Furyk led the Canadian Open by three with eight holes left and ended up losing to Tim Clark by a measly one stroke after 72 holes of play.
The problem isn't that Furyk lost but that it's the seventh (!) straight time he's blown a 54-hole lead on the PGA Tour. It's also the largest blown lead of his career.
Of course this cuts both ways because you have to be a pretty elite golfer to even hold that many 54-hole leads, but when you have the resume Jim Furyk has you're expected to shut things down.
Where does that leave us with him as a golfer? I'm not sure. With 16 PGA Tour wins and a major he's likely a hall-of-famer. But he also hasn't won a tournament since the 2010 Tour Championship.
There are other, less-in-the-distant-future implications, too. Furyk is likely to be considered for the 2014 Ryder Cup team Tom Watson will take to Gleneagles but with his shaky record of late in closing out tournaments that might not be a liability you want to have.
Case in point:
The @RBCCanadianOpen was decided on back-9 greens: Jim Furyk didn't make a putt longer than 4 feet. All 9 of Tim Clark's were 5+ feet— Justin Ray (@JustinRayGC) July 27, 2014
Of course none of this should take away from what Tim Clark did down the stretch. He shot a 5-under 30 on the back nine with 10 (10!) putts to close out PGA Tour victory No. 2.
Still, the PGA Tour rides the backs of its stars and Tim Clark is not a star. Jim Furyk is, or was, and he needs to start closing like it again.
Here are our grades for the 2014 Canadian Open:
|A||Tim Clark has two PGA Tour wins four years apart now. The Players Championship and the Canadian Open. He'll pocket $1.03 million for his efforts. Finish: Win|
|A||As somebody on Twitter pointed out it's tough to shoot 67-63-65-69 and lose a golf tournament. That's exactly what Jim Furyk did. Finish: 2nd|
|A||This is Matt Kuchar's first top 10 since the Byron Nelson Championship in May. He'll be a linchpin for Watson's Ryder Cup team in September. Finish: T4|
|A||I thought Graeme McDowell was going to make a run after this crazy eagle earlier in the week but in never materalized. He still only had one round in the 70s. Finish: T9|
|B||Another good outing for Brandt Snedeker as he tries to transition from old coach Todd Anderson to new coach Butch Harmon. Finish: T25|
|F||I expected more from Dustin Johnson this week after his superb outing at Hoylake and the British Open. He shot 74-68 to miss the cut. Finish: CUT|
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