Furyk returns from a long winter's nap

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 6, 2014 at 2:04 am •  Published: February 6, 2014
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PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Except for a cameo appearance in California, Jim Furyk has been hard to find on a golf course over the last four months.

That wasn't an accident. And it wasn't an injury.

Furyk has been talking the last few years about trying to cut back on his schedule, and he might have finally figured it out. His last meaningful competition was at East Lake in the Tour Championship on Sept. 22.

He decided not to play the HSBC Champions in Shanghai. He opted out of the McGladrey Classic when something came up with his family. He dusted off his clubs to play the World Challenge the first week in December, and that's been it.

"I'm not going all Steve Stricker on you yet," Furyk said Wednesday, a nod to his close friend who started playing a limited schedule last year.

Stricker and Furyk are the only PGA Tour members from the top 50 in the world who have yet to play a single PGA Tour event in the new wraparound season that began in October. That's right. Both are tied for dead last in the FedEx Cup standings.

"We're the only guys who haven't made a cut. Is that what you're saying?" he said with a smile.

Furyk returns to golf this week in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Stricker's debut is still a few weeks out at the Match Play Championship.

Furyk hasn't won since he captured the FedEx Cup in 2010 by winning the Tour Championship, though his game has not been far off the last two years. He was tied for the lead with three holes remaining in the U.S. Open in 2012, when he snap-hooked a 3-wood off a forward tee at Olympic Club and made bogey. A year ago, he had a one-shot lead over Jason Dufner going into the final round of the PGA Championship and lost to Dufner's closing 68.

There was nothing left for him after the Tour Championship. He was left off the Presidents Cup team, was not interested in being an assistant captain, and instead spent the rest of the year at home in Florida. He didn't even make it to a Pittsburgh Steelers game.

"It was nice to just get some time off and be home," he said. "I'm trying to figure out the right number of events to where I want my game to be sharp. I want to feel like when I'm in the majors season that I'm click and my game is sharp. And in the fall, I want to be with my family. I want to make breakfast for the kids and take them to school and be involved."

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