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Furyk a champion for the unorthodox

Anyone that has taken up the game of golf has probably run out and purchased Ben Hogan's Five Fundamentals of Golf or Jack Nicklaus' Golf My Way. The books are revered as bibles for learning the perfect golf swing.

But if reigning U.S. Open champion Jim Furyk entitled his first book How to Reroute, Furyk Style it's unlikely it would be a best seller.

However, a look at the final standings of the Open at Olympia Fields reveals a multitude of golf swings and approaches to the fickle game.

Furyk, with a swing most can only describe as ugly, won his first major championship Sunday. Kenny Perry, who had won his two previous starts heading to Chicago, finished third with a swing with unlimited hitches in it.

Nick Price, a three-time major winner, captured a top 10 with a swing so fast you'll miss it if you blink.

Furyk, with eight Tour wins and three Ryder Cup appearances, and the rest prove winning is possible without the so-called perfect mechanics like Hogan, a perfect tempo like Sam Snead and the total package like Tiger Woods.

"I was fortunate that my dad realized I wasn't very mechanical, he let me play by feel," Furyk said at Olympia Fields. "We took my positive traits in my swing and kind of built on that."

Further proof how winning in golf isn't so cut and dry, Furyk won the U.S. Open - a tournament where putting is as crucial as any - with a putter he put in his bag three days before the event began.

"It's kind of an interesting story," Furyk said of the prototype Bettinardi putter. "You put a club in your bag for the first week, the first time, and your putter is arguably the most important club in your bag."

Although Woods isn't running out for a Bettinardi or Furyk's swing tapes, he knows Furyk does what he needs to.

"What's more amazing is not the reroute of his swing, it's the width he has on the bottom at impact," Woods said after his 20th-place effort. "You can never teach somebody to put their right elbow behind their body at impact. But the guy is day in and day out always pretty consistent."

So just like Arnold Palmer, whose bone-jarring swing captivated Armies of fans from many generations, the bank won't turn Furyk away when he brings his "bad" swing and his $1.08 million Open check.

"I wouldn't recommend my swing to anyone else," Furyk said. "I don't think it's a good idea to emulate things exactly. I think the average golfer, if you are built like Corey Pavin, and you want to swing like Greg Norman, there's probably not a real good chance.

"The ball doesn't lie. If I took my swing and made it look like the textbook, perfect swing when I was a kid, I may not be sitting here today, I may not have turned out to be a good player, because that wasn't comfortable for me."

Whatever works.

 

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