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Jim Furyk upbeat about Sony Open chances

Former champion and unabashed Hawaii fan Jim Furyk has always loved playing at Waialae Country Club and is excited about his prospects for this week's Sony Open.

The American tied for fifth on Sunday at the PGA Tour's season-opening Mercedes-Benz Championship on the Hawaiian island of Maui, where he was particularly encouraged by his putting.

"I won't say I putted great but I putted very solid for the last 27 holes and was able to make up some ground, shooting 12 under on the weekend," the world number four told reporters on Wednesday.

"I'm real happy about the weekend, the way I scored and got the ball in the hole. Hopefully it's something that will carry over to this course."

Furyk, who won the 1996 title at Waialae in a playoff with compatriot Brad Faxon, accepts this week's palm tree-fringed venue on the island of Oahu is very different from the challenge posed by hilly Kapalua.

"It's a whole different ballgame, a different style course, very narrow, very tight," the 37-year-old said. "It's been raining a lot so it's slowed down.

"It might be a little less difficult to get the ball in the fairway because the course is playing slower but the rough is more penal than I've seen it in a long, long time, maybe ever.

"But I'm hitting the ball in the fairway, hitting it straight, and so far this week we've hardly seen a breeze. If that picks up later in the week, it'll be a good test."

A 13-times winner on the PGA Tour, Furyk has been an ever-present at Waialae since 1994, posting five top-10 finishes.

"It's a golf course that I like playing," the 2003 U.S. Open champion said. "When I come back here, I've got good memories. When I'm playing well, it's a course that suits my style of game."


January 10, 2008

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