Furyk breaks title drought with win at Sherwood

Updated: 2009-12-07 10:53
Furyk breaks title drought with win at Sherwood
Jim Furyk of the U.S. holds the trophy after winning the Chevron World Challenge golf tournament at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, California December 6, 2009. [Agencies]

THOUSAND OAKS, California - Jim Furyk broke a 29-month title drought when he clinched the Chevron World Challenge by one stroke over Britain's Graeme McDowell on Sunday.

Furyk, who had played 54 worldwide events since his last win in 2007, shot a final-round 67 at Sherwood Country Club to finish 13-under par on 275 and take the $1.35 million winner's cheque.

McDowell, who was a late invite after world number one Tigers Woods pulled out, finished second at 12-under after a final-round 70 and earned an invitation to next year's Masters tournament at Augusta National.

European Order of Merit winner Lee Westwood finished tied with Ireland's Padraig Harrington for third after he three-putted the final hole despite a late run over the closing holes had put him into contention.

"It has bothered me that I haven't won, I would be lying to say otherwise," Furyk said. "That's your goal every year and when it doesn't happen it definitely bothers you. But it's done now and we'll focus on getting some more next year."

Furyk began the day two strokes behind third round co-leaders South Korean Yang Yong-eun and McDowell and was only one-under for the day as he turned for home.

Yang, who was suffering with the flu all week and considered pulling out, and McDowell also struggled on the front nine, with Yang shooting a three-over 37 while McDowell was one over.

That allowed Furyk and others to move into contention and at one point there were seven players within two shots of the lead.

Furyk took the lead after a birdie on the 10th hole and kept at least a share throughout the final nine holes.

McDowell almost forced a playoff when his approach shot landed six feet past the cup but did not spin back, instead stopping near where it landed.

He settled for a birdie and second place, with the finish vaulting him up the world rankings from 55th to 38th and earning an invite to the Masters for being in the top-50.

"It was a fun week for me," McDowell said. "It was such a bonus to get here. To play as well as I did was great.

"I purposely didn't do the calculations," McDowell added of the fact the tournament had ranking points available for the first time.

"I didn't want to put any pressure on myself. I was playing with nothing to lose all week."

Westwood tied Furyk at 11-under after a curling 45-foot putt on the 15th hole and again with a six-foot birdie on the 17th.

Furyk answered with a tap-in birdie that was almost an eagle on the 16th when his 40-foot putt stopped on the lip of the cup.

He also saved par on the 17th when his tee shot landed in the front bunker and his second shot went past the hole and left him with a 45-foot putt that he subsequently made.

"You have to get a little lucky to win golf tournaments," Furyk said. "I hit a poor tee shot and put myself in the bunker.

"I got lucky on the putt and you need those if you are going to win."

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