Former US Open champion Jim Furyk fired a second consecutive four-under-par 66 to open up a four-shot lead after the second round of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational on Friday.
Furyk finished 36 holes at eight-under 132 and has a solid lead heading into the weekend over Ireland’s Shane Lowry and US golfers Dustin Johnson and Bubba Watson in the final tune-up for next week’s PGA Championship at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin.
“I felt like I had more confidence,” Furyk said. “I hit the ball more solid and I am just hoping to improve a little bit every day and hopefully Sunday I will have a lot of confidence.”
Reigning Masters and US Open champion Jordan Spieth, who is trying to dethrone Rory McIlroy as the No. 1 ranked player in the world, climbed the leaderboard with a two-under 68 and is tied for eighth, six strokes adrift of Furyk.
Lowry and Watson matched Furyk’s 66, while Johnson fired a three-under 67 for a four-under 136 total.
Furyk, 45, always seems to be in contention at this event as he has finished in the top-15 at the WGC-Bridgestone four of the past five years. He also finished runner-up twice, losing a playoff to Tiger Woods in 2001 and in 2012 when a bogey at the 72nd hole left him in second.
On Friday he began just one shot back of first round leader Danny Lee and said knowing he was close helped motivate him to shoot a low score.
“Some of us play our best rounds when we are close and not quite there. Being close keeps you concentrating a lot and you don’t take as much for granted,” the 2003 US Open winner said.
Furyk, who started on the 10th tee, had a strong finish with birdies at the seventh and eighth holes. He made bogey on the final hole, but that was offset by some superb putting throughout a round that featured seven birdies.
“What I am really happy about is I was able to make six birdies yesterday and seven today,” he said. “I putted pretty well again. I left a few out there, but was still able to knock some in and make some birdies.”
“I felt better about my round today. I drove it better and hit some good iron shots. I made some mistakes, but that is going to happen on this golf course,” he added.
Spieth, who tied for fourth in his last outing in The Open Championship at St Andrews, recorded his first ever round under par at the WGC-Bridgestone.
His round of six birdies and four bogeys included a 20-foot chip-in for birdie at the par-four third, which got him to three-under.
He followed that with back-to-back bogeys on the fourth and fifth.
“This game of golf can be a little odd in the slightest way sometimes,” said Spieth, who can overtake McIlroy for top spot if he wins at Firestone this weekend. “I was a little aggressive on a couple of putts, but very pleased with the way I can make six birdies hitting nine greens.”
New Zealand’s Lee (72), Henrik Stenson (69) and Graeme McDowell (71) were tied at 137, five shots behind Furyk.
Chen Jifang hits the gym for at least two hours every day and has the physique to prove it. At nearly 70, she is being held up as a shining example as China orders its vast population to get fit and lose the bulge. The grandmother from Shanghai has become a minor celebrity in in the past few months after her newfound and unlikely love for working out made national headlines. After becoming a gym regular in December 2018, Chen lost 14kg in three months, and now sports the kind of flat stomach and toned muscles that people decades younger aspire to. She
’SO CONSISTENT’: The victory gave the world No. 1 and world No. 2 a 21-1 win-loss record and their fourth title of the season after successes in Brisbane, Dubai and Doha Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Sunday cruised to their fourth women’s doubles title of the season at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome in their first tournament back since the suspension of the WTA Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The top seeds took just 63 minutes to complete a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 victory over unseeded German-Romanian duo Anna-Lena Friedsam and Raluca Olaru at the Foro Italico. It was the Taiwanese-Czech pairing’s first outing since they won the Qatar Open in February. “After five months, you don’t know what to expect,” Strycova told the WTA Web site.
ANOTHER SCANDAL: Searches focused on several riders, including Dayer Quintana, a source said, while the two being held were reportedly a doctor and physiotherapist French police on Monday detained two people as part of an investigation into suspected doping in the Arkea-Samsic team at this year’s Tour de France, prosecutors announced. The probe is the first significant one in several years for the repeatedly scandal-hit tour, which on Sunday wrapped up in Paris with a victory for 21-year-old Tadej Pogacar, who became the youngest winner in more than a century. Prosecutor Dominique Laurens in Marseille said in a statement that an investigation was being carried out into a “small part” of France-based Arkea-Samsic, without specifying who had been placed in custody. Laurens added that the two
Former MLB pitcher Wang Wei-chung has signed the biggest contract with a local team in Taiwan’s professional baseball history, the Wei Chuan Dragons said yesterday. The 28-year-old left-hander signed a five-year US$2.08 million contract with the Dragons, team chairman Hsu Wen-fang told a news conference. It is the biggest contract in the CPBL’s 31-year history, surpassing a three-year, US$1.36 million deal Lin Chih-sheng signed in 2016 with the CTBC Brothers. Although the overall value of Wang’s deal set a new record, his average monthly salary of NT$990,000 (US$33,886) is lower than Lin’s pay of NT$1.2 million per month in 2017