The joke, as Jim Furyk likes to inform it, is that everybody is thrilled to be on the PGA Tour Champions. Just thrilled. I imply, who wouldn’t wish to know their prime is behind them, proper?
“We all just get really excited about getting older and turning 50,” Furyk joked earlier this week. “It’s awesome.”
Snark apart, Furyk and a robust area can be lacing up their spikes on Friday to participate in the Insperity Invitational, a profitable cease on the PGA Tour Champions at The Woodlands, simply north of Houston.
Forget the complete area, simply Furyk’s pairing has fairly the pedigree. In reality, Furyk, Ernie Els and Colin Montgomerie — who open their first spherical on Friday at 11:40 a.m. ET — have amassed a mixed 96 titles on the PGA and European Tours.
So the competitors ought to be fierce at Insperity, the first of three straight weeks of PGA Tour Champions motion. And whereas Furyk, Els and most just lately, Phil Mickelson, may not be thrilled about shifting to the senior circuit, they’re additionally life like about their probabilities.
Scott McCarron poses with the trophy after profitable the Insperity Invitational at The Woodlands Country Club on May 05, 2019, in The Woodlands, Texas. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
As reigning champion Scott McCarron mentioned on Wednesday, what as soon as may need been considered a step down turns into a splendidly viable possibility as gamers get longer in the tooth, however shorter off the tee.
“You’ve got to remember, almost everyone that played the PGA Tour and was successful played out here. There’s only a couple guys that didn’t and those guys were guys that had a lot of other extracurricular stuff going on. They had businesses and they put their competitive juices into that. But the guys that still want to compete, they all come out here,” mentioned McCarron, who received thrice on the PGA Tour however has 11 transfer victories to his credit score since shifting to the Champions loop.
“So when I look at the Jordan Spieths and Rickie Fowlers and all these guys that have a long time before they get out here and they all say, ‘Well, I’m not going to play out there.’
“Yeah, you will. Everybody does.”
A complete of 11 World Golf Hall of Famers can be on hand this week, with Els and Montgomerie being joined by Retief Goosen, Tom Kite, Bernhard Langer, Davis Love III, Sandy Lyle, Mark O’Meara, Jose Maria Olazabal, Vijay Singh, and Ian Woosnam.
And whereas Furyk would possibly joke about not being ecstatic about assembly the age threshold, he’s actually grateful for the comforts the tour brings. And the purse — at over $2.2 million, or practically $700K greater than final week’s at the Chubb Classic in Naples, Florida — doesn’t damage to deliver up the group’s spirits.
“I enjoy being out here. I enjoy the carts, I enjoy as far as the practice rounds, carts in the pro-ams, only three-round events. It’s more much a track meet. It’s not a marathon out here, it’s a track meet. You’ve got to get out there and make some birdies and shoot some low scores,” Furyk mentioned. “I get to see some friends that I wasn’t seeing for, say, the last five to 10 years. There’s this misconception, and I talked to some of the younger players on Tour, that everyone’s out having a beer and a glass of wine, no one’s practicing. It’s not really quite that way. Guys are shooting 15, 16 under every week.
“The range is usually packed and full of guys working on their games and working hard, and you’re seeing that even though we’re 50 and over, there’s a lot of guys that are really competitive and playing some great golf.”