Jim Furyk made one of the more unlikely charges on Friday at The Players Championship firing a bogey-free 8-under par 64 to move into a tie for third place at day’s end.
However, his round possibly could have been one shot better had a birdie putt that looked destined to drop on the island green, par-3 17th hole not hit the flagstick.
Having made his eighth birdie of the day at the par-5 16th hole, Furyk safely found dry land on 17. He was faced with a 43-foot birdie putt from the front left of the green to the back-right hole location.
Opting to leave the flagstick in, as many pros have chosen to do for longer putts, Furyk stroked his birdie putt on a perfect line, but it was carrying a little too much speed. What happened next left Furyk laughing.
Lucky or unlucky? ?? pic.twitter.com/uKChSlP4Kj
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) March 15, 2019
While leaving the flagstick in the hole has been a hot-button issue — should you or shouldn’t you — Furyk explained that he thought leaving the flagstick in had resulted in a good break, not a bad one.
“I don’t think TV gives you quite a perspective on how fast that ball was moving,” Furyk said. “I’m probably being generous in saying that ball was going a good eight feet by, maybe more. It wasn’t like water-bound or anything, but it was humming.”
“This is the first time (that’s happened), but this ball was humming. It was going too fast. I had a gentleman on the way out saying, ‘Tough luck, Jim,’ but really, it was really good luck to be honest with you. That wasn’t going to catch the hole, it was going to go through it.”
Furyk enters the weekend three shots back of 36-hole co-leaders Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy. Furyk will play in the second-to-last pairing alongside Ian Poulter.
The over-45-year-old duo goes off at 2:30 p.m. ET on Saturday.