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June 17, 2003



Furyk's turn
By Dan Patrick

ESPN.com's U.S. Open coverage

Score one for originality.

Jim Furyk
Jim Furyk
It may not be pretty, but Jim Furyk's not-so-fundamentally-sound swing got the job done at Olympia Fields and enabled him to win the first major of his career on Sunday. Furyk shot a record-tying 8-under 272 to win the U.S. Open in ... err ... style?

Well, let's just say it's a style all his own. Furyk's swing is anything but the assembly-line, wanna-be Tiger Woods model demonstrated on the Golf Channel. In fact, it's been described as "an octopus being thrown out of a second-story window" and a swing that can be "made in a phone booth" by David Feherty and Gary McCord, respectively.

Actually, for kicks, I would love to see someone try to mimic that "loopy thing" at the top -- think Chi Chi Rodriguez, after he makes a shot -- without shanking the ball clear into the parking lot.

Individuality has led Furyk's charge since his college days at the University of Arizona, where there were few aspirations for him to even make the team, let alone become a two-time All-American. Furyk led the Wildcats to a national championship in 1992.

Since then, Furyk has by no means been a stranger to playing good golf. During his 10 years on the pro circuit, he's celebrated eight PGA Tour victories while going toe-to-toe with the likes of Ernie Els. He's even stared down the eye of the Tiger. In fact, he was creeping into that Phil Mickleson-esque category of "best player who hasn't won a title."

Furyk's swing is anything but the assembly-line, wanna-be Tiger Woods model.
But that status changed at the 103rd U.S. Open. It was Furyk's turn. And like a storyline that comes straight down the fairway of both life and golf, Furyk wrote a new chapter in the annals of U.S. Open competition.

His quirky swing and gritty performance coincided to make a phenomenal Father's Day gift for his dad, Mike, a club pro in Pennsylvania. Mike Furyk encouraged his son to believe in his unusual swing.

Without that encouragement, it is highly unlikely that Jim Furyk would be the reigning U.S. Open champion today.

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AUDIO/VIDEO

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Scott Van Pelt and Andy North break down Jim Furyk's championship run.
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Sunday's Final Round Highlights.
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