Davis Love (pictured) and Jim Furyk are joint leaders of the McGladrey Classic after the third round. Both players stand on 13 under ahead of play on Sunday and it will be a fascinating pairing over the final 18 holes.
The two players are linked by this year’s Ryder Cup. Love, of course, was the US captain while Furyk was one of his wildcard picks. Gentleman Jim lost his singles match to Sergio Garcia despite being one up with two to play. That lost point eventually cost the States the match.
Furyk is looking to get his career back on track after a number of disappointments this season in addition to the Ryder Cup reverse. He faltered over the final three holes of the US Open in June. His errors allowed Webb Simpson to take his first major championship after it appeared that Furyk was about to win the title for the second time in his career.
Two months later at the Bridgestone Invitational our Player in Focus had a double bogey on his final hole, this time being overtaken by Keegan Bradley who holed a putt of medium length on the last green to claim that prize.
It is testimony to Furyk’s character and ability that he is contending again. However, it will be interesting to see how he reacts if he has another winning opportunity on Sunday afternoon. He is a veteran of 15 years at the highest level and with 16 PGA Tour titles to his name. He has also finished second 24 times and he should achieve that position again at least in this tournament.
Meanwhile Love has won 20 times on Tour and ranks 6th in career earnings. His playing career has taken a back seat during his two year tenure as Ryder Cup captain. He is now in great shape to improve on his season best finish of tied third at the St Jude Classic in June.
The dynamics of the 2 ball of Furyk and Love will be interesting as clearly there is a great deal of respect between the pair. The tournament could develop into a match play situation and both players will be keen to enhance already successful careers.
Bud Cauley is the most interesting of the other leading contenders. He is yet to win on Tour but he is one of just a handful of players, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods included, to retain his card without a full schedule and being reliant on invites.