Last updated: February 19. 2013 12:59PM - 179 Views

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ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. — Three weeks after they were on stage together for the closing ceremony at the Ryder Cup, Davis Love III and Jim Furyk wound up together in a place few people would have imagined — in the final pairing at the McGladrey Classic, both wanting a win for different reasons.


Love made a 15-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole Saturday for a 4-under 66, giving him a share of the lead with Furyk, who also had a 66 by doing most of his work early. He made a 45-foot birdie putt over a slight ridge on the second hole, added three more birdies through six holes, and settled for eight pars at the end.


They were at 13-under 197, two shots clear of Arjun Atwal (69) and D.J. Trahan (66), two players who could avoid a return to Q-school with a big week at Sea Island.


Love, the 48-year-old tournament host and a Sea Island resident since he was 14, has gone four years without winning. Ryder Cup captains typically are at the end of their careers; the last American to win after being a captain was Tom Watson in 1996.


It's nice to be 100 percent focused on my golf, Love said.


This is the second time this year that Love had a share of the 54-hole lead. He was tied in Memphis and finished two shots behind.


Furyk spoke openly this week about how even a win at the McGladrey Classic couldn't erase a lot of sour memories this year, particularly his failure to close out wins at the U.S. Open and the Bridgestone Invitational, along with a 1-up lead over Sergio Garcia with two holes to play at the Ryder Cup.


He came to Sea Island out of respect to Love, a longtime friend, and showed up with moderate expectations. Playing relaxed throughout the week, Furyk has gone 38 holes without making a bogey and seems to be a little sharper each day.


My expectations weren't overly high, but my game was in good shape, and every day I've improved a little bit and gained a little more confidence, he said. And I think I'm going to go in with the same attitude tomorrow, just try to play a good round of golf.


In his final official event of the year, it's one last chance for Furyk to finish the season with a title. Or considering how his year has gone — this is the fourth time he has had at least a share of the lead going into the final round — it's another chance to fail.


Furyk doesn't see it that way.


If I looked at tomorrow as another chance to be judged in case I failed ... you know, it's been a tough year, but I could never look at it that way, Furyk said. It's an opportunity for me to go out and win a golf tournament, and I'm not trying to make up for the rest of the year. What happened, happened. It's over with. I can't change it. I'm never going to feel good about what happened, but it's done with.


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