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Furyk races out to a 64 and the lead


February 17. 2013 2:26AM


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ATLANTA — Jim Furyk, the only American on the Ryder Cup team without a win this year, put himself in position Friday to join them.


Furyk made seven birdies through 10 holes at East Lake — including seven 3s to start the round — until he missed a few greens on the back nine that slowed his momentum. He wound up with a 6-under 64, giving him a one-shot lead over Justin Rose going into the weekend at the Tour Championship.


As for anyone questioning whether Furyk should have been a pick for the Ryder Cup?


He was more bothered by missing a 5-foot par putt on the 18th hole than what anyone thinks about his game or being in the Ryder Cup for the eighth straight time. With 16 wins, including a U.S. Open, and having qualified for every U.S. team since 1997, Furyk stopped believing he had to prove himself a long time ago.


"Look at the way I play golf — the way I swing the golf club and grip the putter," he said. "Look at the way I go about my business. I don't hit the ball very far. I'm short. If I really cared what the critics thought the last 19 years, I really wouldn't be here. ... My teammates know that I'm going to give 110 percent. They know I have a lot of heart. I have a lot of grit, and that's what I'm going to do.


"But I've never felt like I have to justify myself."


All he cares about is winning the Tour Championship, with an outside shot at the FedEx Cup title and its $10 million bonus. Furyk was at 7-under 133 on a course where he won just two years ago.


Rose, who shared the 18-hole lead with Tiger Woods, made four birdies on the back nine and holed a 6-foot birdie putt on the 18th for a 68.


Woods went the other direction.





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