By Matt Cohen | Social Media & Site Editor
He may not have Phil Mickelson’s charisma. He’s not stylish like Rickie Fowler. And he’s never had endorsement deals like Tiger Woods. But make no mistake, Jim Furyk is one heck of a golfer.
Furyk, at just around $63 million in career PGA Tour earnings, has made more money playing golf than all but three players in history (Tiger, Phil Mickelson and Vijay Singh). Only 47 golfers have won more than Furyk in the history of the PGA Tour. He’s spent close to 400 weeks in the World Golf Rankings top 10 (currently ranked 5th).
So why when we talk about the greatest golfers of this generation is Furyk always such an afterthought? Is it his unorthodox swing? The fact that he’s only won one major? His bald head even?
Furyk won the first of his 17 PGA Tour victories nearly 20 years ago at the 1995 Las Vegas Invitational. Since then, here’s the list of guys who have more PGA Tour wins:
Tiger Woods: 79
Phil Mickelson: 37
Vijay Singh: 31
Ernie Els: 18
Jim Furyk: 17
That’s pretty impressive company. Think about trying to win tournaments during the Tiger and Phil era – it’s not easy. Here’s a few more stats to throw out there: Furyk has 175 top-10 finishes on the PGA Tour. He also has 15 top-five finishes at major championships, including his ’03 U.S. Open win.
Any way you slice it, Furyk has been one of the most consistent and top players in the game for the last two decades.
“Just winning golf tournaments is what gets me out of bed in the morning. It’s why I still want to compete and play, is to wake up on Sunday with a chance.”
Furyk, now 45, was asked recently if he thinks about the Hall of Fame. “Well, I’m kind of forced to, because you all ask me about it, so a little bit. But more so probably because I’m asked about it than sitting at home. I don’t lay awake in bed thinking about what needs to happen or anything like that. Just go play.”
“One of the things I’ve done in my career — I’ll be boring here — is I never really tried to identify my goals,” Furyk said. “What I’ve always said is I want to get better, I want to keep putting myself in position, I want to see how many I can win.
Furyk may not be ‘cool.’ His Five-Hour Energy endorsement isn’t going to land him in dozens of commercials anytime soon. And no, he’s never had legions of fans like Tiger or Phil or Rory McIlroy. But let’s start appreciating and recognizing Furyk for who he is – a player who’s consistency is unparalleled, and for my money, one of this generation’s greatest players.