After Paul Azinger holed a shot from the greenside bunker at 18 to win the 1993 Memorial, the trap became known as the Azinger Bunker. Likewise, the bunker abutting the right side of the par-5 15th should herewith be called the Furyk Bunker in honor of Jim Furyk's hole out from there on Sunday. Having birdied 14 to tie for the lead with David Peoples at 12 under, Furyk short-sided his three-wood second shot at 15 into the bunker. Furyk's lie was so difficult, he said, "I would've been happy to get the ball to within 10 feet." Using a 60-degree lob wedge, Furyk shifted his weight toward the target and nipped the ball perfectly (above left). It landed 15 feet short of the flagstick and rolled in for eagle (above right). Furyk then birdied 16 and coasted to a two-shot victory over John Cook and Peoples.
Not only did 45-year-old Nick Price's recent victory at the Colonial prove that you don't have to have pimples to win on Tour, but his win also must have lit a fire under some of his peers. Three fortysomethings finished in the top four at the Memorial: Cook, 44, birdied three of the last seven holes to tie for second; Peoples, 42, also tied for second after briefly leading on the back nine on Sunday; and Bob Tway, 43, led after three rounds and tied for fourth.
I was pulling for Peoples because he was a good friend during my three-year stint on Tour, from 1987 through '89. We played practice rounds and ate together, and back home in Orlando we often teamed up in tennis against two other pros, Roy Biancalana and Steve Lowery. Peeps and I lost our Tour cards several times. I finally gave up in 1990 and began teaching, but he persevered. Peeps never finished higher than 169th on the money list from 1995 through '99. "Things got so low, I seriously considered quitting and getting a job in the real world," he says. With the $395,000 he won on Sunday, he's 25th in earnings and a lock to keep his card. Peeps never quit, and while I'm thrilled for my buddy, his rejuvenation makes me wonder where I'd be if I'd had his determination.