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Furyk wins after Davis’ penalty

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Associated Press
April 19, 2010
— Brian Davis called a two-stroke penalty on himself on the first playoff hole Sunday to give Jim Furyk a victory at the Verizon Heritage.

Davis, an Englishman who’s never won on the PGA Tour, used a birdie on the 72nd hole to force the extra hole. However, Davis’ approach rolled off the green of the lighthouse hole and into some rocks.


As Davis attempted to chip on, his wedge moved a loose reed in the marshy area. Davis quickly called for a rules official, who after calling colleagues to check the replay, confirmed the penalty.


“I thought I saw movement,” Davis said. “It’s a disappointment.”


Davis conceded to Furyk before the world’s sixth-ranked player putted out.


Furyk shot a 69 to finish at 13-under 271. The victory was his 15th PGA Tour win and second since March, earning him $1.026 million.


Furyk was also disappointed the splendid duel between he and Davis at the end was spoiled by a rules violation.


“To have the tournament come down that way is definitely not the way I wanted to win,” Furyk said. “It’s obviously a tough loss for him and I respect and admire what he did.”


Davis nearly won in regulation, his approach to his final hole scaring the cup before settling 18 feet away. His birdie putt had just enough steam to drop in and force the extra hole.


Instead of riding that momentum into the playoff, his second shot rolled off the side toward Calibogue Sound and rattled around the rocks before stopping on some hard-packed sand.


That’s when Davis ended the drama with his self-imposed violation, something inconceivable in most other sports, where competitors take pride in getting every edge they can.


Slugger White, the PGA Tour’s tournament director who administrated the penalty, said Davis’ actions were classy and appropriate for a sport based on honor. White said Furyk came to Davis after and asked if he was sure it was a penalty. “I know I did it,” White recalled Davis’ response, “and I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t.”


Davis finished second for the fourth time since joining the PGA Tour in 2004.


He held a one-shot lead over Furyk with four holes left when things began to go wrong. Davis had back-to-back bogeys on the 15th and 16th holes to slip behind the steady Furyk.


Furyk has also posted two seconds and a fourth since 2005 at Harbour Town.


Davis shot a 68 and, like Furyk, ended with four rounds in the 60s.


Bo Van Pelt (69) and Luke Donald (70) were two shots further back in third.



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