Take a bow, Mr. Furyk

IAN HUTCHINSON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:49 AM ET

It was too much to ask of a guy who has done too much for the RBC Canadian Open despite his denial of any personal contribution to a tournament that was floundering when he became champ.

Eight shots off the lead at the beginning of the day, Jim Furyk was making like 2006 and 2007 when he came from behind to win the Open. This time, he dropped in three consecutive birdies for old-time sake early in his round, but that was to be the highlight of the day for Furyk, who finished with a 70, 12 shot back of eventual winner Chez Reavie.

"I felt like, all in all, it was a decent week," Furyk said.

"I'm a little disappointed because I had the opportunity, especially today, to shoot a pretty low number and get myself, maybe not into the golf tournament winning, but get in there in a top five, six, seventh place," he said.

The Canadians, who warmly welcomed Furyk as he walked up to the 18th green at Glen Abbey, gladly would have accepted a year's extension of his championship reign, but the partial standing ovation he received went beyond his performance on the golf course.

For going above and beyond what was expected of him, Furyk deserved a full standing ovation.

"I don't think I did anything that special. I came back to defend the championship, which I've always said you should do," he said.

In an era in which fans rightly or wrongly look at marquee players as self-serving, listen to Furyk play down exactly what he did. It began moments after his first Open victory at Hamilton Golf and Country Club when he promised to come back and defend despite the British Open being the week before.

He came to Angus Glen last year and took time out to sit down with potential sponsors to convince them how important the Canadian Open was before RBC finally took title sponsorship last fall.

This year, he returned once again to not only defend, but also help raise money for the family of popular Canadian caddie Steve Duplantis who was killed in January after being struck by a car in San Diego.

A tournament was held on Monday in Georgetown for Duplantis, a free spirit who carried Furyk's bag in the 1990s, and Furyk made a point of playing the day after the British Open. He also was at the Open's pro-am draw Tuesday evening and charmed the crowd before playing in the pro-am the next day.

Although he downplays it, Furyk is said to have made a sizeable contribution to the Duplantis fund himself and raised money for it through other means.

"He definitely lived life. He had a lot of fun. He just had a way about him. He was such a likeable person, you had to like him," Furyk said of Duplantis.

"Even when he irritated the living daylights out of you, even when he was doing something he shouldn't be doing and having too much fun, you couldn't stay mad at him. You couldn't like him, you had to love him. You had to pull for him, you had to root for him."

Judging by the reception he got at 18, Canadian fans feel the same about Furyk, but may have to contain their enthusiasm until 2010 when the Open moves to St. George's. Furyk was evasive about whether he would be back at Glen Abbey next year, but it didn't sound promising.

"Winning twice (in Canada) will always have a special place. What I'm going to look at is the golf course we're playing at and how special it is for me, how good I think my opportunity is to win," said Furyk, admitting he likes traditional courses such as Hamilton, Shaughnessy in Vancouver and St. George's.

"I make no bones about it. I don't dislike (Glen Abbey), but it's not my favourite on tour," said Furyk, a guy any tournament would dearly like to have in the field.


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