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Birdie finish brightens up Furyk's day

JIM Furyk had good reason to smile after sinking a 7-foot birdie putt at the last for a share of the second-round lead at the Memorial tournament in Dublin, Ohio, on Friday.

The lightning-fast greens at Muirfield Village Golf Club left very little margin for error with approach shots and putting, so Furyk was delighted to grind out a 2-under par 70.

"Obviously I'm happy with the position I'm in," the 39-year-old told reporters after joining fellow American Jonathan Byrd atop the leaderboard at 7-under 137.

"The greens are tough, no doubt about it. For a Thursday and Friday, I thought it was a very difficult setup. They're slick. I can't imagine them being any quicker."

Champion here in 2002, Furyk was elated after covering the treacherous 3-hole closing stretch at Memorial in 1-under par. "Those are pretty tough holes and I wanted to really buckle down ... and get in the house where I wasn't disappointed with my finish," the 13-time PGA Tour winner said after carding five birdies and three bogeys in his round.

"I made a good par at 16, a good up-and-down at 17 and a good birdie on 18. That leaves a smile on your face. Good to go home and it puts me in good shape tied for the lead."

Furyk, who set up his birdie at the par-4 last with a superb eight-iron approach, has adopted a strategy of patience in pursuit of his first PGA Tour title since 2007.

"It's really unimportant where you're at right now in the tournament," he said. "I just want to go out there and play one more solid round tomorrow, hopefully sit in the same spot and put myself in good position for Sunday's round.

"Continue to play the same way after the first two days, which has been real patient, keeping the ball in front of me, trying to limit the mistakes, picking and choosing my spots to be aggressive and trying to take advantage of those."


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