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Furyk, Love are not feeling clock tick on Masters hopes

Thursday, April 07, 2011

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Is time running out for Jim Furyk and Davis Love III at the Masters Tournament?

Are they getting impatient, knowing there might be more starts behind them than ahead of them?

"That should never cross your mind," said Furyk, 40. "But I can't say that it hasn't."

Said Love, 46, who qualified for the Masters this year for the first time since 2007, when he tied for eighth in the U.S. Open: "I was only impatient with not getting here."

The longtime friends have one major championship each -- Furyk at the 2003 U.S. Open and Love at the 1997 PGA Championship.

"Experience matters on this course, and I've been feeling more confident about my game lately," Furyk said. "I've prepared for this week better this year than I did last year," when he missed the cut after rounds of 80 and 76.

Love said he's driving the ball and putting well.

"I still hit it long enough and I'm getting more confidence with the putter," he said. "I'm excited about this week."

Both men have had realistic chances to win a Masters.

Love's best shot was in 1995 when he opened 69-69 and entered the final round trailing Ben Crenshaw by three shots. Love shot his best Masters round, 66, to post 13-under 275 in the clubhouse. Crenshaw, playing the same week his beloved teacher Harvey Penick died, birdied Nos. 16 and 17 to overtake Love and won by a shot.

Furyk's first opportunity came in 1998. Playing with David Duval, the two of them stormed past 54-hole leader Fred Couples on Sunday. Furyk then fell behind but rallied to finish two shots behind winner Mark O'Meara.

Furyk's 67-68 weekend marked a long road back from an opening-round 76 and was matched only by O'Meara.

Furyk said each close call he has makes him eager for the next chance.

"Impatience (with winning) can also be a motivating factor," he said. "I'm coming in here more prepared than a lot of times in the past."

Love points out that players older than he have made noise at major championships.

"Jack (Nicklaus) won here when he was 46," Love said. "Tom Watson should have won the British Open (two years ago, at 59). Maybe Greg (Norman) in the British (in 2009). I'm happy with my life whether I win a Masters or not. I would be fun to get one, but it's also fun to get here."

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