SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The 4th Sanford International tees off Friday morning. Tournament Host Andy North calls this year’s field the best in tournament history, and a big reason for that is 2003 U.S. Open Champion and seventeen time PGA Tour Winner Jim Furyk making his debut in Sioux Falls.
Jim Furyk split his season last year between the PGA Tour and the Champions Tour.
“Just kind of wanted to dip my toe in the pool and see what I thought and give it a go and I just really enjoyed it. I played about six events I think last calendar year and kind of made my mind up that I was going to kind of turn the page this year when our tour heated up or kind of got going early May this year,” Furyk said.
He’ll be making his Sanford International debut this week.
“The guys talked a lot — a lot of positive comments not only about the golf course, but really about the tournament in general, the support of the community, the crowd. They say they get a bunch of folks here and it’s kind of an exciting week for us to play,” Furyk said.
Furyk got his first look at Minnehaha Country Club during Tuesday’s practice round.
“Just trying to get lines off tees, get a feel for — the greens are somewhat large, but there’s a lot of movement on them, pretty severe. So I’ll try to kind of narrow down pin placements, the greens today, try to get a better feel for the golf course and hopefully be comfortable,” Furyk said.
Minnehaha Country Club’s old school design presents a manageable course distance wise.
“I joke that I got to know my 4- and 5-iron really well playing the PGA TOUR and kind of missed hitting the 8, 9 and wedge into par 4s. I get an opportunity now to attack a little bit more at times and get some shorter irons in my hand and make a few more birdies. It’s a lot of fun,” Furyk said.
Furyk sits 3rd in the Race for the Charles Schwab Cup, and is one of Andy North’s favorites heading into Friday.
“You look at the players and how they’re playing, he’s playing as well as anyone. You look at the golf course and how it fits his game, it fits his game as well as anyone. I would expect if you could find one of those buildings in Vegas that bets on people, he’d be the favorite,” Tournament Host Andy North said.
The Sanford International continues on Thursday with the second day of Pro-Am’s. Then the 2021 Tournament tees off Friday morning.