02/04/2016

In a range of golfers from the anonymous to the super duper stars, Jim Furyk may hold down the spot in the exact middle.

At 45 years old, he’s put together an impressive career. Furyk has won 17 PGA Tournaments, finished second 29 times and hoisted the US Open in 2003. His first victory came in 1995, his last in 2015.

And yet, Furyk would never strike anyone as a generational player.

There are reasons for that. For one, he has that “Octopus-falling-out-of-a-tree” swing as described by David Feherty. He’s also bald, has a beak of a nose and has looked middle-aged since he was young. With an even-keeled demeanor, Furyk never struck an intimidating pose nor did he possess the charisma of contemporaries Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson (And, to be fair, both players are far more accomplished).

Still, it’s worth appreciating Furyk’s contributions to golf in light of the latest news about him.

He announced earlier this week that he will undergo surgery on his wrist, an ailment that will keep him out three months. Furyk will miss his first Masters since 2004, when he was nursing an injury to the same wrist. He talked about the injury on the Golf Channel.

“While I am disappointed that the wrist has not yet healed sufficiently for me to return to play, I am confident that the surgery at this point is the best course of action, and will get me back in the shortest possible time,” Furyk said in a statement from the Legacy Agency. “This has been frustrating for me to this point, but I am focusing on an aggressive rehabilitation program and having a strong year once I am sufficiently healed.”

Furyk dropped out of the BMW Championship last September with what was then diagnosed as a bone contusion. The injury kept him out of the Presidents Cup, which the US won despite his absence.

Originally, the West Chester, Pennsylvania native was hoping to return to the Hyundai Tournament of Champions in January. He was forced to miss out in an outcome that was doubly disappointing—his win at the 2015 RBC Heritage was his first since 2011, a span that featured seven runner-ups. There was no TOC to remind us that Furyk was still a winner.

Furyk is by no means done. However, at his age, the nature of the injury is disconcerting. He missed out on the Presidents Cup last fall. He’ll watch the Masters from his couch this April. It’s difficult to imagine him making a run at a Ryder Cup spot next October considering the play of America’s young stars as well as the return to form of former Ryder Cuppers Jason Dufner and Brandt Snedeker.

Furyk remains both an under-the-radar player and one worth remembering. After all, he reached No. 3 in the World Rankings last season, a tremendous achievement.

Here’s hoping he recovers quickly.

Maybe he can take a minute to update this Twitter account.

Screenshot 2016-02-04 13.23.00