Aronimink surprises Jim Furyk

Jim Furyk didn't get what he anticipated while playing Aronimink Golf Club during Wednesday's AT&T National Pro-Am.

The fifth-ranked golfer in the world and a former resident of West Chester and the Lancaster area, Furyk said Aronimink poses a greater challenge than he anticipated.

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Jim Furyk said of the club's greens: "There's a lot of slope, a lot of undulation, and they're already quite firm."

"The golf course is very, very tough," he said. "It's tough to get the ball in the fairways. They're pitched at a lot of angles from left to right and right to left. You have to work the ball well off the tee. The greens are very big but are cut up into smaller sections. There's a lot of slope, a lot of undulation, and they're already quite firm," he said.

"Add to that, there's probably the thickest and longest rough we've had for a PGA Tour event this year. So I expect scoring to be difficult."

The AT&T National is at Aronimink this year and next after shifting from Congressional, the Bethesda, Md., course Furyk became quite fond of because of his success there. Furyk twice finished in the top five in the U.S. Open at Congressional.

If he were to do well this week, Aronimink may become as special to Furyk as Congressional.

"I like [Aronimink] and I think it suits my game," Furyk said. "Congressional probably suits it a touch more. But I'll be anxious to see the setup and how the golf course plays once the gun goes off [Thursday]. Play well here for a couple of years, and I'll like it just as much as Congressional."

Boo Weekley looked a bit mystified when he ended his round in the Pro-Am. The 36-year-old Weekley sounded like Aronimink had beaten him up a bit during his first go-around the course.

"Right now I'm really not prepared to play here," said Weekley, who has twice won the Verizon Heritage. "You've got to see this course a couple times to understand where to hit it and where not to hit it, and how the fairways slope.

"The greens are good. They're big so there are a lot of places where they can hide the tees. If the greens get firmer than what they are now it's going to be tough to get it close."

Weekley believes the pros will do well to to get a par score on Aronimink.

"I think if you can be one or two under by the end of the week, you'll be in the hunt," he said.

Weekley agreed with Furyk that the rough is the thickest he's seen on the tour this year.

"If you hit it in the rough you just chip it out," he said. "I mean, that's golf because it means you have to drive it better. But at the same time, you can't advance it more than 20 yards or so because of some of those lies. I've kind of got mixed emotions right now about what I've got in front of me. It's a tough golf course."

 


Contact staff writer Ray Parrillo at 215-854-2743 or rparrillo@phillynews.com