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September 20, 2006 - Image 12

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The Michigan Daily, 2006-09-20

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12A - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, September 20, 2006
y Odd couple teams up for U.S.

STRAFFAN, Ireland (AP) - On paper and in "You want your bst player to go out there and
Fr;,prson, they look nothing alike, play well the first day and make a statement"
Tiger Woods is sheer power, from his 12 major Furyk said.
' championships and 63 titles worldwide to his That was hardly the case last time.
acclaim as the richest athlete and one of the most U.S. captain Hal Sutton made his own state-
recognizable faces in the world. ment by teaming Woods with Phil Mickelson,
Jim Fur k is a U.S. Open champion who grnds creating unity that ranks right up there with oil
at his golf and is recognized only by his swing, and water. They rarely spoke, harely smiled and
which is not always a compliment. An analyst once lost both their matches as Europ went on to its
described it as an octopus falling out of atree. largest victory ever.
/Woos's reputation is the long ball. Woods usually gets his way, but the world's
aFuryk is so accurate he can aim at stripes left by No. 1 player had to wait a couple of years to get
a anmower. this request.
But they almost certainly will be partners in this He was in the locker room at Firestone in 2003
Ryder Cup, a combination that makes sense only going over a long list of partners in the Ryder
to them. Cup and Presidents Cup that was about to grow
v "We have some similarities, we have some even more. He had already had 11 partners in five
n differences and we get along pretty well," Furyk events.
said Tuesday. "We partnered well at the Presidents "You know who I'dreally love to play with? Jim
Cup. There's no promises, obviously, but hope- Furyk2Woods said that dy. "You can't blieve
fully that oontinues. I enjoy playing golf with him, how tough this guy is.'
and I'm excited because I feel that's going to hap- He didn't get him at the '03 Presidents Cup and
pen this week." '04 Ryder Cup, and almost didn't get him last year
Woods and Furyk were together at The K Club in the Presidents Cup. U.S. captain Jack Nicklaus
during the first prsctice session leading to the start considered putting Woos and Mickelson together
of Friday's matches, which was no surprise. U.S. again for the goo of the event.
captain Tom Lehman saw how they played at the Instead, Woods got his man.
Presidents Cup in October - a 2-0-1 record in Furyk was injure that week with a pulled mus-
t tea play- and listened to their requests that they cle in his ribs, the pain so severe that he had to lie
t epartners again, on his stomach with his shirt off while therspists
Their success is crucial to an American team worked on him. Woos also was injued, getting
F. tthat has lost four of the lat five limes in the his bck iced btween shots, yet they ettepulled out a
Ryder Cup. 3-and-2 victory. They won anotber match and tied
For all his greatness in the majors, Woos has a third, giving the U.S. team a big lift.
been nothing more than ordinary in the Ryder Cup. Wooasrsrely has looked so happy at a team
Even more surprising than his 7-11-2 record is that event as he did that Sunday evening after the
he rarly contributes anything on the opening day, Americans won the President Cup. As everyone
which sets the tone for these matches, charged across the 18th green to celebrste the win-
" f Woods~~ is 1-7on Fridays at the Ryder Cup, riding ning putE, Woos and Furyk stoo to th side with
11an ugly strak of seven strsight losses, their wives, Elmn and Tabitha. Woos draped his
Furyk isn't much better. arm around Fur k's shoulder.
He has shown his grit in singles by going unb at- "I finally found a parner' he said.
x en in four Ryder Cups, usually against Europe's More than anything, he might have found a
AP PHOTO strongest players, whether it's Nick Faldo or Sergio soul mate.
Tiger Woods will likely partner with Jim Furyk for this year's Ryder Cup. Garcia. But he is 1-9-1 in team matches. Their mutual admiration took root at Fires-

tone in 2001 when they engaged in an epic battle.
Woods overcame a two-shot deficit to foree a sud-
den-death playoff that lasted seven holes before
Woods put Funyk away with a par in the Worid
Golf Championship. Furyk showed such fight that
he holed a bunker shot for par to stay alive.
"Believe it or not, Jim and I play the game the
same way - it's just I hit the ball further,' Woods
said recently. "But our belief in how we play the
game strstegically, how we read greens, the phi-
losophy of getting around the golf oourse, we're
almost identical:'
Some believe it can be just as intimidating play-
ing with Woods in a team match as going agalnst
him in a major. Paul Azinger was his partner at
The Belfry in 2002, knew he was playing pooriy,
and said it affected him.
"I was just trying not to drsg himndown,"Azing-
er said,ahthough he eventually contributed in a los-
ing cause.
Asked about the possible distractions of playing
with the worid's No. 1 player, Furyk stared beck
as if he didn't understand the question. Then he
shmugged, and delivered an answer that showed
why he and Woods get along so well.
"You can either say, 'Uh-oh, I'm playing with the
best player in the worid.' Or you can say, All right!
I'm playing with the bst player in the world!"'
Furyk said. "What's the worst that can happen? It's
not the end of the world."
That smacks of what Woods often has sald about
coping with pressure over some of the biggest putts
he has ever made.
"Two things can happen" he says. "It either goes
in or it doesn't, so just put your best stroke on it"
Furyk doesn't remember which Ryder Cup this
happened, but he lost a match and was beating
himself up over it. He feht he let his team down
and was stewing in the locker room when Woods
came by.
."He said, 'Hey, it's just golf. These things hap-
pen in sports all the time; "Furyk said. "As hard as
he triesas much effort ashe puts into every shot, as
much as he burns to win, he keeps his perspective.
That told roesa lot about him:'

'M'NOTE
Wolverines on special
edition Wheaties box
The Michigan football program is join-
ing the ranks of Michael Jordan and Lance
Armstrong in a time-honored tradition of
sports greatness: a special-edition Wheaties
cereal box.
The nation's winningest college football
program is featured with a picture of the Big
House on the front and the marching band on
the back. Also on the .back is a short descrip-
tion of Michigan's rich history.
The celebrated football programs of Geor-
gia and Notre Dame also grace the fronts of
the special-edition boxes.

USC upset Musberger released i*nfo
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Southern Cal formally curs- Southern Cal sports information director Tim Ten- Booty was asked if Southern Cal had a similar
plained that ABC-TV's Brent Musburger revealed privi- salone sent a formal complaint to ESPN/ABC game signal, and Booty told Musburger about his "hang
leged information in play-by-play commentary during producer Bill Bonnell on Monday and sent a copy to loose" signal.
Saturday's game against Nebraska. the Pacific-10 conference office. "We are very mindful of what we learn in pre-game
The university sent a letter to ESPN, which over-, "We're supposed to be partners in this, but this is cer- meetings in terms in what is appropriate for broadcast
sees sports programming on ABC, saying Musburg- ttainly going to make us think twice about trying to help and what is for our background. ESPN said in a state-
er, with less than 10 minutes to play and the Trojans them have as good a broadcast as possible,' Tessalone ment released by spokesman Josh Krulewitz, "We're
leading 21-10, began describing how Southern Cal said. "What he did was unconscionable:' sorry this led to an unfortunate misunderstanding, which
quarterback John David Booty lets receivers know Last Friday, announcers and producers met wish was never our intention:'
he has spotted a certain kind of coverage, coaches and star players as part of their game prepara- Musburger said in a statement late Monday that the
"John David told us that his signal when he finds lion. During the meeting, there was discussion about network regretted the confusion.
one-on-one and they're coming, it's that 'hang loose,' how a replay of the Ohio State-Texas broadcast showed Asked about Musburger's on-air revelations, Southern
that familiar sign you've seen surfers use,' said Mus- Buckeyes quarterback Troy Smith tapping the top of his Cal coach Pete Carroll said wish a laugh, "Just wondering
burger, referring to the sign where the thumb and little helmet to let receiver Ted Ginn Jr. know he's noticed one- what they're going to tell us next. I'm not worried about
finger are raised. on-one coverage, it. There's a million signals, a million ways to do it."

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