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UArizona Grad Furyk eyes win in Tucson at Cologuard

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TUCSON (KVOA) - Jim Furyk is a U.S. Open winner. He holds the record for the lowest score in a round in PGA Tour history - a 58.

This is a special week for the Wildcat alumni who is coming back to the desert with fond memories as he transitions to life and golf at the age of 50. 

"Well, everyone loves turning 50," Furyk said on the driving range at Omni Tucson National Thursday. "It's a milestone everyone looks forward to, I'll tell you that right off the bat."

Furyk graduated from the University of Arizona in 1992.

The Wildcats won the national championship that year.

Close to three decades later with an accomplished resume and that trademark swing, Furyk is back in the Old Pueblo where he's always felt at home.

"As a young professional, played in a lot of Tucson Opens, always felt a lot of support being an alumni and the Wildcat fans have been great," he said. "It'll be a little different week. I think there will only be about a couple hundred fans on the golf course which will be disappointing. Hopefully, life gets back to normal soon. I look forward to coming back to Tucson for many years to come."

Five-time major champion, Phil Mickelson is set to renew his rivalry with Furyk at Tucson National this weekend.

But, Mickelson says his friend is such a good guy, you can't help but root for him. 

"Jim is one of the most quality guys on the PGA Tour," Mickelson said. "I'm very appreciative of our friendship over the years. He's a guy you can't help but pull for. I think U of A is very proud to have him as an alumni and he's represented the school so well for so many years."

Furyk turned 50 in May and this Champions Tour rookie is now one of the older guys. And, he's okay with that. 

"Yesterday someone asked if I won my state high school tournament and I said yeah back at Penn State - 1987, they said, well you're aging yourself, I said no I'm playing on this tour, I've already aged myself," he said. 

But Furyk says these guys still want to win.

"You hear a lot about the Champions Tour and there's this misconception that everyone is in having a glass of wine and a beer and we're all hanging out and the camaraderie is great," he said. "But, these guys are competitive and they're working hard and if you look at this driving range this afternoon, guys are working their tails off and it's super competitive and it's a lot of fun. We have kind of a second lease on life." 

Furyk is in the marquee pairing Friday afternoon for the first round  with Phil Mickelson and Fred Couples. 

The threesome of major champions tee-off at 12:05 p.m. on Friday.

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Eric Fink

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