By Adam Stanley, for PGATour.com
Tim Clark stands a mere 5-foot-7, but what he lacks in height he makes up for in heart.
The 38-year-old South African suffered a myriad of injuries in 2011 – causing him to play only four events that year – and had struggled in 2013-2014 – having previously made just 10 cuts in 20 events – but he explained his one-shot victory at the RBC Canadian Open on Sunday will be a confidence booster.
“If I stay in this sort of frame of mind, there’s no reason why I can’t keep it going,” Clark said after picking up 500 FedExCup points to move to 27th in the standings. “The next two events are big for us, and I’d love to keep it going.”
From confidence boosting, to, perhaps, another blow to one’s confidence, Jim Furyk was unable to convert a 54-hole lead again. He’s now failed to convert seven straight 54-hole leads since his last victory in 2010 and said he has “no one to blame” but himself.
“It was a benign day, and 69 is not a bad round by any means, but by only making two birdies I let a couple guys back into the tournament,” he said.
The 44-year-old takes some solace in the fact that he is confirmed as a member of the United States’ Ryder Cup team, but that doesn’t quash the pain of this loss.
“I’m obviously disappointed,” he said. “I just didn’t putt well enough, and I didn’t convert the opportunities I had.”
Neither Clark nor Furyk were affected by the rain delay that caused a 15-minute break in play as inclement weather passed through the Montreal area.
“It was a really awkward break for everyone. It’s rare that we come off the golf course and then we’re not afforded a chance to go out and warm up, but we really weren’t in there that long,” Furyk said.
The break happened while the final pair was on the 15th hole, and Clark was in the midst of a 5-under-par 30 back nine.
“I knew I had to make birdies, and sometimes that can be easier when you know you have to be aggressive,” he said. “At that point (I had) nothing to lose. I suddenly just got hot, and I went with it.”
Clark has some existing Canadian connections – having won twice on what’s now PGA TOUR Canada in 1998, and, his wife was born in Toronto. Her father is from Montreal, so there will be some local celebrations tonight before Clark prepares for next week’s World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational, and the PGA Championship.
As Clark’s young son, Jack, ran across the 18th green to greet his father, there were tears in Clark’s eyes. It was a long road back from injury, but he is excited for what lies ahead.
“Today was just a dream day.”
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