Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Area Golfers Prepare for a Major Attack

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Area Golfers Prepare for a Major Attack

Article excerpt

BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. -- The North Florida and South Georgia

golfers in this week's U.S. Open are no strangers to late Sunday

afternoon trophy presentations astride 18th greens.

Mark McCumber and Davis Love III have won 10 times each on the

PGA Tour and Blaine McCallister five. Vijay Singh and Fred Funk

have won three times each and Jim Furyk twice more.

And although David Duval is still searching of his first

victory, he's arguably playing better than any of his First

Coast peers since tying for fourth at The Players Championship

in March.

Still, one credential is missing from every one of those

resumes -- a major title. In fact, no golfer who is a native of

the Jacksonville area or resides there has won a major.

But conditions may never be better than this weekend for that

to change, as those seven join 149 other players today in

chasing the 96th U.S. Open title at the Oakland Hills Country


Members of golf's Team First Coast have flirted often enough

with major titles in the past.

Love was in contention twice last year, finishing second to

Ben Crenshaw at The Masters and tying for fourth in the U.S.

Open at Shinnecock Hills.

McCumber tied for second in the 1989 U.S. Open at Oak Hills.

He was fifth at the 1987 PGA in Palm Beach Gardens, and missed

joining Larry Nelson and Lanny Wadkins in a playoff by one shot

and was eighth in the 1984 British Open.

Singh tied for sixth at the British and tied for 10th at the

Open last year, and was fourth at the 1993 PGA.

Aside from that, the best finish in a major for any other area

player in this year's Open field was Funk's tie for seventh in

the 1993 U.S. Open.

The reasons why some of those players think an area golfer have

a good chance to win this week include recent streaks of good

play or having games suited to the course. …

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