Move over Tiger, now Rory is the man to beat, says Furyk
23:39 GMT, 18 September 2012
Webb Simpson thought it would be nice to rent a property for his family in the local vicinity after qualifying for the Tour Championship for the first time last year.
The US Open champion was wholly unprepared for the response. ‘I wouldn’t advise it unless you own a gun,’ came the reply.
It’s not just the shots played inside the ropes that make the headlines, therefore, at this event at East Lake.
Power shift: World No 1 Rory McIlroy is the man to beat now rather than Tiger Woods
At the conclusion of last year’s tournament, commentators working for Sky walked out of their trailer and into a crime scene.
Two youths had driven through a roadblock, prompting a state trooper to shoot one of them in the shoulder.
It should be said that great strides have been made to turn the neighbourhood into a peaceful community.
Members recall a time when they wouldn’t play a hole that fringes the outskirts for fear of being mugged.
It might not be completely safe now but it’s safe enough to assume Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods will avoid such a fate this week.
Taking aim: Jim Furyk says McIlroy has a target on his back
When Jim Furyk came into the interview room and talked about McIlroy being a marked man, then, he meant it metaphorically. ‘No matter what happens this week, he’s the present day Tiger, garnering all the attention as well he should after the season he’s had,’ Furyk said.
‘He’s a marked man, the No 1 player in the world and, the way he’s playing, it’s hard to imagine he won’t be in contention.’
The overriding feature so far leading into this FedEx Cup finale for the race to the $10million bonus has been the blossoming friendship of McIlroy and Woods.
This will be the third time in four events they have played together in the opening round, with the Northern Irishman a clear winner so far.
Indeed, no less a figure than Greg Norman this week made the astonishing claim that he believes Tiger is feeling intimidated by McIlroy.