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Jim Furyk says U.S. Open rain delays are no big deal

FARMINGDALE, N.Y. -- Rain delays have pushed the conclusion of the final round of the 2009 U.S. Open at Bethpage into Monday, but for veterans of the PGA Tour like Jim Furyk, it's just another week at the office.Jim-furyk-usopen "It's a rain delay. We deal with this 12, maybe 15 times a year," he said in the clubhouse. "Coming to the U.S. Open, we've got more media that doesn't cover golf here, so we get a lot of, 'Oh no! It's a rain delay. How do you deal with it?' The same way I have the other 11 times in the last 12 months."Furyk says that he waits out rain delays by finding a group of guys who are relaxing somewhere in the clubhouse, swapping stories and telling jokes. He likes to slide out of his golf shoes and get off his feet, but his eyes are always looking out the windows and checking the skies."The whole key is to relax, but make sure you are prepared to go back out," he said. "Sometimes they'll tell you, 'We want you back on the course in 45 minutes. Go!' That's the hardest part — mentally flipping the switch back into competition mode."The winner of the 2003 U.S. Open at Olympia Fields, Furyk shot 72-69 in the first two rounds in rainy, wet conditions at Bethpage. Yet he was far from frustrated or flustered. On the contrary, he seemed to be quietly relishing this event because it was morphing into a mental meat grinder. "You know, when you are playing well, you don't mind playing in stuff like this," he said. "When you're playing bad, it makes it tougher. You can lose the rhythm of your round if you start and stop and start again. If you are playing well and they pull you off the course and say, 'Geez, I really had it going.' And when you are playing bad, its like, 'I'd love to get off the damn golf course the way I'm playing.' "Even the prospect of the tournament being extended past Sunday doesn't faze this veteran of 14 previous U.S. Opens. "Going into Monday and Tuesday is more of a logistical nightmare than anything else for the players," he said. "You have to deal with making arrangements for your house or hotel, cars, things like that."He may be treating it like just another week at the office, but Furyk and the rest of the field here at Bethpage had better be ready for overtime.(Photo: John Biever/SI)

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by Kevin Cunningham