HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. — Brian
Davis couldn't deny what he saw and knew he was honor-bound to tell the
Davis ticked a loose reed during his
backswing Sunday on the first playoff hole, calling a two-stroke penalty
on himself that gave Jim Furyk a victory at the Verizon Heritage.
"It's just awkward to see it happen at
such a key moment in the golf tournament," Furyk said. "Awkward for him
to lose that way, and a little awkward for me to win."
Davis immediately asked for PGA Tour
tournament director Slugger White and shared what he saw on the shot.
White consulted with officials who checked TV replays and confirmed
Davis' worst fear: His violation cost him a chance at his first PGA Tour
What Davis lost on the course will be
regained in his reputation for his honorable act, White said.
"That will come back to him spades,
tenfold," White said.
That was little consolation for Davis,
who rolled in a clutch 18-footer for birdie on his final regulation
hole to catch Furyk and force overtime.
Davis' troubles began with his
approach, a wayward 7-iron that hit the left edge of the green, rattled
off the rocks boarding Calibogue Sound and settled among some grass,
twigs and reeds.
Davis' error, a violation of rule 13.4
against moving a loose impediment during a takeaway, was indiscernible
but for slow-motion replays.
"It was one of those things I thought
I saw movement out of the corner of my eye. And I thought we'd check on
TV, and indeed there was movement," Davis said.
He immediately conceded victory to
Furyk, who putted out for his 15th PGA Tour win and second since March.
Furyk didn't know what to do at
first. He raised his putter and tipped his cap to the cheering and
confused crowd, then embraced his children who ran to meet their
"I want to react to the crowd and
kind of wave and let them know, that 'Hey, I'm excited,'" Furyk said.
"But I don't want it to take away from Brian."
Furyk earned $1,026,000 million,
finally tasting victory at Harbour Town after posting two seconds and a
fourth since 2005.
Davis earned $615,000 for his fourth
second-place finish on the PGA Tour.
"To have the tournament come down
that way is definitely not the way I wanted to win," Furyk said. "It's
obviously a tough loss for him and I respect and admire what he did."
Davis nearly won in regulation, his
approach to his final hole scaring the cup before settling 18 feet away.
His birdie putt had just enough steam to drop in and keep hope of a
breakthrough win alive.
Moments later, the playoff was done
with Davis' self-imposed violation, something inconceivable in most
other sports, where competitors take pride in getting every edge they
"He's class, first class," White
Davis held a one-shot lead over Furyk
with four holes left when things began to go wrong. Davis had
back-to-back bogeys on the 15th and 16th holes to slip behind the
Davis shot a 68 and, like Furyk,
ended with four rounds in the 60s.
Bo Van Pelt (69) and Luke Donald (70)
were two shots further back in third.
Camilo Villegas (70) headed a group
another stroke behind.
The final round wasn't nearly as
crazy as the third — Furyk still had the lead when he teed off on No. 1
unlike Saturday. Still, the charge was on to go as low as possible and
Heath Slocum, two behind at the
start, had birdies on the second, fourth and six holes to catch Furyk.
Former champion Aaron Baddeley tied
Furyk at 11 under. But a triple-bogey 7 on No. 8 — Baddeley drove out of
bounds — ended his chance of a second title.
By the middle of the back nine, it
was down to Furyk and Davis.
Furyk missed a 15-foot par putt on
the 10th to drop into a tie with Davis, his playing partner.
The world's sixth-ranked player moved
back in front two holes later with 5-footer for birdie. However, Davis
caught him once more on the 13th hole after making a 12-foot birdie putt
and Furyk failed to covert one from half that distance.
Davis moved in front on the par-3
14th when Furyk landed over the green, chipped 12 feet past the cup and
was short on his attempt at par.
But things were again tied a hole
later, as Davis didn't make a 6-foot putt to save par, setting the
Brian Gay, the 2009 Verizon
Heritage champion, finished this tournament at 4-under 280, 16 shots
more than his record winning total of a year ago. … Five-time Verizon
winner Davis Love III ended with a 76 for a 5-over 289. That tied for
his highest score ever at Harbour Town that Love shot in 1986, his first