Originally created 11/22/06

Furyk takes Slam lead with 67



POIPU BEACH, Hawaii - Jim Furyk shot 5-under-par 67 on Tuesday for a one-stroke lead over U.S. Open champion Geoff Ogilvy after the opening round of the PGA Grand Slam of Golf.

Defending champion Tiger Woods, who has won the exclusive four-man event a record six consecutive times in seven appearances, struggled off the tee and scrambled to 70.

Mike Weir was at 71 in the event reserved for the winners of this year's majors.

With Woods claiming two majors this year and Masters Tournament winner Phil Mickelson dropping out of the event, Furyk and Weir each earned their second invite to Kauai based on their performances in the four majors.

Today's winner will pocket $500,000.

NO LOST CLAUSE: Mark Wilson agreed to donate a percentage of his PGA Tour earnings this year to the MACC Fund (Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer). Wilson finished 156th on the money list, and he was to donate $9,800.

Instead, Wilson and his wife, Amy, gave $30,000, the highest donation by an athlete in the 30-year history of the MACC Fund.

"The greatness of Mark Wilson extends far beyond the golf course," MACC Fund executive director John Cary said.

Wilson could use some greatness on the golf course next week when he goes to the final stage of Q-school.

END OF THE DEBATE: Scott Verplank was asked for his thoughts on the new Ryder Cup selection process, and was told that points were only available next year in the majors.

Digesting this for a second, he asked, "Is The Players Championship a major?"

Sorry.

One point for every $1,000 will be awarded at the Masters Tournament, U.S. Open, British Open and PGA Championship.

Another pause from Verplank.

"Well, I guess that confirms it then," he said. "There's only four majors."

MINOR REPRIEVE: Steven Bowditch attributed his dismal showing on the PGA Tour to clinical depression. After getting a report from his doctor, the PGA Tour is ready to give him another chance.

The tour has offered Bowditch a minor medical exemption, meaning he will have five tournaments next year to earn the equivalent of No. 125 on the money list ($660,898).