The inaugural Constellation Furyk & Friends golf tournament is in the books, and it could not have gone much better.
“It certainly exceeded expectations with the crowds and the way everything turned out,” Tabitha Furyk said. “I couldn’t be more proud of our team and our execution of the event. The perspective from all the fans that have been out here has been so positive.”
Hall of famer Phil Mickelson won the PGA Tour Champions event after outdueling Spain’s Miguel Angel Jimenez down the stretch to win by two strokes at 15-under at Timuquana Country Club in Jacksonville.
Getting Mickelson to commit was a big coup for the event, as he entered the final day at the top of the leaderboard and drew a large crowd of spectators throughout the round as a clear fan favorite.
The loudest of cheers came as the final group approached the 18th green for the last time at this year’s event and after Mickelson sank his tournament-clinching putt.
“We’ve been working on this for three years, so quite a while,” Furyk said. “Prior to COVID, we were already working on this, trying to select our site and working with the Navy base on parking. It has been a long journey but a labor of love.”
However, Jim Furyk admittedly joked during the trophy presentation that maybe he shouldn’t have been so happy to have his longtime friend in the tournament.
“Now that I look back on it, I probably shouldn’t have been so excited,” Furyk chuckled.
He had a strong tournament himself and finished tied for fourth at 9-under but did so with a different feeling than he had ever felt before at a golf tournament.
According to Jim Furyk, being host of a tournament was a new experience for him, and he found the balance of playing well individually and wanting the event to go well as a whole was real.
“I found myself looking around a lot more and wanting to get a feel for how the patrons were interacting during the round,” Furyk said. “At the end of the day, I’m out there playing golf, but it was definitely a unique perspective.”
The Furyks called Ponte Vedra Beach home for decades and during that time became staples within the local community and the North Florida area through their various charitable projects.
One of the missions of the Furyk & Friends event was to make sure it was not all about golf and instead to use golf as a platform to help promote those initiatives.
An example of that was the tournament teaming up with award-winning and best-selling children’s author Alysson Foti Bourque.
The partnership led to Bourque donating books from her “Alycat Series” along with plush toys to military families through a project called Operation Shower the day before the start of the tournament Sunday Oct. 3.
Operation Shower provides essentials for expecting military families in a baby shower setting in conjunction with the Jim & Tabitha Furyk Foundation.
“We wanted there to be a lot of depth to this tournament,” Tabitha Furyk said. “Not only for spectators to enjoy great music, great food and good golf, but we also wanted them to know that everything that they were participating in was also giving back to our community.”
According to Jim Furyk, the tournament has agreed to a five-year contract with Timuquana and the PGA Tour with the hopes of developing it into an annual tradition for both fans and players.