CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (Reuters) - American 17-times PGA Tour winner Jim Furyk makes his comeback from injury at this week’s Wells Fargo Championship, where Rory McIlroy is defending champion.
Furyk, 45, has not played since September due to a left wrist injury that required surgery in February and he will have plenty of work to do if he is to secure a spot in his 10th consecutive Ryder Cup later this year.
He is 41st in the American standings and, barring a sizzling summer stretch, will have to make do with his already-assigned role as captain’s assistant.
But Furyk is more focused right now on trying to play his way back into form without the benefit of much practice.
“I’m still on a limited schedule and not able to go to the range and bang a bunch of balls,” he said at Quail Hollow on the eve of Thursday’s opening round.
McIlroy is also raring to go after three weeks off, having not played since the Masters, where he tied for 10th and was not happy with aspects of his swing.
“I’m working quite a lot on a couple of technical things,” he said.
McIlroy took a decent break because of a busy upcoming stretch that includes three major championships, the Rio Olympics and Ryder Cup.
“There are so many big events in such a short space of time, trying to get yourself up for them, go back down and relax for a couple of days, and having to build back up again, I think that’s going to be the hardest part about this summer.”
McIlroy will arrive at the course this week the old-fashioned way, in a tournament courtesy car, but he will take a more extravagant mode of transport to the British Open at Royal Troon in July.
Rather than stay on-site in the Scottish town of Troon, McIlroy will commute by helicopter from his home in Northern Ireland.
“It’s only a 20-minute helicopter flight to Troon,” he said. “So I’m going to go back and forth that week a couple of times so I can stay at home.”
McIlroy joins a stellar field this week that includes Australian Adam Scott, Japanese Hideki Matsuyama and American Phil Mickelson.
Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Frank Pingue