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“He was three swings away from probably being a player of the year candidate,” Love said. “He hits the fairway at the U.S. Open. His ball stays in the trees maybe in Akron and he chips out and hits a wedge on the green and he wins that tournament. And then he hits the green at 17 in the Ryder Cup, and we win the Ryder Cup. He would have had a hell of a year given three swings over again.

“As competitors, we see how close it was to great more than we see how everybody else sees it _ `Well, he screwed those three tournaments up, didn’t he?’ Well, no, Jim Furyk got picked for the Ryder Cup because he was two swings away from winning two big tournaments.”

Furyk’s match didn’t determine the outcome of the Ryder Cup. Europe picked up additional points on the 18th hole when Justin Rose finished birdie-birdie to beat Phil Mickelson, and when Steve Stricker fell behind on the 17th by failing to get up-and-down with a routine chip. Kaymer’s 6-foot par putt on the last hole clinched in for Europe.

Oddly enough, Furyk spoke in the days before the Ryder Cup of being in position to win or lose the Ryder Cup. He spoke then of having to accept “that sometimes it turns out good, and sometimes it doesn’t.”

This year, it hasn’t turned out well at all.

Love has a PGA Championship among his 20 PGA Tour titles, and he holed the winning putt in his first Ryder Cup in 1993 at The Belfry. Even so, Love still remembers finishing with back-to-back bogeys, including a three-putt on the 18th at Oakland Hills, to lose the 1996 U.S. Open.

“We get remembered for a lot of things,” Love said. “Jim has done a lot of great stuff, as well, and played a lot of great golf. Just like the Ryder Cup, or just like him at the U.S. Open, you don’t get to enjoy the good times unless you screw it up every once in a while in front of everybody.

Jim loves being there, and I think he’ll continue to be there for quite a while.”