If you don’t follow golf, you should at least know Jim Furyk.
As one of the winningest American golf players of all time, Furyk’s career has been full of notable accomplishments. He’s been a professional on the PGA Tour since 1992 and won the 2003 U.S. Open. As a fixture on nine USA Ryder Cup teams, he’s proud to have been part of two big wins in 1999 and 2008. And just this year, he was the first player to shoot 58 in a PGA Tour event when he went 12-under-par at the Travelers Championship, giving him the new nickname “Mister 58.” On top of that, he was the 2016 recipient of the Payne Stewart Award, which is given to a player whose “values align with character, charity, and sportsmanship.”
But beyond being a decorated golfer with an odd swing (seriously, it’s a weird one), Jim Furyk is a humble family man—his father Mike is still his swing coach after all these years, and he speaks fondly of his wife and children. And when he starts talking about his watches, that same sort of sentimentality comes through.
We recently spent an afternoon with Jim at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, watching him tee off (because we’re nowhere near at his level of skill) and hearing the stories behind some of his favorite watches.
It’s Ryder Cup tradition for each Team Captain to gift a watch–usually a Rolex, since they were the longtime sponsor–to the entire team. So over the years, Furyk has received nine different Rolexes, but this is one that stands out: the Datejust chosen for the 1999 Team USA by Captain Ben Crenshaw, the year they won.
Rolex GMT-Master II
Another reminder of a great win, this GMT-Master II was a gift to the 2008 USA Ryder Cup Team from Captain Paul Azinger. It’s currently Furyk’s go-to watch, and carries a lot of memories of Azinger’s leadership and the frankly amazing Ryder Cup performance from Team USA.
The first watch he ever bought for himself, Furyk admits that he was a bit out of his league when it came to nicer watches. But as we all know, sometimes when it comes to the watch you really love, it’s about how it looks and feels on the wrist. Given how “beat up” it is, Furyk tells us this Breitling Astromat was on his wrist for 10 years.
Sometimes you meet people with a high profile, and they’re nothing like what you’d expect. But getting to sit down with Jim Furyk and listen to him talk about his golf career, it’s very clear that he’s a no-fuss sort of guy who takes great care in his game and has earned the respect of his peers. Oftentimes, a watch collection is purposeful, built with a lot of thought and thorough research. But Jim Furyk’s watches have been gifts and personal celebrations, which is the best reflection of his more personal nature.