West Fraser knew from the outset that the most captivating image from Jim Furyk’s triumph last April at Harbour Town wouldn’t really fit the assignment.
Finally snapping a five-year victory drought, the usually stoic Furyk dropped his putter and fervently punched the air when his final putt dropped to dispatch Kevin Kisner in a playoff at the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing.
Stirring, yes. But not a portrait in the classic manner like those displayed in the Harbour Town clubhouse.
“The portrait part is the most important,” Fraser said Thursday before the final product was unveiled at Arts Center of Coastal Carolina. “That sometimes limits what you might use.”
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Fraser’s selection captures Furyk front-on in a classic swing finish, softer lines around the edges becoming more defined as they draw the eye to the champion’s determined face. Furyk’s sharp features and resolute expression are pronounced.
“I wanted something that has his features clearly defined,” said Fraser, nephew of Sea Pines founder Charles Fraser whose studio is in Charleston.
He also wanted a different angle than his first portrait of Furyk in 2010, which captures the golfer’s profile.
The new portrait will move shortly to Harbour Town’s clubhouse, where it will replace Matt Kuchar’s next to a display of the Heritage trophy and signature plaid jacket. Kuchar’s portrait will be relocated to another part of the hall.
Thursday marked the second time Fraser’s portrait was given a formal showing, though last March’s gathering wasn’t an unveiling in the truest sense. By that time, Kuchar’s portrait had been seen on promotional material for the tournament.
This time, the portrait made its way from Charleston on Thursday with only a select few having laid eyes on it.
“I think it’s one of his best,” said tournament director Steve Wilmot, who first saw the finished product when everyone else did.
Best known for his richly painted landscapes, often with the Lowcountry as a setting, Fraser’s portrait work is almost exclusively limited to the RBC Heritage champion. Furyk was his 28th portrait, having taken over from renowned Coby Whitmore in 1988.
The portrait will be seen in much of the RBC Heritage’s promotional material, including tickets and the tournament program.
The fall unveiling also will serve as something of a kickoff event for upcoming announcements regarding ticket sales and sponsorships.