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March 26, 2007

Jim Furyk

LEE PATTERSON: We want to welcome everybody. As Eric was saying, can't believe this is the fifth year of the Wachovia Championship. But it is, and we look forward to another exciting week of great golf, and we certainly appreciate all of you being here today.
And those of you that maybe don't come a lot of times but are here with us today, you also will have a great day of golf. I think we've got some great weather. If you've got all your Claritin in you, you should be able to handle the pollen.
We're going to kind of quickly -- first we're going to talk to Jim Furyk. He had a prior commitment that -- he had it scheduled the day he won, so he's got an outing. We appreciate that he's going to join us from his home in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.
In fact, they're saying he's with us now. I'd like to jump real quick to Jim, and then we're going to have some other folks speak to you today.
Jim, we certainly do appreciate you being with us this morning, and we've got a large group of people here that are going to go out and play golf in a little bit. But I just wanted to start off, maybe take us through a timeline between winning the Wachovia Championship and through last week in Miami.
How has Jim Furyk evolved as a player and maybe as a person through that period of time?
JIM FURYK: Last year Wachovia was kind of the (indiscernible).

Q. When you think about the Wachovia Championship and Quail Hollow Club, what one word jumps into your mind?
JIM FURY: (Indiscernible) in a very difficult fashion, and you don't see the scores going -- you don't see guys shooting 20-under par to win that golf tournament. It's interesting, the golf course and the way we get treated and the way that tournament has evolved in a very short time, you don't see many events in four or five years catapult themselves to the top.
But obviously Wachovia is one of our biggest events of the year outside the major championships and those types of events. But for a PGA TOUR event, it's really jumped to the forefront in a very quick fashion. Nothing I've ever seen -- I've never seen another tournament do that in the 14-odd years I've been on TOUR.
LEE PATTERSON: We'll go right to questions.

Q. Could you talk again about kind of with the schedule being changed for Wachovia, kind of the stretch that's coming up for you and how the Wachovia fits in with that?
JIM FURYK: Well, I think the schedule change on the PGA TOUR will affect my schedule of tournaments that I play. Yes, it will, to start with.
Obviously it won't affect an event like Wachovia. As a player I check off my favorite events as I go down the list. It ends up being 15 to 18 tournaments that I'm definitely going to play in, and I kind of fill in around those. Wachovia would always be one of those events that I'm going to play.
But how it'll affect my schedule, in the past our season has spanned a little over ten months, ten months and a week, taking us into the first week of November. And now, ending in mid-September, we're looking at eight and a half months. All those events that are played -- the seven events that are played after the TOUR Championship, I historically only played in one of those every year, and it's been Las Vegas.
So now I'm asking myself to try to play, say, 24 events or 25 events in an eight-and-a-half-month span rather than a ten- to ten-and-a-half-month span. I'm not sure that's physically going to be possible. Actually it may be physically possible, but mentally I'm not sure I'm capable of handling that.
I may have to take a few events out to make sure that I'm fresh, especially for a difficult finish. But what I said also on the radio was I'm really excited -- this time of year I get really excited about the golf tournaments coming up. I just finished an event at Doral, which I love that golf course. I've got Augusta, Harbour Town, Quail Hollow, down here at THE PLAYERS Championship, Colonial, Memorial.
That stretch of events, there's not a weak golf course in there, and really a great stretch for me. I love all those golf courses. I really like all those golf tournaments, and I'm really excited about playing in that stretch of time. Plus, I do have some weeks off there in between that should allow me to stay fresh.
But as far as Wachovia, I don't think really your dates change too much on the schedule, but it obviously has right behind you with THE PLAYERS Championship. I figure in some of the notes that were written that you already have six of the top seven in the world committed, I believe, and probably the strongest field this tournament has ever had.
I think it's going to be -- it's a wonderful event in its own right, and then having THE PLAYERS Championship behind it should only help strengthen the field, I think. A lot of the foreign players are going to want to come in and make sure they're ready for THE PLAYERS Championship, and there's definitely no finer place to prepare on TOUR because Wachovia is such a strong tournament.

Q. You just touched on the field being what it will be here at Quail Hollow. An event like that, it's almost -- the field size or field strength of a major. Does that add to a little bit of prestige amongst your peers when you're walking around and wearing the blue jacket from Wachovia?
JIM FURYK: Absolutely. As a player, you want to play tournaments on the best golf courses. You want to play tournaments against the strongest fields. And in my mind, yeah, I'm proud to have won that event because of the golf course it's held on and also because historically, in its short time, it's had a strong field because word got out about how good the tournament is and how good the course is.

Q. I just want to ask, aside from the obvious like Tiger, Vijay, Phil Mickelson, some of those, who do you see as emerging contenders by the time the Wachovia is here? We're going to obviously have seen The Masters, but who would you think might even be the surprising emerging contender? Who's going to be strong?
JIM FURYK: To win the event you mean?

Q. When it comes to the Wachovia.
JIM FURYK: That's a good question. I don't pay attention enough (laughter). I don't worry about all those other guys as much as you do. You have to worry about 150, I just have to worry about one.
You know, I think the obvious is probably going down the World Rankings list or picking out guys that have had success there in the past. As far as trying to figure out a sleeper or pick out a guy that maybe isn't as heralded that can win the event, you can go -- they've got some guys on hot streaks that are playing well up to the event or pick out some newcomers to the TOUR this year that have been playing very well in the months leading up.
But as far as trying to pick out a guy off the top of my head, it's difficult, because as players, we don't really -- we don't notice those runs. I can't even tell you who finished second yesterday, to be honest with you. I finished my round and hopped on a plane.
I pay so little attention to what else is going on on TOUR other than what I'm doing, and I obviously realize who wins tournaments, but I just don't pay attention, and I apologize.

Q. There's been so much attention paid to the last three holes of Quail Hollow and the impact, but is there another spot around the golf course that sort of gets your attention before you get there that you feel you've got to be really careful?
JIM FURYK: There's a lot of spots that get your attention on that golf course. As far as holes lumped together in a row, I think 3, 4 back-to-back are strong holes.
8 and 9 is kind of an interesting little back-to-back because 8 is a short hole, but you'll notice a lot of guys making bogey. It's such a small, severe green, and if you don't get the ball in the fairway that hole can jump up and bite you. You'll see a lots of birdies, but also see a lot of bogeys.
And then lump that right next to No. 9, which can be a bruiser as far as a long hole, and a pretty tough tee shot because of the dogleg. So those two holes back-to-back can be key, because you can pick up a shot there on 8 possibly and also have kind of a bad combo, 8 and 9.
That stretch of 11, 12, 13 is a pretty good stretch in my opinion. 11 is maybe the toughest tee shot on the course; 12 is probably the toughest green on the course, and 13 is a good par 3. Those three back-to-back are pretty good holes.
Obviously if you're looking at scoring averages coming down 16, 17, 18, that's the toughest stretch of holes, for sure.

Q. I believe last year you had a putt on 18, and I don't know if it was the end of regulation or in the playoff where you had no idea what the putt was going to do and Fluff read it for you. Can you talk about the faith you have in him and how he can read putts? There's probably a lot of pros that wouldn't listen to their caddie in that situation.
JIM FURYK: I wouldn't say I didn't have any idea what it was going to do. I obviously had an opinion on what it was going to do, but in a situation like that you want to commit to what you're trying to do. If there's any doubt in your mind, it's going to be tough to hit a good putt.
I had an idea of what it was going to do, probably didn't know if it was an inch out or three inches out but had an idea of what I thought it would be, and I wanted his opinion to kind of back it up.
I think we both picked a very similar line, and he gave me a very positive confirmation as far as what he thought it was going to do. It just helped me commit to that line and go ahead and try to stroke a good putt.
That's the best you can do. You can hit a good putts, sometimes it won't break the same way twice. Sometimes it won't do exactly what you thought, but all you can do is go ahead and erase all the doubt and hit as good a putt as you can, and we fortunately picked a good line.
I have weeks where I call him in and maybe look at three putts, and I have weeks where he looks at the majority of my putts. But I trust him. He reads putts very well from -- usually from the opposite side of the hole, and I read my putts best from behind the ball.
It gives us two different angles and two different looks at things. I trust Mike's judgment. Neither one of us is always going to be right, but I know he's out there working hard, and he's made a lot of good calls over seven or eight years with me. I trust his judgment, and that's the reason he's on the bag.
LEE PATTERSON: Jim, thank you. We appreciate you spending some time with us, and good luck, and we'll see you in a few weeks.

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