August 11, 2001
GRAND BLANC, MICHIGAN
NELSON LUIS: Jim, thanks for joining us here. Obviously got yourself into contention heading into tomorrow at 17-under. Just some thoughts on your round.
JIM FURYK: I am happy about the way I played. Real solid round - kind of got off to a little slow start, birdied one but after that I hit a few bad drives, kind of scrambled a little bit, kind of kept everything together there early in the front nine. Then from about the 5th or 6th hole on I played a real solid round, gave myself some opportunities and took advantage of some of them. And went out and shot 66, but there was a lot of good scores out there. Seems like I kind of just, you know, I lost actually ground of the leader but kind of held my own in the back. Seemed like everyone played pretty well today.
Q. (Inaudible) playing with somebody else who is playing well, do you find you feed off each other?
JIM FURYK: Yeah, it can. It can. I think that Kenny definitely played a tremendous round today. I don't know what it was, 8-under, maybe, and also, you know, missed quite a few short putts and had a lot more opportunities, so he is really striking the ball well and he is playing well and after the last two rounds that he shot, he is going to be tough to beat tomorrow.
Q. (Inaudible) shot on 16 turning point (inaudible)?
JIM FURYK: Late turning point, I will say that. (Laughs) I don't know, I think he really had it going all day. Like I said, there was a few short ones that got away from him. I think he missed three pretty short putts and still shot 8-under. But I don't really think there was a turning point or a time in the round where he wasn't playing well. He is really striking the ball well. Hitting his driver really far and got it right in the middle of the fairway almost every hole. I bet you he hit eight or nine sand wedges into greens today. So he is just -- he is bombing it right now and hitting it down the middle and giving himself a lot of opportunities. I don't really know if there was a point in the round where he looked down and there was a turning point. He just kind of poured it on in the end there.
Q. (Inaudible) do you feel like hey, I have got to keep something to keep up or do you just worry about yourself?
JIM FURYK: You really can't worry about what he is doing. Until I got done and kind of looked at the card, I kind of wrote numbers in on the card, handed it to him, started thinking about it, shot 29 on the back and I had no idea. I think -- it is nice to see putts going in, nice to see guys hitting good shots but we are all out there kind of focusing in our own games. Seems like I said it a lot, good shot, every time he hit a good shot. Other than that I don't really pay too much attention. I am just worrying about my own game trying to get it in the hole the best I can.
Q. (Inaudible) this course is always birdie-friendly but even more so today, the reasons for that were little wind?
JIM FURYK: I don't think it was anymore friendly today. The greens are still holding. They maybe got a little firmer from the first two days and they are starting to get baked out. You can see the footprints in the greens and you can see they are starting to get kind of a whitish brown glaze over them. So the opportunities there probably for them to be pretty firm and fast tomorrow are there if they want them to. The course played I don't know if easy is a good word, but I don't think it was easier to shoot a lower number today than it was the first two days. Yesterday I felt like the pins might have been the toughest pins for me. But the weather has been great, like you said, there isn't very much wind. There's a slight breeze, course is in great shape and it's really fast, like I said, Kenny had -- was driving it way by me today and he must have hit like I said, eight or nine sand wedges into greens today. So it's very firm and fast and guys are getting short irons in their hands and it really -- the condition that you all have had here in the last couple of months to get the course -- it's in great shape, but what mother nature gave us is a course that is scoreable on.
Q. You talked about not worrying about what Kenny shoots tomorrow and just playing your own game. Will it be easier not being in the same group with him so that you are not --
JIM FURYK: I'd rather be playing with him, but you know, it doesn't -- I don't think so. I played with him today and had no problem worrying about my own game and where I was at in the field, just, you know, there's nothing you can control about what someone else does. You can only go out there and worrying about your own game. It is nice to know towards the end of the day if you have got yourself in contention, kind of knowing what is going on around you, different holes, taking a peak at the leaderboard just to know there's still, you know, I would rather go out on the leader group but either way it really doesn't matter.
Q. You never won twice in a season. How meaningful an accomplishment would that be?
JIM FURYK: It would be very nice. It's something that I definitely would like to accomplish and I'd like to do and it would mean a lot, but seems like a lot of the years that I had won winning Vegas three times, I won late in the year; (inaudible) I also won the Hawaiian Open and Doral relatively early in the year. It's the middle I have to focus on, something has gone in there. But I -- two wins in a year, multiple events in a year I think would be a nice accomplishment to add to my career.
Q. Do you write down what your goals are?
JIM FURYK: No, I don't. I once did that in high school, but I haven't written anything down on paper. I think that my goals really aren't very short-term oriented. If I feel like -- like that is weakness in my game or something I'd like to accomplish, it's never winning the U.S. Open this year or something very short. I am something -- to change -- golf is such -- we can have very long careers out here but it is a game where you are -- where you are not going to make big changes in a short period of time. It is going to be a year or two before -- if I am going to work on drawing the ball in and a month from now I am not going to be that much better, over the course of the year I can work on that and get more comfortable with it and be a better ball striker, be a better drawer of the ball but I look kind of more into the future and long-term, things I want to accomplish, and really every year I have always said this since I have been on Tour I just want to sit down at the end of the year and feel like I am a better player; that my game is more solid, that it's matured and I become a better player every year. And think that I am better than I was a year ago.
Q. (Inaudible) if somebody had told you Thursday morning you would be 17-under after three rounds and still down by five shots would that have been a surprise?
JIM FURYK: Yeah, I would have been surprised. So glad I didn't know it either because sometimes it's frustrating to know that you have go out there and make so many birdies. Like I said, I am very happy with the way I have been playing. I have had a lot of time off. I have been scoring very well and I want to try to keep that up. I have one more day of business and I need to do it one more time.
Q. Coming into this week was there a particular part of your game that you were focusing on, if so, where is it at right now?
JIM FURYK: There really wasn't. I was kind of looking at the overall package. I play two competitive rounds in 5 weeks and playing the British Open, have two weeks before and two weeks after so really -- I had practiced at home, I hit balls, chipped and putted. I kind of did a lot of work but I didn't play a lot of holes so really it was -- my goal this week was to come out and work on scoring and getting the ball around the golf course and thinking my way around the course, and for the first three days I did that very well. I scored well and I have got a lot out of my game, and like I said, I want to try to continue to do that and not only tomorrow and carry it into the next week.
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