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August 9, 2001

Jim Furyk


NELSON LUIS: We'd like to welcome Jim Furyk into the interview room. Jim, 64, gets you right up there on the leaderboard. Great way to start off your round early in the morning. Walk us through a little bit how your round went. Started on the back side.

JIM FURYK: Yeah, my first birdie came with a real long putt at No. 11 from about 40 feet to make birdie there. So it was a good start for the day. I think I hit a, I don't remember, I think I hit a 4-iron in there though. No. 13 hit a good drive, got caught behind that tree, laid up, hit sand wedge to eight feet, made birdie. No. 14 drove it right in front of the green pitched up about, I left it a good twelve feet short. Then made the 12-footer for birdie. And 16, actually knocked it on in two. It's playing a little shorter than I remember with the firm grounds, so knocked it kind of on the middle left side of the green, pin was back right. Had about 60 feet, got that one down in two. Good 2-putt. Went over to the front side, knocked it right in front of No. 1 and two with a driver and 4-wood and pitched up about five feet, made that for birdie. No. 5, I hit a good drive and I hit a great 4-iron cut a 4-iron around the big tree on the right, made it for birdie. No. 7 was kind of my strangest hole today, tried to hit a hard drive so I can get home in two, blocked it out in the fairway bunker, and there was a big tree in front just in front of the bunker so I could only advance it about 50 yards. Chipped it out of the bunker, knocked a 4-wood on the green about 20, 25 feet, knocked that in for birdie. So looked like I was in a lot of trouble, I turned that into a birdie. Those are the things that happen when you are playing real well and shoot 64, you kind of in a way not only play solid but when you are in a little bit of trouble somehow you get out of it, make par or birdie. Next hole 15 feet, knocked it in. (Inaudible) Actually I played par 5s all very well except for No. 7, either hit on the green or right around the surface with a pretty easy pitch shot. Well, not true, 13 I had to lay up, like I said, hit a good wedge in there, I left myself some good opportunities, left the ball in the right spot and made a couple of good little putts like 5 and 6-footers so that was good.

Q. You had the course record here a few years ago. Obviously you like this place. You get a good field year. Anything else about the course that makes you play really good?

JIM FURYK: I like old traditional courses. And similar style course to what I -- courses that I grew up on in Pennsylvania. Older golf courses, where there's a premium on accuracy, not an overpowering long golf course, got a few good long par 4s, it's a course where you need to keep the ball in play, and you need to take advantage of some of the par 5s and some of the short par 4s are where you have wedge in your hand, you want to go out and try and make some birdies on. I like old courses. I am not a big fan of a lot of the courses built in the '80s and '90s.

Q. How is your wrist?

JIM FURYK: Wrist feels fine. I guess a quick story would be I just tried to play too much right after the U.S. Open, played the U.S. Open, Westchester, I had scheduled not to play Hartford and go to the Western and tune-up for the British and I just was-- I just hadn't played that much this year. I felt really good and decided to go to Hartford and try to played Western four in a row, by the time I got there it was tired. I played the pro-am on Wednesday, but I knew that it just -- it was a little sore. It was bothering me a little bit. Precautionary. I kind of withdrew from that event, and talked to a couple of doctors to get a second opinion just to make sure everything was okay. I got some good news there. Went over to the British, didn't bother me at all. I was planning on taking John Deere off and wasn't sure about The INTERNATIONAL. I knew I wanted to play the next three events, the Buick, PGA, and the World Series so that kind of did The INTERNATIONAL in. I knew that it probably wasn't right to play four in a row again and didn't want to do anything stupid. Wrist is feeling great, got some good news from the doctors. I did some more testing, another MRI, and all the damage that I did in there last October seems to be healed very, very well. So I got some -- I got even better news than what I expected so that was good. I just have to be cautious that I don't play too much. It's kind of hard right now because I am excited about playing. I haven't played that much, so I want to get out there and I want to keep going. Normally I like to play 3, 4 events in a row, kind of play my way into shape. I am playing two tournaments in a row, seems like just as I start to feel good I have got to take sometime off and go through the same cycle again. I'd like to see if I can play 3 in a row; then take a good couple of weeks off and then go back and play 3 in a row.

Q. (Inaudible)

JIM FURYK: Both doctors said pretty much the same thing as far as you know, when I am feeling well, the only one that knows how it feels is me. When I am feeling well they kind of look at it -- look at the MRI, look at the test and say it looks pretty solid. So if it's bothering you, there are a few things to watch for, but really when it bothers me take some time off and rest. Eventually down the road it should all heal up and shouldn't bother me anymore. I played a lot of events. I have been toning it down the last few years but I have always played over 25 events each year up, over 30 in early years, and I practice a lot. I hit a lot of balls. I spend a lot time at the golf course practicing and I think you know, those days might be over. I don't know if I am going to be able to sit out there and beat balls and do as much practice as I used to, but I am also finding out that you know, seems like I can get just as much done in less time now that maybe I could have almost overpracticed and wore myself out in the past.

Q. Top-10 this week or win?

JIM FURYK: If we are talking ideal, we can do better than that.

Q. Yeah, win. Either way, secured spot on the team then you could have two, three weeks off to rest up for the Ryder Cup?

JIM FURYK: That would be nice, but next week is the last week for points anyway for the Ryder Cup. Yeah, I would definitely like to play, have a real strong finish here, or next week, and solidify a spot on the team and not have to tried to rely on, you know, hoping I would be a pick. I -- definitely that's in the back of my mind, but it doesn't matter, if I play poorly, then you know, we are going to talk about chances missed and if I play well we are going to talk about the possibility of earning points. It's just one of those things I have to live with right now. I know I am on the bubble and there's a lot of people interested on who makes the team so that seems to be -- yesterday that was the focus of the conversations; that is going to be the focus for the next couple of weeks. In order for me to play well and in order for anyone I think to play well in that bubble, you kind of have to pretty much forget about it and just go play golf. Try to take advantage of -- it's in the back of my mind, we are all human, and you can say just go ahead and forget about it and play golf but you are thinking about it. Just something you have to live with. When you are trying to win a golf tournament, and you have never won one before the fact that you have never won one is in the back of your mind, you want to get it so bad you have to overcome that and play golf.

Q. Do you think these type of scores can hold up and have us in the mid-20s?

JIM FURYK: I don't know. It is going depend on the weather. If we get some good calm days with no wind the course is obviously in -- and no rain, the golf course stays this big I think the scores are going to be pretty good. Normally what happens right now, the fairways are very firm, very big, some brown spots in them, ball is rolling a long way and the holes are playing a lot shorter than what I remember. And then the greens right now are pretty -- they are holding very well and they are rolling very well. So soft greens where you can make some putts and firm fast fairways now you got short irons in your hands, guys are going to shoot low numbers. Normally on the weekend they start to let it get a little firmer and firmer. They don't want to let that happen Thursday and Friday just so the course doesn't burn out on them, they don't lose it. Normally by Saturday and Sunday they let those greens harden up and quicken up a little bit and you don't see the scores go quite as low on the weekend. We will see. I think they are going to have the opportunity to probably firm up the greens with the cool weather. I'd like for them to keep it the way it is. I don't have any control over that.

Q. May have some overnight rain.


Q. Always get rain...

JIM FURYK: Yeah, you never know. I think if the course plays like it did today, yeah, you could see something real well. You can see something over 20 win. But you know, a lot of that depends on the setup of the golf course and the conditions and things that we really can't control so you have to kind of wake up in the morning, assess how the course is playing as you are out there and pick and prove your shots where you want to be aggressive.

End of FastScripts...

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