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February 28, 2001

Jim Furyk


LEE PATTERSON: Thank you for coming up to visit with us. Maybe just a couple of thoughts about what you saw on the golf course today and having had a good West Coast Swing and heading into the Florida portion of our schedule.

JIM FURYK: The course I'd say is -- looks great, it's in great shape. I think the greens are fairly slick for early in the week before a lot of wind and a lot of getting dried out pretty much. If it does get windy they are going to be icy quick out there. I think the course might not be playing -- it's maybe a smidge greener than it was last year. Not quite as fast. Last year it played really quick and a little on the shorter side for Doral because of how fast the fairways were. I think the rough was down last year. This year the rough is a little thicker course, isn't quite playing as fast and if the conditions are nice it will still be there for scores. But if it gets windier and guys struggle a little bit hitting fairways it is going to be tough out there.

Q. When you come back to a place where you have won, do the good feelings start from right from when you pull up to --?

JIM FURYK: A little bit. I think it is nice if -- well, if there is an event that I seem to play poorly at every year I quit going eventually. It is nice to come back especially the year right after and remember -- just remember a good feeling, really more than anything, and know that if I am playing well, if I am on my game this week then I have a chance to win this golf tournament, that the course does set up well for me at times and I have always about -- but I have always liked the golf course. Back in '94, my rookie year, first year I really enjoyed coming to Doral, thought it was a good solid, hard golf course and it's very fair, kind of right in front of you. And I enjoyed coming. I really -- I might have missed a year or two, I think I missed one year. I enjoy it. They did some changes to the golf course that maybe changed it quite a bit, but I like the way the course looks right now. I think it looks very close and -- close to what it did in '94; maybe a couple of improvements and a couple of changes.

Q. Since you have got a relatively high-profile caddie here or he was at one time in his career, the shot length thing, where do you weigh in on that?

JIM FURYK: I really ---.

Q. (Inaudible)

JIM FURYK: I am not sure I really know that I am well enough informed to really make too many intelligent statements. I might not be informed about anything to make intelligent statements. But I am not sure I understand it all exactly. I think that it has to be done and maybe when we first brought it out, it seemed like it was going to be -- seemed like no problem, but there are a lot -- I think there is a lot of things that are discussed. And I think for the caddies the biggest, the biggest thing I have heard from most of the really good ones, you look around you know who the good ones are, most of the stuff that I have heard through them or I have heard guys talking about is, really, are they going to get pulled out of what they are doing. When you are out there for 4 and a half hours there is a lot of time to smell the roses in between, but coming down the stretch in the hunt of a tournament, do you really want to be filling out a little sheet of paper, checking off what clubs you hit and handing it to someone. There is tournaments that I have won that I haven't touched a score card for nine holes and didn't even realize it. I think the caddies are a little concerned that they are going to get pulled out of what they are doing and maybe lose focus of what is going on or maybe get caught up or held up at a spot and upset the player in turn. It is going to give them a little bit more responsibility and a little bit more to do. I think you know, probably -- when you said, "if" it happens, I am interested in the way you said it. I guess we will have to test run. I am not sure exactly what is going to happen this week, but if it's not totally ready I am a little bit nervous going out there in a medium form and maybe not being quite right, maybe getting off to a bad jump and maybe bad reaction to start.

Q. Tour says it is not substantially different than what caddies have been doing for McCord and Maltby for years --?

JIM FURYK: The problem is -- and I don't mean this in a derogatory sense -- the difference is who is collecting the information. The person that is collecting the information out there for NBC and ABC is normally a caddie, these guys know each other's hand signals, they put 3 fingers up that means an 8-iron, doesn't mean a 3-iron. Depending -- because you know what distance you are. Those guys get it. Trying to ask a volunteer who might be a 25-handicapper might not be aware of the difference of 150, 157 yards or 200 yards right off the bat just standing there -- they have a lot going on with that -- I don't know if I could fill out the sheets they have to fill out during a day and get everything right. They have a lot going on. So if the information is going to that -- I feel sorry for the person that is collecting all the information personally. But do I think it can work? Yeah. Is it ready this week? I don't really know. I haven't really talked to anyone about it. I think there is just a lot of discussion that probably has to go on about it and hopefully we can work something out so the players, the caddies, the Tour, everyone is happier. I really don't know much about it. I am always nervous about anything going out not 100%, because if it upsets someone, it just -- things stick with you. It might not be 100% this week, might really upset some players, but in two months from now it might be perfect. But you are always going to have those bad thoughts lingering until it is absolutely perfect.

Q. Is your wrist 100% now? Are you able to hit more balls?

JIM FURYK: Yeah, I can practice pretty much 100%. I really haven't gone out and beat, still -- I haven't gone out and hit 100 golf balls. I might hit 50 balls, and I have been striking the ball relatively well this year and it has been pretty easy. I haven't had to spend a ton of time on the range to really feel like I know what I am doing. But is it 100%? Not -- no. Golf sense, it is pretty close. I don't feel like I am limited to the shots I can hit. This is the first time we have really played on, I think, really strong grained fairway, hit a couple of shots into the grain in the last two days where I really kind of got a jolt in the ground, it scared me a little bit, but I was okay. As far as like going into a pushup or something, I wouldn't try. I don't think I could support that weight. I didn't do too many before it hurt, so -- but as far as, you know, that is concerned, no I wouldn't be 100% physically as far as like working out or lifting a weight or again I never did a lot of that anyway.

Q. It is possible that a reduced amount of hitting balls either before or after a round is actually beneficial for you?

JIM FURYK: I would say where -- I never really reduce -- I never hit that many balls before rounds, so I really wasn't a guy -- I never went out searching that morning for what I was going to do too often unless I was really struggling with my game. I pretty much show up to the range 40, 45 minutes before, hit balls for 20 minutes, that might be 30 shots, whatever it is. I pretty much go through same routine; never count how many balls it is. Then I go putt for 5 or 10 minutes; then I go to the tee. I really never hit a lot of balls before but I have been known to beat quite a few balls on Tuesday and Wednesday nights afterwards.

Q. You have had the same swing since college?

JIM FURYK: Well, I think it has changed over the years, but I was just natural the way-- whenever I picked up the club. I played -- I hit balls when I was in diapers, but I really didn't start playing much golf like 12, 13, I think I started playing a little in the summer, 14 started playing tournaments and then getting right before high school, 14, 15, I started getting a little more serious about it.

Q. Would you alter that swing? Is that pretty much the swing you had your whole life?

JIM FURYK: Yeah, I was actually more upright and more outside when I was a kid. It is actually slightly come back in a little bit, I think more just naturally than trying; probably allowed me to hit some more shots. I think -- yeah, it was pretty much natural. I never tried to swing that way and I think thankfully like I have always said that my dad never really tried to make it look more conventional. We tooled and tinkered with it. There might have been times when I got it looking a little more conventional than it is now but I could hit the ball when I was really on and really bad when I was off. I couldn't really trust what I was doing, I just really felt like I was a lot more inconsistent. I just wasn't that mechanical, mechanically inclined or oriented with my swing to be able to feel some of the things that I needed to, so -- it feels -- when I take the club back it doesn't feel like it goes outside of me. It feels like it goes straight back on plane; feels like it comes straight down on the line. I don't notice that at all.

Q. I was wondering because essentially you had the same swing, you have been able to trust it for so long, do you need to hit that many balls like Freddie and Colin, same thing?

JIM FURYK: Well, Bruce would be a prime example of that. I think as you grow older and more mature in your game you start to figure out what makes your swing tick and what makes your swing work. It probably takes less time for me now to get in shape on an average than it would as a rookie or second, third year player where I might have needed more balls to figure things out. I think now I figured out my bad tendencies - I can go through a checklist in my mind of things I tend to fall back on or, hey, this is a shot I am hitting, it kind of reminds me of, you know, this, this and this, and boy I was aiming left when I was doing that. Maybe I am aiming left. I think you kind of grow to know your tendencies and your swing becomes a little more solid as you get older and mature. And I guess the witness of that would be if I had taken all that time off five years ago and gone out to Kapalua I wouldn't have been able to go out and try and win the golf tournament. I would be more trying to feel my way around the game. There I was still doing the same thing. I was just wanting to see if my wrist was okay and feel my way around. It took my dad actually -- I wasn't hitting the ball that great before I got there. It was a setup adjustment, something he noticed I was doing wrong. We worked on it for -- I think he noticed it on Sunday. We worked on it Monday and Tuesday really hard and then he just let me alone on Wednesday. He went and played with some friends and I went to the Pro-Am and that little setup adjustment really helped. I started striking and hitting the ball really well.

Q. We have seen some great scores on Tour this year, lights out numbers when conditions are right. Have we reached a point where the guys are getting so good and the equipment is getting so good and you are almost overpowering some courses?

JIM FURYK: I think that has happened with some golf courses, yes. A lot of great traditional course ones I like were built back in the '50s and '60s built in '40s, '30s, built on really small pieces of land and acreage and there isn't the ability to take the tees and keep pushing them back 10 yards every, you know, every ten years or whatever it make. And the 66 or 6,700 yard golf course just isn't containing David Duval and Davis Love and Tiger Woods anymore. It is a shame because they are beautiful golf courses. But the game, I think golf courses designs changed. The game has changed, became much more a power game, and I think a lot of the courses that are being built, especially throughout the '80s and 90s really there was less of a premium on shot making and more premium on hitting the ball high and hard. It taught a lot. I think it taught a lot of players to kind of play that way. A lot of people growing up in my generation, there aren't many Justin Leonards anymore, guys of my generation, guys work the ball play that way. Most of them let it fly get it up in the air and spin the ball a lot.

Q. Is that necessarily good or bad one way or the other?

JIM FURYK: Well, I don't know. I don't know how to answer your question. Maybe -- you know, like a course like probably -- it is good in some instances; maybe bad in some instances. I think that the good thing about the Tour is we do have we still do have a lot of different golf courses -- still have a course like Colonial where you are really not going to go overpower Colonial even though it is not that long you still have to hit the shots, you still have to work the ball off the tee. It is still a great test. So you can't really overpower it. A lot of guys don't want to go there because it might not be that high bombers. I love playing there. I am sure a guy like Justin loves playing that golf course. Because you really need to work some shots and you don't have to hit the ball straight up in the air and spin it a lot. But a lot of the newer age golf courses are and we have a little different mix, so the nice part is right now you can go out and pick the courses that suit your game and if you don't like the older style courses where you need to work the ball too much and you want to let it fly off the tee then you go play courses that suit that style. If you want to work the ball you still have some courses you can go pick that you -- like MCI, I think Westchester, New York, Colonial, Riviera, shot-makers golf courses where you have to move the ball a lot.

Q. Any courses that are like Augusta National or is that so much different?

JIM FURYK: It just really is. For me it's a lot different. I think you are playing off of little bit of a different turf. You are playing into greens that are firmer and faster and bigger and more undulating than what we see all year. In spots the golf course is more open than what we see all year. I am not sure there is really a great tournament -- I never have been to Atlanta and I hear that has somewhat of a nice feel getting ready for Augusta. But I am not sure there really is a tournament or a way to lead yourself into that event. I think -- I have liked and I have always taken week off before The Masters since I have been eligible for it just to really -- first year was to go in a little early and just see the golf course and it's not a course that you are going to learn in one or two or three rounds and know it. I can pick something up there every year now and learn about it and try to help myself, so, but really to stay at home and just practice some of the shots that I think I am going to need for that week.

LEE PATTERSON: Anything else?

JIM FURYK: Putting I don't know what to do because you can't prepare. (Laughter) Hope you get it quick when you are there.

End of FastScripts….

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