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January 12, 2001

Jim Furyk


LEE PATTERSON: Tell us about how it feels to be in good position as we head into the weekend.

JIM FURYK: It feels real good, another good solid round today. I'd like to make a few more birdies, but one of the things -- I don't know if I'm in a good mood out there, or just being off the golf course for so long, I've been pretty patient out there. I've kind of let them fall as they may. Although I haven't made a ton of birdies, you know, when I've made some mistakes, my short game has been good, I've got up-and-down. Really have had some solid rounds. I'm looking forward to the weekend, just kind of keep doing the same things I'm doing now.

Q. Are you a little surprised?

JIM FURYK: A little bit. A little bit, just because I haven't -- really I sat in the back of the practice facility at Sawgrass and worked on my short game for a couple hours every day with Gabe Hjertstedt. He is fighting an injury. The two of us sit back there, kind of find a way to keep each other sane, keep it interesting.

Q. Your wrist?

JIM FURYK: My right wrist. Really I'm surprised. I played a little golf at the end of last week, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, before flying over here. I only played like seven holes, nine holes. I played 18 on Friday with Duval and didn't really play all that great, but I got it around, kind of scored well. When I got here, I started hitting the ball good. I'm a little surprised, but happy. I think a lot of it has to do with your attitude. Even though I was off, I'm a little rusty as far as ball striking and playing, my attitude is real good. I've been real patient. Sometimes towards the end of the year, you can get a little ruffled, upset with yourself, you're tired, the years are getting longer. Having a lot of time off is kind of refreshing too.

Q. Did you skip Matchplay because that might not be the best format for a guy who hadn't played in a while?

JIM FURYK: No, I honestly couldn't swing.

Q. But you played before?

JIM FURYK: What do you mean?

Q. Didn't you say you played a practice round.

JIM FURYK: At the end of last week. I went to see my doctor. I was supposed to leave for the Matchplay on Thursday, the 28th. I called my doctor before Christmas. I started taking an antiinflammatory. He told me to give him a call the day after Christmas. It still wasn't feeling really well. I was allowed to hit -- actually, he told me not to hit balls over the weekend. "Hit some wedges, chip, putt, but don't hit balls, tell me how it feels after taking this antiinflammatory." It didn't feel well. I called him on Tuesday, the 26th. He told me to fly up to Birmingham and see him on Wednesday. I did. I was supposed to leave the next day for the Matchplay. Telling him how I felt, him taking a look at it, he said there was no structural damage. I couldn't swing at that point. It hurt. He said, "Take a week off and don't hit balls." That pretty much -- listening to him, I didn't want to go out, try to play in pain, keep it going, keep nagging it, and really end up having six- or eight-month injury just kind of keep nagging for the year. I wanted to give it some time to rest. I didn't know if that would mean taking a month off, two months off, a week off or what. I was surprised that after a week off it started to respond again. It felt a little better. I came over here a little sore, but I've been taking care of it. I haven't been practicing after my rounds. I haven't been hitting a lot of practice balls to start with. If I hit 20 balls in the morning, I go out and probably hit -- you know, if you shoot 70, you probably hit about 35 shots. I may be hitting 50 shots a day. I call it a day, go inside, let our guys take care of it.

Q. (Question regarding the wind.)

JIM FURYK: I would never say that I like the wind. That's just asking for it to blow 100 or something tomorrow. I've had some success and I feel like when I'm playing well, I can do as well as the next day in the wind. I hit the ball low fairly easily, and I've had some success, whether it's the British Open or winning here at Kapalua. I won the Hawaiian Open, lost in a playoff. I won Vegas one year, when we had the really bad wind. I've had some success in the wind, and I don't mind it. I would much rather wake one a nice, sunny day like everyone else.

LEE PATTERSON: Can you go over the birdies?

JIM FURYK: Four today. No. 3, I was playing into the wind. I think I hit a driver. Just knocked down a little 6-iron to ten feet, made it for birdie. 13, I hit a bad drive. Trying to keep it down. I hit it in the right rough, really got a bad lie. I didn't hit it very well so I didn't hit it very far. I had a 5-iron in my hand out of the rough. Kind of hit it on the front right. I rapped down by the hole, 12th feet, made the 12-footer. Wasn't the prettiest look, but a good birdie. 16, driver, 9-iron to about 12 feet. 18, I hit a driver and a 3-iron on the front right fringe, with a putter. I was probably 90 feet, got down in two, about three feet.

Q. How about on 15? What happened on 15?

JIM FURYK: Kind of skulled it basically. I left myself -- I was trying to hit it kind -- kind of trying to hit a dumb shot. Uphill lie, into the green. The grain on the green was coming at me. I was trying to hit a low beat-it-down shot so it would land short of that ridge and hop up to the flag. I kind of realized over the ball that I was probably not hitting the smartest shot. Because of the uphill lie, into the grain, if I hit a nice high shot up there, it would have stopped short the pin. The grass is growing so much against you. I was trying to catch it a little lower on the blade. It's early in the year, I hit a bad shot. I basically bladed it.

Q. Is that where you were talking about patient, come back and get a birdie on the next hole?

JIM FURYK: Not letting it bother you. That's probably the most frustrated I got all day. It was such a bad shot, I just kind of laughed at myself. I had a pretty tough up-and-down, but don't let it bother you, try to make sure you get the ball up-and-down. I've hit a couple squirrelly shots the first two days where I can just laugh at myself and know that it's early in the year, I didn't hit them solid. Hopefully they don't get you in too much trouble. They haven't so far. But I've hit some funny shots. I'm sure being off for ten weeks, and really in that ten weeks I played -- since The Presidents Cup, full rounds, I've played -- I played two full rounds before Christmas trying to get ready. It just wasn't right. My wrist started bothering me, like I said, I had to quit. I played that one round with David. I played three full rounds before I came over here. I limited all my practice here before the ProAm, most I played was about 12 holes. I think the fact that I just haven't played a lot, I'm going to hit some screwy shots once in a while. I'm happy. Other than that I've hit a lot a good shots, given myself good birdie opportunities. Played pretty well.

LEE PATTERSON: Anything else? Thank you.

JIM FURYK: Thanks.

End of FastScripts....

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