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September 12, 2000

Jim Furyk


NELSON LUIS: We have Jim Furyk with us. He is 10th on the money list so far this year, he has eight Top-10's and currently has the second-longest consecutive cuts made streak at 43 and counting, also a Presidents Cup Team member. So, Jim. Welcome. I'm sure it is nice for you to be back here in this area. Must be a nice week for you.

JIM FURYK: I've been looking forward to this week for a long time. It's been a lot of years since the Tour came to the Philly area, and we're in a bit of an unusual tournament, alternating from year to year, I think this event comes to the area every other year. But I'm excited to be back home and it will be a very fun week for me, a lot of friends, close friends and family out in the gallery this week. I know there will be a lot of support and hopefully I can go in and have a good week.

Q. (Inaudible.)

JIM FURYK: I played here once as a 16-year-old -- (inaudible) Stewart at the time was an assistant pro here and he invited myself and my father to come out and play. Stewart played on the Tour and still is one of best players in the area, and had an opportunity to maybe play with him and learn something. So we came out to play here. And then also when I qualified for the U.S. Amateur, this was used as a qualifying site. Really, played probably three rounds, practice round and tournament for the U.S. Amateur and that one round I played back there in '86. So I was not too familiar with the golf course. Came in last night and played it early this morning. I remember a few of the holes, but there was quite a few that I had forgotten. The holes are relatively the same but a change in sequence.

Q. (Inaudible.)

JIM FURYK: We lived in -- I'm trying to think. We lived in West Chester until the age of -- I would say three and moved to western Pennsylvania in 1978. So when we came back -- (inaudible) went to U.S. Open at Merion, I believe it was '81 as an 11-year-old, and that's when I just started getting interested in golf. And as a youngster when my dad was an assistant in this area, we played (inaudible) he spent a lot of time and I spent some time out there on the range and on the course.

Q. Do you still get a lot of comments from regarding your swing?

JIM FURYK: I see people doing it all the time with an umbrella. One thing now that I've been out here for a few years, seventh year on TOUR, less and less people are talking about my swing. I think they are tired of it by now. But when I go to new places, like Australia or travel abroad, and especially people in certain countries who see me play for the first time, it's like I step back in time five years. I used to have like a tape recorder, push a button and the same response would come out. I used to say it so often I felt like I had to be creative to come up with a different answer. Now, I always used to joke around about it. I was in the press room one year for literally 30 minutes after the round, which was kind of unusual, with so many players, so many courses they are shuffling players pretty quick. I spent 30 minutes in there and spent 25 minutes talking about my swing and five minutes talking about the 67 I shot during the day. That used to happen a lot and I used to joke about it a lot, but not anymore; it is very rare.

Q. (Inaudible.)

JIM FURYK: So far. The fact that I haven't had too many mediocre tournaments -- I've made the cut, but I've probably had more finishes this year 40th and higher where I was down at the bottom of the field making the cut. And I've also had really good tournaments where I felt like I had a chance to win the tournament. When I played well, I've really played well. I've gotten myself in position to play well on the weekend; and otherwise I've had some relatively average weekends or poor weekends where I just have not finished that well. That's golf. I guess I haven't been missing a ton of cuts this year. So I have not been playing poorly, but I felt like I could have gotten myself in contention more often, give myself a chance to win. Hopefully -- I'm planning on playing I guess five more events, so hopefully I can make a good run a couple more times.

Q. (Inaudible.)

JIM FURYK: At the PGA Championship, I struck the ball really well this year and I just had a really poor putting week. I putted as poorly as I have all year. I think I was ranked 80th in putting but I hit the ball great. Next week at the NEC World Golf Championships, I hit the ball pretty average, mediocre and I worked on my putting real hard and I putted good that week -- PGA, if I had made the putts, it would have been a pretty good week. When you're playing well you kind of put it all together. You find a way to get the ball in the hole. What really we're trying to do out here is every week we're trying to show up and figure out how to get your game in shape and how to get yourself in contention and give yourself a chance on Sunday. If you do that a lot, if you put yourself in position a lot, you're going to give yourself a chance to win.

Q. (Inaudible)?

JIM FURYK: I think that I've been looking forward it for a while. I knew it was on the schedule and knew we were coming here, a year ago. To me, it's a little bit like, you know, I can treat it two ways: I can put more pressure on myself, I can try too hard and come out and really press. No, I think all of us out here, this is the highest competitive level we can be on and we all put a lot of pressure on ourselves. I think instead of really trying to add to that pressure and try too hard, I'll come out and try to enjoy myself. I have a lot of friends in the gallery, a lot of family, close friends; and I've been getting tickets left and right, trying to keep everyone happy. So, I'm going to have a lot of people out there pulling for me and I can probably draw from that and have a lot of fun with it and enjoy the week, because it's not often that I really get that chance. Now I live in the Jacksonville area, and we have THE PLAYERS Championship there every year; it's close to home. But really, I grew up here and my roots are here. This is one of the first times really since I've been here -- I have friends to come to the D.C. area, Kemper, Westchester a little bit, but this is home.

Q. Is a week like this a return to normalcy with Tiger and the media attention surrounding him?

JIM FURYK: Well, he only plays 22 events a year. So there's 42 events a year; figure he's just about at 50 percent. You take the majors, World Series, World Golf Championships, and there's relatively few events percentage-wise that he's been in. So it's really not that atypical for us. Obviously, it's nice when he's in the field. I think that he's the player to beat. Maybe the media attention, television coverage has been extended a few times a little bit. I think that there's more of an awareness that week. But again, we're not playing every week in the same events. I play in 26 events this year and he'll probably be about maybe 13 of them. You want the best players to be in the field. One of the things about this week, we do have a lot of guys -- that they are going to wait a year or two and see how it is, see what the players say about the event, how the accommodations were, what was the course like, how easy it was to get around, was it close to the airport. Mostly, what's the course like, was it good condition. And I think so far, just by playing the course, the course is a very good golf course. Combination of long and average-length holes. I think it's going to be really tough around the greens. The greens have a lot of slope and you have to be careful with the pin placements, because if you look at where the pin placements were, they are very difficult and I think that's going to reflect on the scores, I think, overall.

Q. Does this type of setup help you?

JIM FURYK: Well, we'll see. The setup of the golf course -- well, it's 50 percent layout and the other 50 percent is how the course is set up, as far as how firm or fast the greens are or how firm the fairways are, how high the rough is going to be, pin placements. They can do a lot to a golf course and make it look a lot different than it does in the practice round. So that is yet to be seen. We're supposed to get a little bit of rain -- the greens are fairly firm right now for a practice round, but with a lot of rain, the fairways are going to be much longer and the greens are going to be much softer and that will change the face of the golf course. I'll wait and see. I'm playing in the Pro-Am tomorrow morning, and then we'll see how the golf course is set up.

End of FastScripts....

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