March 23, 2000
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FLORIDA
LEE PATTERSON: I know it is tough conditions, but that is a pretty good round for the
afternoon. Maybe just a couple of comments about today and then we will let these folks
ask some questions.
JIM FURYK: Obviously a tough day. I am not sure exactly what the conditions were like
in the morning. Sounds like the scores were a little lower in the morning by what I am
gathering, by what people are telling me. But I am sure it was tough then also the course
just really isn't meant to be played in the wind - there is no bump-and-run golf; there is
-- can't hit many knock-down shots; can't hold a green. So you need to throw the ball up
in the air a little bit at least for some of your shots and the winds can then just eat
the ball up, so you really have to be on top of your game and hitting some very solid iron
shots to not only get it close to the green, close to the pin, but a lot of times just to
get the ball on the putting surface.
Q. I know you have committed to the Pennsylvania Open in September. Are you happy to
see the Tour return to your home state?
JIM FURYK: Yeah, I think -- I think they have a great idea flip-flopping between the
Philly and the Pittsburgh areas, I know -- or not real close to Pittsburgh, but we are
going to say that, I think. It is about an hour away - two very good golf courses,
Waynesborough and Lower Valley, I think it is, Arnie's place. That is my home; that is
where I grew up. I grew up probably about a little over an hour from Waynesborough, so I
will have a lot of family and a lot of friends and it will be, you know, I think here we
get dispersed, although I have a lot of friends here, there is about a dozen of us
probably at least in this event, so it is not quite as big a deal as being from here,
although there is a lot of people pulling for us and a lot of cheers on the first tee when
they call you out from Ponte Vedra Beach, so it is really nice and Pennsylvania is going
to be that way too. There is less people from Pennsylvania, I think, on Tour than there
are from Ponte Vedra, so it will be nice to hear that also.
Q. How fortunate do you feel the position you are in given the conditions?
JIM FURYK: Well, I played a solid round. I could have got it in better and I could have
also -- I made some great saves there on the front side and really kept my round going
while I was under par, so, you know, I am happy with the way I played and I didn't
particularly play 18 very well, but overall I look at the whole entire day, I played a
solid round; put myself in good position and I need to keep playing like that. I think we
are all hoping that the wind lays down a little bit that. Was enough punishment for one
day - one week.
Q. When you get to the course and you see what has happened to the morning people and
the conditions around you, what are you thinking when you put on your --
JIM FURYK: I could hear -- I woke up this morning, really didn't even look outside all
that much. On the drive over I saw that it was windy and I could hear the players talking
in the locker room, a lot of guys that had already finished by the time I was just getting
ready to go warm up, I could hear them talking about the round, how difficult it was
playing. So, you know I knew it was going to be a tough day. The course, you know, it
definitely was very difficult. I guess when you say fortunate, I feel like -- I don't feel
like I was lucky to play the way I did today, but I feel like I played a very good round
and I am very happy with it. It is an ominous feeling knowing how the course is going to
play because you know you really have to strike some real good golf shots.
Q. Compare the conditions to British Open conditions.
JIM FURYK: Well, if it were 20 degrees colder it would be just about there. Can't play
in a vest over there too often. I think the weather probably isn't that much different but
the golf courses, I don't think this could be any more of an opposite from the British
Open. This is like the antiBritish Open and the British Open is the antiTPC at Sawgrass.
Q. Did you ever feel like you just wanted to play golf out there today? Did you have
get to a point where you were doing anything more than surviving?
JIM FURYK: There wasn't -- there was a lot of times where you really weren't making a
lot of full swings or a lot of - a lot of times it is hard to test how you are hitting the
ball because you are really creating a lot of shots out there and other than tee balls,
but you are on a lot of sidehill lies and trying to hit a low draw into the wind or a high
cut and hold it into the wind -- you are always trying to create a shot trying to work it,
so you can somehow work with the wind and have it help you a little bit and try to keep
the ball on the putting green. It is hard to kind of assess at the end how your day really
went because you could really strike some good shots and shoot a 75 or 76 today and, you
know, not feel real well about it. Scoring and getting the ball in the hole was the key
and I guess that is what playing golf is, so it was -- you had to feel like we have to.
Q. You mentioned the word ominous a while ago. You probably played No. 17 hundreds of
times or well over a hundred times. How was it to play it today?
JIM FURYK: It was a little tricky. I think everyone in my group felt like -- well,
Davis obviously hit a good shot about six to eight feet. It fooled Billy and I a little
bit. I thought the wind was hurting a little bit more than it was. I thought I hit a
really good golf shot and still it was easily 30 feet past the pin. I was fooled a little
bit by the wind coming into us left and I thought it was more in and a little left. It was
actually a little left and just a little bit in - hit the ball just how I wanted, but it
ended up a little long.
Q. Still how of a sense of relief is it when you see your ball bouncing up?
JIM FURYK: It is definitely nice. It is definitely nice. Even though I have played it
100 times it is such a different hole this week. Just from the standpoint of the greens
being that much firmer and faster, so, I -- the greens are a lot bigger the rest of the
year for 51 weeks, trust me; a lot softer and you can hit a lot more to the green and
still hold the ball on the surface; whereas, here, the outer 15 feet is pretty much
worthless; the ball is going to hop in the water.
Q. 17 probably has the most attention nationwide, but do you think it is the best hole
on the course or even the top few holes --
JIM FURYK: I think there is -- there are definitely a lot of good holes on the golf
course and I wouldn't say 17 is the best golf hole on the course but I don't -- that is
really -- I don't think that is what its point was. It was there to attract fans and
pictures and a lot of attention to the Players Club at Sawgrass and it really has done
that worldwide, so I think it's really brought attention to us, to Pete Dye, to the golf
course, PGA TOUR and it's really, in that way, I think they accomplished what they wanted
to. But it is not a bad hole by any means.
LEE PATTERSON: Anything else? Thank you.
End of FastScripts