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March 5, 2000
LEE PATTERSON: Congratulations.
JIM FURYK: Thanks.
LEE PATTERSON: Wonderful display of golf today, especially on the back side. Maybe just
a couple of comments about what this feels like and then we will open it up for questions.
JIM FURYK: Well, it feels great. Standing on the 12th tee today definitely didn't know
if I'd be standing here right now or sitting here right now. But probably I played on the
back side to go out and make six birdies, at least put some heat on Franklin. He played
much better front side than I did. He hit it better, made the putts that he had to. I did
not. I didn't get the ball up-and-down when I needed to and didn't make the putts. Really
put myself in a hole and I should feel fortunate right now to win the event.
LEE PATTERSON: Questions?
Q. There was a time, I think it was around 7 when you had about a 15-footer for birdie,
he has got about twelve feet for par. You miss. He has been like that for seven holes now.
Any point early on where you really thought it was not impossible, it was going to take an
awful lot to win?
JIM FURYK: Well, I knew after his start, hitting two good shots on one, making birdie,
making them pretty -- tough putt on two. Birdieing 3 with a tough pin, and then he hit a
poor shot on 4, hit a bunker shot to about eight feet - six, to eight feet, knocked that
in for par; I said, you know, he is playing really well. Making some putts and seemed like
there was a few key times where I can put some heat on him and I didn't. 7 was one of
them. 8 where he let his first putt -- he was kind of against the collar, let that go by,
he hit a little testy putt, I left my chip short and missed it and made par and he makes
birdie. I make par. No. 11, I made a good birdie on 10, hit a drive pretty close to the
water, left side, trying to reach it in two. Kind of got pumped up, thinking if I could
make a run on him on the back side, if I can shoot -- told Mike on the 10th tee, if we can
shoot 30 on this side, we might have a chance. Birdied 10. Put some heat on him, hit a
good shot to 11; had a decent rollout for birdie. He put himself into a little bit of
trouble back there, along right of the green, tough lie in the rough; ends up holing it. I
come away with par. Again I think I am going to maybe pick up a shot, maybe two, if I get
lucky, end up losing a shot and at that point it is tough to really think that things were
going to turn around, start going your way, but I kept plugging away, made some birdies,
and put some pressure on him.
Q. Turned so quickly at 17 when you gain the lead, were you a little bit stunned,
surprised at that point?
JIM FURYK: Yeah, I let an opportunity go at 16 and it kind of miffed me a little bit
that I had hit the drive a little left to where I wanted to and was pretty jacked up at
the time. I hit it a little farther I had been all week. I left myself, actually, a little
touch-shot. I couldn't even hit a hard 60 degree wedge; had to hit a little -- real easy
shot, trying to get cute with it. Really hit a nice spinning shot over the bunker. I hit
it a little thin to the back of the green. Even though I hit a good putt, didn't go in.
Good putt draw, great drive, but I needed to hit a better wedge shot for that. I felt like
that was my chance to get even. I was a little surprised. I am not sure what happened on
17 on the second shot. I don't know if his ball was against a twig or -- there was a funny
sound that came away. I am not sure how the ball got up to the right of the green, but,
yeah, all of a sudden I am standing there with a 20-foot putt with a chance to take the
lead in the golf tournament. Hit a great putt, went in. I guess I was a little surprised.
I tried to kind of walk a little slower. 18th tee, kind of gathered myself, realized that
if I hit a good drive, hit a good second shot, that I would win the golf tournament, so I
did that. 18 is kind of -- I teed it high and hit it as hard as I could. I was going to
get it up in the air, make sure it was -- even if I pulled, it was getting over the water.
Q. Just talk about -- you birdied five of the last seven holes to shoot 30 to win the
tournament. Talk about that finish; best you think you have played?
JIM FURYK: I would say that under pressure I'd say that is the best nine holes I have
played out here on Tour. I wouldn't say I -- I have shot 30 before out here. I have played
well. I have not shot 62, but I think having a chance to win a golf tournament, coming
down the stretch, that is the best I have played for nine holes.
Q. Took a lot at that?
JIM FURYK: It did, it really did. I don't know if -- I told Mike on 10, let's go shoot
us a 30 on this side and really in the back of my mind I didn't know if that would be
enough. I wanted -- kind of wanted to see if I can do it and I really did hit a lot of
good shots there and I got the putts to go in that weren't going in on the front side.
Q. You talked out there about that you kind of have gone through the experience that
Franklin did where you felt like you had a chance to win. What tournament was that?
JIM FURYK: Well, I let Hawaii get away one year, 1996, I was defending after winning --
I won in '96. Defending in 1997 and -- You have a good memory. It should all just scatter
for you by this point.
LEE PATTERSON: Thank you.
JIM FURYK: I let that one get away. I think I had a four putt on the way in on 15, I
hit a putt a little too hard; then tried to jam a 3-footer in. Lipped it, went about three
feet by, then I horseshoed one back out at me. Birdied 16, bogeyed 17, birdied 18. Got
myself in a playoff. I had Stankowski dead a couple of times in the playoff where I
thought I was going to have an 8-footer to win the tournament. He holed a couple of putts
on me. One time he holed a 10-footer to keep it going. Next hole he holed a 35-footer when
I had it about six feet for birdie, ended up losing the event. That was one I felt I
should have won. That happens. I think that out here you have got to live with -- you are
not going to be 100%, can't put yourself in a position to win 20 tournaments, it's not
going to happen. You have to live with the fact you are going to make some mistakes,
you're human and learn from them.
Q. If you care to share with us, what did you say to Franklin right after the putt?
JIM FURYK: On 18th green?
JIM FURYK: I just told him that I thought he played a great tournament this week and I
just said: Good playing. At that point, although you are really happy, elated that I won
the golf tournament and excited that I came back from where I did, in a sense you do still
feel bad for the other person. He played a great tournament this week and we separated
ourselves from the field a little bit on that back side and got out ahead. It was kind of
like Jesper and I at Greensboro, we were probably six shots clear of the entire field; it
was almost like Match Play on the back side. I would have broke the tournament record but
Jesper beat me by two, so - there is a feeling that goes with that win, you play great,
but one person that just played a little better. He played super; I just wanted to tell
Q. Did you feel like you were playing Match Play today?
JIM FURYK: Down the stretch, yeah. I don't think early. It is a little better than
Match Play because you can make up more than one hole or one shot at a time. If the other
person makes a mistake, you can make birdie, you can gather a shot or two or three shots
instead of just one in Match play. But I'd say coming down the last four, five holes, it
was a little bit of Match Play event. I just wanted to keep aiming at the flag and seeing
how close I can hit it.
Q. You said you'd let a chance get away at 11. I was wondering was it the birdie on 13
that -- where you started thinking I can get back in this thing now?
JIM FURYK: I think that was pretty big. That was one of those -- I am not sure -- let
it get away at 11. He hit a good shot, he holed it. Best I was going to do was make birdie
and tie him. I didn't hit the greatest of putts there, but it kind of kept off the fringe
a little funny, went left, where I thought I could have maybe picked up one; maybe two,
but hopefully one. He picked up one and 13 was key, though, where his bunker shot got away
from him a little bit. It was about six inches closer to the hole on the identical line of
my ball. Hey, I felt if I can make this putt, where I haven't last few on the front nine,
if I can make this putt, put some pressure on him - a two-shot swing would tighten things
up. I hit a good putt, got it to go in. Then from where I was standing I kind of was
pretty far to the left of the green; looked like he had a pretty solid putt. Just missed a
little -- maybe lost a little speed, missed on the right side, so that was definitely a
turning point where two holes prior we were six shots different and all of a sudden we
were three. Three shots on this course can go pretty quickly especially on those last
couple of holes.
Q. How difficult was the shot into 18 and how satisfying?
JIM FURYK: I kind of got -- had a good day for yardages - I don't know if that makes
sense where I always felt I had the right club in my hand. Other than 16 where I kind of
had to take something off of it a little bit. At the time I was jacked up. I hit the ball
pretty far coming in on 17. I had 160, approximately 160 yards to the pin. Hit 8-iron.
Normally that is about a 150 yard shot for me. I looked at Mike, asked him what he
thought. I was set on 8-iron. He said, I don't think it is anything but 8-iron, so it was
perfect. It was good. I can go ahead, hit a good hard shot on the last hole. I had 168
yards - I felt like it was just totally in the fairway, perfect 7-iron, I told him -- he
said, exactly. Wasn't hard or easy swing, just nice perfect 7-iron, that is kind of what
you are looking for when you start getting in between shots, get tough shots like that,
makes it a little tougher under pressure but I can go ahead and make a normal swing at it.
I just had -- I normally cut the ball. I just had a hunch under pressure I was going to
hit a little bit of draw there; aimed right of the pin. I was right. I hit a perfect drive
right at the pin.
Q. Franklin was saying that on the back nine looked like every putt you stood over he
felt like you were going to make. I was wondering how confident you, yourself, felt over a
lot of them?
JIM FURYK: I get like that on the front nine. I felt the same as he did on the front
nine that after making -- he almost made the eagle putt on one, left it hanging on the
front edge, poured in on 2, 3, 4 looked like every putt he hit was going to go in. You get
on a roll and I think that I felt pretty good over those putts. I really felt like -- I
really felt like I had a good putt on 14 also that didn't go in; lost a little speed;
though it got to the hole. It just missed on the low side; broke at the end. But yesterday
I felt like the speed on my putts wasn't very good. I hit some putts that came up short. I
hit some putts maybe a little firmer than I wanted to through the break. Then I wasn't
concentrating enough on the speed of the putts and today I wanted to go out and set the
putter up and make sure I had hit the putt on a really good speed. I think the reason I
made a lot of putts today was that I hit if they missed, they were going to be a foot by,
perfect speed on them, allowed me to make some good reads.
Q. Your success in Las Vegas would indicate that you can make a lot of birdies when you
want to. Because of that I am wondering ever a point today where you thought you were out
of the tournament?
JIM FURYK: Well, it is tough. To be 6 down with 7 to go, it is hard to imagine you are
going to win the tournament. But I know it is possible. It is hard to keep telling
yourself to keep plugging away, but I think unless you believe, you know, if you don't
believe it is not possible, then it is definitely not going to happen. I don't know what
clicked for me on the 10th tee, but I told myself I was going to go out and try to shoot
30 on the back side and after the front I don't know what let me believe that I was going
to do it, but I felt like I really could if I got the putts to go in and I hit a shot kind
of -- tried to take it right off the water after the 10th tee, aim it really up the left
side of the fairway cut. It felt like that was going to be a key shot for me to get me
going. If I double-crossed, hit a little bit of poor shot, knocked it into the water,
tournament would be over at that point; I would be playing for second. And I went ahead
and hit a really good shot up the left side; gave myself a chance to go for it in two, and
make a birdie and I kind of settled in after that birdie. Really felt like I can get it
going on that side. Birdied 10, hit driver up the left side on 10 and 3-wood. Just didn't
quite turn over; rolled through the right side of the green on the back right. Got a great
lie. I hit kind of an average pitch. I left it about six feet short. I left myself a
little bit of a downhill right-to-left putt. And I knocked that in. I think that putt was
key because wasn't making many putts. I had easy chip and really didn't hit the best of
pitch shots there. I needed to make that putt just to keep some confidence and keep going.
No. 12 I hit driver off the tee. I thought I -- 3-iron will leave me a perfect sand wedge
into the green and it didn't. Came up a little short. I was in a short cut; instead of
getting a little jump, I kind of came out soft. I left myself kind of a half pitching
wedge into the green, but hit a good shot about twelve feet behind the hole; made that for
birdie. 13, I hit 3-iron about 20 feet left of the pin, made that for birdie. 14, just
missed the birdie. 15, 6-iron, kind of neat seeing the crowd react the way they did. All
putting their arms up like the putt what was going to go or rolled over the edge. I was
surprised to see it was actually still short about three feet. They kind of gave it the
"ahhhhh", I said, I almost made that. I walked up, it was short. I said, all
right, they were excited. And then 17 I hit a driver and 8-iron to about 20 feet; again
made that putt. And then 18 was a driver and 7-iron and didn't care if that putt went in
for -- just lapped it up there and happened to go. On 18, it was six or seven feet.
Q. You won three times in Vegas. I remember talking to you a year or two ago, obviously
hard to go from the west coast to Florida. Does it mean anything to you to win other than
-- like in a different part of the country?
JIM FURYK: Yeah, one of the places that I -- probably used to be the least comfortable
say rookie year on Tour was Florida, didn't grow up on this kind of turf. I have won on --
I actually won a lot -- all my events on Bermuda fairways, but I was more used to playing
off of firmer Bermuda turf like in Arizona where I went to school where the ground is very
firm like Vegas, like Hawaii, and I wasn't used to the real sandy soil in Florida. I
didn't grow up on it. It is a little different style for me. I think that probably moving
to Florida and living in Ponte Vedra and playing -- I don't play a ton when I am home, but
playing there and getting used to The Players Club and getting used to that golf course a
little bit --
Q. When did you move there?
JIM FURYK: I think I have lived there for four years now, somewhere in that area. Now I
am a little bit more comfortable kind of in these conditions in Florida. It is definitely
nice to get a win at a different part of the country where I - like I said, I consider
myself an east coaster, no doubt, nice to win he over here on the eastside.
Q. Aside from the fact that you didn't hole any wedges from the fairway for eagle, this
turnaround is a lot like what Tiger did at Pebble Beach?
JIM FURYK: I told some of the local media that if I can pull anything from that event
was that I think the reason that -- after that event I kind of scratched my head a little
bit and said standing on the 15th tee, if you would have told me Tiger was going to win
that event, I would have laughed at you and I just wouldn't have thought that it was going
to happen. Afterwards I said he has won that event, I told myself that he won that event
because he really believed that he still could and that he was still out there trying to
make eagles on 18 and trying to birdie all those holes coming in. He was telling himself
if he made a bunch of birdies he could still win it. That is kind of what I was telling
you before, standing on the 12th tee today, if I didn't believe that I could shoot 30 on
the back side or that I didn't believe that I can still win the golf tournament, then it
definitely wouldn't have happened today. I probably would have played a different style of
game; wouldn't have attacked the course as much as I did, so maybe I learned something
Q. We didn't believe he was going to win either, by the way.
JIM FURYK: Well, never even dawned on me. I was out there plugging away, struggling
with my game early and I got a bunch over par. I kind of fought my way back on the way
making some birdies and I wasn't really paying attention much to his game but I just felt
like we were still a few shots ahead of me but I felt like we were out of the tournament
as far as a chance to win it. And he didn't think that and that is why he wasn't.
Q. Where were you that day? Were you with Tiger?
JIM FURYK: I played with Tiger.
Q. I left early.
JIM FURYK: You are always trying to meet a deadline, leaving quick.
LEE PATTERSON: Anything else?
End of FastScripts