June 23, 1999
HARRISON, NEW YORK
LEE PATTERSON: Thank you. We appreciate you coming in this afternoon. I know you have
got a third-place and a second-place finish last two outings here. Maybe just a couple of
comments about that and what you saw today on the golf course.
JIM FURYK: Well, obviously I have some good memories coming back here, but I have
played well here in the last couple of years but even before that I really enjoyed the
golf course. I played here as an amateur here in 1991 through Monday qualifying, so I have
always enjoyed coming back to Westchester and I think it is a great golf course. It is one
of the best. With a couple good finishes last couple of years I am excited about the week.
Hoping to do it again.
Q. When you came here as an amateur, Monday qualifier, were you trying to qualify at a
bunch of events like the Kemper and U.S. Open and this --
JIM FURYK: Anything that was close to home where I could without -- being at school, I
was in college, and I tried for the Kemper, tried here, of course the U.S. Open. I think
those were the three I tried that summer and I got into Westchester.
Q. What was your impression of the PGA TOUR?
JIM FURYK: I had already played previously on Tour. In college we used to -- everyone
on the team would try to qualify for the Tucson Open, so I had been in that, I think two
times already before and my impression was obviously it was a different league than I was
used to. I came out here and played what I thought was really good round. About 30th
place. Obviously I wasn't ready for the Tour yet, but it was a great experience.
Q. Could you just talk a little bit about how grueling the Open was and the mindset you
have coming into a tournament the week after that?
JIM FURYK: It definitely was grueling. I think mentally and physically it takes a lot
out of you, to grind it out all week and the battle there. Obviously the conditions
weren't real favorable for shooting low scores. So it takes a lot out of you. But I really
enjoy this golf course and this tournament so I was scheduled to come no matter what. I
think you just kind of take it a little easy. Monday was pretty much a travel day up here
and yesterday I went and played Winged Foot with some friends. I won't really grind it out
too hard today. I like the way I am playing and just I have already hit some balls at the
Pro-Am. I am going to work on my short game a little bit, try to get out of here and get
Q. Is there a guy or prototype of a guy that you like playing with, faster guys,
JIM FURYK: No one likes playing with slow guys. No one. (laughs). Do I think it is a
major obstacle and a chance to win a tournament? Not really. I think it is nice to go out
there; especially maybe Thursday and Friday to be paired with somebody you are friends
with or you get along with. I think someone like Mark O'Meara is a pretty good playing
partner because he is real easy going, he doesn't get real upset. He doesn't get real
excited. He is a real nice guy, great conversations with him, and he has just got really
good rhythm, good pace to his game. Being around guy like that I think is good for
playing. If a guy gets distracted, starts throwing clubs, gets really upset, that could
affect his playing partners, and if a guy is slow that could affect his playing partner.
That is stuff we should be used to. We do this for a living and we should be able to
adjust and block everything else out that on the golf course and play our own game. It
definitely -- we have to do this for a living and I can -- what you do for a living
hopefully you enjoy it, or else it is going to make your life miserable so it is more fun
for us to be around people that we know, like and are comfortable with. It makes the days
Q. Assuming you feel like this course suits your game since you have done well here, I
want to know what about this course you like and also it was very wet last year, what kind
of difference do you think it is going to make since that is not happening?
JIM FURYK: I don't think the golf course is really extremely dry right now. The
fairways -- I hit a few shots that barely rolled after hitting the ground on the fairways
today. The greens weren't brick hard like I can remember them in some years past. So I am
expecting they still have some time to dry out the course and by the end of the week it
will be that way. As of right now maybe that is for Pro-Am purposes or whatever. It wasn't
extremely firm like I remember it in some of years, but obviously it is not a puddle out
there either like last year.
Q. What do you like about the course?
JIM FURYK: Growing up in Pennsylvania I grew up on courses built in this era. I would
guess Westchester was built in the 1920's or 30s or early 1900s. It is a traditional golf
course. Most of the greens are very round in shape, sloping back to front. It just -- it
is not target golf. I think there is more than one way to play shots on this golf course
and you can use your imagination a little bit. I have always been very open that I am not
a real good fan of TPC golf courses where it is target oriented, placement in the fairway,
you hit the clover shaped greens, where you feel like you never have a shot at the pin. I
am just not a real big fan of that. Last week Donald Ross golf course I am a fan of, of
those older more traditional golf courses.
Q. How grueling was it last year? A lot of stops and starts because of the weather in
the clubhouse a lot last year. Was that a tough tournament for you last year?
JIM FURYK: I don't think the rain delay wasn't that grueling. I sat in the clubhouse
for what seemed like four hours at least last year one day where I played about seven
holes and my second round then came in and waited all day. Actually had some friends up
here from Pennsylvania watching the tournament and sat kind of under one of the tents and
watched it rain for a few hours, spent a lot of time in the locker room and then to go
back out and finish a round I had got done late that evening. So yeah, that is a little
hard to just sit around all day. It tires you out more than anything, not doing anything.
Losing the tournament and really coming so close and losing, that obviously leaves a sour
taste in your mouth at the time. I am happy I played well. When I look back on it was a
good week, but at the time five minutes, ten minutes after walking off the golf course you
really don't want to speak to too many people or do too many things. You came close, you
know you gave it your best shot; you just came up a little short. Hardest thing after the
event was trying to get to the Olympic Club. Playoff ran late. . I missed my flight. I
tried to shuttle around. I think it was Kennedy Airport, which I won't suggest for anyone,
and missed two flights that night, made another, missed it. Then just got so fed up by the
time we were going to get to San Francisco it was going to be, I think, 1:00 in the
morning there, 4:00 in the morning here and I just -- I said that is enough. We just got a
hotel room by the airport and took off Monday and got there Monday afternoon. So that hurt
my preparation a little bit for the U.S. Open. Also wore me out a little bit there. But it
was worth it. I had a chance to win. That is what it is all about.
Q. You talked about playing partners. Who do you work well with, play well with?
JIM FURYK: If I were in the Ryder Cup who I like to play with in the four-ball or -- is
that what you mean?
JIM FURYK: Depending. I think in the four-ball, in better ball, I'd like to play with
-- in the past couple of years hopefully -- I don't want to put the cart before the horse.
I still have to play really well for the rest of the year to make the team. But in that
situation I like to play with someone that has kind of a different game than I do, like
David Duval or John Huston, or a guy that has just got an explosive game, maybe a guy that
hits the ball long and far, that is really not my strength. I am more of a mid-length
accurate player, kind of methodical player to get the ball around the golf course. In that
situation where you have a better ball event, I'd like to play with a guy that just lets
it fly and can overpower a golf course and maybe play in a different fashion than do. I
like David and I had a really good Fred Meyer challenge last year. Then alternate shot in
a two-ball format, foursomes, I would rather play with someone that had a game very
similar to mine that we attack the golf course the same way. Hit tee shots in the same
place, and really could -- playing us -- playing the same ball would look like kind of
almost the same person. So I think that style would be someone like a Justin Leonard or
someone that is just very unwavering, I think I like his game he has a lot of control. He
works the ball both ways. He doesn't overpower the golf course but he out-thinks a lot of
players, so I'd like to play with somebody like that.
Q. You are talking about the Ryder Cup. Is that a big goal for you this year to try to
make the team?
JIM FURYK: Yeah, I would be lying if I said I didn't want to make the team. If I don't
make the team it doesn't mean this year is going to be a terrible year. Just because I
make the team doesn't mean I am going to be satisfied with the entire year. Two years ago
I really enjoyed it. It was one of the highlights of my career in 1997, so I would like to
do it again and obviously would really like to be there this year.
Q. What did you like about it? Some players say it is just a major grind and you don't
get paid anyway, so --
JIM FURYK: Well, I will say that the 63 functions we packed into seven days was a
little difficult. And it is very tiring. I didn't sleep very much that week, not because I
was nervous. It was just because I was doing something every hour of the day. But I think
the best part about the week is really the time that you get to spend with the team and
team dinners or team meetings, spend time with your captain, get to meet everyone's wife
or girlfriend and really spend time, a lot of time together as a group of about 25 people
and really get to know those people and root for them. And while they are playing you are
cheering for them and vice-versa and really kind of coming together as a group is probably
-- it is kind of a neat feeling, it is just special. I think our team, even though we
played lousy, like this year at The Presidents Cup we had a really close group and other
than the time we spent on the golf course getting our tails kicked, we had a great time.
Q. Just jumping back to what you were just talking about, are there things that you
learned from some of the guys who you thought you knew pretty well on Tour during that
JIM FURYK: You didn't know everyone's wife. I had never met like say Mark O'Meara's. I
never met Alicia O'Meara. We kind of both went to dinner. She had introduced herself; I
had introduced myself. So I think I got to meet a lot of people and I always say by end of
the week you are giving everyone a hug and telling them what a great week you had.
Q. How about particular guys, you know --
JIM FURYK: I think you just get to know them better. I am not sure you learn any more
about your golf game or anything like that from anyone else. I think you learn about
yourself and about your golf game just from being under a lot of pressure during the
tournament. I mean all of us are good -- we have some close friends out here that we
travel with and we are together whatever, 20 to 25 weeks a year, so, you get to know a lot
of the guys very well; you have some close friends, but there are some guys on the team
that I didn't know very well and wasn't very good friends with. You become a lot closer
after those experiences. For me that is probably -- I enjoy -- obviously I enjoy the golf
and playing under pressure for my country but what you pull from it is the relationships
Q. David Duval said earlier that he has the mindset now that he goes in every week
knowing he has a very good chance to win. Is that your mindset and how long has it been
that way? When did it become for you not just a question of competing and playing well,
but winning tournaments?
JIM FURYK: I think it a helluva lot easier for David to say that he has won with 50% of
the ones he has played this year or last two years. Really I think that is sort of more --
that type of mindset starts after winning your first event that you got over the hump, you
win your first event and it is a great feeling. I mean, it is something that you don't
want to wait long again to feel again. So maybe it is a greedy feeling that I won in Las
Vegas for the first time in 1995 and immediately I mean, I could see myself kind of
pushing it out there and really not being very patient on the golf course because I was
thinking about I just wanted to do it again. I was really happy about it. It took me a
while to actually, I won very quickly after that and early 1996, but I didn't play well
for the first few events in 1996 because I think that the only thing I was concentrating
on and really you have to realize that I am going to play about that, 26 events this year.
If I could win once, it is a good year. If I could win twice, it is a phenomenal year to
be a multiple winner. There is going to be a lot of weeks I am going to go home not
accomplishing a goal if that is my primary goal. So sometimes you realize, sometimes you
show up at an event, you know you are not playing that well and you know that maybe that
is not in the cards. I have shown up to events where I wasn't playing well like that event
in 1996 in Hawaii; Greensboro this year on Wednesday. I was just hitting it horrible in
the Pro-Am. I found something Wednesday night, started hitting the ball well; went out;
shot 21-under for the week and, you know, lost by a couple. So just happens. You just have
to be patient and I think let it happen than forcing it to happen. David has been on a
run. He has all the confidence in the world right now. Who would blame him? He has won, I
think, what, eleven times in two years. That is just amazing. It hasn't been done in a
Q. Joel Kriebel who plays his first event as a pro tomorrow, I know you guys got to
play a little bit at the Masters?
JIM FURYK: A couple of years ago.
Q. Curious about your thoughts on his game and any recollection your first Tour event?
JIM FURYK: As far as on his game -- to remember how I was hitting it in The Masters two
years ago is tough; let alone how Joel was playing. Obviously he is a solid player. He had
a real good college career. I think he is a pretty big strong guy so I think he is going
to have the game for the TOUR. What I think impresses everyone most about him is his --
some of the guys that are managing his career or his agents, I guess, per se, are friends
of mine and what they are really impressed with and what I think what I was impressed with
is he just seems like a real down to earth real nice kid he seems very grounded and very
realistic and his view on life and I think that is important to really to be in a better
person is a heck of a lot better than being a better player. But it looks like he has got
Q. Talk about Carnousti. I seem to remember you played at least one of those Scottish
JIM FURYK: I did.
JIM FURYK: Yeah. It is a hard golf course, I could say that much. In those conditions.
I like the golf course. I think that I don't remember a whole lot about it other than I
played poorly, but it was really my first experience with Links golf so I'd like to go
back and take a crack at it with a little more experience. I haven't been in that position
a few more times but it was a good golf course. I think it had some length to it and it
was a real nice layout. We played in the most extreme conditions I could ever imagine,
that is the worse conditions I have ever played in.
Q. Do you remember where you finished?
JIM FURYK: I missed the cut.
End of FastScripts