April 24, 1999
GREENSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA
JAMES CRAMER: We have Jim Fuyrk. 68 today. 18 under par, 198 total through 54 holes. Jim, why don't we just go right into your score card, going over birdies if we could.
JIM FURYK: I guess the first birdie of the day was No. 4. I hit a 6-iron to about 12 feet left of the hole and made that for birdie. The next birdie was 6. I hit a 3-wood off the tee and a 7-iron to about 25 feet right of the pin, and I made that putt up over a ridge. Third birdie was No. 9. I laid up in two. I hit driver and 4-iron to lay up, and hit a pitching wedge to about 8 feet, and made that for birdie from behind the hole. My bogey of the day was on No. 10. I hit a driver and a pitching wedge, which I thought was pretty good, but ended up just through the green on the short cut, the right, behind the pin. I had an easy pitch shot and knocked it three or four feet by and lipped the putt out coming back. Disappointing. I birdied 13, the par 5. Hit a 3-wood off the tee and laid up with a 6-iron. Hit a 60-degree sand wedge to about 12 feet. Made that for birdie. And then I birdied 15, the par 5. I hit driver 3-wood to the front bunker; hit that shot to about, oh, 7 feet.
Q. Your feelings overall for today?
JIM FURYK: I'm happy with my round. I felt like 68 was a good, solid round. When I got in, I noticed that it seems like the scores were fairly high today. There weren't too many under-par scores, especially late in the day. I'm happy with the round. I played solidly; obviously, not as well as yesterday.
Q. The scores being higher, did that surprise you?
JIM FURYK: I think the golf course plays tougher in this wind, the way it played today. Did it surprise me? No. I think what surprised me was how low the scores were yesterday. That's what kind of caught me off guard.
Q. Jesper kind of put you within reach a little bit there with two bogeys at the end. Do you feel like it's a two-man race for tomorrow?
JIM FURYK: No. I don't think so. Dudley Hart is four behind me. I guess if I felt like -- if I didn't give Dudley a chance or anyone else behind me a chance, then I wouldn't be giving myself a chance against Jesper. He's about the same margin away from me as I am from Dudley. Obviously, the golf tournament is in Jesper's hands first, and mine, depending what we shoot. If he goes out there and lights it up and shoots a good round, he's going to take a lot of guys out of the tournament. If we play average rounds and come back to the field a little bit, we're going to let a lot of people back in the tournament. We've had a couple 62s, 63s, some low numbers this week. I wouldn't count anyone out.
JIM FURYK: He must have made a bunch of birdies right around the turn, 10, 11, somewhere around that area. He was at 18 (-under), and all of the sudden, he was 11 (-under) or 12 (-under).
Q. Did you just hang in there in a situation like that?
JIM FURYK: He played great. I can't really help what he did. I think what he's doing is super. You know, you joke about it. You say: Oh, what course is he playing? He played great today. That's fine. All I can do is go out there and play my best and not worry about it. I shot a 68. I had a good, solid round. Obviously, with the way the course was playing the first two days, and some of the numbers up there, seeing 62s and 63s isn't real common here. I think that had a lot to do with the scoring. You know, I think today things turned around. What was the low score today out there? Jesper? Obviously, I think the course turned into the way it always was here today. It came back and played a little tougher.
Q. What's your mindset for the 4th round?
JIM FURYK: Really for the 4th round I'm going to go out and play the golf course in similar style I've been playing the first three days. Just go over the same game plan. I'm going to get a fix on what the wind is doing in the morning and how the golf course will be playing. Will it be playing like Thursday or Friday, or will it be playing like Saturday? Again, it might not be playing like any of those days and have to adjust. Just keep playing solid and keep knocking on the door and see what we can do.
Q. How do you feel about playing in the final group tomorrow?
JIM FURYK: I would always like to go into the tournament with a lead. Went into Vegas last year with a three-shot lead. That gives you three shots to play with, and you have to shoot that much less the next day to win the golf tournament. I'm happy to be in a position to win the tournament; and hopefully, I'll go out and give it a shot tomorrow.
Q. Do you feel like you have a pressure to match what Parnevik has been doing?
JIM FURYK: Not anymore than anyone else. You know, you mean by people saying, hang in there, Jim, keep some pressure? I just want to go out there and play a good, solid round and make some shots. When I looked up at the board, I feel like I'm playing it pretty well. But I'm five shots back. You just shake your head, and there's nothing you can do about it. You have so much quality of play out here and so much depth on TOUR, on any given day, somebody is going to find a way to shoot a good number.
Q. You get to go out in the final twosome tomorrow. Does it almost feel sometimes like match play?
JIM FURYK: Match play and medal play are just so much different that I think match play you might want to take more chances. You might do a few things in match play that you would not do in medal play. And really, the consequences aren't that bad. In match play you can go at a pin, hit it in the water, and not really worry about it. It's only one hole. It doesn't cost you three shots like it would in medal play. I would never really play Jesper or play Dudley or play Tom one-on-one. I would just want to go play the golf course as well as I could.
Q. It seems like you guys have had just a group of leaders, you've had the best weather each day.
JIM FURYK: I don't know. I think the scores were actually lower on Thursday morning than they were on Thursday afternoon by a shot. Maybe yesterday morning, obviously, we got the better part of the day. I don't know how much lower the scores were in the morning than the afternoon. It looked like on Thursday we got the worst end of the draw, but it turned around Friday and looked like we got the better end of the draw. I haven't really studied the sheets. I remember playing one year and only like 16 guys out of my draw made the cut. It was like three years ago or something like that. That's kind of how it goes. And throughout the course of the year, that will all even out.
Q. For a little while will it looked like Jesper was threatening the all-time under par record.
JIM FURYK: Might still be.
Q. On this course, does that just seem like an abberation?
JIM FURYK: It's not normal. I haven't played with him at all this week, but he's playing well. He must be doing something right. 21-under par for three days is pretty incredible.
Q. Have you played with him before?
JIM FURYK: Oh, yeah. A lot.
Q. How do you two feed off one another?
JIM FURYK: I don't know. I think that we both probably have different style games. You know, I really, you know I think he's a very personable guy. He's easy to get along with and has a good manner on the course. I don't think that will really make a difference tomorrow, really coming down the stretch, who you're playing with. I'm glad that I'm playing with Jesper and he's leading the tournament. It's nice to see what he's doing and not have to watch the leader board. But again, it's -- I need to worry more about how I'm doing and how I'm playing.
Q. Some guys have seemed a little disappointed that the course has been soft this week, and there was an opportunity to maybe play this pretty hard.
JIM FURYK: I'm really mad sitting here Saturday, having a chance to win the tournament. Really pisses me off. (Laughter.)
Q. Is it sometimes more fun to play a hard course?
JIM FURYK: I think what we're striving for -- the course setup has been kind of a question on tour and a concern. Guys want to see the courses set up the best they possibly can, week-in and week-out. It's really difficult. For us to sit in the rules officials' hands and the green superintendents', sit in their shoes and see what they have to do to set the course up to get it ready to play; it's probably really difficult. It's hit or miss. They can believe they are making the right decision. Like at The PLAYERS Championship, they felt the golf course was going to be in really ideal conditions, and it became obviously a little bit too tough and unplayable. I don't know how they feel about the setup. I'm sure they are not real happy about that 21-under, breaking the old record. But the golf course is fair for everyone. Whether it's too hard, too easy or just right, everybody has got to play the same golf course. There's nothing we can really do about it as players. And I think the golf course has been in great condition and that's one thing we always ask for and it is; so, I'm happy about it.
JAMES CRAMER: Okay, Jim. Thanks very much.
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