April 23, 1999
GREENSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA
JAMES CRAMER: Maybe you can talk about what it was like with you and Jeff being in the same group and then Jesper right ahead of you with all the low scores.
JIM FURYK: Well, it was fun. Obviously we didn't get to see what Jesper did. But just by hearing the crowd, he must have eagled 7. Must have holed something out. Pretty incredible round to go out there with the lead and go out and shoot 63. Pretty nice. The guy the guys playing this afternoon have to be wondering what's going on out there. But it was fun. Jeff was playing really well. I think so was I, and we probably carried each other a little bit. It was nice. He got off to such a great start. He hit it -- he could have shot 28 on the back side, the side we started on. And he was hitting the ball so well, and I think that carried over into my game. It was nice to go out there and make a bunch of birdies. The guy next to you is making more. So just kind of helps you out I think a little bit.
Q. So you did kind of feed off each other?
JIM FURYK: I think so. Someone asked me before if you see all these birdies being made around you, does that make you play any differently. I don't think so. I think you have a game plan set for the course. I think I have a way I want to play the golf course and I think that's the best to play it for me and I keep doing that. But it's nice to see some putts drop and see some guys make birdies; and you know it's possible, and it keeps you going, too. It helps out.
Q. Do you feel like the course is set up well?
JIM FURYK: I think that this morning the conditions were perfect for scoring. The wind was -- it was just a little breeze. Wasn't too bad. The greens are holding; they are soft. They are putting very well. They are very smooth. They weren't beat up at all. And they were rolling very true. So if you get greens that are fairly soft and rolling true, the guys are going to shoot some low scores. Someone is going to find a way to do it. I think the fairways are playing fast, so, I'm hitting less club into some of the greens than I have in the past. Really, you still have to keep the ball in play. There's no rough you have to keep the ball out of. But if you're hitting the ball straight, you have some shorter clubs in your hand than years past, the greens are holding. I think that accounts for the scores being low.
Q. The way you're grouped up right now and the way the course is playing, it looks like an old-fashioned shootout.
JIM FURYK: I think. So you see just two groups who shot 62, 62, 63 today. If the conditions keep up this way, which I'm not counting on, someone from nowhere could go out and shoot 61, 62 tomorrow and be leading the golf tournament. You know, there's still a lot of golf left to be played.
JIM FURYK: I wouldn't counted on seeing anymore 62s or 63s. But I couldn't count on it.
JIM FURYK: I did say that yesterday. It wouldn't be a bad score. But I don't know, if things keep up the way they are, it wouldn't be enough. What was the record before, 17, someone told me? I would have to say that's going down.
Q. What's it like being out there when you have pretty much the two groups back-to-back and it's almost like a shootout type situation you guys all watch each other knocking in putts.
JIM FURYK: It was fun. We couldn't see too much of Jesper. Tom Lehman played pretty well today. He shot 4- or 5-under today. You have Jeff shooting 10 (-under) and me shooting 9 (-under). I think Tom counted: We had 23 birdies and an eagle today in our group which is pretty amazing. We didn't birdie the 5th and the 6th hole and Tom looked over at us and said: "You guys feeling all right? You haven't birdied in a couple holes now." Which Jeff birdied that hole; so that took care of that.
JIM FURYK: I played much better today than I played yesterday, and the score reflects that. And I hit the ball very solidly. Hit a lot of fairways a lot of greens. Just a lot of birdie opportunities. A lot of good chances and for the most part I made a lot of them.
JIM FURYK: Pretty good. I don't know if I've ever been -- I'd have to go back and check. I'm not sure I've ever been 14-under for two rounds. But then again, I'm not leading. But I'm happy with the way I'm playing. It puts me in good position for the weekend.
Q. You've got a buddy caddying for you. Jesper has got a new caddy. Jeff has got his girlfriend caddying for him. Is there some sort of pattern?
JIM FURYK: I don't know. Beats me. I think it's probably more coincidence. I have a good friend on the bag this week, and it's been nice. I made nine birdies out there today, and we're still out there joking around and having a good time; so, probably kept me a little loose today.
Q. What's his name?
JIM FURYK: Jeff G. Manson.
Q. Just like it sounds?
JIM FURYK: Yeah.
Q. How long has he been on your bag?
JIM FURYK: Five days.
Q. So this is a first-timer for him, too?
JIM FURYK: It is.
Q. Has he caddied before?
JIM FURYK: No. We went to college together. He's a golf professional. He plays tournament golf, so, it's not a -- other than carrying a heavy bag on his shoulder, it's not too much of a stretch for him. We've played a lot of golf together in the past; so, it's not a big deal.
Q. There's a lot of guys that can go out and shoot a low number tomorrow. It's far away from the three-man shootout. Do you think there's a larger group in contention than it looks?
JIM FURYK: Oh, yeah. Someone always goes out on Saturday, Saturday morning, early afternoon, and shoots a really low number and puts themselves right in contention. I'm expecting that to probably happen again. But you never know. Tournament is in Jesper's hand or Jeff's hand or mine. If Jesper goes out and shoots another 63, I think I could eliminate a few guys back there. But I think, you know, like always, the leader kind of dictates what's going to happen. If a guy gets out to a big lead or a big jump, he can dictate what's going to happen in the tournament.
JIM FURYK: It looks to me just by looking on the cart ride over here the wind was picking up a little for this afternoon, but I'm not sure if that happened to us yesterday. It might have blown harder in the afternoon than it did in the morning. But the shots were higher in the afternoon yesterday -- I think that's what I was told. You guys have the stats.
Q. Is the course as docile as you've seen?
JIM FURYK: In six years, this is the lowest score I've ever seen.
Q. Is it the mild conditions and soft greens?
JIM FURYK: In the past, I think, like I said, the rough has been a lot higher. There's been bad weather; windy; cold; raining. All of that is going to lend to the scores. I can't go back too far. This is only my sixth year on TOUR. I do remember I was here when Mark shot 17-under, and I just don't remember what the golf course was like. That was in about '95 or so; is that right? '96?
Q. When someone is playing well, does that put more pressure on the rest of the field?
JIM FURYK: I don't think so. I don't think so. I was kind of surprised. The first time I looked up at a leader board today was, I think, on the 17th tee and I thought that for sure Jeff would be leading. And he was like two or three back at that time. That just kind of opened my eyes a little bit that guys were shooting low numbers. Steve Lowery was playing pretty well at that time. Jesper was at 12 (-under) and Steve and Jeff were at 10 (-under) at that time. And I kind of said than, the scores getting really low. But it doesn't really change the way you play. You just go out there and keep hitting the same shots and hope some putts go in.
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