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October 30, 1998

Jim Furyk


LEE PATTERSON: All right, sir. Maybe just a couple thoughts about today, then we'll entertain questions.

JIM FURYK: Well, I hung in there. I think today -- I'm not sure -- I guess today was maybe slightly harder than yesterday. It was a little bit more breezy. I hear the scores were a little higher. You know, I just hung in there. Maybe didn't quite hit it quite as well as I did yesterday. Had some really good saves today. Kind of kept my round going. Again, I'm sitting in good position. Happy with the day.


Q. You guys come out today, realize Vijay can't keep that kind of pace, shoot a low round --

JIM FURYK: You never know. I'm not going to say Vijay was going to have a bad day. I think it's pretty admirable of him to start off so poorly and kind of, you know, put it back together and build another lead. I think he's obviously playing real well and has a little confidence in himself to be able to do that. That was pretty impressive.

Q. Everybody has been talking about driving and fairways and rough, hitting greens, right part of the greens. Was putting more of an importance today? Was it putting today?

JIM FURYK: I don't think so. I mean, for me or just for the field?

Q. For you, to keep the damage to a minimum.

JIM FURYK: I'm not sure. I think the same thing. You have to keep the ball out of the rough, drive it in the fairways. Still, it's important to keep the ball on the correct side of the green so you're not putting down over some ridges and hills. You know, the ball can get away from you very quickly out here. For the greens I hit today, I actually did keep the ball in very good spots and left myself some pretty good putts. I did miss a few more greens today than I did yesterday. The key for me today was some good saves and getting the ball up-and-down a few times, kind of keeping the round going.

Q. What holes did the breeze bother you a little bit, where was it a factor?

JIM FURYK: Actually, it blew probably the hardest today when Tom and I were on the 3rd tee. For some reason it blew really hard, just gusted and it picked up. I tried to kind of wait it out, but it didn't work, just kept going. We had to play. I kind of got fooled on my second shot, it kind of laid down, and I hit what I thought was a perfect shot. Knocked it over the green and left it in a really difficult spot. Hit a great pitch shot to about three feet, knocked it in for par and got out of there. I think that kind of fooled me there.

Q. Tricky on 6 at all?

JIM FURYK: It's a pretty tough hole, just because they can find some really -- really on that hole, you want to stick the ball in the middle of the green every day and take your putt at it. You really don't want to fool around with the left bunker, especially if the pin is left, or obviously the right side. There's a short right, I think only about 20 paces. You can run out of green there. With the bank shaved, it's going to be in the water every time.

Q. Was the tee up on 5 today?

JIM FURYK: Same place.

Q. Seems like everybody is getting down that slope pretty well?

JIM FURYK: I think today, at that time when we played, the wind was blowing pretty hard this morning. I wouldn't say the wind was blowing; it was pretty breezy. If you had the ball up in the air, it would take off there.

Q. If I might, after two rounds, are you pretty pleased with your position, what's happening overall?

JIM FURYK: Yeah. I'm in real good shape in the tournament. Looks like I'll be a couple back going into the weekend. You know, I've been playing well. Yesterday and today were two pretty different style rounds for me. But I hung in there today. I got a good score out of it. I'm in good shape for the weekend, so I'm definitely happy.

Q. Now that you've played two good rounds under competition, have you found any holes that you could charge or that you can really be aggressive on if it comes down to it?

JIM FURYK: Well, I think not really. I think you really want to keep the ball in play on the par 5s, in particular. They're both reachable, especially in today's conditions with them both being downwind. You know, with so many difficult holes, and the greens being so tough, having a chance to knock it on two, get around the green, you know, you'd like to make some birdies there.

Q. What kind of score board watcher are you? Did you notice that Vijay had tripled 3? Did you think there was a chance to make up some ground?

JIM FURYK: I didn't notice he tripled. I knew he went back to 3-under real quick. I didn't know how it happened or if it was a series of holes. You know, at that time I think it put Tom -- I was playing with Tom, he was in the lead. It was nice to be right around the lead instead of starting the day for me four back. All of a sudden, I was tied for the lead or even with the lead. That's a good position, but there's still a lot of golf left. You really can't worry about watching the score board too much on Friday. In fact, I had no idea where Vijay or Hal Sutton or anybody else was on the back nine. I'm a score board watcher, but on Friday there's really no point to it. Just really play hard and wait -- if you're still in good shape on late Sunday afternoon, then I think score board watching becomes a little more key.

Q. I was wondering if unlike Olympic where it's hard to play catch-up, as tough as the conditions are, can you go out there and get rewarded for good shots, make up some ground?

JIM FURYK: I think you get rewarded for good shots here. I don't think the golf course is unfair by any means. Really, if you hit some good shots, as good as the greens are, the greens are rolling pretty true, you can make some birdies. But today I only made two and they were both 2-putts. I didn't find them too easy. I played with Tom Lehman today. He hit quite a few good iron shots. He birdied holes I think 13, 14 and 15. You know, he kind of got it going a little bit on the back nine. You know, it's difficult. It can go either way. I think can you make up shots here, though, because you can shoot a few under par, but also the guys in the lead can also shoot quite a few over par. I think you can make up some shots.

Q. Could you address the streaks golfers get into. Specifically for you, do you feel you're still riding the wave that you had in Vegas?

JIM FURYK: Well, I think there's times throughout a year where -- I wouldn't say my game is any better now than it really was, say, since the British Open, but I'm just scoring pretty well right now. I'm finding a way to get the ball in the hole. Really, that's important. At a tournament like Williamsburg where I really kind of struck the ball pretty well, hit the ball well, I really didn't feel like there was too much bad with my game, but I finished 30th or 40th in the tournament. For some reason, adding it up at the end of the day, I shot around even par. Couldn't get the ball in the hole. Didn't seem like I scored very well. Those kinds of weeks come and go. Vegas was a week where it seemed like I saved up all my birdies from the last month and used them all up in Vegas for that week. Right now, yeah, it's nice to come off that tournament and tee it up thinking the last time I played I won. It gives you a lot of confidence.

Q. Same type of question on the subject of carrying over from one tournament to another. You played so well at the British, you were right there on the back nine on Sunday, couldn't quite break through. Then you did not play as well as you would liked to have played at Sahalee. Was there some carry-over from the British?

JIM FURYK: No. That's a month apart. Really I wouldn't say there was any letdown or carry-over there. I putted very poorly at Sahalee. I don't think it really had anything to do with the British.

Q. Did the British take you a while to get over?

JIM FURYK: No, it really didn't. Actually, The Masters hurt more earlier this year for some reason. I think just because being on the 18th green and having a putt to tie, not going in, kind of coming in from behind and charging a little bit. Maybe being in that position for the first time. I think, if anything, the British Open really just ticked me off more than anything. I wasn't really upset or down or hurt; I was just probably a little mad for a couple hours after the tournament. But, you know, that's part of it. I know I played well. I know I hit the ball as well as anyone that week or maybe better than anyone else. I didn't make some of the putts coming down the stretch, and I hit some really good ones. I can kind of accept that, you know, that I went out there and I felt like I really played well. You know, it wasn't meant to be, didn't go my way.

Q. Over the courses you played this year, where would you rate this one as far as the degree of difficulty?

JIM FURYK: It's definitely I think in the top -- probably Top 5 of difficulty. More important, I think it's one of the better courses we've played all year. I really liked Birkdale. It's hard to compare Augusta to anything else. You know, I really think this golf course, you know, stands up with all the courses we played Majors this year. It holds its own very, very well.

Q. If you consider it one of the Top 5 as far as difficulty, how do you feel about two days without a bogey here?

JIM FURYK: Well, I made bogey yesterday. I 3-putted 11 yesterday for bogey. I've been playing pretty consistently. I'm happy to do that, but I'd also trade it in for about five or six birdies today, too (laughter).

LEE PATTERSON: Speaking of those, could you give us the details?

JIM FURYK: Not a lot of details today, do I? I birdied 9, hitting a driver and 3-wood to about 20 feet, and 2-putted, rolled it over the edge there, almost made eagle. I birdied 15, hitting driver, 4-iron, to about 25 feet, and 2-putting there. That was simple.

Q. (Inaudible) with Tom?

JIM FURYK: About a 3-footer on 9. I hit it almost pin-high right. Huge break to it. Went across the front edge of the hole, ended up about three feet. On 15, it was a tap-in, about six inches.

Q. Talking about saves, how many saves did you have?

JIM FURYK: I had some really good saves today actually. First one was on No. 5. I hit it in the right rough off the tee a couple feet. I got a little greedy and thought I might be able to roll an 8-iron up towards the front of the green. Didn't come out quite as well as I wanted. Left it out there about 40 yards of the pin in the right rough. I just kind of hacked a shot out, landed it about five to ten yards short of the green, let it roll up there. I rolled it up about three feet from the pin. It was a great save. And then, again, I hit a good shot into No. 3 behind the green. Had a real delicate shot that I just threw about three feet, let it trickle all the way down to the hole, two feet from the hole, made that. I had a real tough spot in my round from Holes 11 through 14. I hit some good shots that didn't turn out so well. I hit it in the left bunker on 11, which wasn't a good shot, but the pin was kind of cut on that right bunker. Today the play was probably to get the ball a little left of the pin. I just pulled it into the left bunker, blasted out to about six feet, I made a real good left-to-right 6-footer. 12, I hit it in the left shortcut off the tee. The ball sits so high in that zoysia shortcut. I kind of went underneath it, caught it high on the club face, into the wind; the wind ate up the ball, knocked it in the front bunker. Had a tough little bunker shot, got it out about three feet, knocked it in for par. 13, I drove it in the left bunker, I got a really kind of ugly lie on the bunker. I just kind of patted it up a little in front of the green, about 20 yards in front of the green. I pitched it up about to eight feet and made that for par. Then on the next hole, 14, I made a good up-and-down. I drove it what I thought was a pretty good drive. The ball landed maybe five to ten yards into the fairway on the right, and it took -- must have kicked right. I thought it would be in the fairway at the shortcut at worse. I ended up in the heavy rough. I got a really good lie. Hit an 8-iron. I was about 152 to the front, like 180 yards to the pin. I landed it in front of the pin, rolled in front of the pin, over the green. I pitched it on about six feet and made that for par. Those holes right there, I didn't hit too many shots that I thought were that bad, but a few of them ended up that bad. I saved some pars that kind of kept my round going right there in the middle.


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