October 29, 1998
LEE PATTERSON: Very good day.
JIM FURYK: Thanks.
LEE PATTERSON: Couple thoughts about your round, we'll entertain questions.
JIM FURYK: Just a solid day. I hit the ball very accurately today, kept the ball in play. You know, I played well enough with my iron game and with my putter to hang in there and play a solid round. But, you know, I'm in a great position after the first round. We still have three more days to go. This course is going to be punishing after four rounds. I'm going to be tired.
LEE PATTERSON: Any questions?
Q. Are you tired after the first round?
JIM FURYK: A little bit, yeah. It's just, you know, the course is playing difficult. You have to keep the ball in play. The greens can give you fits. If you put the ball on the wrong side of the hole, you have to work hard to have some 2-putts.
Q. A lot of under par scores for a difficult course.
JIM FURYK: I don't know about that. What is there, how many guys under par?
Q. Nine or ten.
JIM FURYK: I don't know. I figure of the 30 guys to play the best this year, only one-third of them broke par, that's pretty good. Really, other than Vijay, nobody really lit it up. I guess Mayfair played a good round and everyone else was mostly 1 and 2-under-par. I think those are pretty high scores. We'll see how everyone stands after four rounds.
Q. Did you have a better shot than the second one on 15 today? Can you talk about that one, maybe what that did for your backside?
JIM FURYK: Did I hit a better shot? Yeah, I kind of thinned it a little bit, hopped it up on the green. I kind of finished with a one-armed finish there. I don't know if that was showing at all. I hit a good shot in there about 25 feet past the pin, made a good 2-putt for my birdie. But early on, I hit some good shots, actually, today. I played well, hit a good iron shot into No. 6, the par 3. I hit it about eight feet right of the pin, right in between the pin and the water. That set up a birdie, was probably one of the best shots of the day. But actually, I'd say the best shots I hit all day were with the driver. I drove the ball real well today. I was happy about that.
Q. What was that between the pin and water?
JIM FURYK: No. 6, par 3.
Q. Were you going for that there?
JIM FURYK: The wind was left-to-right, the pin on the right side. I like to cut the ball so it sets up good for me. I tried to set it up in the middle of the green, just hit my normal shot, let it work towards the flag. Obviously I didn't want it scaring the water over there. It was a good, solid shot, it was a good swing.
Q. How much are you allowing yourself to think about, "I've got to win to win the money title"?
JIM FURYK: As I said yesterday, not at all. I'm not thinking about it at all. I really honestly don't believe David is going to finish worse than 24th in the tournament. You know, he didn't play very well today, had a high score. But I have a lot of confidence in his game. I know he does. He'll come back and play well the next three days. The question won't matter, no matter how I play.
Q. Could you put a 63 in perspective for us?
JIM FURYK: Well, I think it was -- he hit a good shot on 18, too. He must have 3-putted 18. What a super round. The golf course is in unbelievable condition. If you can keep the ball in play, the fairways are perfect, the greens are rolling great. The problems come when the fairways aren't very wide. If you drive it in the rough, you're going to make some bogeys. If you put the ball on the greens above the pin, these greens are up there rivaling Augusta and Oakmont for the toughest I've played. They're difficult.
Q. Do you like that?
JIM FURYK: Well, you know, if you're playing well, yes, because it will separate the guys that are striking the ball well and playing well and being very patient, from the guys that aren't having a very good week. If you're struggling a little bit with your game, it's probably not the best thing.
Q. Do you like that at the end of the year?
JIM FURYK: Well, I think obviously they want -- they don't want scores where we're shooting 20 under to win THE TOUR Championship, I think. I like the idea -- I think this is a really nice layout. It's in very good shape right now. But the course is playing tough. I think it's fitting for the last tournament of the year. I think the course we played last year, The Champions, was a great golf course, too. They had it set up very difficult.
LEE PATTERSON: Why don't you go over your birdies for us real quick.
JIM FURYK: Birdied the 1st hole, hit a driver and a 6-iron to about six or seven feet. I made that for birdie. No. 6, I hit a 6-iron to about eight feet right of the pin, made that for birdie. I birdied No. 9. I hit a driver. I didn't hit it very well. I might have even clipped the tree, but the ball stayed in the short cut of the rough on the left side. I hit a 3-iron to lay it up. I hit a sand wedge in there about five or six feet, made that for birdie. Then bogeyed 11 with a 3-putt. I think on 11 I hit a 6-iron couldn't have been much more than 20, 25 feet past the pin, rolled the first putt ten feet by. Actually thought I hit a pretty good put, so I was a little surprised. That green got a little slick by the end of the day. It was a little brown around the hole. It was a little icy. That's going to happen. You just have to accept it. Then I birdied 15, hitting driver, 3-iron, to about 25 feet, 2-putting.
Q. That bunker shot on 15, 16?
JIM FURYK: 16.
Q. Did you make it a little easier than it looked?
JIM FURYK: I won't say it was -- I mean, it was a pretty tough shot. But the break that I got was I got a very good lie. I was a little bit on the upslope in the bunker. That made it a lot easier. I could get some height on the ball because of the good lie. Got a little spin on the ball. It made it a little easier. But, you know, I would say hopefully I would get that up-and-down more than half the time.
LEE PATTERSON: Anything else? Thank you. We appreciate your time.
JIM FURYK: Thanks a lot.
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