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July 23, 2014

Jim Furyk


THE MODERATOR:¬† We welcome two‑time RBC Canadian Open champion Jim Furyk to the media center.¬† Obviously it's always good to hear that you're a two‑time winner of a tournament that you come to.¬† Maybe you could tell us a little bit about what it means to be back here at the RBC Canadian Open, a tournament that you've won twice.
JIM FURYK:  It's nice.  It's a little different and it's not coming back to the same golf courses that I've won the tournament on, but it's nice to have some success up here.  I feel like the fans have given me a lot of support, and it's nice to be part of Team RBC.  We've got a lot of thanks to them for I think all the energy that they've basically cast upon this event.  I think since they took over seven years ago, it's returned to some of its glory days, and thankful for them for everything they've done.
I guess I haven't been back to Montreal since the Presidents Cup, the last time we played here.  But happy to be back.  It's a beautiful city, and happy to be playing.
THE MODERATOR:  Coming into the week in some good form with a fourth place finish at the Open Championship last week.  Maybe tell us how your game is feeling and your outlook for this week.
JIM FURYK:¬† I took a long time‑‑ I took a month off.¬† I didn't play between the U.S. Open and the British Open.¬† I took four weeks off, headed to the Open about a day early, and tried to get ready over there and prepare, had some good practice and was‑‑ I knew I'd be in good shape mentally.¬† I was well rested, but I was very happy with the form I was in physically.¬† I felt like I was striking the ball well.¬† Mechanically my swing felt very comfortable and very sound, so it was nice to get out there and make some putts and then have a good Sunday finish with a 65 to get in there for fourth place.
This golf course is going to require, I mean, dead opposite from what you'd seen in links golf, and the rain today isn't going to make that any much closer.¬† It's going to spread the gap even farther.¬† Fairways are relatively generous here.¬† The rough really‑‑ I guess they've had a pretty dry summer, so the rough isn't real severe.¬† It's got a few spotty places, and of course you've got the Rees Jones redesign with the greens, so you've got pretty large greens but they're sectioned off into very small areas with spines and ridges in the greens.¬† I think with the width off the tee and the rough being down, it definitely has a flair for letting a guy be aggressive.¬† I think you're going to see guys be aggressive with a driver, get it as close to the green as they can off the tee so they can attack those pins with short irons and a guy that can get the ball up in the air and bring it down here softly on the greens is going to have an advantage to get in those little sections on the greens.
Totally 180‑degree flip from what we saw last week.

Q.  Have you ever taken a month off in the middle of the season before?
JIM FURYK:  I have not, no.  This is the first year.

Q.  Can you just expand on the reasons why you decided to do that?
JIM FURYK:¬† Well, I really only‑‑ from last year, say three, four years ago, I was playing Greenbrier and AT&T.¬† I decided to take Greenbrier out of the schedule, and last year I only played one of those four weeks, which was AT&T.¬† Really my family wanted to be out West in the mountains for that month, and for me to kind of break up a middle of that month just to play one week didn't seem to make sense, so I really‑‑ it was a lot to do with kind of getting fresh in the middle of a year before a big run.¬† I'm going to play possibly eight out of the next nine, and nine out of the next 11 weeks if you count the Ryder Cup.¬† If I make the TOUR Championship, make the Ryder Cup team, that's nine of the next 11 weeks.¬† I felt like I wanted to be fresh for that run, and I won't be fresh by the end of it, but I wanted to do the best I could to be mentally prepared for that, and as much as I like Congressional and the golf course, it just suited my family and the schedule a lot better to take it off and spend some time with the kids.

Q.  You've expressed an affinity for and you've had success on the traditional country club type of golf courses like a Hamilton where you won.  Does this golf course fit that definition in light of the Rees Jones changes, and do you see it as that old school country style course or how would you define it?
JIM FURYK:¬† I would say it's very traditional from tee to green and very modern on the greens.¬† That's all I would say.¬† It doesn't look like a‑‑ when you play it from tee to green, it looks like a course that was built in 1910, and when you get to the greens it looks like a course that was built in about 1995 is the way I would look at it.¬† It's definitely been modernized, and it doesn't look‑‑ from what I remember in 2007, it doesn't look like that golf course on the greens.¬† The routing is there and there's a lot of similarities, I think, from tee to green, but the greens have changed significantly and been modernized very much so, so I wouldn't call it‑‑ traditional is a bad word, classic is a bad word because you can't really define them.¬† Everyone has got a different definition.¬† But it looks very modern now from a green perspective, where it looks very old tee to green.

Q.  Do you like it, though?  Do you like it for your game because of the way it looks from tee to green and the way you can shape it?
JIM FURYK:¬† We'll see how it's set up in the golf tournament.¬† I'd say it looks‑‑ with what I described before with the guys playing real aggressive off the tee, hitting driver everywhere, the rough being down, the fairways being wide and favoring a guy that hits it real high and brings it down real soft, I'll let you make the assessment.
You know, I didn't think Angus Glen fit the bill or fit my style at all to be honest with you when I first got there.¬† I would not have put that in a list or a category of a golf course that I thought would‑‑ like Hamilton I love, Shaughnessy I love.¬† When I got to Angus Glen it wasn't a place that I thought really suited my style, and I went on to win that event, as well.¬† I think you go in, you keep an open mind.¬† I've won at a lot of places that‑‑ Doral doesn't fit a bill for‑‑ it was a long golf course at the time.¬† I've won at a lot of places I wouldn't say really suited my style of game.
But I think it suits it enough.¬† I love the look off the tee and the strategy as far as where you're placing your drives, when to play aggressive, when to play conservative, and I'm not knocking the greens, they're just really different if that makes sense.¬† Rees has got a style with the spines and the hills and a way of sectioning off pins, and I'll tell you what, it really puts‑‑ the hard part would be I'd be really‑‑ it play it is fine, but setting it up is really difficult.¬† The reason why is you can't play these greens‑‑ I don't know what the target speed for greens is this week, but I guess it wouldn't be more than 11 because I don't think you could play the 17th green quicker than 11 because I don't think you'd have any pin placements on it if that makes sense.¬† So with the severity of the greens, I feel like they can't play the greens overly firm or overly fast because the golf course will become somewhat unplayable.¬† But then if they get it a little too slow and a little too soft, now you're dealing with the best players in the world, someone is going to fire a really good number.
I think their margin of error to set it up difficult‑ I hate the word fair again ‑ but to set it up difficult and well, their margin of error is very small if that makes sense because it gets a little too firm and quick, it gets unplayable by design.¬† If it gets a little too soft, the best players in the world, someone is going to shoot a good number.¬† It puts a lot of stress‑‑ I think Bellerive in St.Louis is a beautiful golf course, and Rees went in there and redid that one, as well, but it does the same thing.¬† It puts a lot of stress on the setup committee, and then weather, nothing they can do about that.¬† If it rains a lot today, it's going to be a little softer tomorrow.

Q.  The Presidents Cup here in '07, how much do you remember from the golf course that week and how much of that plays into your game plan this week?
JIM FURYK:¬† I remember our team doing well.¬† I remember playing Retief in singles.¬† I remember parts and bits of different matches.¬† But I couldn't call up every hole and putts and‑‑ we didn't stay in the clubhouse, so we already approached the course from a different angle, the range from a different way.¬† I remembered most of the holes.¬† About 14 of the holes really stuck out in my mind.¬† I remembered it being very traditional from tee to green.¬† I remember the greens being very modern and much firmer that week, trying to get the ball up in the air and stop it into the greens.
I think one of the good things is I still have my pin sheets, I still have my notes from my yardage book.  Coming off the British and being a little tired, I played nine yesterday and used a lot of the notes from the Presidents Cup as far as where I wanted to play it in the fairways, how far you could hit it off the tees.  I used those notes, and then when today we got canceled, or shortened to nine holes, I did the same thing with an old yardage book just so I could get around and use it to my benefit.
I've kept the pin sheets.¬† I know where the pins were at the Presidents Cup.¬† I'm sure there will be quite a few that are similar.¬† The old book helps quite a bit, but everyone will figure out the golf course.¬† As a golf professional, you feel like‑‑ I feel like you give me two rounds around a golf course, I should know it very well.¬† I had a bunch of rounds on it before.¬† I had one round to go around and get accustomed to it, so I feel pretty comfortable with it.

Q.  As an American player there are two things here in the back half of the season that you have to start thinking about:  The FedExCup and the Ryder Cup.  You're well positioned for both, but what do you think you have to do over the next three weeks to allow yourself to achieve some of the goals you have for those competitions?
JIM FURYK:¬† I don't want to put the cart before the horse, but I think last week kind of solidified the Ryder Cup as far as I think I'm third or fourth in the points, fourth, and a couple million points ahead of ninth and tenth place.¬† Like I said, I don't want to put the cart before the horse, but I was excited when I made that putt on 18 because I knew I got in at solo fourth at worst, and I knew that check‑‑ everyone said I saw you give a little fist pump, that in my mind I knew I made the Ryder Cup team.¬† I was excited about that, and I've kind of put that aside.¬† It was a goal I wanted to accomplish, and I feel like I have, and so now it's‑‑ I'm not really looking at‑‑ I don't start looking at the FedExCup really from a points situation until really the Playoffs start because at this time of the year with the British Open, the Canadian Open, the World Golf Championship Bridgestone and then the PGA, we've got two major championships, a World Golf Championship and then being part of Team RBC I've got the Canadian Open, I'm really focused on trying to get through these weeks, and last year I was kind of reeling when I got to the Canadian Open.¬† I hadn't been playing very well through the summer and started here with a ninth place finish and kind of rattled off a bunch of good finishes in a row.
Really I'm just focusing on trying to prep my game and get ready for some big tournaments coming up, and then we'll have a week off and I'll have the Playoffs out there in front of me.¬† You know, I like the courses we're playing this year in the Playoffs.¬† I haven't been to Cherry Hills since‑‑ I haven't been there since the U.S.Amateur when Mickelson won, but I love the course we're playing in New York.¬† I think it's the best one we play.¬† I've had some success in Boston, so I love the rotation this year, and I'm in decent shape right now with the points.¬† I just need to continue to play well.
But it's a long grind, so try not to get too far ahead of myself and take one day at a time, one week at a time through this stretch because you start pressing too hard, I mean, that eight, nine weeks, it jumps up on you pretty quick and it wears you down.

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