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May 30, 1997

Jim Furyk


WES SEELEY: Jim Furyk, 71-66-67 -- 204, 12-under par, which shall tie for second. Shall we start with birdies and bogeys starting on Saturday.

JIM FURYK: I made all my birdies after b

WES SEELEY: 71-66-127. Seven under par. Bogey free. Why don't you take us through?

JIM FURYK: Birdied No. 3 first, hit a driver and -- it seems like it was a day ago. Driver and a pitching wedge about 15-feet short of the pin, knocked that in. Par 5, I hit driver and laid up with a 3-iron, hit a sand wedge to about six feet, knocked that in for birdie. Next birdie was at 14. 3-wood and pitching wedge about three foot left of the pin. And made that one. Birdied 15, hit driver, 3-wood just short of the green, pitched up to about three feet, knocked that in. Mo. 16 was a 4-iron, about ten feet, short right of the pin, and made that one. And 17 I hit driver and a pitching wedge to about eight feet.

WES SEELEY: 66. Questions?

Q. Scoring conditions look pretty good from what we've seen, is that true?

JIM FURYK: Yeah, I think because the course was playing longer because it's wet, but I think that's also -- it makes it a little easier to hit the fairways because the balls are having a hard time running out of the fairway, they're landing soft and the greens are very receptive, and as always the course is in nice shape, and the greens are well, so it adds it up and the guys are shooting low numbers.

Q. With these kind of conditions do you think it's going to be a free-for-all this weekend? Looks like anybody might be able to shoot a 65 or 66?

JIM FURYK: Yeah, it's possible. You never know what's going to happen. If it gets windy or if they start hiding some pins on us and tucking them down bunkers, that will bring the scores up. They can set the course up harder, I believe, and that will increase the scores. It seems like we tend to make people mad early in the week, because someone shoots well and a low number. In Fort Worth last week, the scores were lower than they've been for a long time until the first three rounds and they started hiding the pins and the weather got bad and all of a sudden par was a good score. It all depends on the weather, if it stays like this, we'll see some low scores.

Q. Besides the fact that you met your wife here, do you like this golf course?

JIM FURYK: Yeah. I like the course, I don't really particularly think that it suits my game great. I don't think it's a bad course for me, but I think of this golf course as being more of a power -- a guy hits the ball long, far, high, spins the ball well, is normally going to play this course well. That's not my game. I'm more of a control player, keep the ball in play, not really a high-ball hitter, don't spin the ball a lot. I think with the greens being soft, it's helped me a little bit going into the greens. And the course is playing fairly long, because it's wet. It's a beautiful golf course. It's a good layout, and so I'm excited to come here, it's a great tournament.

Q. What would be maybe two or three courses that you play well, that are suited to you more than this one. Hawaii, obviously?

JIM FURYK: I like Waialae, Colonial. I haven't played there very well the last couple of years, but Riviera is one of my favorite courses. A course being suited to your game helps sometimes, its helped me in Hawaii the last couple of years, but if you're not playing well before USGA there, it's not magical you're going to play well because the course suits your game. And vice-versa. You get a course that doesn't suit your game, but if you hit the ball well and you're playing good, you might finish well in the tournament and win. You're more comfortable at certain places.

Q. How well are you playing now? Is this course allowing you to get away with some things?

JIM FURYK: I've played very well. Pretty good golf for 36 holes, only missed a few greens. Coming off of two top-10s the last couple of weeks, I should have played a little more in contention in Dallas and Forth Worth, I thought I had a chance to win both tournaments. So I feel good about my game. I'm a little -- I think I'm a little tired this week after -- just after being in contention for two weeks in a row, I'm a little mentally tired. But if I get enough sleep, I'll be all right.

Q. Do you have to qualify for Monday?

JIM FURYK: No, I don't.

Q. When something goes wrong with that swing of yours, what is it that normally goes wrong and how do you work your way back to where you want to be?

JIM FURYK: I work a lot on my setup, address the grip. That's where I look first. I've rarely worked on mechanics too much, and you've heard me say it a bunch of times. So I immediately go back to my setup, still putting clubs on the ground, work on alignment, work on grip. I feel like I've hit the ball great for a couple of weeks and if something were to go bad I didn't hit the ball well I wouldn't immediately say my swing broke down. I would go back and say there's something -- I've worked into a bad habit into my setup somewhere, I'd try to find it, go on the range and work on some different things. I have a habit of getting a little strong with my grip with my right hand. I have a habit of setting up left; different things that improves different shots. I look through all those bad habits and call my dad and ask for help.

Q. Do you call him --

JIM FURYK: A lot of times he can work through the ball flight. And he'll say I remember back when I was with you in Tucson this certain year you were doing a lot of the same things, this is what we worked on. We go back and he'll refresh my memory. He'll say back in Tucson we worked on something, what was it, and between the two of us we'll remember. And I'll try that. If it gets really bad he'll fly out and come help me.

Q. Follow-up on that, guys move around with golf instructors a lot, or some guys do, you've always been with your dad. Have you ever thought about getting a second set of eyes looking at you?

JIM FURYK: I haven't. When I was a kid a lot of times we'd go together to someone, and he just felt maybe to get a little different ideas. He would talk to -- he was a sales rep. so he talked to golf professionals every day, and some of the guys that were better players or better teachers, he'd talk about some different things, if he liked what they said and felt like I could learn something, we might go down and take a lesson or talk -- it was never a lesson like you need to switch this, they just explained things to me. That these bad habits might produce these shots, this is something you might want to work on, just to learn a little bit. But I'm a firm believer in one person. My dad's seen me for -- studied my swing and seen me for years. And someone -- I know that he's going to give me a hundred percent, no matter what. So to go to another person, I think would be foolish. One, they're splitting their time between a lot of different pupils. They haven't seen me grow up, they haven't seen me evolve through all of this. My dad is really only teaching me, and my mom, I guess, these guys -- I've got his attention, undivided. And it would be dumb, I think, to go anywhere else.

Q. Immediately after you finish this round or later this afternoon do you immediately start programming yourself to have to shoot another low round tomorrow or do you have to wait until you get here tomorrow and see where the pins are, see what the wind is like, see what the conditions are like?

JIM FURYK: I'm pretty much more the second way. I don't really get it in my mind that I have to shoot 65 tomorrow. Like I said, the weather could be awful and miserable, it could be raining and thunderstorms and 70 might be a good score tomorrow. I kind of wake up and take every day as it is. I think if you start putting numbers out there to shoot for every day, for me, at least, say if I win after Dallas and said 65 is going to win the tournament for me today, I might limit myself. Might be the day I was going to go shoot 62. And vice-versa. If I would have said that at Colonial last week, I'm going to shoot 64 tomorrow to win, it wouldn't have been true. The course was set up harder, the conditions were harder, and it really would have been 67, and I would be pushing too hard. I wanted to take it one hole at a time. I've been extremely patient this week through -- through 31 holes this week I made three birdies and 28 pars, just playing real solid golf and haven't pushed it. And all of a sudden I rattled four birdies off in a row. So I think to be patient and let things happen the rest of the week will be the key.

End of FastScripts....

reaks, actually. I came back after the first break and made a par-putt on 4 from about six or seven feet. And then hit a driver and a 3-iron to layup on 5. And hit a sand wedge about three feet and made that for birdie. Birdied No. 7, the par-5. I hit driver, 4-wood -- I can't remember the clubs anymore. I hit a sand wedge in there about five feet from the hole and made a birdie.

WES SEELEY: How far did you get to?

JIM FURYK: We got to 11. I was on the green with about a 9-footer for birdie when we got delayed. We went back out and I made that putt for birdie and on 13 I made birdie, hit a driver and 6-iron about 15-feet short of the pin and made that. And birdied 15. I didn't hit a good drive, hit a little thin and hit it low off the hill, and needed to get it up in the air. I had to layup with a 7-iron. Hit that fat, I had a 9-iron to the the pin, hit it about eight-feet behind the hole and knocked that in for birdie. Coming in I had some good chances, but the putts didn't drop.

Q. Where did you start today?

JIM FURYK: I started on the 11th green, had a 9-footer for birdie there.

Q. Do you feel like you ran out of time or that you're happy to get it over with?

JIM FURYK: I'm happy to get it over with, but I think everyone was just -- we'd like to see a 72-hole event if possible, but it just wasn't possible this week. I think we're fortunate with the forecast to get in 54. So I'm not really sure I ran out of time. I played real solid golf this week, Vijay just played better.

Q. How would you compare this week to other tournaments with respect to your own game? Was it one of your best or what?

JIM FURYK: Last three weeks I've played very solid. Three top tens the last three weeks. I think -- I won't say that I was on top of my game as well as I was maybe when I won some other tournaments, like when I won Las Vegas and Kapalua, I was playing probably as well as I could. I made some mental errors there, or I actually would have won by some more. This week I wasn't maybe hitting my best or doing some of the things my best, but I think this might be the best I've ever played, the most I've ever got out of my game for a tournament. I didn't make a bogey all week, made 12 birdies, finished 12-under. I played very solid golf. And actually Jimmy Roberts reminded me of that in the locker room, I wanted to strangle him. Don't jinx me. It didn't end up being a jinx.

Q. Both you and Greg had putts that dove in and out that would have put either of you 13 under, and put a little more pressure on Vijay?

JIM FURYK: Vijay was standing on the fairway behind me, was he still at 15 --

WES SEELEY: He bogeyed 17.

JIM FURYK: He was two back. Actually that putt would have been really nice to put a little heat on him. Was he in the middle of the fairway?

Q. Right hillside?

JIM FURYK: This is getting worse and worse as we go.

WES SEELEY: But he knocked it on the green from there.

JIM FURYK: That makes me feel better. Now I can smile about it. I felt out there with a few holes to play, I told myself before I played I needed to birdie at least two of them and get to 13, and reevaluate the situation. And when Vijay got to 15, I thought I'd probably have to get it to 14-under, make two birdies coming in. I had a chance the last two holes for birdie, I would have really liked the one to go in and make solo second. It would have been nice to at least make him make par on the last hole. But I hit the best drive, I hit the best 6-iron and hit the best putt I possibly could, but it didn't go in.

Q. What were the lengths on those last three holes, the lengths of the birdie putts?

JIM FURYK: 16, I hung to the right, probably 35 feet and left it about two-inches short of the hole. I hit a driver and 7-iron on 17 about 15 feet. And I didn't hit such a great putt, I didn't read it right, and I left out to the right. And 18, I had about I'd say about 12 feet behind in the left. So I had a downhill left-to-right putt. And I hit what I thought was perfect. I had Lee Janzen about a foot farther on the same exact line as me. And he missed it on the high side, hit it a little hard. I hit it pretty good speed, it went past and caught the upper lip.

Q. You caught a lot of that lip, they had it on slow motion.

JIM FURYK: I had a good putt and that's part of golf. So I can't complain.

Q. Well, you said earlier about you weren't on top of your game like you were when you won. But I think it was you in here the other day who said that the conditions this week, you can get away with a little bit more than --

JIM FURYK: You don't have to be playing your best to win. I doubt anyone -- Vijay is not going to come in here and said he shot perfect or played his best golf. It took me a few years to learn that out here. I always felt like if I had a bad hole or couple of bad holes in a row I wasn't going to win, that wasn't going to be the first week. When I won Las Vegas and Kapalua in my second year, I really did play very well. I made some mistakes, but I was hitting the ball so well and putting so well, I felt like I was going to win both tournaments. And it wasn't until my third year I won Hawaii and I really didn't hit the ball that well, I just played smart golf. I got the ball in the hole. The course really favors my style. That's when I sat back and I kind of learned something, you really don't have to play perfect to win. I heard a lot of veterans say that, but I never -- as a rookie, being young, you don't really understand. You don't know what it's like. So I learned from that and realized that if I go out there and make a couple bogeys or have a bad hole, it doesn't mean the tournament is over, it's going to be harder to win, but you're not out of the tournament.

End of FastScripts....

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