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August 22, 2014

Jim Furyk


Q.  Were you hitting the ball better or stroking it better?
JIM FURYK:  I feel like I hit the ball a touch better, or I had more confidence in my ball‑striking today, I'll say.  I was hitting it fine yesterday but was a little uneasy over some shots.
Today I felt like I struck it more solid.  I felt like I hit it a little bit better, and maybe didn't knock in as many putts‑‑ I had a couple 3‑putts out there that stalled my round.  That was really basically the only difference in the two days.

Q.  Do these long stretches where you guys are in consecutive weeks, does it benefit guys that have been out here longer, or maybe you guys know how to push yourself better than some of the younger guys do?
JIM FURYK:  I don't know.  There's an argument, probably experience and pacing yourself probably comes into play.  But you shouldn't get that tired if you're 22, either.
I can remember playing the Web.com Tour and playing 13 events in a row.  Of course, I pretty much wanted to quit golf when it was done.
But you know what, I don't know, I think right now, I'm maybe a little bit better prepared than I was earlier in my career because I probably had a little bit of a bad habit of over‑practicing and hitting too many balls, wearing myself down, showing up Thursday actually a little tired if that made sense.
But that was kind of my mind‑set to work hard and to play well.  Now I think I do a little better job pacing myself and showing up fresh on Thursday, and I have to; I'm 44, compared to 20 years ago.
A little of both.  It would be great to have the youth and the energy and the strength to get through it all, but for me at this time of the year, I always take off most of the four months, October, November, December, January.
So for me it's kind of like if I feel like eight out of nine is a lot, or I just keep seeing the light at the end of the tunnel that, hey, I've got all this time off coming up and I've been playing well, let's try to keep it going, and I'll be cooking breakfast and taking the kids to school here for a couple months.  I look forward to that and it makes it easy for me to play these last four events, because I want to play well, it's an exciting time of the year and I know that you're going to have a bunch of time off come the fall.

Q.  Do the players and media alike put too much emphasis on how much you're playing towards the end of the year?  You're a football guy, and you see these guys get one bye week a year and they are playing the whole season‑‑
JIM FURYK:  They probably don't feel too bad for us I would assume but then again, they are a little stronger and a little more fit than we are, too.  I was watching some of the NFL games last night.
Possibly.  I heard with everyone getting hurt at the PGA, I read and heard about the articles that maybe it was putting too much stress.  You know, I feel like as a whole, we're a lot more fit.  I'm a lot stronger now than I was 20 years ago as far as physically, but I work out more and I pay more attention to it and I know that I have to, also, at my age to stay as competitive as I am.
So getting through four rounds of golf or playing eight out of nine weeks, I know I'm physically capable of it, as long as I do the right things; as long as I get enough rest, if I'm not beating myself up in practice.  If I train the proper way, I'll be fine.  And it's usually not physically tired, it's usually mentally tired.
My goal and what I've done really well this year is I haven't been mentally tired very often this year, and that's a good thing.  In the past, I have been a lot.

Q.  Was there a point in your career or an age where you decided that, you know what, more practice earlier in the week took away‑‑ Ernie Els said the same thing.  He said he doesn't like to practice anymore.  He likes to go out and play more.
JIM FURYK:  There's a couple big moments in my career where‑‑ I hurt my right wrist in the end of 2000 and I missed THE TOUR Championship, took some time off, and I remember the doctor at the time for about six weeks before, maybe four weeks before going to Mercedes, the Tournament of Champions, my doc would only let me hit 25 balls a day.  And I was thinking, oh, my God, how am I going to prepare for a golf tournament hitting 25 balls?
I could go play, but I made the most of it and learned how to get a lot more out of my practice.  That's drastic, only getting 25 balls, but I learned how to get a lot more out of a lot less and after surgery I had to do the same thing.
So it was kind of a changing moment for me in my career about ten years ago when I realized that, you know, maybe I'm out there on the range kind of wasting time.  And reverting back, getting tired; the reason I probably had wrist surgery was because I spend so much time on the range.
I realized that I was probably beating myself up, and then as I've gotten older, I've learned how to not be as mentally tired, as well.  It's really helped.  But there's a progression.  For me, it had to be that way because I had been beating myself up and I had to learn from my mistakes, just listening to someone.
My dad told me for years, come on, what are we going to the range for, you're hitting it perfect.  You feel like if you're not practicing, you're not going to get better.  And I think you just have to learn from those mistakes and kind of‑‑ someone can tell you all they want but until you truly believe it, it doesn't really matter.

Q.  After so many close calls the last couple years, how much do you relish getting into this position where you can contend over the weekends?
JIM FURYK:  Say that again?  So many close calls?  It's the reason I still want to play and compete.  It's not going to happen if I play 22, 23 events this year; and you have a chance on Sunday five or six times, that's a heck of a great year and that's the reason you play.
When you're not in contention, the idea is, okay, let's find something this weekend, I'm in 45th place but let's find something this weekend while we're out there, let's catch a spark and carry it into next week and find something and try to get some momentum.
But it's the reason we get up every morning and come out and play.  It's the reason why after 21 years I still enjoy playing and still enjoy competing.  Get up in Sunday morning in Canada, or Wells Fargo or PLAYERS knowing if I fire a low number, I have a chance to win.  It's good to have that nervous feeling.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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