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June 19, 2016

Jim Furyk

Oakmont, Pennsylvania

Q. Hiccup on 18. A sensational round of golf.
JIM FURYK: Thanks. Really did a good job other than 15 or 18, where I drove the ball in the rough, both times to the right, very similar swings. Did a good job of keeping the ball in front of me, keeping it in the fairway.

Trying to attack a little bit on the back 9. Hit a couple pins and just wasn't able to quite get over the hump on the back nine.

Putt at 14 would have been huge. Getting the ball in the fairway at 15, that hole's somewhat attackable where the pin is today. But the birdie at 17 was exciting, a little retribution for the last time through.

The one regret, I wish I'd have got that ball on the fairway at 18. It would have been a little more exciting.

Q. What was the swing flaw in the (no microphone)?
JIM FURYK: The wind was right to left. I got it trapped in behind me a little bit. Good golf swing. Keep the club out in front of me and kind of hit down the line. It's common with that right-to-left land or if somebody's afraid of hitting it to the left, you want to slide the club in behind you.

I got ahead of it a little bit, got the club trapped behind me and started the ball up further right than what I was hoping to do. A little bit of trust and that right-to-left breeze, I was trying to kind of ride it and rip one down there and leave myself a mid iron to the green.

Q. What was your approach on 17? It wasn't playing all that easy early in the day.
JIM FURYK: I wasn't sure I could carry -- it was probably 265, 261. 274 play-like, knock it below the bunkers. That's long for me, I'm a 270 kind of guy to carry. I felt like not knowing I could carry that bunker, I wasn't going to hit it close enough to the green, and it made me -- just to lay up was to play.

Yesterday, now, they put the tee up, I knew I could carry over top of that with the pin up against the right bunker, it was a go for it all the time. Leave yourself a lot better angle. So I wish I had a little more length, I would have pulled out driver there. It all worked out and I made a three anyway.

Q. What was the mindset after yesterday coming into today's round?
JIM FURYK: It was a big bonus to come in after starting off, you know, I played seven really good -- out of the nine holes, seven of them I played at 7 under par.

Those sets of nine holes, I probably stacked up against anyone in the field. It was going out on the front nine shooting 6 over that bit me in the rear end.

I did a good job kind of holding it together, battling back yesterday on the back nine, making a birdie before the delay.

I think it was really a big boost this morning to come out and play holes 15 through 18 so well. Played them 1 under, knocked it in on 18 and made birdie. It was a good boost to go home sitting on the birdie in a good mood, thinking about, hey, you never know. I'm ten back, but if for some reason I got it going on the front nine, if I got out there, maybe could post a 3 under par was kind of the number I was looking at. I know 64s are hard to come by here. But I kind of got it going on the front.

After I knocked in the putt on 7, I had some opportunities to kind of extend. 12 bit me again, but I did make par there. And I had a good look at 14 and I just didn't hit it. I got caught up in the line and it was a slow putt back up the hill. I had a perfect position, just didn't hit it.

Q. What was that moment like on 18 when the fan saluted you, and you put your hand over your heart and walked away?
JIM FURYK: It was fun. I had a great walk to 18 tee as well. Fans on both sides of the tee were excited. It was great to watch that putt go in. And I had a ton of support this week from my birthplace, West Chester, I heard a lot. I heard Lancaster, where I grew up. I heard Manheim Township where I went to high school. I heard all kinds of stuff from western PA. My dad was a pro in Uniontown. I heard every little town and borough through here. My mom and dad grew up in Natrona Heights and Lower Burrell. I heard that. I heard their high schools being called out. I had a lot of places claiming me. It was a lot of fun.

Q. Any of the Steelers or the Penguins send you any goodwill wishes or anything?
JIM FURYK: I saw Ben on Tuesday. I did a little promotion with Callaway at the stadium.

I don't know many of the guys playing right now. I'm kind of old. I know a couple of the older guys. But it was good to hang out down at the stadium. Ben and I had some fun, hit the shots through there, over the railing from the upper deck. It was fun.

Q. Getting the reception heading to the 18th green and top row turns around in the grandstands to watch Johnson birdie to tie. I don't know if you knew that's what was going on.
JIM FURYK: I heard the big roar. When I saw them walking over to 10 tee, I assumed Dustin birdied. I wasn't watching the board. I peeked at the board a couple times. I don't remember much more than 5 under ever leading. But for me, it really wasn't about what they were doing.

It was kind of I wanted to kind of make some birdies. I wanted to try to keep my round going and post something. I would have loved to have made that putt on 18 for par or, now looking back if I could have knocked it up there and made a birdie to go 3 under while they're on the tenth tee, that would have been a nice exclamation point.

Q. Were you hoping to get in their heads the way they --
JIM FURYK: It would have been fun to knock in a birdie at the 3 and then have them look at it and say, well, shit, there's the number. We've got to beat 3. It didn't work out that way.

Q. After a round like that, I imagine it's hard to be disappointed. Is there some disappointment?
JIM FURYK: No. I played my heart out today. I'm disappointed I missed the fairway at 18. But I look back, it was my front nine yesterday. I shoot 6 over. That's where -- and I didn't do a lot wrong. I missed one fairway, No. 4. I parred that hole. I don't know how I screwed it up from the fairway so bad. I turned -- Oakmont has a way to turn pars into bogeys and bogeys into doubles. It all kind of happened to me in nine holes.

I was happy to collect myself. Even through that, I played the weekend at even par. I had a 6 over and brought it back to 1 under for the weekend before I made bogey at 18. Fun ride.

Q. Any part of you hoping that happens on the back nine for some of these guys. They're at 5 under, you're at 1?
JIM FURYK: I don't see it happening. I would -- I'll keep an eye on the scores and such, but I don't see -- there's too many guys out there for someone not to finish ahead. I think there's a couple guys at 2, and two at 5. Both those guys aren't going to shoot 4 over on the back nine.

Q. With the conditions today, what were they like compared to the previous couple of days?
JIM FURYK: Starting to firm up a little bit. The greens are still soft. They were so quick and the pins were in some really difficult positions.

The gentleman I played with, Harris English, is a friend. He got himself in some positions on the fat side of the green, hitting shots kind of where you think you'd want to, to where, I mean, he had putts that I thought were pretty damn good and he didn't get the first putt within six or seven feet.

Your leaders out there are going to see some interesting pins, and the guy that can kind of control those nerves and lag it up there close and get out is going to be fine.

There are a few holes to attack, which is coming up, 11, 12, 14, 17. Those are holes that I could see guys making birdie on.

The other ones, you know, other ones are difficult. There are still some birdies out there, but they have those holes to attack and that's why I think, you know, I could see someone winning the tournament by 5 under.

Q. Is this time around, versus 2007, kind of your view on how Oakmont played?
JIM FURYK: Different golf course. This looked more like '07 early in the week on Monday and Tuesday. They had it firm and fast then, knowing the rain was coming. The golf course was softer. You could attack, spinning balls back at times with wedges.

I hit a few wedges this week where I was trying to kind of dead-hand it where I could get a skip out of it instead of pulling it back. So it's a different golf course. But it really doesn't matter how you play Oakmont, it's a brutal test as it is and difficult.

And the greens really didn't lose any speed. They just were a little bit more receptive and I think that's the difference in the scoring, where you're going to see -- last time, 10 over par finished top 10. Now it's going to be probably a few over or something like that.

Q. If 1 under is good enough for second or third, can you talk about how much different a feeling that is to take, say, second again?
JIM FURYK: This would be a much better feeling to finish second or third coming back off a 66. I mean, to be right in the thick of things and bogey 17 last time, that's kind of like that you can taste it, but that's a little bit of a bitter pill to swallow. It would have a much happier feel, put it that way.

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