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June 16, 2018

Jim Furyk

Southampton, New York

THE MODERATOR: Approaching the flash podium is Jim Furyk. He's plus 2 for the day, plus 6 for the Championship.

JIM FURYK: Seems silly with a microphone at the podium.

Q. Well, Jim, you shot 73, but what did it feel more like? 72, sorry. But what did it feel more like?
JIM FURYK: It was a good, solid round of golf. I stole some shots along the way, and I left some out there too. I had a hard time -- I think about three or four times, I had the putt from off the green and was only able to get one of those up and down out of the four. So I was disappointed in that at times.

But I look back to my round, and I did make some great putts, a great comeback at 18. I stole some pars out there along the way there as well.

So the golf course transformed today from hole 1 to hole 18. It was a different golf course on the back nine and really just became kind of a who could survive and get through the day.

Q. Some guys kind of think it went over the edge. Other guys have said it was all right. What did you make of how it was playing?
JIM FURYK: You know, I'm pretty sure that 15 probably isn't what they were looking for. I think if you sat down with the USGA tonight and discussed the pin and they looked at everything that happened on that hole -- I watched a group in front of me putt the ball off the green, and I'm sure that's not what they're looking for.

The pin placements have been very difficult this week. I would say on almost every green -- not every green. 9 and 18 are pretty -- you can kind of figure out where the hole locations are going to be. But on some of the more benign holes, if you gave me a dozen shots at where the pin location was going to be, there's a few pins I would not have picked this week. So it's been difficult.

It's the U.S. Open. You know that they're trying to set this golf course up as close to the edge as possible. You know, when stuff -- like I hit a great drive on 15, tried to hit a pitching wedge in the middle of the green. I knew the miss was long because I watched the group in front of me. I watched Pat Perez putt it off the green. Missed it long, didn't get the ball up and down. Turned out hitting two great shots on a short hole and made 5. That's the U.S. Open. You have to live with that.

Q. What was it about that pin on 15 that was so tricky?
JIM FURYK: It's just sitting back there on the back right of the green, and right behind it there's a run-off on the green.

So it sits up high. It's perched. The green's gotten very firm. It's gotten crusty, bumpy up there. Anything that gets past that hole just by -- you know, I had about a six-footer downhill for par. Actually, not even really downhill, but just from the front of the pin. I mean, I want to make the putt, don't get me wrong, but I'm really more worried about making sure I'm not going to make worse than bogey.

And I hit that thing as easy as I possibly could, and it still leaked about three feet by. I mean, if it leaks another three feet, that putt's gone. It's down there where I was in two. So it's just part of it.

There's been a lot of pins right on those edges. When you short-side yourself -- like I hit a great shot into 8 today, and the pin's back left, and it hung up there for a second, everyone cheered, it ran down over the hill, and you're kind of left with this really tough putt. Now, if I leave it short up the hill again, it comes right back to my feet. So, you know, I hit it a little too hard, gunned it by by about ten feet. They're so close to the edges, it's just very difficult. You've got to stay on the fat side of the green.

Q. Is your wrist pretty much 100 percent now? Did you feel like this was going to be a good week?
JIM FURYK: My wrist hasn't bothered me in a while, to be honest with you. I've been battling an injury in the center of my chest and collarbone. I hurt myself in last year's U.S. Open hitting out of some rough. It took me a long time just to be able to play golf again, to be honest with you.

Now that I'm playing, I'm not sure I'm 100 percent. I'm feeling good. When I say not 100 percent, I'm still not hitting the ball -- I'm hitting it harder, but I'm not hitting the ball as hard as I would like to, especially with my longer clubs, with the long irons, the woods, driver. But I'm not in any pain and feel like I'm getting speed back.

It's my SC joint, your sternum and -- yeah.

Q. What were your expectations coming in this week? Can you talk a little bit about the chance you have tomorrow, where you're at at this point?
JIM FURYK: I tried not really to keep -- to really worry about expectations too much. I mean, we all put a lot of pressure on ourselves. I've been disappointed with the way I've played this year.

Coming into a golf course like this, knowing how difficult the conditions can be and probably will be, you know, really just focusing on trying to get my game in shape and trying to be able to handle what's going to be in front of me.

I got a special exemption this week and was very thankful for that and also kind of wanted to try to use that. You know, you look at it two ways. I wanted to kind of use that opportunity and hopefully make something out of it, and this week it's been fun. It's been fun. It was great to wake up this morning and kind of be like, you know, I've got a 1:53 tee time. That's pretty cool on a weekend. Haven't been able to do it in a while.

So I'll get that same opportunity tomorrow and looking forward to some rest and, you know, waking up with the juices flowing, being nervous again and having an opportunity.

Q. When is the last time you played in a round where the conditions, the scoring conditions were as tough as they were today?
JIM FURYK: Thursday.


JIM FURYK: It's usually a Major Championship and usually -- you know, we get some tough weather and you get some wind, but this golf course has dried out significantly, and I will say, like, you know, difference maybe in a PGA Tour event, some pin locations would be adjusted. Pins would maybe be moved in off of shelves and more towards the center of the green and trying to get guys around in a fast-paced time.

It's the U.S. Open, a Major Championship, and that's just not part of the equation. Playing kind of stays the same. Pin placements are in very similar locations, I imagine they planned on even before the wind and conditions, and they probably plan for that anyway here at Shinnecock, knowing it's a windy area.

Q. Does four, five, six, seven shots back have a chance to win tomorrow?
JIM FURYK: Yes, but that's kind of up to the leaders as well too. When you're dealing with how many shots can a guy come back from, it's how many folks are in front of them and, also, the leaders, you know, your top players, if they make a few bogeys early and kind of let some guys in the tournament, then it can change.

If they go out and play a real solid round, that starts to eliminate a lot of guys back there at six and seven shots.

Q. Would you say this is probably the best match you've played in a while, given the conditions? Where would you rank it?
JIM FURYK: This year, it's definitely one of the most solid rounds I've played this year. I've just done a really good job this week of really not letting much bother me, not getting emotional on the golf course, not getting -- you know. I was going to use the wrong word.

Not getting upset with myself and just accepting the mistakes because you're going to make them here. I hope to be able to do that tomorrow. You know it coming into the U.S. Open, but 90 percent of the guys leave here realizing that, you know, they let it bother them and let it get to them, and, you know, so far my game -- I've hit enough fairways, and I've kept the ball in play and got it around good enough to score.

So, you know, I'd like to -- be fun to get out there tomorrow and play a good, solid front nine and get in the mix in the back.

Thanks. Appreciate it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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