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August 9, 2018

Jim Furyk

St. Louis, Missouri

JIM FURYK: I probably woke up somewhere around No. 6 today with the tee time. But conditions were pretty benign this morning, not much of a breeze, golf course is still soft. Getting out early is nice. Greens are smooth. It was out there, you could make some birdies and throw some darts out there. So if you got the ball in the fairway you definitely get some opportunities and I was able to make a few birdies and I think I made about five birdies today and had some silly mistakes and some bad bogeys as well. A couple 3-putts. So that stretch, 18 through 3, I hit four greens there and had two 3-putts, played those holes 2-over. A little bit of a thorn in my side. The rest of the day I played very well and actually scored pretty well.

Q. Did you learn anything about your two playing partners?
JIM FURYK: Yeah, I mean I kind of, looking at it, I didn't ask for the pairing, it was something that happened, I always put a lot of pressure on myself when I was playing with the captain in a Ryder Cup and I did in 2016 with Davis, kind of in the summer, and put a lot of pressure on myself to play well. Both guys are great guys, young players, I haven't had an opportunity to play too much with Tony, but I have played with him, have seen him play, know him real well, talk to him in the locker room. That's the first time I ever played with Xander, so exciting. Both really talented young players, they got off to tough starts this morning and it was, they scrapped it out, to be honest with you. They're tough players. They fought hard and Xander got it back to even par, Tony had some bumps and bruises along the way but he fought and fought and made some birdies.

Q. You mentioned yesterday in the media room that you, there were some things that concerned you about your game. Did you, evidently you fixed those today?
JIM FURYK: Well it's the stuff I've been working on it's not like, it wasn't like a knee jerk reaction or something I've been working on right now. I've been all summer all year I've been working on driving the ball a little bit better. My driving accuracy stats are pretty good, but my driving's not where I want it to be, it's a strength of my game when I'm playing well, it's been a strength of my game my whole career and right now it's, I've been struggling with it a bit. Today I hit a couple errant tee shots and got away with them. I missed, I only missed I think about three fairways and two with the driver and I made a really good par on No. 12 where I had to get up-and-down from about 70 yards and I made a great par at No. 5, number 4 today. One of those two -- 5 it was. I got up-and-down from about 50 yards and made about a 20-footer there. So a couple errant tee shots but I drove the ball in the fairway a lot today and 11 times and that's why I look at the golf course as a place I was able to attack, greens were soft and I had some mid irons and some short irons in my hand and I could attack and I hit some good iron shots.

Q. Are you surprised that someone didn't go out this morning and shoot really low, the conditions being pretty benign.
JIM FURYK: They are. It's still a tough golf course, I think it's a great golf course from green to tee and the greens are very severe. There's those big spines running through them. Although some of them are quite large, they're cut up into smaller areas and if you get in the wrong spot, it can be difficult. The rough's pretty thick out there for the guys if you don't hit the fairways. So I did probably think right now it looks like 5-under was leading, Rick's got it at 5-under and, yeah, I probably thought someone would shoot lower and I wouldn't be surprised if someone still does.

Q. Your priorities have been split obviously this year. How surprised are you to put up a good number here and give yourself a chance?
JIM FURYK: Oh, I've been playing a lot, to be honest with you, I'm going through a stretch here playing three or four weeks, with Canada, with RBC and here at the PGA and next week at Wyndham, so I've been playing a lot of golf and I'm still competitive. I still have the fire to want to play and compete and I'm practicing at home. So priorities have changed, my family's always first, but the Ryder Cup is definitely my top priority under that and then golf is down the list probably number three right now. It's not football season yet, so.

Q. Did this feel a little bit like the BMW in 2008 when you did so well here?
JIM FURYK: It's a little bit different golf course from what I remember. That golf course wasn't real firm and fast, but it was firmer than this. The golf course played shorter. But it had a little bit more bite I thought in spots because the greens weren't this receptive, they were a little quicker than they are right now. That's how I remember it. I thought it had a touch more bite in it. But we still had some good scores that year.

Q. Xander said the first time you met and played may have been in Mexico during a practice round. Do you remember that and what were your initial thoughts of his game?
JIM FURYK: Yeah, again, until this year really haven't had a chance to talk to him too much. I've watched him play a lot of golf, seen it on TV, watched The Open Championship a lot. First I guess first reactions, I'm 48 so trying to remember a year and a half ago is a long time. I think the first thing he seems more mature than his years, if that makes sense. If you watch some of the, at the Open Championship he hit a lot of good putts that didn't go in, had some breaks that didn't go his way. He seemed pretty unflappable, seemed like a guy that doesn't let much bother him, let's it roll off his back and goes to the next hole. I was impressed with his, the way he conducts himself and the way he handles himself.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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