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March 24, 2006

Jim Furyk


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Jim Furyk, currently the leader in the clubhouse at 7 under par. Maybe talk about your round today, 1 under 71 under some tough conditions.

JIM FURYK: Yeah, 8 total, 1 today.

Obviously a little tougher day, probably not quite as tough as what the weather forecast showed, which we're all thankful for that. But it was a little warmer, probably didn't blow quite as hard as what the forecast had, but still a pretty tough day.

I think the staff did a good job with the golf course. They left us a note saying they only single cut the greens instead of double because of the windy prediction on the golf course, and I think from the rain there was still a little bit of moisture in it, so they received shots well.

But that being said, it was still a tough day, and I expect if the conditions stay a little breezy and sunny like this, we're going to see a firmer, faster golf course and a tougher course on the weekend.

Q. Scale of 1 to 10, how tough was it in the afternoon?

JIM FURYK: I don't know. What was yesterday? Put it that way. Was yesterday like a 2? I don't know, 7 or 8, I guess. I've had days in this tournament I remember I hit 3 wood into 18 after a pretty good drive. That being the scale of a 10, today was a 7 or an 8. We'll give it a 7. It was a tough day.

Q. How hard is the work when the wind is up like this, and how hard is it to keep your focus?

JIM FURYK: Well, it's not that hard because the golf course is pretty demanding and it's very penal. You can hit shots that are decent or a touch off and end up in some really bad places. So because of that, I think it's very easy to concentrate. You know if you lose it, if you lose your concentration for a little bit, you can end up with some rough spots and not score very well. I think because of that, it's quite easy. Your mind doesn't wander too much out here.

Q. With the weather the way it's going to be tomorrow and Sunday with about the same, would 8 under be pretty good about 6:00 o'clock on Sunday?

JIM FURYK: Is it supposed to be still breezy?

Q. Well, maybe not as bad as this, but cool and dry.

JIM FURYK: A lot of that is going to depend, again. It's easy to get out there for the first two or three holes and kind of get a feel for what the course is giving you and doing at that time. What I mean by that is you know what the wind is doing and how difficult it's going to be to get the ball in the fairway. But you want to see how firm and how fast the greens are, and if the greens firm up, then yes, 8 under will be a great score. If the greens don't, then someone will have the opportunity to make some birdies and shoot get it lower than that.

It's all dependent on not only the weather but what that does to the setup and the firmness of the golf course. Does that make sense?

Q. You're playing with your friend. He's obviously struggling and melting down in front of your eyes. What do you say to him during the round and what do you say to him after the round?

JIM FURYK: Well, in my opinion there's not much you can't say all that much. We've all been in that position, and I know personally I'd just kind of want to be left alone. Davis had a rough day and didn't shoot anywhere near the score that he could have. I mean, he's striking the ball and he's not that far off obviously. He played so well yesterday and hit a lot of good shots still today. It kind of jumped up and got him today, and what I admire most is he handles himself so well, and you wouldn't know whether by his reaction by the way he handled himself on the golf course, you wouldn't know whether he shot 65 or the round he shot today. I admire that about him. He's quite the professional in the way he acts.

Q. With regard, yesterday to today, obviously different conditions, did you play better today than you did yesterday? I wasn't around with you following you around.

JIM FURYK: No, I played well today, but I played very well yesterday. Even though the scores were if you look comparatively, I think Davis and I shot 7, and then was there any 6s yesterday?

Q. Five.

JIM FURYK: We were a couple shots ahead of the field. 1 under was a good score today, but I think Sergio I saw was maybe 4 under this afternoon. There's going to be guys shooting better scores. So 1 under, even though it was tougher, wasn't as good a round. I hung in there and I didn't play as well as I did yesterday, but I hung in there when I needed to and played solid.

Q. Just as a follow up, you're relatively happy with 1 under with the way you kind of battled today a little bit?

JIM FURYK: Yeah, it's all about trying to put yourself in a good position. I could have played better, could have played worse. I could have lived with what happened. I'm in good position for the weekend and I need to go figure out how to get it around for the next 36 holes.

Q. Kind of following up Len's question, when you're playing with Davis and he's struggling like that, how do you try to keep in your frame of mind and keep positive when you're leading the tournament and trying to handle that?

JIM FURYK: Davis, coming down the stretch, I look at the shots that Davis hit. You know, he drove it right down the middle on 5 and he hit an iron that he thought was good and it skipped through the green. It was a good shot. He hit it eight feet on 6, 15 feet on 7, an iron that looked pretty good on 8 and actually got through the green. I mean, it wasn't like he was hitting some pretty shots, even down the stretch. It wasn't like someone asked me outside, was it a distraction or it's not because, like I said, I admire the way he handled himself. You can't tell by the way Davis acts and conducts himself whether he's playing well or playing poorly. That's a great trait. If he's out there swearing and throwing clubs then it's a different story and you're affecting the people around you. I think we've all seen that happen a few times, too, but you'd never see that from a guy like Davis.

Q. This would seem to be a course that would suit your game pretty well the way you hit fairways and your iron play. Is there anything that you think you're figured out about the way to approach this tournament?

JIM FURYK: I guess we'll see on Sunday. How's that? Not particularly. I've had some decent weeks here, but not a lot of great ones. I think '03 was probably my best finish. There's years when I'm real comfortable depending on the setup, sometimes I'm real comfortable and sometimes I'm not, depending on how the course changes from year to year. There really isn't much I figured out about it. I know it like Freddie knows it and Vijay knows it and the guys that have the opportunity to play here year round. Going out and executing, it's tough to do under these conditions.

Q. Vijay talks about how you almost have to forget what you know about the course tournament week because there's different does it make it a more difficult to play from that standpoint?

JIM FURYK: There's some positives and negatives. You know, there's positives you get to sleep in your own bed, but you might have more responsibilities. Vijay throws a nice bash on Monday night and you want to have people over for dinner and you want to say hi to your friends out there, things that you don't have to do on the road. The positives are you're sleeping in your own bed, your family is right there and you've got all those people rooting for you and supporting you. Same with the golf course. I know some of the lines on the golf course as good as anyone else as far as what the wind is doing. I know what club I want to hit off the tee and where I should aim. I also know where the worst places are because I've seen a million people in them and also, like Vijay would say, the golf course changes. What you know about the greens for 51 weeks makes no difference because they change totally this week. When I usually hit it left edge and hit it firm, now I'm hitting it two cups out to the left and breathing on it because the greens are so much faster and firmer.

I think there are some positive and negatives, but the positives far outweigh the negatives.

Q. What did you do best today? What part of your game was clicking? You say you didn't play quite as well as yesterday, but what did you do well?

JIM FURYK: Stayed out of trouble.

Q. And on a day like this, is that as important as anything?

JIM FURYK: Yeah, it can be. This golf course has a way of when you start getting into a little trouble and you get aggressive and try to get yourself out of it, you can kind of keep digging yourself deeper and deeper and deeper. I didn't do anything exceptionally well today. I didn't drive the well as ball, I didn't putt as well as I did yesterday, although I putted solid. My iron shots weren't as crisp. My short game was pretty good today. Overall I think the best thing I did was stayed out of trouble and kept the ball in front of me all day.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Jim Furyk, thanks.

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