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January 6, 2006

Jim Furyk


JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Thank you, Jim, for joining us for a few minutes here in the media center. Another round of 72, followed up by the 72 from yesterday. Michael was just in here and he said he was talking to you about the winds today, that you really had never seen them this strong here on this course. Why don't you talk about the conditions out there.

JIM FURYK: Well, I don't think I've -- without like a major storm blowing through, I haven't seen them much stronger. I've seen them -- this isn't like totally out of the ordinary. I mean, the locals have to play in this stuff quite a bit. I know they don't feel bad for us. It can blow very, very hard here. I wouldn't call this normal, but it's definitely not out of the ordinary would be the way I would state it.


Q. What kind of impact did it have on your game today?

JIM FURYK: The wind was tough. It really made it difficult to get the iron shots close. It also I thought was very difficult putting. A lot of times the greens are perched up on top of some slopes, you're exposed to the wind, kind of getting beat up by a pretty hard wind at times. It's hard to stay still and hit good, solid putts.

It was a difficult day out here. I've never seen scoring on this golf course so high.

Q. What is the bigger difference, the new greens or the wind?

JIM FURYK: Oh, the wind. The wind. The greens are better than they were in the past. It's a smoother surface. There's a little less grain. I think they may be a little bit more difficult on a downwind shot because they're firmer than they've ever been in the past.

Right now I think with the greens being firm downwind it's difficult. The wind just -- we haven't had a year where we've played -- we haven't had too many years in the Mercedes Championship where the winds really howled for two, three days, let alone possibly a whole week like this one could be. I think it's definitely added.

I think the golf course is still -- it's drying out, but it's still a touch soft in spots. It's added some distance also.

Q. From the superintendent standpoint, the TOUR standpoint, setting up the scores now, do you think they have to experience a year of winds and these greens before they can get it to where they want to from a green speed standpoint and a hole location standpoint or are you comfortable with the way it is now?

JIM FURYK: I mean, I think time will tell. But coming in we've always had a target speed for these greens. I think they have the ability now to make them quicker. Before they were brown and they would kind of cut them down, it would almost be like the roots sticking out we were putting on at times. Now it's a much purer surface we're putting on. They probably had the ability to make them quicker, but there's places here you can't. The slopes are so severe and so great, there would be some putts downhill that it would really I think limit pin placements. You'd struggle.

They'll never be able to have these greens, say, rolling 11 or 12 because there's just not that many pins you could play on a lot of the greens. So I think they have a pretty good handle of how they want it to play. I think the rain probably early on was the only -- there was a lot of fairways that were really soft. A lot of times it's really hard to run the ball up because the ball wants to die in front of the greens.

I think the golf course is in better shape than I've ever seen it, the whole thing, the fairways, the greens look good. They just had a lot of rain on Monday, and the golf course hasn't been one that's really drained all that well over time, you think with all the big hills. But I've been told the surface underneath is clay and it just kind of holds the water, the water doesn't really drain out of here real quick without heavy winds coming. It's firming up.

Q. With these conditions, it's pretty mentally taxing out there. Is that tough to come out of the gates in the first start of the year with something that's tough like that?

JIM FURYK: Yeah, it's a little worse -- I've started the year hitting driver, 3-wood to 1 in the hard Kona, that's a little worse than maybe hitting driver and chipping a wedge in today. It's a little better.

A lot of guys coming off vacation are having a few weeks off. They're looking for a little better conditions, a little bit maybe more comfortable round.

But, you know, it is what it is. You have to go out there and fight the conditions.

Q. Ever imagine in all your years here that 143 would be leader?

JIM FURYK: No, no. If you would have told me that yesterday when I teed off, I would have laughed at you. I was doing an interview, I saw the highest score for a leader is minus nine here previously. It's going to be six shots higher. Quite a difference.

Q. How much was the club difference from yesterday to today in these winds today?

JIM FURYK: You know, I don't really know how to answer the question. I wouldn't figure out my yardages and say it was a one-club, two-club, three-club wind. I'd say iron shots played a good 10 yards farther today than they did yesterday, like 150-yard, 160-yard shot today, played ten yards longer than it did yesterday into the wind, if that helps.

Q. Was the wind more consistent today or gusty? Everybody kept saying it gusted a lot.

JIM FURYK: Yeah, it was probably a little bit. Yesterday in my round it really didn't get -- I mean, it was windy early, but it really started kicking in for me on like my 7th or 8th hole today. Today was ripping right from the start. It was blowing harder today and for a longer period of time probably a little more consistent.

Q. As one of the former winners here, what do you think it's going to take to win this tournament?

JIM FURYK: One thing I've learned here is you can never figure out what's going to happen with the weather, considering you get a weather report from Kahului or Lahaina. It could be sunny and perfect there, rain 12 inches up here. It's really going to all depend on the weather. If the conditions stay the same, I could see the scoring not getting any better for any reason. You're going to just kind of double the scores we got now at best. If it lets up, guys are going to shoot some good numbers out there and you're going to see a lot more scores under par if the wind is not blowing.

JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Let's go through your card real quick. You bogeyed 2.

JIM FURYK: I bogeyed 2. I was trying to run up a 6-iron. Kind of hit in front of the green and died. I was a couple yards short. I putted it. Took me three to get down. I got the first one six or seven feet kind of past and to the right.

I bogeyed 7. My iron shot kind of got a little long on me, went a little long left of the green. I pitched up to about six or seven feet, lipped that putt out.

I hit a 5-iron on 8 to six inches. That was nice to just tap one in for birdie.

12, I hit a driver and a 60-degree sand wedge to about six feet behind the hole, made that for birdie.

14, just laid up off the tee. I hit a sand wedge to about 10 feet, made that for birdie.

Q. Shot at 8 have a chance?

JIM FURYK: That far right of the hole. Kind of swinging in. Got me excited for a little bit.

Q. How long was the putt on 18 that lipped out?

JIM FURYK: Probably about 15 feet.

Q. Thought it was in?

JIM FURYK: I did. I did. It was going so slow. Wind, grain, slope, everything going left, just didn't go in.


JIM FURYK: Thank you.

End of FastScripts.

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