home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


May 7, 2006

Jim Furyk


JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Congratulations, Jim, on your victory here at the 2006 Wachovia Championship. I know you wanted it to be the 2005

JIM FURYK: We could have done this last year (laughter).

JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: We could have, but congratulations, but just make a couple comments on how you're feeling and we'll go into questions.

JIM FURYK: Well, it obviously feels good. I had a close call here last year. I remember the playoff, I remember playing hard, shooting 66 and coming up just short after four holes of a playoff. I've seen enough of 18 for another year, I promise you that. I had to see it three times on Sunday last year and twice this time. So I've had enough.

I also had a close call a few weeks ago in Hilton Head, and Aaron beat me down the stretch. So to come up short like what we talked about is disappointing. It happens, but it's nice to come out and get it done this time and end up with a W.

Q. Was there any déjà vu on the regulation 18 putt there?

JIM FURYK: It was an easier putt this year, at least it was uphill. Last year I had a downhill right to lefter. Both of them, though, were kind of do or die. There was no consequence, just knock it in, and it didn't matter if I I just had a free run at it basically; everyone else was finished up. Sometimes that's the best time to try to make a putt, when your only focus it doesn't matter if you three putt, four putt, you just try to knock it in, and that's your only thought process.

Q. You asked Fluff to look at that putt. You said you weren't quite sure how it was going to react?

JIM FURYK: Actually he read it wrong and I I'm just kidding (laughter). He did a good job. I told him while Trevor was looking at his that I was pretty much stumped by the putt at that point. I looked at it from both sides already and had enough time to walk around the hole, and I just wasn't quite sure. I thought there was an argument that it could go right or left. It was a relatively straight putt, but I saw an argument for going both ways. I was feeling left to right up the first half of the putt. From behind the hole I saw the hole was a little bit of a tilt and it might go right to left at the end and didn't quite know what to do, and he put a very good read on it. He said there was a touch of left to right maybe early, but right to left will take over, and I asked him if it was pretty straight, and he said it's fairly straight but I think it's more right center. I felt like I did a good job hitting that putt right where he said, and he made a great read.

Q. How committed were you? That's hard to do, isn't it?

JIM FURYK: Well, I didn't have a really good idea where to go with it, so I had to commit to something.

The more I looked at it, the more I talked with him about it, I felt relatively calm today as far as I felt even down the stretch from 15 in, I felt really calm with the putter in my hand.

You know, the more we talked about it, the more I was seeing what he was saying. I don't know if he talked me into it or if he was giving me the read and I was looking at it and I was starting to believe in it, so it was real easy to commit to that line.

Q. You had him look at not just 18.

JIM FURYK: Well, that's the one he talked me through, but I didn't have him read the putt on 15 or 16. He helped me with the long one on 17, not the short, and I brought him in on 18. We kind of do that, bring him in once in a while and give him the tough ones.

Q. With the winner, you literally were fist pumping almost right off the blade. Did you feel it?

JIM FURYK: Two feet, yeah. I've been accused of pumping a little early, but that one was going in the middle.

Q. Could you take us through the whole playoff hole sort of stroke by stroke?

JIM FURYK: The playoff? Well, Trevor hit one out in the right rough and opened the door a little bit. What I wanted to do at that point is really return that pressure, put the ball in the fairway, make him play aggressively at that point. I guess he probably wouldn't have had a play down there. He was in some thick rough. He would have had to lay up. But put the pressure back on him. I just hung it a little bit. I wanted to both of us hit perfect drives in regulation. I wanted to pick the same target and I just hung it out there a little and it kicked into the bunker.

When bunkers get wet they tend to get really pretty smooth and the ball sits up nice. If it had been a fluffy bunker it would have been hard to hit a 3 iron out of there and over that lip. The bunker was nice and firm. I played a 3 iron pretty much up the right side of the green. It was a very firm that's good as good as I could have hit it, and it still didn't get quite up to the pin. But just hit a hard draw from there and let it turn with the wind and ride it and get some yardage out of it, and it came out perfect, really.

As far as the putt, Trevor elected to chip from behind me, and I usually would have. Just with the situation, there was some grain there, some Bermuda up front there. The grain was into me. With those nerves and that, I just decided I'll put a putter on it, make sure I hit it solid and not get cute with a wedge in my hand, and I hit it a little bit too firm, about four or five feet by. Downhill left to right is a tough putt, but I felt good with the putter today and felt like I could knock it in. I would have liked to have made it a lot easier on myself, but it doesn't seem to be what I like to do.

Q. How difficult was it to concentrate with the weather conditions today and keep your concentration throughout?

JIM FURYK: Well, the conditions were difficult, but it wasn't like it popped out of nowhere. We knew last night when I was sitting here in the media room that it was going to be a tough day. It was nice to find out on the golf course yesterday and they had it posted on the leaderboards that we were going out from 7:00 to 9:00, so it wasn't like I got in here and it was a surprise, you have to get up in eight hours and go play again. I was already prepared for it.

In light of the forecast, in light of what I actually expected, it wasn't maybe as bad as I prepared myself for. I never felt like I couldn't hold onto the club or my grips got wet. It was more of a nuisance. Early on the front nine it started to get to the point where it was starting to rain pretty hard and starting to get tough. But it let up a little bit for us, and it was just that light rain all day. It was more of a nuisance really than anything.

Q. When Trevor was about to putt the first time on 18 from 49 feet, did you happen to glance at the Jumbotron and see the putting graphic they had put up on him, and do you have an opinion on that one way or the other?

JIM FURYK: Whether they should have that up there or not?

Q. Yeah, a guy who ranks 154th in putting from outside 25 feet, it's almost

JIM FURYK: I've seen that all week, though, too. I guess it's the amazement of ShotLink these days. I doubt he saw it, so I don't think the crowd really reacted to it or made any noise out there. There was a couple loud bangs actually while he was setting up over that long putt from distances, maybe one from a tent, one from way off in the distance, but those could have been could have actually affected him.

I don't know. You have a very good point.

Q. Are you okay with it? Are you in favor of that or would you think that maybe occasionally could be construed as a negative stat?

JIM FURYK: I'm not a you make a good point. Maybe put the stats up there that are very positive. He's in the top 30 in this stat, that would be probably I'm not exactly sure which way to go with that. For one thing, I'd probably prefer to see more positive stats. For the next part, I also know that's the way our Tour is going, and in the next three years that sort of thing is only going to increase, increase, increase. I don't even think we've scratched the surface for that type of technology coming up.

I know the next TV contracts and the technology we're going to see at THE PLAYERS Championship in the next few years, so I guess on one hand I accept it because I know it's coming and it's part of growing our sport and making it more fun for the fans, but I think you make a good point in that it could have been more positive rather than showing 154th. It maybe gave me a ray of hope, but it came down to he had a very, very difficult putt. I had similar putt last year. That pin was there on Saturday, and that is a mean, mean pin. It's difficult to get the ball close.

Q. 3 iron out of the bunker?

JIM FURYK: 3 iron in the playoff.

JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Can we go through your round starting with a bogey on 3?

JIM FURYK: Bogey on 3, I drove it perfect, just trying to hit a hard 5 iron out of the green, got over the top of it, pulled it, drew a good lie in the rough but had to kind of play a pitch and run through the fringe, and it didn't come out the way I wanted it to or didn't react the way I wanted it to. I hit an okay shot, left it about 20 feet short, missed the putt.

Birdie at 7, I hit a driver and a 3 wood over the green. My pitch was a little firm. It probably went about 15, 18 feet by, and I knocked that in for birdie.

The bogey at 8 stung originally. I hit a perfect 3 wood off the tee and had a perfect yardage with a sand wedge, just didn't quite hit it and spun it back off the ridge. Where I'm thinking about trying to make birdie and gain a shot, Trevor was in trouble over in the rough behind a big tree there, didn't look like he would definitely not make birdie, and I thought there was a good chance he would make bogey, and I make bogey and he makes birdie. So it definitely turned around.

I hit a horrible honestly I think the turning point of my round was on No. 9 because after birdieing 7 and getting some momentum, I turn around and bogey 8, which I should never have done, and 9 it started really raining. I hit a good drive. I was left with I was trying to kill a hybrid, and I still probably couldn't have gotten to the green but trying to hit it up there on the front or short right of the green and give myself an angle. I swung real hard at that shot and must have hit it four inches fat, kind of half hopped it up over to the right, and didn't hit a great wedge to about 15 feet, and knocking that putt in actually was a big confidence boost. To not give up two in a row on 8 and 9 and keep myself in it, that putt was one of the biggest putts of the day.

14, I kind of blocked my drive, and it was kind of hit like a toe hook, but it caught one of those overhanging branches on the right and dropped my ball down probably 30 to 40 yards short of where it would have been in the fairway, so instead of hitting a wedge or a sand wedge to that back pin, I was left with an 8 iron from about 146 yards, and I hit a great 8 iron shot to about four or five feet, knocked that in for birdie.

Then just got my drive turning a little too much with the wind on 15, got it in the left rough; second day in a row I had to lay it out to the right. I couldn't go over the water in two. I left myself a good hard 6 iron to the front right pin. A par 5, you think you're getting a wedge, I got a 6 iron and was able to get it up there about ten feet and knocked that in for birdie. That was also a big boost.

Q. Was it one of those days where you felt like if you kept hanging in there the opportunity to win would present itself?

JIM FURYK: Yeah, it's one of those courses because no matter you don't want to get too far behind, but if you can stay within a shot or two, even three, a lot can happen on 17 and 18, especially when there's only basically our group by that time, by the time we got to 15 and 16 had separated themselves from the field pretty good. It was just Trevor and myself and Retief that really had a chance to win the tournament.

But he played great down the stretch, yeah. It wasn't really I got it up and down on 16, got it up and down on 17. None of us really came neither one of us came back.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about Trevor's game and also if you have an opinion either way on getting a two year exemption for being a member of the Presidents Cup team?

JIM FURYK: I don't know his game very well. I've only played with him once before. I respect his game. He's a good young player. He's got a well rounded game. He's got a lot of power, quite a bit of power compared to me.

What I think I was impressed with today was early in his round he missed some greens, left the ball pretty far from the pin, he knocked in some clutch putts, made some key up and downs, did the things he needed to do to keep the round going.

In the middle of the round he outplayed Retief and I. He hit the ball well, gave himself opportunities, made some birdies. And then coming down the stretch, again, started missing a few greens here and there but had the composure to get the pitch shots pretty close and knock the putts in.

I realize the three putt at 18, I've been in that situation, I've been in that position. I saw the look in his eye, shaking his head, and I know that look because I've had that feeling. As happy as I am, I do feel for him. But he had some key shots today and knocked in a lot of clutch putts, and I was impressed by it.

As far as The Presidents Cup and the Ryder Cup team getting two year exemptions, I'm not in favor of that. I've always been pretty vocal against that. To the best of my knowledge that has been rescinded because a lot of players had the same feeling I did, and I think it's more important to win a golf tournament for a two year exemption than it is to make one of those teams to get the exemption, or even theoretically be a Captain's Pick and get one of those exemptions.

I think my feeling was pretty much the same as everyone else on Tour, and that's the reason our board took a look at it. They didn't go back retroactively on that, but they will not do any more in the future, which I think is good.

Q. Your playoff record is probably not what you want it to be.

JIM FURYK: Ya think?

Q. Does that go through your mind at all? Obviously that's tough to block out, but does it feel pretty good to do you have any thoughts as to why you have not been a good playoff player?

JIM FURYK: I do not. I feel like I'm a pretty good match play player. I've got a pretty good match play record. I think I won my first one, and it's been a long time since I have won one.

I don't know the reason, really. I've had some bad shots, I've gotten beaten by some really good shots. Really I don't have an answer for that. I think it was nice last year at the Million Dollar in South Africa, I ended up in a four way playoff, and I had the lead coming in and made bogey at 18, which is a tough hole, and dropped back into a four way tie for first instead of winning outright, and went out and won that playoff.

It just felt I kind of forgot about it on Tour because that one felt good just to go out there and I felt like I kind of gave that gave a shot away and shouldn't have been in a playoff, but then to go out there in a four man, which is tough to win, and win it, was good. I wouldn't say it got the monkey off my back, but it was nice to win and get that playoff thing out of the way.

Today I tried to remember back to that and just go out there and do whatever I needed to do to try to get it done.

Q. Did you chip in there or did you putt that, at Sun City?

JIM FURYK: I pitched in. That was the second playoff hole, I believe. I think we went back and played 18 twice. The first time I two putted for par, and then the second time I just hung it on that right fringe. I had a short chip that I knocked it.

Q. What was it like for you walking up to the 18th green in regulation with your ball in the rough and Trevor with a one shot lead on the green? Do you know enough about that hole that you still were fairly positive?

JIM FURYK: Well, it didn't look good, but I stayed positive. I told my caddie that I had that putt last year. I remember how quick that putt was because I thought I hit a really good putt there last year. It was just really fast. On Saturday the pin was in the front left. That is by far the most difficult pin placement on that green.

I knew that it would be a tough two putt. I felt like he would probably do it, but I also wanted to try to put some pressure on him and make sure that I hit a good pitch shot. Obviously I wanted to try to give it an opportunity to go in, but I wanted to get that pitch shot up there where I could get a five , six , seven footer at it and let him know he still had work to do and get a two putt and at least keep that thought in his mind. Until he two putts you've got to keep fighting and try to win the tournament.

Q. How big was that chip?

JIM FURYK: It was pretty good. It would have been really good if I would have played it about five feet higher. But it was pretty darn good.

Q. Was it great?

JIM FURYK: It was a good pitch. It wasn't great. It was a good pitch. I never like report cards to start with.

Q. Can you talk about Retief's struggles on 18, and did you just try to block that out, or did you sympathize with him?

JIM FURYK: No, I sympathized with him. He had a good week. He played great down the stretch. He should have finished third in the golf tournament. You know, you give up a bunch of shots on one hole, the last hole, and everyone is watching. It's obviously a lonely feeling. We've all done it. I did it at Bay Hill this year where I made a high number on 18 coming in. I was in good shape in the tournament, not in the leader group. Everyone has done it.

Yeah, I mean, I tried to help him out. He had a tough line after he hit it as far as where did it cross. I tried to help him out without trying to get too far away from what I was trying to do.

Q. Why was there so much emotion when the par putt went in in the playoff? Was this win meaningful in ways

JIM FURYK: I just like to win. There you go. It had been since last July. I think if there was anything extra, I just like to win, period. It's nice to 11 sounds better than 10. This is No. 11. So that was it.

Probably getting so close a few weeks ago and losing here last year in a playoff. I regard this as a really good event. It's a big golf course and a strong field.

Q. The fact that you were kind of behind the 8 ball a lot of the way today, just kind of scrapping to stay in there, did that maybe build up to 18, as well, as far as your emotion?

JIM FURYK: Yeah, possibly. I mean, I don't know how many opportunities I'm going to get a chance to win a golf tournament in my life or how many victories I'm going to end up with. It's not enough. It's a good feeling. Everyone always tells me I don't smile and I don't show any emotion, so I gave them a little something. How's that?

Q. There are stats out there for everything, and there's a stat, 36 hole lead, 54 hole lead. Talk about how hard is it to hold onto do we make it sound sometimes like, well, you've got the 54 hole lead, you should win? How difficult is it to close the deal out there?

JIM FURYK: I don't actually know how to answer that. I think that any time you have players like Trevor and Retief, go down the line, players behind me that are out there, some of the best players in the world, someone is going to usually fire a good round and put some pressure on you.

That being said, there's no position I'd rather be in than being in the lead. I had to shoot one shot worse today to get in a playoff than had I been tied with Retief and Trevor, so I'd rather be up front and try to put the pressure on the rest of the field. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn't.

Someone gave me a stat yesterday. One of you guys said I was 5 for 11, 5 for 12? 5 for 11, so now 6 for 12. Before that I had won five times with the lead and five times without. I think when you're I didn't really view it today with guys at 11, 10 and 10, I don't really view it as me sitting on the lead. We're all bunched together in that leader group.

At the U.S. Open when I had a three shot lead going into Sunday, then I was nervous because I felt like that was my tournament to win and I didn't want to let that opportunity slip by, and that 3:00 o'clock tee time kills you (laughter). That's a little more difficult. When you're all bunched in like that, I don't think it's important who's leading or not.

Q. You've been described as a tough, gritty player over the last several years. Do you, A, agree with that, feel that way; and B, if you do, how would you define that?

JIM FURYK: I take that as a compliment. I think that I can't name any of the best players in the world today that aren't tough, that aren't gritty. Tiger Woods is the best player in the world, and there is no tougher.

So I take that as a compliment, and I define that as I think guys are tough, they stick up there in the heat of the battle and under pressure, and you're not always going to hit a good shot, but most of the time I think the guys that are tough and gritty are guys that can hit a really good shot under pressure, and if not, go find it and figure out a way to get the ball in the hole. It doesn't always work out that way obviously because, like I said, I've only been sitting here 11 times, and I wish it were a lot more.

I view myself as a pretty tough, gritty player. I think a lot of people see the goofy swing and just assume that I must be tough and gritty to have any success. How's that? I was called an overachiever at Hilton Head. I could guess you could take that you can take it as a compliment or as a back handed slap. I would prefer to take things as compliments because I didn't think that it was meant in a negative way.

I would never consider myself the same as Tom Kite's. Everyone always called him an overachiever, and every time I watch him he's got a heck of a lot of talent, so I don't get what that means. He's not flashy, so therefore he must have overachieved to get what he's done.

Q. Are you okay with 11 wins? Do you feel as though you should have won more, or do you look at the consistency side?

JIM FURYK: If I told you that I felt like I shouldn't have won more than 11, I'd be lying. I do feel like that. I felt like there's a lot of tournaments where I should have won and I didn't. Maybe today was a tournament that it could have easily went the other way. I've had a couple like that, also.

But yes, I feel like I should have won more than 11 tournaments, and if I got hurt and could never play golf again, I would sit back and think about the things that I've accomplished and be very happy with them. I would have never thought 13 years ago that I would have played on that many Ryder Cup or Presidents Cup teams, won the U.S. Open, won 11 times, so I'm very proud of that.

But tomorrow I think I'm going to be healthy, and that being said, I'm hoping to win a heck of a lot more golf tournaments. I'm not sitting on my rear end. I'm going to keep working, and I want to win a lot more golf tournaments.

Q. This might get you into the Top 5 in the World Ranking. Do you think people will stop calling it the Big Four?

JIM FURYK: Honestly, the World Rankings have gotten a lot better, and I honestly couldn't tell you this week where I was at. I would assume somewhere between 7 and 9, but I don't know, and it's really not that important because I'm sure Trevor didn't care today; he just wanted to go out there and beat me. I don't know what Retief was, and I just wanted to beat him, even though I know he was ahead of me. It's not important. You go out there and play well and win some golf tournaments and shoot good scores and all that will take care of itself.

End of FastScripts.

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297