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January 12, 2007

Jim Furyk


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: You followed up a 65 yesterday with a 68 today. A couple shots off the lead with a lot of players on the course but you have to like how you played the first few days.
JIM FURYK: Yeah, I'm in good position. My game wasn't quite as crisp today as it was yesterday, but I played a real solid round yesterday. It was kind of a -- I don't say an easy 65, but I didn't stress myself out. Today I putt a little more stress on myself at times, made a couple good putts here and there, made a nice eagle on 18 at the turn and had a good day.

Q. Any particular area of your game which wasn't as crisp or just generally all-around?
JIM FURYK: Yeah, I felt like I hit the ball pretty decent today. I just hit the ball really well yesterday. Today it was pretty average. I didn't hit quite as many fairways. I didn't give myself as many opportunities on the greens.
I probably putted better today and didn't strike the ball quite as well and didn't give myself nearly as many opportunities. I wasn't in a lot of trouble today. I didn't have as many opportunities as I did yesterday. And although I didn't take advantage of all of them today, there was an abundance of them, so I was still able to shoot 5-under.
Today I just plugging along, and I had some chances, but a couple bogeys on the front nine on 2 and 4, got behind the 8-ball on the front side, my second side, and hit a couple good birdie putts on the way in.

Q. What did you do on 2 and 4?
JIM FURYK: 2, I hit it, just drove it in the right rough a little bit and hit a shot that jumped and ended up on the back of the green, I had about 40, 50 feet and I left it a little short and missed it.

Q. Pin in front today?
JIM FURYK: It was front left.
4 was playing 220 into the wind and I got it riding into the wind too much left of the green and pitched up about ten feet and missed it.

Q. How did you play 18 today? Did you take driver off that tee?
JIM FURYK: I hit 3-wood and I hit my hybrid about 15 feet.

Q. Hard to keep it in that fairway?
JIM FURYK: Eagle and a 3-wood, yeah. It's very difficult. And definitely over the years, that fairway has changed shape so much compared to what it used to be.

Q. What is this wind here? I guess I could ask them, but I would rather ask you.

Q. Because I seem to remember 9 being a piece of cake sometimes when the wind is at your back, but that's the rarity?
JIM FURYK: That's the Kona. When you get it in the back, you can hit a mid-iron in there, no problem. Today guys are going to hit driver or a long iron in there. It's basically front, left center.

Q. How did the wind compare this morning to yesterday afternoon when you played?
JIM FURYK: It was tougher today wind-wise. This morning, maybe somewhat similar, but it picked up as the day went on. By the time we made the turn it, was blowing pretty good. I think it was blowing a little harder than yesterday. But still, not approaching last week yet.

Q. What's the most -- what was your longest break last year, was it after Sun City?
JIM FURYK: Before Kapalua, four weeks. I didn't play target this year. So four weeks was my biggest. That's about as long as I ever go, about four weeks.

Q. I guess what I was going to ask, how much did you play between Sun City and you started getting ready for Kapalua; anything at all or did you just shut it down completely?
JIM FURYK: When I came home from Sun City, I had two outings the very next two days. Then I put them down for about 10, 11 days total and I got talked into a six-man scramble with some buddies; that was my dad and four of my best friends and myself.
So, we had a good time. And then I put it down for a few more days. It was about two weeks before I went out and just kind of started maybe chipping and putting and hitting a couple balls, and then that last week I got pretty serious about trying to get ready for Kapalua.
Out of four weeks, it was two weeks without really touching a club and a week where I was just kind of light on golf, unless the weather was bad or it wasn't a too serious, and then I got relatively serious a week before Kapalua.
I had a fair enough break, but I'm going to take some time off here, too, after this event. I'm going to take a few weeks off. Play Pebble next, which I've done, maybe my third year in a row doing that.

Q. Partner at Pebble; potluck or do you have a steady?
JIM FURYK: In the past, I had Lynn Swann there for a couple of years and when he ran for governor last year, he didn't play. I have a friend that's on the board, a guy that I met just potluck as a partner. He's from Monterey, he's a doctor and he's on the board there for a tournament. Real nice guy, played with him last year and probably who I'll play with this year, nice guy.

Q. Talking about schedule, how many events do you think you'll play between the start of the year and The Masters?
JIM FURYK: Five on the West Coast, I think I'll play eight.

Q. Is that slightly less than previous years or about the same?
JIM FURYK: I think I'm almost same schedule. I usually play five on the West Coast. I play eight, sometimes seven. But seven or eight and that's what I'm going to be on this year, I'm going to be seven or eight.
I always kind of see how The Match Play goes. If you play really long in the Match Play, I'll probably take another week off in Florida. If you get outed quick, it's a short week and I'll probably throw in another one in Florida.

Q. When your buddies the home ask you, if they ask you, about Michelle Wie, what answer do you give them? That's my way of asking a real vague question on just your general thoughts on it, on what comes to mind when you think of her.
JIM FURYK: They probably wouldn't say, "What do you think of Michelle Wie."
They would probably ask: "How far does she hit it." Typical amateur questions; "how tall is she." Just something you wouldn't ever hear anyone say, "what do you think."

Q. What if a reporter were to ask you, what do you think of Michelle Wie, what are your thoughts on her?
JIM FURYK: I've really never seen her hit. I've seen her swing on the range but I've never played any holes with her. I've never seen her game that much. So it's hard to comment about, you know, what level. I don't have any idea what level she's at as far as competing against the men or playing on the Tour.
It used to be, you know, when she was 14 and she got in this event for the first time, it raised eyes and you heard guys grumbling and it was such a bigger deal. Now four years into it, it's kind of -- now it's more commonplace. I don't hear guys talking about it anymore. There's not like a buzz in the locker room, "what's she shooting" or anything like that.
She's been here for four times. I don't know how many TOUR events she's played in. You're still going to have people that agree with it, don't agree with it, have an opinion, don't care. It really doesn't matter to me. It doesn't affect my preparation or how I play or anything like that.
I wish her well and there's a lot of scrutiny and a lot of pressure and a lot of focus and a lot of eyes on her. So I wish her well. In the same respect, you know, I'm more worried about going out there and being 7-under and trying to win the golf tournament.

Q. Do you remember what you thought at age 14, do you remember being here thinking, "what did the kid shoot?"
JIM FURYK: Just from reading the paper and hearing it, I know she missed the cut by a shot. And I was pretty amazed, 14-year-old boy, girl, I don't care what it is, 14-year-old coming out and almost made the cut, that was pretty impressive.
Obviously her record is fantastic and there's so much thrust upon her and so much expectation and so much scrutiny. She's kind of got that Tiger treatment a little bit. It's hard to go out there and win three times in a year and then somehow be a failure and be playing awful and his swing is terrible and he's breaking down, and she's got that same scrutiny.
You know, she's played fantastic the last few years, but everyone just expects so much and so much more of her at times that it's going to be difficult for her to keep up.

Q. It almost seems like good is exaggerated into greatness and the bad is exaggerated into utter failure. That's what I thought was a little bit with Tiger and I wonder if the same might apply there.
JIM FURYK: Well, I think it's the same thing. It's going to be a never-win situation. But then, you know, Tiger can go out and finish third four weeks in a row and someone's going to say that something's wrong with his game or he's not able to do this and not able to do that. He's still paying well, it's just not happening.
Same thing with her. It's hard to remember she's 17. She's got so much -- she'll mature so much in her game the next few years, it will be scary possibly and still she's going to take some major jumps.
But there's a lot thrust upon her. It's got to be a difficult place to be in. And just what I see is, I mean, she's asked to be an adult a lot earlier than the rest of us.
So I kind of cherish those -- boy, what was going through my mind at 14. I kind of remember what was going through my mind at 17 but I was never thrust in those situations where I was actually expected to be an adult and sound like an adult and was treated like an adult. So that's kind of mind-boggling where she's at at this stage.
Q. 17 your dad was listening to coaches how they were going to change your swing; is that about right?
JIM FURYK: Yeah. Well, I got in a TOUR event at 18. I was a freshman in college. I was pretty nervous.
Q. How did you do?
JIM FURYK: I missed the cut. Shot I think 74-76 or 76-74 on a desert golf course. When I went into college I hit it long and wild and there was trouble everywhere on this course. Keeping it on the fairway was good for me at the time.

Q. This is going way too far back but do you remember yourself wanting to spend as much time out there at the tournament in terms of how much time you spent, when you got to the course, how long you stayed on the range, how long you stayed afterwards, just wanting to soak it up?
JIM FURYK: Oh, yeah, after I missed the cut I still went back on Saturday and Sunday just to hang out, went in the locker room, ate lunch, acted like I knew what I was doing. I just wanted to hack out and be part of the tournament for two more days because I had the ability to.
Every time I did get in an event it was fun, but the more events -- I got into about four events before I got on TOUR, four or five events.

Q. '87?
JIM FURYK: It was probably '88, Tucson, it was in November. Made '89, beginning of the year, I don't remember. Somewhere in the '88, '89 range. Yeah, I wanted to hang around.
I saw Tad -- I haven't met him, I should have gone over and said hi to him. I was out here at dark putting last night and he was out there chipping and goofing around and having fun. And it didn't strike me until I was driving home that he played in the morning, and he probably hung out and had fun and enjoyed it.
He looked like he was having a blast on the putting green last night which was fun. I looked over he was smiling, goofing around with a buddy of his or whoever was caddying for him, so he was having a good time. It was refreshing to see that, instead of us. We're always grouchy and working.

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