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June 14, 2007

Jim Furyk


Q. The putts on 6 and 8, did you kind of kick yourself over those two?
JIM FURYK: Obviously not pleased. I hit a decent putt at 6, an awful one at 8, where I never made up my mind on the read and I kind of fell in love with the line and I was confused, never committed and never hit a solid putt, and overall I'm frustrated that I bogeyed a couple coming in but also that finish, 7, 8, 9 is a difficult finish and I bogeyed 8 with a long three-putt.
But overall I played very well today. I'm not sure where 1-over stands but I got to feel it's got to be in the top 10 somewhere and the golf course is -- it's a tough layout, it puts me 1 over and in good position.

Q. You are tied for seventh (sixth) right now at 1-over and an awful lot of people at 74 and better, it's a logjam out there; is it because the course might have played a tad easier than you thought?
JIM FURYK: I think the rain had a little to do with scoring today as far as last night -- I'm staying close to the golf course, we got quite a bit of rain in a short time and it seemed to make less of a difference in the fairways; they were rolling fast but it helped on the greens, especially early in the day when it was still overcast out and you could stop the ball and it wasn't releasing out as much and it makes a big difference on holes like 1 and 10 and the downhill holes, and late in the day it started baking out a bit and my last four or five holes to the ball it was releasing out, pretty firm, and I don't think there is much rain in the forecast the rest of the week and we get some sunny weather it's going to be very firm and a difficult test.

Q. You talked earlier about trying to get back to the way you struck the ball at Colonial; did you do that today?
JIM FURYK: I hit the ball well today, hit a lot of fairways, struck the ball solid, hit it pretty straight, made a few poor shots, but I was comfortable out there, putting the ball in play and I hit a bunch of greens. It's difficult to really set yourself up for a lot of birdies out here. You have to pick and choose your spots and they seemed to be far and few between.
I was very comfortable with the way I struck the ball today and maybe I could have done a little bit better with the wedges in my hand and maybe better with the putter, but I feel good about my game and I hope I can continue that and keep it up.

Q. You have a lot of fan support; you're practically a native of here.
JIM FURYK: I felt a lot of fan support, a lot of people rooting for Phil and Adam in my group and I felt a lot of support out there, so being from Pennsylvania and having some roots here in the Pittsburgh area I got a lot of friends and family out there.

Q. Whenever there is a big story going with the other two guys, is it hard? Do you have to approach it the same?
JIM FURYK: What was the first part?

Q. Does anything go into changing your dynamic at looking at your round?
JIM FURYK: No, it takes a little bit of the -- Phil probably gets the center of attention and takes the focus off the other two guys probably a little bit. He went to fix his wrist brace on our first tee on No. 10 and I heard 50 clicks of cameras, and there was definitely a large media entourage, especially in the way of cameramen following our group, so it was a little bit of a circus out there, but it doesn't really affect the other two guys.

Q. What was your lie like on 3 down there? Did you come out well?
JIM FURYK: The lie was fine in the bunker. It was okay. But just too close to the lip to really -- I had no play at the green. Let's put it this way: I was deciding whether to take a wedge or something and try to get it maybe 100 yards up the hill and get on the plateau where I could see a little bit more and I decided the extra 30 yards or 40 yards wasn't worth it, so I blasted it out and chipped a 9-iron about 15, 18 feet behind the hole.

Q. Do you feel like taking your medicine was the best option? It could have been a big number, it propelled you on.
JIM FURYK: Honestly, strangely enough the left side of that fairway is better than the right. There is nothing on the right. When you get in the church pews over there, there will be guys that will knock it on the green from there. You can get lies, if you're far enough back, you can get a lie where you can knock it on to the green. I didn't have that option. It was too close and the thought wasn't was I going to lay it up; it was where I was going to lay it up.

Q. Do you think today was a day to go out for a good score with it being softer from the rain --
JIM FURYK: Early on last night, yeah, yeah, that was probably in my mind, the scores were going to be better today, softer, but you get a good feel for watching television in the morning and looking at the scoreboard while you're warming up and a bunch of guys raced out and had it 1-under, I think Angel Cabrera got it to 3-under for a while, but as the day wore on there was only one guy that finished under par for the morning round, two?
So I realized it wasn't all that easy anymore and you get on the course and you realize why.

Q. Did it make you worried about the rest of the week if today --
JIM FURYK: Still, the scores are relative. It's the U.S. Open, rarely does it -- unless the wind is blowing 100, it usually doesn't play hardest on Thursday, so I'm aware that the golf course can play much more difficult and when I said earlier I expected the rain helped us out a little bit today, but still the scores aren't good at all. It could be in this condition every day and still 1-over could win the tournament and I expect it to get more difficult and faster and that turns -- and 71 could become a great score by the end of week instead of just a good score.

Q. Do you think a score of 74 could win this tournament?
JIM FURYK: If the course gets fast I think it could win. Last year 5-over won, it depends on the firmness of the greens and the setup. But I see over par winning the golf tournament, there is no doubt about that. And if it really gets firm and fast it would really be a good score.

Q. How many times have you played here this week?
JIM FURYK: Not that often. I played one round here before the '94 Open and played that event, and I played one round a couple of weeks ago during the Memorial, I drove over and played. So not a ton but enough that I feel very comfortable or confident. I know where I'm supposed to hit it, but there is a lot of tough shots out there, it's tough to execute and do it.

Q. You watched a telecast in the major live in the morning; did you ever pick up anything that might help you or do you watch it to get the feel of what the course is like?
JIM FURYK: Well, you can't avoid it because when you walk in the clubhouse or wherever you go, it's on, so I kind of wanted to see where the pins were maybe a little more than anything, so I watched maybe -- I saw maybe eight or nine of the holes and knew where the pins were before I played. Just curious, but, no, I didn't -- you can, though, you can pick up a guy hits it left of the hole, bunker shot and it goes 30 feet by and you can put it in your mind -- that can be good or bad, I guess, the "don't hit it there" thing isn't so good but it's good to be aware of those things.

Q. Seems like Phil was struggling?
JIM FURYK: You'd have to ask Phil. We didn't talk about it. I asked him if it felt all right and he said, yeah, but whether it affected him, only he would know. I would have a difficult time figuring that out. I would have to guess not playing the practice rounds and not, you know, preparing the same way would have an affect, but he hung in there very well today. He probably didn't hit the ball anywhere near what he liked and it seemed like that's what he was saying but he hung in there and got the ball in the hole and did what he needed to do to stay around.

Q. You have a win, some excellent finishes and a good start; what is it about your game that translates so well to the tough setups at the U.S. Open?
JIM FURYK: If I play the ball well I'm able to hit the ball in the fairways, and grind it out. My strengths are hitting the ball accurately and doing well with my wedges and my putter and those are important here at the U.S. Open. You have to put the ball in play, keep it in front of you and if you hit it in the rough eventually it will catch you. Might not get you the first day or the second but eventually it will catch up to you.

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