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June 27, 2007

Jim Furyk


STEWART MOORE: We would like to welcome Jim Furyk to the interview room here at the Buick Open. Jim, having a great year so far and coming off a near miss at the U.S. Open last week -- or two weeks ago, excuse me, talk a little bit what it's like playing in an event like that, 5 over is a great score, and to come here a few weeks later and 20-under might win this week.
JIM FURYK: It's obviously a different frame of mind. Par is always a good score at the U.S. Open. You'd take as many of those as you can possibly get. Starting the week at Oakmont, you realize that over par is going to win the golf tournament. You realize you have to be very, very patient when the week starts.
Coming here, it's kind of a different set of circumstances. You know that you're going to have to go out and make a bunch of birdies. If you go shoot 3 or 4-under par you're probably going to get passed in certain circumstances, so you need to go low. You need to fire a good score, but yet you still have to be patient. That's the hard part. If you go out there and get impatient and you start firing at flags and you make a bogey or you make a few pars in a row and you start feeling like you have to make birdies and you're not patient, that's when the round can turn on you, and all of a sudden you try to do too much and it's just difficult. The same thing, you have to be patient, you have to go out and there and play the golf course, take what it gives you and try not to get too far ahead of yourself. It can be very difficult to do at times, it's just a different mind frame though as far as what a good score is. If you're at the U.S. Open and you shoot 72, you're pretty happy with your day. Here, if you shoot 72, it's not going to be a very good score.
STEWART MOORE: Talk about your year up to this point and then we'll take questions.
JIM FURYK: The year has been pretty good. Obviously the last month or so has been much better with a couple of second place finishes and almost getting over the hump and getting a win. I went through a pretty dry spell through April and May, and June was a much better -- I should say probably March and April and a little bit of May, and May and June have been a little bit better for me.
A little bit probably more inconsistent this year than I would like to be, but still, it has been a pretty solid year, and I would love to finish it off well. I've got here and next week and then four events planned before the playoffs starts. So six more events and then we're into the playoffs schedule.

Q. Is this too early to tell whether this rain helps you be more aggressive and go at pins tomorrow?
JIM FURYK: The greens couldn't be any softer, I didn't think until I looked out and saw that it was supposed to rain a bunch this afternoon. They were already very soft. They were good, they were rolling smooth, but I can stop a 5-iron out there in a foot. The ball wasn't going anywhere. I was nervous with a lot of my short irons. The ball was spinning back too much, and I was kind of hitting half shots into the green. This rain is pretty much ensuring it will be that way for the rest of the week. The guys will be able to get very aggressive and fire at the pins here because the greens are going to be receptive.

Q. With Tiger and Vijay not here for the first time in many years, do you look at it as, I've got a better shot to win here, or as a competitor do you not look at things that way?
JIM FURYK: I don't think anyone really looks at it in that manner. You really need to go out there and prepare your own game for the golf course and prepare for the golf course the best way you know how. And whoever is in the field isn't really -- it shouldn't matter to any other player, if that makes sense. I've never looked at if it's a strong field or a weak field. Never have I shown up at an event and looked down the list to see who is here and who is not. We find that a lot from you. That's your job more than anything.
Obviously with Tiger and Elin having the baby last week, it was pretty apparent he wouldn't be at this event. I know Buick will miss him, but he's played in this event a lot and he'll be back here a lot in the future.

Q. For someone who plays at a high level and contends in majors, I wonder, after a major like the U.S. Open, how long, or do you replay it in your head and does it take you a while to put it away?
JIM FURYK: I think you replay some of the shots in your head. I shot even par on Sunday, but I felt like -- I made four bogeys on Sunday and I felt like three of them were from very close around the greens. I was up around the 2nd green, 2nd and 17th greens off my drive and ended up making bogey on both those holes. I hit some really good shots on 12 and ended up making bogey. I think you replay the shots in your head, yes, because you're trying to figure out what you could have done better, what thought process you could have had, did you mentally make a mistake, physically make a mistake, or sometimes you have to just shrug your shoulders and say, you know what, I played the right shot, I hit a pretty darn good shot, and it's just the U.S. Open, the conditions are tough, and it didn't turn out the way I wanted.
You play that through your head, and finishing second is no fun, to be honest with you, and it's not supposed to be. Eventually you put it behind you and think about what you need to work on for the next event. You have to get over it. That's the part of it. It stings for a while and you're disappointed for a while, but no one is going to change the course of history, so you just move on and just play well in the future.

Q. You've never really played poorly here. I think you have something like, the last six or seven times you've had top-10 finishes. Does this course bring out the confidence in you or does this course bring out the confidence in most golfers because of the way the greens are?
JIM FURYK: I don't think it brings out the confidence in most players. I think that there are a few things you have to do to play well here, and one, you have to drive the ball well. It's a tight golf course. I'm not sure there is a tighter fairway on tour than the 9th here, if that makes since. It's the smallest fairway I think we play on tour. There are a lot of Pine trees and low limbed trees just off the fairways here that you can get under and have a hard time getting out. For anyone not driving down the middle of the fairway, scoring it tough.
And you have to be real good with your wedge game here. If you get the ball in the fairway, it's not a very long golf course, you're going to have a lot of short irons in your hand. And those two things, when I'm playing well, those are the strengths of my game; I get the ball in play, I keep it in the fairway, and I consider myself a pretty good short iron player. I have to be, because I'm not one of the longer players on Tour, I have to be able to be good with my short irons and take advantage of the opportunities when I get them. It doesn't ensure that you're going to play well in a week, but that would be one of the reasons why I pretty much have rarely ever missed this event. I think only one year in my career have I missed this event, and it's because the golf course suits my game and my style well and I'm going to show up and play the golf courses where I feel I have the best chances, and this would be one of them.

Q. FedExCup, has that changed your mentality as far as many tournaments you'll play? And how important is the Buick Open in points for FedExCup?
JIM FURYK: Well, they're all -- if I remember correctly, they're all even amount in importance for points. The majors are weighted 10 percent more, and every event, no matter strength of field or what, gets the same amount of points.
As far as changing my schedule, I'm pretty much playing most of the same events I've always played I'm going to play this year. I'm probably playing a few more events through the first eight or nine months of the year because our schedule has been squished in a little bit. The events that are played after The TOUR Championship, other than Vegas, aren't really events that I've played much in my career. So if I played 25 events through the first week of November, I'm probably not going to quite play 25 through the middle of say August, but our schedule has been kind of crunched together and I've played pretty much the same amount of events. I'm playing probably a few more than I would have through eight and a half months this year, I'll play more than I usually had, but I know that I'll be rewarded in the back end and get a lot more time off, if that makes sense.

Q. (No microphone).
JIM FURYK: I'd like to, but I have all of October off for the most part, and they only have one home game, so I'm a little upset about that. And I have a friend who's thinking about getting married on that weekend and I'm not happy. I'm thinking about trying to get out 6:00 a.m. Sunday morning to get to Pittsburgh, I probably won't go to sleep.

Q. (No microphone).
JIM FURYK: In Jacksonville.
STEWART MOORE: Jim Furyk, thanks for coming in. Best of luck this week.

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