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June 28, 2007

Jim Furyk


JIM FURYK: Obviously I'm happy with my score, getting off to a good start here. Scoring is going to be low today. The greens are, like we talked about earlier in the week, the greens were soft early in the week and then it rained yesterday, and that's pretty much ensured that we're going to see soft greens all week. Guys are going to get aggressive. I think the time to go out there say early in the morning, you'll obviously have very good greens, then with the greens being as soft as they were in the rain yesterday, you could tell they started getting beat up from the traffic. And Thursday and Friday in the afternoons it's going to be bumpier out there because they are soft and you have more players playing on those days.
I'm glad to get off and make some good putts and get a good score out there to start the week. And you always know out here you can't let up, you have keep going, and keep firing some good numbers.

Q. How important is it, especially at a course like this when you know the winning score is going to be low, to get off to a low score and not get too far behind right off the bat?
JIM FURYK: It definitely helps. 6 under, by no means is going to be leading or anything, but it's a good solid score. It keeps me in good position in the tournament. You basically know that you have to keep firing some pretty good numbers here. It would be nice to get an 8 or 9 under, or something like that, and that could make up for a 2 under, let's say, but for the most part you need to keep firing some pretty good numbers and keep shooting 68 or 67, 66, 65, and posting a good score and keep trying to get under par.
Historically, someone has gotten to 20 under or more here for the last so many years, so the numbers have been good.

Q. (No microphone)... is it fun to play courses like this sometimes?
JIM FURYK: It doesn't really matter to me. The score, I've never judged a course by the score, actually. I've played well at the U.S. Open when even par has been a good score, and I've played well at an event like this where 20 under was good, or Las Vegas where I had to shoot in the high 20s to win for five days.
I've tried to pick and choose courses that really suited my game and style, and playing an old style, what I consider a pretty good golf course is fun for me, so I don't worry about what that score may be, I pick and choose the courses I like. And obviously you can't do that in a major championship, but there are a lot of U.S. Opens that I show up for and I feel much more comfortable than others just because of the golf course.
But most of my schedule I make around the courses that I like, and this would be one of them.

Q. (No microphone)... you're not having to grind it out every week to make the top 125, that type of thing?
JIM FURYK: I think early in your career, as a rookie, as a guy out of Tour school, you're playing in a lot of events that you can get into originally. When I first got on tour, I was playing, I wanted to keep my card. I wanted to play as many events as I could to get to know the golf courses, and then over the years you start picking and choosing where you want to play on your past history on courses, how well you've played, courses that you like, so it is nice to -- once you get in the top 125 you usually get to pick and choose your schedule pretty much. There are a few events you still have to qualify for, but for the most part you can pick and choose the events you like and take the weeks off where you're not as comfortable.

Q. Every week you've gone through this for years it seems like press focus is on who is in and who is not in in a particular field. How gratifying is it as a member of this Tour to see that this year a number of the events that didn't have the so-called superstar names delivered tremendous excitement? Colonial was great, Atlanta was really good, last week was off the charts, improved the TV ratings. Colonial would have been better had you one, but just as a member of this league, how gratifying is it to see that kind of excitement delivered on a week-in, week-out basis?
JIM FURYK: I think as players we all know that there are a lot of players out here that have a lot of game, and a lot more than are given credit for. Still, having a Tiger Woods at your event is going to draw a big buzz with your sponsors, with television, with the fans in that town, and we realize that he's had an affect.
On the other hand, like you said, Tiger obviously usually plays this event, he's not here. Phil Mickelson isn't here. It doesn't mean we can't have a great golf tournament. I think the players have realized that after a long time. I think a lot of the fans and the sponsors and the media realize that or they wouldn't have supported us so much over all these years. Golf has really boomed in the last 10 years, and events that say Tiger hasn't played at in the last 10 years have also grown immensely.
I think our whole package and our whole product has grown a lot. A lot of thanks goes to Tiger, but I think there are also a lot of great players, whether it's foreign players, we've had a great foreign influx over the last 10, 15 years, and I think also a lot of great American players. Our product I think has been a very good one and it's reflected in the sponsorships we have and the following we have right now.

Q. Having played this tournament many times and as a former champion, you went off early today and not really knowing what the guys are shooting exactly. Did you have a number in mind? And is there a number that's not low enough that's going to make you press the next day or where do you stand not knowing what you have to shoot?
JIM FURYK: I never have a number in mind when I go out, when the day starts. Sometimes when I'm trying to win a golf tournament like the U.S. Open, I get out, I see the conditions, I get an idea in my head what I think is going to win the golf tournament, but usually not until I get on the golf course and see how things are going.
It's Thursday, so as far as being in the first round of an event, 7:27, I think we're all just making sure we're awake and get out there and get off to a decent start. As far as a number, just trying to shoot as good a number as you possibly can. One more would have been better today, but you get what you get. If you don't play well particularly, and you go out and you shoot even par, 2 under, 3 under, the tendency would be to want to press the next day, but usually that kind of turns things into a bad situation as well. You just have to go out the next day with the same mind frame and try to be patient, try to pick and choose your spots and make a bunch of birdies.
You want to play aggressively, but if you start playing -- start trying to hit stupid shots, it's going to get you in trouble. Aggressive is fine, as long as you're playing intelligently.

Q. Because you've played so well here over the years, when you get off to a start like this, does it get you thinking some good things could lie ahead for you, even though you still have three rounds to play?
JIM FURYK: I think I come here with a lot of good memories and a lot of good rounds under my belt. I come to an event like this thinking about trying to get myself in position, what's it going to take, what do I need to work on, how is the course playing this week, what's it going to take to get myself in a position through the first few rounds so that come Sunday I might have a chance to win this golf tournament.
Going out today it's definitely a piece of the puzzle, but there are still three more rounds to try to win the golf tournament, and tomorrow I'll put that behind me and fit another piece in there and play another good round and try to get myself in good position again.
DOUG MILNE: 6-under 66, thanks Jim.

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