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July 5, 2007

Jim Furyk


JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Thank you for joining us for a few minutes at the media center here at the AT&T National. Nice start to the week, 4-under 66. Just talk about what you did well out there and maybe the course and the conditions, maybe even after the rain with the short rain delay.
JIM FURYK: Yeah, conditions were soft. When we first teed off, it looked like we were only going to get a couple of holes in. When I was on the fourth green, we had that little 15- or 20-minute delay.
But I think we're fortunate to get the round in. Obviously with the humid conditions, a little bit of rain today, the golf course was soft, greens were soft.
Things I did well today, I hit a lot of fairways today. I probably only missed a fairway or two. Kept the ball in front of me and had a lot of opportunities with irons and was able to hit a few good iron shots and knock in some putts and really just kept it in front of me all day and played a solid round of golf.
So happy with the way the first day went, and I expect with our weather report the next three days, it's supposed to be hot, sunny and possibly this place could firm up and even get tougher.

Q. On the 10th hole, the par 3, you had a little downhill left-to-righter, did you see a clear line? What was your mind-set on that?
JIM FURYK: I hit it too hard. Problem was I had about a 20-, 25-footer -- probably 20-footer straight up the hill that I knocked four feet by. So that was the poor putt. I kind of jammed one there and thought a little bit too much about making it and hit it too hard. It got by, got out of hand a little bit and I had a little tough left-to-right 4-footer that was really dependent on speed and hit it too hard. I basically knocked it about four feet by and I had to make a good putt coming back for bogey. Probably wasn't as much the line was just hit it the wrong speed, two putts in a row, really.

Q. Along the same lines, the way you struck the ball, it could have been really, really low; do you have three or four left, do you think?
JIM FURYK: I don't know. I made a lot of the birdie opportunities I had. I didn't have it real close a lot of the day. I missed a short birdie on 6 and one on 18. But I didn't leave all that much out there. It's not like I missed a whole bunch of putts inside of ten feet today. The 3-putt was probably the only sour note, and the bogey that I made out there.
But I was able to make a really good putt for par on the very next hole on 11 after I pulled a 3-iron in that left bunker and hit what I thought was a great bunker shot to about ten feet, and then I knocked a 10-footer in that was coming down over the ridge and breaking about a foot and a half. That was a little bit of a bonus. That kind of calmed me down a little bit and I played real solid on the way in.

Q. Everyone is comparing this course to -- well, talking about it as a U.S. Open venue. Do you have the same mind-set that you would if this was a U.S. Open week?
JIM FURYK: It's set up a little bit the same way. I think the fairways are probably a touch wider than they would be in the U.S. Open. The rough is there. It's very penal and difficult. You don't see a lot of guys digging one out of the rough and knocking it on the green with a good opportunity.
I think the difference right now is a lot of the softer conditions with all of the humidity in the air, the rain that we've had; the golf course -- the fairways are actually relatively firm but the greens haven't had a chance to firm up. And some dry, hot weather might do the trick and this weekend we could see some different conditions.

Q. I just wondered, at the top of the leaderboard with you, there's shorter hitters here, Fred Funk and Corey Pavin. What does that say about the course for starters --
JIM FURYK: So what are you trying to say about me?

Q. I wasn't trying to --
JIM FURYK: No, no. Uh-huh. (Laughter).

Q. What does that say about the course and the setup, and as a follow, what Fred Funk is doing at his age right now, how impressive is that to you and what's your take on him?
JIM FURYK: Well, the setup here, obviously you always -- length is an advantage and always should be. But this is a golf course in which you've got to place the ball off the tee. And you can be as long as you want, but if you don't get the ball in the fairway, you're not going to score well. Corey and Fred hit fairways pretty much as well as anyone.
It's not, I wouldn't call it a short course by any means, but it's not an overly-long golf course either. It's got some bruisers as far as that stretch of 10 and 11 is obviously as difficult a two holes as I think we play back-to-back all year. 6 can play very long at times, too.
You know, they are obviously very accomplished players and capable of winning at any time. And what Freddie is doing is pretty amazing. The guy is I think 51 now, and he's been able to compete past where most guys his age have. You have the Raymond Floyds and Jay Haas's and guys that have done it in the past, but very few guys are able to hang on at that age and come out here and be very competitive, and Fred has won an event already this year.
It's pretty amazing. But he's got a lot of heart and a lot of desire. I think not only physically is his game good, but mentally he's still got that drive and that desire, and I think at that age, that's kind of what fuels you.

Q. I don't know if you assess your year in the middle of the year, but do you look at it through the prism of you have six Top-10s and a couple of runner-ups and you're playing well, but are you disappointed you haven't won this year? How do you balance the two feelings?
JIM FURYK: Well, I think it's a little of both. Fourth is still better than fifth is better than sixth and it's better than finishing 50th. But it's also frustrating to knock on the door like I did at the U.S. Open, like I did at Colonial; had an opportunity last week and didn't play well at the weekend.
My last three for four outings, I've had good opportunities to win and haven't been able to do it. So that part of it is frustrating. But I think you take -- at the moment, if you asked me Sunday night of those events, I was obviously frustrated, and my remarks at that point would probably be a little bit more out of frustration.
When you have time to cool down from that and think about it, obviously I'm happy about how I'm playing. I played all right at the Masters. But right after the Masters and right before the Masters I didn't play particularly well. And I had a six-week stretch there where I wasn't really happy with my game; to turn that around and play pretty decent at THE PLAYERS Championship. Go to Colonial and almost win, and then the last few weeks.
Then I turn around and look at it and think about my game is coming around, I'm playing well and I just want to keep trying to knock on the door. It's a lot more fun to wake up Sunday morning with a chance than teeing off real early and trying to figure out how quick you can get to the next stop or get home.
I want to keep trying to put myself in those positions and give myself some opportunities.

Q. The response has been pretty good about the 10th hole, the change here. What do you think about the 10th?
JIM FURYK: You know, it's a very difficult golf hole. I think for the length of the hole, the reason I say it's -- the reason I think it's so tough is obviously you have the water short, and the bank where the ball is always going to come back in the water. For a 220-yard shot, the left side of the green is about 16 yards deep and the center of the green is about 17 yards deep. That's small.
So if the greens were very, very firm, it would be an extremely, an extremely difficult shot. Right now, with the greens holding. The pin is on the right, the it's 25 feet deep over there, you have a lot more green to work with and they moved the tee up today which I would guess is because you've got guys starting on that hole on 10. You don't want to putt a guy in there about 225 over water in the wind on the first tee right out of the block. Tees were up a little bit today.
But it's a very difficult hole I think. But, you know, rest of the golf course -- but yeah, I like the golf hole. I think it's very pretty. Do I think it's the best hole on the golf course? No. But I don't think it's a bad hole by any means. But I like the hole. I think it's a good hole.
I guess I'm not going to do back flips and rave about it because I think it's the best hole on the golf course but I think it's a good solid hole. That's because there are so many good ones on this golf course.

Q. Do you think you have an advantage with Fluff being your caddie and he's a member?
JIM FURYK: Somewhat. He has played here a lot and he knows the greens pretty well. He was able to help out last time I was here on a few putts, and today on a few key putts where he made some good reads.
Ultimately, though, I still have to hit the golf shots, but it's nice to have -- I'm comfortable on this golf course already. And then to have him go around this place a bunch of times on our off-weeks and know the golf course so well, it's, you know, it can only help, put it that way. As far as hopefully will it make a little bit of difference; I'd like to have a putt on Sunday to win and for him to say, it looks like it's a cup out but it's right edge and say that it made the biggest difference in the world.
He'll make some reads this week that will definitely help me. My job hopefully is to get them on-line and knock some in.
JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Let's go through your birdies and bogeys and we'll finish up here.
JIM FURYK: Good birdie right out of the box on No. 1. I hit a driver and a pitching wedge to about I'd say win feet and knocked that in.
Driver and a 6-iron to about eight feet on No. 3.
Then No. 8, I hit my hybrid, like a 1-iron off the tee and a pitching wedge to about eight feet.
Then we talked about 3-iron off 10 that I was 20, 25 feet short and I hit the first putt too hard and missed it on the way back.
I hit a 3-iron on 13 to about three feet.
On 16, I hit a driver off the tee. I laid up with 3-iron. I hit my gap wedge to about seven feet behind the hole.
Thank you very much.

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