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December 13, 2007

Jim Furyk


JIM FURYK: I'm happy with the round, good start, haven't played in -- I think I had about seven weeks off, so to get out there, I hit a bad drive off of 1, but after that I really hit the ball well on the front nine, hit a bunch of greens, made three birdies. Shooting 3-under was probably a little bit better than my expectations.
I've worked pretty hard the last few weeks to get my name in shape so it was nice to come out and knock some of the rust off, but a long week to go. Hopefully I'll keep improving and feeling more comfortable with my game.

Q. Why did you decide to add this to your schedule? You figured it was a good way to get a jump start on next year?
JIM FURYK: Yeah, I think either way the tournaments I was planning on playing, I was going to have a long time off before January 1, and to go in there cold and trying to find your game early on and stuff, you want to -- I just thought that I could knock some of the rust off this week and it would help me prepare to get ready for January 1 and hopefully get off to a good start to the season.

Q. Zach is sort of reaping the benefits of winning a Masters, playing a lot of these post-TOUR events. He used the phrase, silly season? This is not a silly season tournament, this is a real golf tournament. Do you sort of feel that? You've played here before and you've played a lot of the other events. Can you compare?
JIM FURYK: I think when you think of silly season you think of like made-for-TV events, Shootout, The Skins Game and different formats, but having a four-round golf tournament and having 16 of the best players here, yeah, it has more of a golf tournament feel to it. Obviously it's a small field, you don't have to beat -- you have to beat 15 players rather than 143, but I think, yeah, it's a golf tournament. I never really looked at it -- who of the players ever coined the phrase silly season? I don't think any of us ever came up with that. I don't think we look at stuff in that manner. We still have to work, go out there and prepare to play.

Q. A little bit off topic, but I was talking to Fred. Fred mentioned that he would like to at some point be a Ryder Cup or Presidents Cup captain. Do you think he'd be a good one? And also he's decided if he were, he would like to make his assistant captains Michael Jordan and Robin Williams. What is your feeling about that?
JIM FURYK: That's funny (laughter). I think Fred would do a good job. I think anyone that has a passion for our sport and a passion for that event in particular, to go out there and represent your country, everyone has got a little different take, a little different angle or look at how to handle those events. Freddie played in quite a few of them and represented our country for a long time, so I think he'd do well. I think anyone that says, hey, I really want to be a part of this and I'm really passionate about it, as all of our captains have been, would do a fine job. I'll stay away from the whole Robin Williams thing (laughter).

Q. What's the toughest thing to get back after seven weeks after for you?
JIM FURYK: The ability to score, get the ball in the hole. You know, go to the range and work on your swing and getting the feel back. You can go and work on your chipping and putting, but just being on the golf course, picking clubs, hitting shots, that knack. You have guys in the middle of the year that are struggling with their game a little bit and they come in the pressroom and they say I'm hitting it pretty good, I don't feel like I'm doing that bad but just not getting it in the hole. A lot of times the guys that win the tournament, they didn't hit it any better, they just found a way to score.
When you take time off, the ability to get the ball in the hole is what you lose. When we come out and we say we're knocking the rust off or not comfortable, it's just playing some rounds and getting back in that frame of mind.

Q. Padraig Harrington has talked about how difficult it is to schedule, there's so many good events, you can't play them all, and actually agonizes over cutting the ones out that he can't play. I just wonder, do you go through that at all?
JIM FURYK: Agonize? It's painful, but I've seen the struggle (laughter). I can't remember who said it on TOUR, but they said the problem now is there's too many good events on TOUR, and I tend to agree with that.
For me personally the six or seven events that were after the TOUR Championship this year, only one of them did I really play, Las Vegas, consistently. So now those used to be weeks off sprinkled in between some events that I love to play. Now you kind of took my weeks off out and I'm struggling. If I play all the same events that I have in the past, it's almost too much golf. I'm not fresh come the end of the year. And then you really don't want to take some events off.
But there's a couple events that I kind of like that I can't get to anymore, and it's difficult. Honestly if I wanted to take care of my body and feel 100 percent at the end of the year, there's probably more that I should take off, and that's what I think a lot of us are going through.

Q. I don't know how much you've heard about this because you were out on the course, but the Mitchell report came out today and named 85 names, and as a baseball enthusiast I just wonder what your thoughts are on that, whether you think it's a sad day.
JIM FURYK: Baseball enthusiast might be stretching it for me.

Q. As a general sports fan.
JIM FURYK: I'd be football one, basketball two and baseball would be a distant three for me. I enjoy the sport, I love going to the park, but I could find myself watching football from about 1:00 to 11:30 on a Sunday. I can't get through a baseball game on television for nine innings. I love the game, I played it as a kid, but enthusiast would be tough.
You know, unfortunately they made the bed, they have to lie in it at this point, and hopefully they get things settled.
I think all the signs were there, heads were turning and looking the other way years and years and years ago, and now they have to live with what's happened and try to sort it out and fix it. 85 names, that's amazing. I guess I'm enough of a sports fan and baseball fan that I'm curious to see who the names were. Is it hard evidence that those people --

Q. Yeah, trainers named names. (No microphone.) A whole bunch of MVPs, Miguel Tejada, basically everybody who's been any good in the last ten years.
JIM FURYK: It's sad. The names are public, I can go on line and pull up the Mitchell report and it lists 85 names?

Q. The new drug testing policies next year, do you feel there was a need for something like that? Obviously in baseball but there hasn't been any musterings or rumblings of that type in golf, so do you feel a necessary thing?
JIM FURYK: It's a trick question, unnecessary. I don't think any of us feel there's an issue or a problem, but I like the fact that we're doing it. I like the fact that they're testing and I think it's a good idea.
The problem is it's a Catch 22. If we don't test we get criticized, if we do test we get criticized because it looks like we have a problem. In baseball they have been testing and a lot of the fans don't think they're catching the players. There's always details.
But I think it was a good measure for us, and I see no negative in us starting up the program. It's just right now the players I think really have to educate themselves on our procedures and what is right, what is wrong, and take a look at the prescriptions and different things that you have just to make sure you're fine and there's no embarrassment at the end. But I don't think there's an issue, and I'd be very, very surprised if any of our players test positive.

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