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March 13, 2008

Jim Furyk


JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Thank you for joining us in the media center at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Nice start to the week. Pretty tough out there today.
JIM FURYK: It was breezy, but I've always thought this golf course was tough. There's a lot of trouble. There's some very difficult holes wrapped around the lakes and ponds. There's some danger out there.
I thought 17 and 18 played exceptionally hard today back into the breeze. I think the wind is changing now where it might even be a little more down breeze for the afternoon guys, and they have to turn around and play the holes inward into the wind on the other side.
Yeah, obviously the big key this week is with some of the struggles they have had with the greens a couple months ago, they look fine now, but they are a touch slower and a touch softer.
Actually, they are slower and softer than they have been in the past. I think if we can get a little more aggressive with our iron shots just because we can stop the ball in spots, or at least I can stop the ball in spots where I usually can't.
So it's allowed me to be a little more aggressive in some areas, and there's a lot of slope on these greens. And when they are very, very quick, you have to respect that slope maybe just a little bit more than we have been able to this week.
I've played here over the years where I really struggled to hold some of these greens. It's nice to be able to hit a 5-iron in and watch it stop.

Q. What's the state of your game right now in your mind? Where are you?
JIM FURYK: I think it's decent. You know, it's not where I want it to be but I'm not upset with it. I think right now I would like to -- I've played a good round today. I would like to keep playing and have another good round, another good round, get a good week under my belt and build that one week to a few weeks and right now get some confidence and just try to start building something right now is my goal.
I think some of my West Coast, when you look over my finishes and how I played, it's not terrible, but obviously not what I wanted. I think at times the finishes looked worse than what they were, if that makes sense.
If I had to really complain about one thing, I've told one thing, I didn't really feel like I putted that well on the West Coast. I didn't score that well. I didn't get the ball in the hole that well. I didn't think that well. My short game wasn't sharp. My ball-striking was decent.
I focused on all those things and I've been working on some different things with Srixon as far as technology-wise and trying to improve my equipment and improve my game at this stage.
I think it's in all right shape but right now I think I'm in need of really building. I would really like to in the next three weeks have three solid outings and get some momentum and some confidence going into Augusta.

Q. What tweaks have you made with equipment in the last couple months?
JIM FURYK: We've been working real hard for a while on the driver, and it didn't make it in play this week but we're getting close. Tinkering with some irons over the years and just trying to find ways that I can improve my game and then I'm also working on some technique with my dad and things that I think I can improve on, shots that I would like to hit but that I'm not hitting right now and things I've been able to do in the past I'm not doing right now and things I've never been able to do I'm trying to improve on.
So just really working on -- kind of in a fun part of the year where I'm really trying to -- I'm excited about what I see, yet I'm still trying to build confidence if that makes sense. So it takes time. You don't build confidence in one day or one week and just kind of roll and get some momentum and that's what I'm trying to do.

Q. When really good putters get on greens that are inconsistent, what's the biggest adjustment that you have to make?
JIM FURYK: I don't think whether you're a good putter, bad putter, mediocre putter, and I don't think these greens are as bad as maybe what's being led to be. They are very puttable. They are fine. They are just a touch slower than usual. They have got some bad spots in them but it's not like we are putting holes in the middle of the bad spots.
Our staff is going to keep it away from that. You're never going to have a 10-footer putting through a really bad patch or something like that. You might have a 40- or 50-footer, but not making those anyway.
The greens are fine and they are just a little -- I think a lot of us have a memory of standing over certain putts and remembering how quick they were, and now it's just hard to make yourself give it that little bit more; when you're uphill or into the grain, it's hard to give it that little bit more because your memory takes over at times.
I don't really think they are rolling that inconsistent. We've played on a lot worse greens on the West Coast almost every damn week. (Laughter) We putted on a lot worse greens on the West Coast I promise you that, a lot of weeks on my West Coast.

Q. So are they about a foot slower or can you measure that?
JIM FURYK: Yeah, but I don't have that tool in my bag. I'm sorry.

Q. So mentally, you can't?
JIM FURYK: I'm not sure to be honest with you. A foot, foot and a half maybe. We always like to say, oh, these things are rolling 13 but none of these really have an idea. Sometimes they measure those things in the morning or the afternoon and they are a lot quicker because they get baked out.
They just don't have that extra trickle where the ball can -- the ball can still get away when you hit a bad putt. Before you could hit some pretty decent putts and the ball could get away from you on these greens. They were pretty severe.

Q. Any part of you surprised, happy, whatever your emotion might be when you see Fred Couples on top of the leaderboard? I thought he had semi-retired.
JIM FURYK: He wasn't around much last year but always a threat, I know that. Definitely not a lot of guys can take a ton of time off and then come out and be extremely competitive. But obviously he's always been able to do that, and not surprised by it.
I think when he's healthy, and I think he's still motivated to play because he's out here; doesn't have to play, so he's here because he enjoys it and he wants to be here. When he's healthy, he's always a threat.
JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Thank you for joining us.

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