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February 25, 2009

Jim Furyk


CHRIS REIMER: We'd like to welcome Jim Furyk to the media center. Jim, obviously a University of Arizona guy, it's obviously nice to come back to Tucson and obviously good to get a first round win here at this year's event.
JIM FURYK: Yeah, disappointed last year exiting in the first round, so I played pretty well for a lot of today. I hit a few loose shots. But in match play you can get away with those. And I played hard. It was nice to finish up with a birdie on 17. He made it close, but with the birdies at I guess it was 14 and 15, he cut it back to one and put a little more pressure on me, but I played well on 16 and 17 and was able to get out of it.
CHRIS REIMER: Talk a little bit about the birdie on 17. You are 1-up but you knock it in with a pretty close shot.
JIM FURYK: Yeah, I was kind of surprised. I think we both were surprised about how far the drives went down there. It's a long hole and I thought the wind was mostly right-to-left and not hurting, but I hit a drive that oh, geez, I don't know how far it went, but I hit a three-quarter nine in. I was almost going to hit a wedge at one time. But in the practice round it was all 6-irons, 5- and 6-irons, maybe a 7. I was killing the drive so I was a little surprised how far the ball went and it allowed me to get aggressive with the second shot.
I hit a 9-iron in there about four or five feet and had an awkward read on it. It was a little -- Mike and I couldn't really decide which way it was going to go, and I picked the line and hit it and it went in.

Q. Have you been able to play more than one or two days here to get down --
JIM FURYK: No, I arrived Sunday night from L.A. and I was a little worn out. I played nine on Monday and I played 18 yesterday and I only saw the back nine once, but I think the back nine's a touch more straightforward than the front. If I was going to play one twice, I think I did a good job playing the front nine twice.

Q. Is that a little harrowing going into a tournament only playing it one and a half times?
JIM FURYK: No, I'm really comfortable. By three if you haven't figured it out, you're not going to. But you pick up obviously little tidbits here and there throughout the years of courses, but when I play Majors, I'm comfortable at two; I'm really definitive by three. The one round you can catch, yeah, you can catch a little wind direction or something a little different and maybe get surprised here or there.
And obviously with the greens here, there's a lot going on on them. There's a lot of slopes and undulations, a lot of little pockets and places where they can tuck the pins. So I spent a lot of time on them in the practice rounds knowing I wasn't going to be out here that often and trying to figure out how to attack these pins.

Q. This is the latest you've started your season. Can you talk a little bit about that? Playing fewer events coming into an event like this where there's obviously a lot of stamina involved and things like than you feel it's been working out for you so far?
JIM FURYK: I didn't really do too much all that different this year. I didn't win last year and I was disappointed, but not being in the Mercedes I decided to kind of extend my holiday season to not be -- if you go ahead and win it's kind of good news/bad news. If you win in the year and you're in the Tournament of Champions, the Mercedes event, your holidays are kind of crunched in. You want to spend time with your family, want to have a good time, but once Christmas is over, you're out there grinding. And I watched as many football games and bowl games and be enjoyed my time more this year.
And this year not getting into the Mercedes it was the first time I ever skipped Sony, but I decided to kind of extend the holiday season a little bit and not rush to get ready in early January. And then the next three events that I took off were historically ones that I don't play that often.
So really my schedule hasn't changed. I would like to win some tournaments this year and would love to go back to Mercedes and therefore I would always play Sony behind it because I do really like the event.

Q. How many U of A chants did you get out there?
JIM FURYK: Quite a few. Quite a few. It's obviously a lot of fun to be back in Tucson. I was back in the fall, I don't think the course was ready, but I came back for the fund raiser and I had a day of golf, I just kind of hung out, I played with some friends. I hung out with the team a little bit.
And I just, I don't get back as much or as often as I would like, but it was also good I picked up the Cal game and that game when they beat Cal. So I enjoy the sports and I'm disappointed the basketball team's away this week, I would love to go down and see a game or two.
But I would like to get back more just to more than anything watch the football and basketball games, you enjoy going to a lot of sporting events.

Q. What was your Super Bowl experience like?
JIM FURYK: It was fun. It was fun. I was playing with Lynn Swann at the AT&T and I saw him at the Super Bowl and we have become pretty good friends. And everyone at AT&T is, you know, "Go Steelers" and congratulating me. And I'm thinking, I feel like the biggest idiot considering I'm playing with the guy that won four Super Bowls and all I did was kind of have a beer and cheer them on. So I didn't do anything.
But it's fun to watch your team play well and I went to both home playoff games and the Super Bowl and a bunch of games during the season, so it was a fun season. It was a good off season for me. It's what I like to do. I want to hang out and play with my kids and I love going to sporting events and I saw a bunch of them this year, not only Steelers football, but a bunch of football games and baseball games here and there and I enjoyed my time.

Q. Give us your thoughts on the golf course and the way it's been setup this week.
JIM FURYK: Well they obviously have a lot of options with the setup. It will keep our staff busy. A lot of tee placements, there's four or five holes on each side where they said they could use different tees. There's just a lot going on on this golf course.
Bunkering is, there's some holes, like 4 and 13 where bunkers look like there's no fairway there and there's really no clearcut avenue which way you want to decide to go down. There's no clearcut avenue for a decision where every player is going to go to try to hit it.
The greens probably are, I can't say that I played a golf course with greens that have this much slope and undulation and movement. And they're big greens, but they really get cut down in small little pockets. And I think it's an interesting golf course to say the least.
It definitely lends itself to match play. I think that it's, obviously Jack had this event in mind when he built it. We had committed to come here and he knew he was building this golf course for a match play event. So it's obvious that that's the case. It was never designed, I don't think, for a medal play event, but it's, it's got some -- it will be interesting.

Q. You didn't say, "I love this course, it suits my game", you didn't say that?
JIM FURYK: No, but I'm not sure -- after today, as short as -- it's so long on the card, so when you come here and you see 3,900 on basically every nine, and you say, wow, that's really long.
But then you have to subtract is some for the altitude, dry air, and the ball's just running so much in the fairways. If this place were soft, and the ball wasn't bouncing, it would be a bomber's paradise, but I'm going to bet that a lot of the bombers are going to walk in here and tell you that they're hindered or limited off the tee because the ball is bouncing through the fairways and around the doglegs.
So if we got a lot of rain or if it was cool, it would be a bomber's paradise, but playing real dry and firm and fast and hot, I think it kind of equalizes the field a little bit.

Q. Any idea where the state of your game is now or do you feel good about the state of your game going into the rest of the week?
JIM FURYK: I feel like it's improved. I thought I was a little bit more ready for Pebble than I was. I think I struggled with a little trust issue there and some little things in my swing. I was rusty there. And I played a lot of golf coming in, but obviously it's different than playing tournament golf.
So I thought my game was in a little better shape, but I have seen some things I've been real disappointed in and things that I haven't been happy with and some of the shots that I've hit, but then I feel like I'm improving a little bit every day and every week and I'm getting a lot more comfortable and back to normal.

Q. Is it your outlook that your best years are still to come?
JIM FURYK: I would hope so. I would hope so. I'm 38 right now. I'll be 39 later this year in May. I realize that we all get to the point where you reach the top of the mountain and you're looking down. But I really feel like -- I really feel like I have a lot of good golf left in me and I definitely, it's not like a year or two, I believe I have some years.
My best golf? Yeah, I would love to win a lot more golf tournaments and I would love to win some more major championships, and if I do that, then my best years will be ahead of me.
CHRIS REIMER: Thank you, Jim.
JIM FURYK: Geez, giving me the old questions already.

End of FastScripts

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