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September 4, 2009

Jim Furyk


DOUG MILNE: We'd like to welcome Jim Furyk here to the interview room here after a very successful round 1 of the Deutsche Bank Championship. Bogey-free 8-under par 63, obviously a lot of things were clicking for you today. Maybe just a few opening comments on the state of your game and just what went right today.
JIM FURYK: Well, I felt comfortable with my game. I felt like I played pretty well last week. I went through a little while there after the British Open where I came home and the three events at Flint, Akron and PGA and just never really got over the hump, didn't play that well. And I felt like last week I was starting to turn around, felt pretty good about my game at home before going there and practicing.
I felt comfortable out there today. I hit the ball very solid, I hit a bunch of fairways, a bunch of greens, and more importantly not only hit the green quite often but set myself up with a lot of good opportunities and uphill putts and just gave myself a lot of opportunities and took advantage of eight of them.
I felt good out there, and hopefully I'll kind of stay in that rhythm all week and hoping to continue that feel.

Q. Did you sense a round like this was close, was imminent?
JIM FURYK: Well, I don't know if I ever think about going out there -- I feel really good about my game, I think I can go out and shoot a 63 or a 64. I think it's more a matter of I felt comfortable. I felt like I had two good practice days the last two days, and when I left the golf course I felt like my game was in a pretty good state.
You know, but I think instead, I'm more thinking about having a good golf tournament if I go out and shoot 4- or 5-under. I think at that point mentally you're trying to stay out of your own way and go out there and be real patient. If the putts happen to fall, if you hit some good shots, great; stay patient, think about it happening the next day.
Really what I was going out there to do was keep myself in a good mental frame and just kind of stay out of the way, hit some good shots and build on it.
But I got off to a good jump. The round really started birdieing 1, 2, 3, 4. I hit it 15 feet, about five feet, six feet, and then hit it in there 20 feet for eagle on 4, so I had a two-putt birdie. I tried not to jump ahead of myself. I kind of wanted to almost start the round over from that point and say, okay, I'm 4-under now, let's see what we can shoot the last 14 holes. And I go out there and there a play a good patient round of golf, and I was able to do that.

Q. What's the strategy for tomorrow?
JIM FURYK: Strategy, get up, assess the conditions tomorrow and try to play another round of golf. You've got to put today behind you. But I'm going to feed off the momentum, and I really felt comfortable over the ball today in my setup. And what I mean by that is at times I've felt a little crossed up where I don't feel like my feet, my shoulders, everything was kind of matching. And today when I got over the ball, I just -- when I looked down the fairway, I felt like my body was in a pretty good position, and that makes it that much easier to make a nice swing and get your swing down the line and your ball starting down the line.
I think tomorrow it's get there on the range, try to get a rhythm going, try to get that same feeling back, and if you do, great; if not, try to figure out why not, but I think it's to go play a good round of golf tomorrow and not worry about if it's 2-under or 8-under or whatever it is, but continue to play well and put myself in position for the last two rounds.

Q. How was your lie in the rough off the green on 18?
JIM FURYK: It wasn't bad. It was sitting most of the way down. It kind of -- the rough was kind of blown out in all directions, so it was basically a little bit like a bunker shot where you're going to make a little bit of a big swing with an open face. You know you're going to get the ball fat, but I thought I'd be able to make the ball come out soft out of the lie.
It came out pretty much how I predicted, and I felt like it was a decent lie for the shot that I had. If I needed to run it across the green, think it would have been a lot more difficult lie.

Q. You've done just about everything right over a good chunk of the year except win. Has that been eating at you at all?
JIM FURYK: Yeah, because it sounds like the same stuff every time about last year at this time. I've had two pretty solid years. I wasn't able to win last year in '08, and I haven't been able to win this year in '09, and yeah, it absolutely eats at me.
But that being said, I wouldn't be a competitor, I wouldn't have a lot of faith in myself or a lot of trust in my game or a lot of belief in my game if it didn't bother me. But I'm at ease on the golf course. I know that the way to get to that ultimate goal isn't to -- I can't be thinking about that while I'm playing a golf tournament and playing a round of golf. It's all the things I need to do while I'm on the golf course to ultimately get to that end.
I'm trying my best, I'm playing my hardest, I'm working hard, and I think when you're doing that, you go home and you can sleep. If I could look at myself and say I really haven't put the time in the last two years, I haven't worked that hard, I haven't -- I could have spent more time on putting, I could have spent more time on the range, then yeah, I think it would be a little bit more difficult. But it's not really me. It's not my style. I've worked hard at it, and I know that if I'm patient and keep working hard, good things will come.

Q. Have you found yourself at all analyzing more at the end of a tournament, not so much a round, where were the two shots or something?
JIM FURYK: Well, you can always come up with those. I think when you finish 35th, I don't think I'm really worrying too much about that as far as there's lots of things you could have done better. When I've had some good close calls, and I've had quite a few of them this year, The Memorial probably being the last one, where I look back and what do I come up with down the stretch on the back nine where everyone kind of faded except for Tiger on myself is I hit a putt too hard on 15. I was jacked up. I had a really sharp, breaking putt, and I hit the hole, but ultimately I hit the ball a little bit too hard through the break because I was excited and kind of lost focus on the speed on one putt.
But other than that I played great. I just got beat by someone that's better. I can live with that. I mean, those are easy to get over.
There's been other events where I felt like I could have played better. I didn't hit the shots down the stretch that I needed to to win the tournament, and those are where you reflect and you think about what you could have done better.

Q. Did you take note of Stricker's 8-under, and if so, did you pay any attention to it or did you think that was something to go after?
JIM FURYK: I didn't notice. When I was warming up this morning or getting ready, I saw that Scott Verplank was 5-under pretty quick; he was leading and had a good round. He was 5-under through 10 someone said. I didn't actually look at a board on the golf course until maybe coming up 7, and I had some time. While my partners were playing I looked at a board and saw that Strick had shot 8-under. At that time I was 5-under.
So early in the morning or afternoon on Thursday when you're out there early in a round, I'm just trying to get my feet under me, get comfortable, get a good round playing. But I didn't know that he had shot 8-under before I teed off or know what was going on. I just wanted to go out there and play the best I could really.

Q. You mentioned leaving the ball under the hole a lot today. How important is that out here?
JIM FURYK: It can be somewhat important. I think there's a lot of places on these greens where -- I thought there was a lot of accessible pins today for the conditions we had. But there will be a lot of pin placements the next couple of days where I won't be able to do that. You kind of have to play to the fat part of the green.
Today I felt like with the wind conditions, with the weather, there was a lot of accessible pins. But it always seems like that when you're hitting the ball well and you're playing pretty good.
These greens are somewhat quick. I think a lot of them are cut up into kind of sections, if that makes sense, with ridges and tiers and different things, and I was able to get the ball in the proper quadrant or section of the green and give myself a lot of opportunities.

Q. Second shot on 18, what did you have for yardage and what was your idea on that second shot?
JIM FURYK: I was 226 to the front, 231 pin. If anything we had some wind hurting, and it was just a little bit too much for me to go in there with my hybrid as far as distance-wise. But I also had a very downhill, sidehill lie with the ball below my feet, and basically I aimed it well left of the pin. I probably aimed it a good 15 yards left of the pin, was just trying to take a 3-wood and hit it kind of soft and solid, just kind of bump it up there and hit it real solid on that downhill lie and get it up in the air and let it fall to the right. I overcut it but I stayed down through it pretty good, kept with it, hit the ball pretty solid and was able to put the ball in a place where I didn't have too bad of an up-and-down.

Q. What kind of target or how hard of a shot is it to get the ball onto the green with your tee shot on No. 4? What has to happen for you to hit it?
JIM FURYK: Well, the conditions for me are nice. It's 280-whatever, say 287 or something to the front from the back edge, so we're always going to have something in the 280 range to the front. I would like to see just a little bit of bounce, and for me I can kind of hit a nice smooth driver and kind of cut it. You kind of have to get the right bounce. You not only have to hit it very, very straight, but you have to get the right bounce. And that was today on the front.
Now, when the pin is in the back, I'm not even sure sometimes you're always trying to hit the green. You're trying to put it on the green or the correct side of the green. Today with where the pin was, you'd be better off almost being in that bunker, just in the bunker or short left of the green. But for most of the days, especially when that pin goes in the back or alongside the bunker, you're going to want to try to get the ball on the green or right of it to give yourself a chance at an up-and-down.
It's not really that important to get it on the green; it's more important to get it the right distance and the right side of the green so you set yourself up for an up-and-down.

Q. Is there any option off that tee realistically?
JIM FURYK: I mean, the only time I guess I wouldn't have driver in my hand is if I felt like I -- if it was severely into the wind or if it was really soft and into the wind, I might not be able to hit the ball far enough to get an angle certain times.

Q. How hard is that lay-up shot?
JIM FURYK: I don't know, I haven't looked at it the last three years; how's that? I was looking at it yesterday because in the pro-am it was into the wind, it was real soft and everything was playing long yesterday morning. I think you have to hit a little draw. What are you going to hit off the tee, a 5- or a 6-iron probably. I can't imagine it would be as hard as hitting a green. We should be all right. That fairway is going to be wider than the green.

Q. I guess I meant the shot if you were to lay up there.
JIM FURYK: Yeah, really, I think it would be. If you laid up, your second shot would be more difficult than if you just knocked it up there on the green with a wedge. But there are places you can get yourself into on that hole where you might not be able to get your second shot on the green if it gets in that bunker or you give yourself a poor angle.
DOUG MILNE: We talked about 18, but if you'd just run us through your plethora of birdies and give us some clubs and yardages.
JIM FURYK: Hybrid wedge on 1 to about 15 feet.
Driver, laid up on 2 and hit a pitching wedge to about five feet.
6-iron on 3 to about six feet.
Drove it on 4 with a driver to about somewhere between 20 and 25 feet and two-putted for birdie.
And then I hit a driver and a 7-iron on 6 to about eight feet.
14 was a driver and a 6-iron. I made a good putt there, probably a good 30-footer.
And then 17 I hit a 3-wood and a 9-iron to about six feet.
And driver, 3-wood, little pitch to about four feet on 18.
DOUG MILNE: Jim, thanks for your time. Congratulations on a great day.

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