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October 6, 2009

Jim Furyk


JIM FURYK: After The Ryder Cup, the major differences probably in strategy are that everyone is going to play the Thursday and Friday match. The only day that you're going to have to sit players is two on Saturday morning and two on Saturday afternoon, where in The Ryder Cup you're sitting four guys every team play. So you're sitting four guys here and 16 in The Ryder Cup. That's a huge difference.
And there, the captains put their cards out, you put them together and that's who is playing. Here, you actually get to -- and you can bet that every time they bring the cards in, here is the lineup, here is the deal, you try to figure out whether your captain put you in and they had a rebuttal for that or whether you were the rebuttal. So everyone knows when you go out exactly where you stand. That's an interesting dynamic.
This event seems to be a touch friendlier. You don't hear about the animosity and you don't hear about the friction that you've heard about in The Ryder Cup that's built over the years. It still can get a little chippy, but for the most part, the guys that play on the International Team, a good percentage of them live in the United States. I see Vijay on a weekly basis at home. I realize he's on the other team, but he lives in my backyard.
So I think that it's got some differences. There's things about both events that I love and like.

Q. Were any of the greens spotty at all?
JIM FURYK: You know what, I'm all mixed up on the hole numbers from last time. But what used to be 1 is now 16. That green probably has -- the ones that are spotty have -- they just have a little bit more poa in them, they have like patches, or whatever that grew in in the patches. I'm not sure.
On the ones that are poor, you can see two different types of grass on the greens, and so you see little patches. I don't know if that's a green that was there or the new grass that's grown in, I'm not sure.
I think Tiger actually said it the best. They are not as good as they were in 2005, but we had heard some pretty bad stuff from afar before coming in, and I think they are better than everyone expected.

Q. Are they going to affect play at all?
Y.E. YANG: Well, as the players -- even the guys over here on Sunday and Monday, they said, wow if Sunday to Monday they made a huge jump and they are better today than yesterday. That's a positive sign. The weather report is good, that's a positive sign. You're only putting 24 guys out there, so it's not like they are going to get pounded.
There's not a lot of root structure. When you go down and fix a ball mark, it's not tight. The ball hits and kind of explodes out from underneath.

Q. After Fancourt, a really compelling event in South Africa, there seemed to be a lot of players buzzing about the next Presidents Cup. Is that level of anticipation among the players still there?
JIM FURYK: I think so. From a media perspective, this event, you have to realize with the wheels in motion with the PGA TOUR running this event and THE TOUR Championship and the FedExCup, a lot of our media time went into that event so this event didn't get the attention as it would have otherwise or as it has in past years.
It's just been an awkward situation with two big events two weeks apart, and they are going to put all our eggs in one basket right now as far as the FedExCup. That Championship has to be exciting. It has to be compelling for the PGA TOUR to be successful for the next couple of years. This event maybe took a second seat as far as marketing-wise, but that doesn't change for the players. The players love coming here and they are excited.
One of the questions earlier was, is it too much, because the Americans play every year. And as Tiger stood up there, he said that he missed it last year, and he watched and he wanted to be here. He's the best player in the world, the guy that everyone wants -- he's more stressed out than the rest of us, and he missed it; that let's you know where we all are.

Q. Is this event sort of holding up its own growth by attracting fans by not creating a little controversy?
JIM FURYK: I understand what you're trying to say, but I don't agree with the details, so that makes it hard for me to -- I'm not so sure it's for the worst. I think some of that gets -- when we go over there, it's just as exuberant, if not more so, than when their team comes to the States. So I don't think that's a bad thing. That's a home-field advantage. It's like going and playing in Green Bay or Pittsburgh or any football stadium that you can think of, it's just an advantage to be in your home field, home stadium.

Q. It seems to be a lot less nationalism involved with this than The Ryder Cup.
JIM FURYK: I don't know. Yeah, but still, I think a lot of it is the -- don't you think that is driven by what is the advance read and what is written about the event? I'm not saying that's the blame. I'm just saying The Ryder Cup when it comes around, you all have a much bigger focus on The Ryder Cup, and the questioning of me in my time is increased dramatically in Ryder Cup years than in Presidents Cup years.
So I kind of flip it around to you. I think that all of that intensity and all of that talk really drives maybe the fans in The Ryder Cup a little bit more.
But it has a history of friction with us with the Seves and the Faldos and the Azingers and the Raymond Floyds. So it has a long era.
This event has been done properly in that it's really supposed to be about the game, and about the game of golf itself and increasing it worldwide and trying to battle out there on the golf course and trying to beat the other player. But at the end of the day, shaking hands, patting them on the back, and saying, "Good job"; not that you're mad about losing, but it's been done better here by the players, if that makes sense.
I'm not sure I would -- I would never fault the PGA of America or applaud the PGA TOUR for the way it's been done. I think I would applaud the players that have done a good job in this event. It's been done well, and I'm not sure why.

End of FastScripts

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