home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


February 16, 2010

Jim Furyk


LAURA HILL: We'd like to welcome Jim Furyk to the interview room. I think this is your tenth championship. Maybe just talk about expectations coming into the week and your first round match up.
JIM FURYK: I don't know if you ever really know what to expect. I feel like my game is okay. I was a little disappointed with last week's performance. You know, it is the third week of the year after two long layoffs. I slipped the Chevron into about a 14, 15 week layoff.
I was a little rusty coming out. I felt like I played pretty well at LA. I had two bad nine holes. Two bad nines last week to kind of kept me from having a pretty good tournament. I was a little disappointed with my finish on the back nine on Sunday. My game is in decent shape.
As far as who I'm playing, it is interesting. A fellow American, a guy that I have played the Ryder Cup and President's Cup with, a friend of mine, Scott Verplank. I think there is only -- I think there is 20 Americans in the field. So you have got mixed feelings. You obviously don't want to see one of us go out in the first round. He is a friend of mine and we'll go out there and play the hardest. Whoever plays the best will move on.

Q. Over the years of you playing this tournament is there any difference (inaudible).
JIM FURYK: You never really know what to expect. I'm not sure if it matters too much. You know, I have played here in Tucson at the other course. I have played some bombers and guys that hit it a lot farther than me. One day you had two reachable par fours and four reachable par 5s. You figure I would be at a major disadvantage on those six holes. I won five of the six against a guy who bombs it. That is rare. It's not going to happen.
This is definitely I think a golf course that you can cut a few corners. You can take it over quite a few bunkers if you can hit it a lot farther than Scott and I do. We'll have a little bit maybe less exciting match up from that perspective. We are similar in style but I'm not sure it really matters. In the long run, you are still shooting a score. We're going to play the way we usually do anyway, whether we're playing against Dustin or Quiros. That's the way we play. You've got to go out there and fire a good score.
The other thing, too, is when you are playing against a guy who is a lot longer than you you have the ability to provide some stress. If he's up there cutting a corner with a wedge in his hand and you're back there with a 7-iron in your hand and you hit it close, you put a lot more stress and a lot more pressure on them. You kind of have to look at it when you are playing someone longer, you always have the first chance to apply pressure, which I like.

Q. Ask you about how fickle this format is, do you have any favorite stories to illustrate how unpredictable it is?
JIM FURYK: Not really. Match play is fun. I enjoy it. I think that we would have more of these events if they set up better for television, where you didn't have six and fives and four and threes where you have to fill airtime. We would probably have more match play events.
It's fun, but it's also disappointing. You can play pretty darn well. You can fire a good number and lose. You can look at some of the other matches where the guys didn't play near as well as you did. It is just part of it. They get to move on and you don't. That is disappointing but it is what it is. Ultimately you have to play better than the guy on the other side every day. I guess it is more like tennis in that matter. A lot of it is who you get paired up with and what day you catch them and how things fall.

Q. Can you talk about what you think about the four venues for this year's majors? Do they excite you as much as they excite the fans?
JIM FURYK: Yeah, I think it's interesting. You know, I'm not a -- obviously I'm always excited to go to Augusta. And that's a constant so we're talking about the other three.
You know, Pebble Beach, I wouldn't put on a list of my favorite places to go play U.S. Open. I wouldn't put on a list that I disliked it. It would fall right in the middle for me. It is pretty. I'm somewhat comfortable there. Winged Foot, Oakmont, places that I play well, but places that I look forward to go there. Pebble, I'm somewhat comfortable there. It's not one of my -- for my game, it is not one of my favorite venues.
St. Andrews not high on my list. A beautiful place to play, a wonderful town, I should call it. It is the most special of the Open Championships. The golf course, I won't lie, it doesn't suit me as well as Birkdale or Turnberry or some of the ones that I look forward to licking my chops. It is not St. Andrews for me.
Whistling Straits doesn't look like any of the rest of them. It's got it's own unique style. I would go back and ask you why you were so excited. Obviously Pebble Beach is kind of like the -- I don't know if the players look at it that way. But the media seems to look at it as the American home of golf. I've heard things thrown around a lot. I think it is just one of the prettiest places to play golf that I have been to. St. Andrews is easy to figure out. Whistling Straits is kind of a modern architecture.
I don't dislike Whistling Straits. I guess it would sum it up as no, I'm not nearly as excited as you are

Q. Can you talk about what you like about the town of St. Andrews?
JIM FURYK: There is always a buzz there. People are excited about being there. Anyone that has grown-up loving the game of golf or had a bucket list of places they want to play, St. Andrews is on the top of that list for most people. It is accessible. People make basically a pilgrimage to make sure they play a round of golf there. The R&A is right there. There is so many reasons. It is a cute town. There is an extra buzz that week. It is a major upon a major.

Q. What do you dislike about the course?
JIM FURYK: I didn't say I disliked it. Unless we go back through the tapes and see that I did. Your accent and changing my words already has me on edge. You might want to pull out a southern drawl pretty soon for the next question.
I think it is a little bit of a bomber's golf course. I think you can get away with a lot there. At Birkdale you have got to hit the ball very accurately. You have got to control the golf ball. I think at St. Andrews you can flail it out in the boonies and be perfect half the time And you can miss it by just a touch and be dead. It's just one of those places I haven't really figured it out. I played it 20 times. I still stand on the second tee and say where in the hell am I supposed to hit it? I still don't know. I'm staring at clouds and steeples and stands every year rather than getting -- I am just never really comfortable with my targets. It's got a lot of interesting strategy on it that I do enjoy and do like. I think you can miss the ball wildly at times and still be fine. You can miss a shot by 50 yards or make birdie where most major championships you can't do that

Q. What don't you like about Pebble Beach?
JIM FURYK: I like Pebble. Like I said, I'm not as comfortable there as I am at Winged Foot or Oakmont or a place that -- it is a scary place to putt. That would be one of the things. Those greens -- poa is a great surface, but those greens get a little damp, they get wet. They get crusted out. It is scary to put there.

Q. The reason I ask you -- I can't recall you the year you missed the AT&T --
JIM FURYK: I played quite a bit.

Q. Why is that?
JIM FURYK: I like the course. I just don't love the golf course, how's that? I like the golf course. I think it sets up well for my game. I think it sets up even better for my game in February than it probably does in June. I like the golf course but I don't put it on my list of Top-5 where on January 1 I look at the majors and go, wow, I can't wait for June. I have said that a lot. That being said, I don't like Torrey for my game in February. But if we played Torrey in June, I wouldn't miss the tournament. I thought it was great for the U.S. Open. It has a lot to do with the time of year and timing. I don't dislike Pebble, I do like the golf course. I don't dislike Whistling Straits. I just don't love -- Pebble is my favorite of the three for my game. I just don't love them for my game.
Oakmont, I'm not saying I love the golf course but I love it for my game. It is my style.

Q. Do you love Augusta and if so why?
JIM FURYK: Just the history and the tradition. I do -- I'll be honest, the first time I was ever invited to The Masters, I was more excited for that practice round, more excited to see the golf course than I ever have been in my life to play a golf course. It is just a special place. In my opinion, that would be like the American St. Andrews as far as tournament golf is concerned. Everyone is dying to get in The Masters.

Q. You have sort of partially answered this, which of the four major venues do you think suit your game the best?
JIM FURYK: Augusta and U.S. Open. Those two. Augusta, for me it has a lot to do with the breeze and the wind and the way the golf course plays. Some years I go I feel like it is difficult with length for me. Other years, I make no bones about it. If you step up on 1 and the wind is in your face, I'm happy. When 1 is down, I'm not quite as happy. I forget what direction that is, but for all us short hitters, we want to see the wind in your face at 1. That means you get a lot of the far 5s in the wind coming down the stretch. You get a lot of long holes. I would much rather see 14 downwind, 17 downwind, you get to see those holes play a little shorter. I think if you look back the year Zach Johnson won, all the par 5s were in the wind. He couldn't reach any of the par 5s. The reason I know that, because he hits it my length and I couldn't reach any of them. It wasn't as much strategy as it is that is what we needed to do. It neutralizes the feel a little bit and it gives us a advantage.

Q. Can you talk about how good your game travels? You were a Midwestern guy. Did it help you going to --
JIM FURYK: That is the first time I have ever been called Midwest. I like that. Pennsylvania we usually get lumped into the northeast. I think I'm fortunate in that I'm always going to be the most comfortable on the turf and the grasses that I grew up with in Pennsylvania. Ohio, Boston, New York, in that area, I'm the most comfortable. I went to school here in Tucson, so I learned to play desert golf. I learned the elevation change, half shots, full shots. How it changes the flight of the ball, different grasses. Played on a lot of like Bermuda fairways here with banked greens. There is no better turf than in the desert. You get the hot days and real cool nights. The grass here is absolutely perfect. That helped a lot in college.
I have always struggled the most on sandy and common Bermuda. Now I live in Jacksonville, Florida and have lived there for 14 years. I've had the opportunity to play on a much softer soil. It was more clay where I grew up. Real firm, rock hard. Sandy softer soil in Florida. I think it has made me very well rounded from that perspective. I was always comfortable in Pennsylvania and Tucson and the desert. Florida was probably my weakness when I came on Tour, but now living there, I'm very comfortable on that. I think it's helped me adjust.
The best players in the world, they say a lot about the -- for years and years the criticism of us as Americas is that we don't play on a lot of different conditions. Where the Europeans get to play on a lot of different conditions. They get more well rounded. And it's a good argument. For me moving around the country here and playing different styles has really helped me a lot

Q. Did your choice in colleges, was that a choice to come here to play on the different soil or was that -- that was a good scholarship?
JIM FURYK: It is just a great opportunity. My senior high school Arizona was ranked No. 1 for a lot of the year in golf. They had four seniors on the year team that were all moving on, Mike Springer, Larry Silvera, Aaron and Eric Meeks. Having four of those guys out of the way and only one starter returning, which is Robert Gamez. They had a couple good solid players that were going to step in. I knew there was a good two or three spots open. You're 18 years old and you think you're pretty good in high school, but I wanted to make sure that I went to a place where I would play for four years. It was an opportunity to play for a Top-20 program that was going to have a great schedule after finishing a good year. I really felt like I could come here and play for four years straight. I gained a lot of experience and I liked our coach here from the perspective that he was very hands off. I had a goofy, funny swing that a lot of coaches had mentioned they wanted to change. Rick was about a -- he treated us like men instead of like boys. For better or for worse, we never really had a -- we didn't have to go work out. We never had to go to the study table. We never really had to do anything except for show up, practice, shoot a good score, keep our work up. He left it up to us. I was a mature young kid and I liked the freedom. I liked the idea that I could progress in my own way at my own pace. He let me grow up. I took some lumps because of it along the way probably but he let me grow up at my pace and king of learn from my own mistakes and I appreciated it.
LAURA HILL: Anything else for Jim? Good luck this week. Thanks.

End of FastScripts

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297