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March 19, 2010

Jim Furyk


DOUG MILNE: Jim Furyk, thanks for joining us for a few minutes after a second round 3-under 68 here at the Transitions Championship. Just a couple of comments on the round, obviously you're in great position as we head into the weekend.
JIM FURYK: Conditions were a little bit easier today. Yesterday was a tough, tough day to score. A lot sunnier, just a little breeze today, nothing -- not nearly as tough in the wind. Getting out early the in morning, more moisture on the greens and yesterday were dried out pretty good, quite slick.
So it was a better opportunity for us to score today, and I played a solid round. Obviously I'm disappointed bogeying my last hole, No. 9, but I made a nice birdie at 8 right before that. And keeping the ball in front of me, hitting it pretty decent, just done a really good job of scoring the first two days, and I've played very, very patiently.

Q. Just a clerical thing. They had you at a stroke better than you were throughout most of the back nine, and then it changed when you finished; there wasn't anything goofy that happened as far as you know?
JIM FURYK: No, I was asked what the scoring error was when I came in, and I said, I wasn't sure, I didn't make it. I don't know. Someone must have had the wrong score in. I was 7-under, didn't get to 8 until I birdied No. 8 and bogeyed No. 9. So nothing I did or penalty.

Q. What did you hit on 8?
JIM FURYK: Actually I hit a 3-iron. I had no 4-iron and I realized five wasn't going to get there and cut a 3-iron up into the wind and hit it 20 feet left.

Q. How often does that happen?
JIM FURYK: They are in order pretty nice. The gaps, my five is a touch strong and my three is actually quite weak. It's like a 3-, 4-iron. So I don't hit that nearly as far as most guys hit their 3-iron, but I hit my five a touch farther, surprise a few people once in awhile.
It really doesn't bother me. The only time if I'm playing a golf course where I know I'm going to have a lot of long irons in my hand, I'll put a four in. I usually have a backup set where I have like a stronger 3-iron and I can throw a 4-iron in.
Or I pull my weak 3-iron and put two new irons in and a wedge of some sort. I do that at the British Open a lot, because just keeping the ball down flat and low, that weak 3-iron doesn't really do the job.

Q. If my math is correct, you turn 40 in a couple of months.
JIM FURYK: I do in May.

Q. How do you look at that milestone?
JIM FURYK: Math isn't all that hard: 2010, 1970.

Q. You didn't see my report card then. How do you view that milestone and in terms of your game or where you are or do you not, it's just another birthday for you?
JIM FURYK: I really have never taken age all that hard or really thought of it. I don't really know if it will bother me or not until we get there.
I'm kind of trying to figure out where all of the years went, that's for darn sure. I started out here pretty young at 23, and it's hard to imagine that I'm in my 17th season. So I think that the years just go by pretty quickly.
I was just asked last week how many more opportunities do you think you have to win a major championship or how many more years do you have at Augusta, and you know, I'd like to think that it would be as long as I wanted to play, and as long as I had the fire.
But it's no time soon, I know that, as far as the end. I remember in '06, I remember if someone asked me if I felt like the game was passing me by, too short, and that year I was ranked No. 2 in the world and had my best season ever. That same person came to me at the end of the year and said, "Guess not, huh."
I'm not long, but the guys -- when I look at the guys that really played well later in their career, and you have the Freddie Funks and the Jay Haases and Raymond Floyd played real well, I think after he was 50 on the PGA TOUR; Kenny Perry; some of them are really long. Obviously the power helps, but Freddie Funk, who is a lot shorter than I am and was able to compete out here until he was 50; I feel a lot of it has to do with the fire and the want and the desire to want to play.
You get a lot of guys when they get in their mid 40s and they start -- family becomes more important; they have got other business and they have got other things going on, and golf takes a back seat and it makes it a lot harder to compete. I think it's where your priority is on the sport and where you are, and I definitely am not planning on retiring any time in the next few years.
So you know, I'm not going to play straight through until I'm 50, I know that. I feel like I'd like to take a little break and maybe come back and play the Champions Tour, but I don't think I'm going to try to compete for the next ten years. But it's not happening any time shortly and I would like when I do decide it's time, I'd like to be able to do it because I want to do it, not because I have to.

Q. Do you feel like you're playing as well now in the last year than you were in, say, '06?
JIM FURYK: Well, '06 was my best year, so it's a little bit of an unfair comparison. I played real well in '03 and I played real well in '06. I'm disappointed not winning a golf tournament. It's been 2 1/2 years, so that's definitely -- well, it bothers me, and of course, I get asked about it a lot, which is your job.

Q. You brought it up, for the record.
JIM FURYK: I'm not upset by it, but I've already been asked today, trust me. (Laughter).
I'm not upset by it. It's fact. So I'm bothered by it because it's my fault. So I would really like to change that, and then I get up every morning and go practice and work hard because I want to win golf tournaments.
That's probably the only thing at this point in time that's bothering me, and there's a few things in my game that I need to improve on and I need some confidence. And I think that kind of builds on itself. It's a slow thing and I feel like I'm moving in the right direction.

Q. You haven't been playing poorly, otherwise you wouldn't be in the Top-10 still.
JIM FURYK: My ranking is pretty good and I've been consistent. I did the same thing last year where I took a ton of time off and got off to a slow start, Florida Swing kicked in, played well at Augusta and by summer, I took off and play well.
And I did the same thing this year: Took that time off, got off to a slow start. I haven't played bad. I finished 20th to 35th in four events, always had a bad round or something that kept me from having a good finish, but not pushing the panic button. A lot of golf this year to be played, but right now I'm trying to improve on a few things and actually gain some confidence and try to get ready for Augusta and major championships.

Q. But as you go into a weekend in which you're, what, one off the lead; is that what it is right now?
JIM FURYK: I finished at 7.

Q. Regardless, do you approach this weekend any differently than you would have '05, '06, '07, that stretch?
JIM FURYK: I think everything's the same. I feel like I'm a little more mature and have a little bit experience. But I wouldn't approach it any differently.
I do want to win the golf tournament and just like everyone else, and tomorrow, I'll go out there and try to jockey for position and play a good, solid round. But no, I think there's always in my head -- there's always a bigger picture than just this week as far as improvement for the whole year for my game.
But I'll approach it the same way. I don't have a desperation or wouldn't do anything differently. I always felt like -- you all know me really well, and I've done things methodically in order to try to give myself the best opportunities to win. It works out some weeks and it doesn't others, but I'm going to go about it the same way, because that gives me the best opportunity.

Q. David Toms' round yesterday to today was 11 shots different and he was talking a little --
JIM FURYK: Yeah, it was probably only 9 shots easier out there, I'm not sure. I don't know. (Laughter).

Q. Can you talk about the difference in round like that can be just a minute thing early that starts momentum going one way or the other, and I guess in reverse, you had the same instance last year here. Can you just talk a little about how rounds like that can be so high and low from day-to-day?
JIM FURYK: It's just the nature of our game. It's just the nature of golf. You know, momentum usually builds up slowly and David got -- 8-under out here is a great, great round of golf; he figured out something quick.
It's really easy to lose your confidence, and it's tough to kind of get it back. And it's a slow build to get it back and you can lose it a lot quicker than you can gain it. As far as how rounds go from day-to-day, I remember I shot one year at Doral, I shot 77-62. The 62 was on a really difficult day where I think the next best score was 66 or 67. And I went from 5-over to 5-under in a round of golf.
So I don't know how you describe that other than on a golf course like this, shooting 3-over is nothing really to be ashamed of. There are a lot of guys that it's a tough course and you hit a couple of bad shots, a couple of putts, and it's easy to get over par.
I think he's a great player, and he's got a lot of experience and he probably -- like you say, go out there early on, make a nice putt, start hitting a couple of good shots and you get on a roll and you catch that momentum. It's a hard thing to do, but once you get it rolling, it seems like a lot of things can go right.

Q. If you're on the Competition Committee, I know you're not, but if you were, at Augusta, who do you put with Tiger?
JIM FURYK: Who do I put with Tiger? Never thought of it.

Q. I'm on deadline, so hurry up.
JIM FURYK: Well, Kenny Perry was volunteering the other day; the hillbilly I think he calls himself. (Laughter).
I don't know how you pick. Some people probably would really like that pairing and kind of feel comfortable and enjoy all of the attention, and other people would probably just much rather be off somewhere quiet on the other side of the course doing their own thing it. I'm not exactly sure who you pick.
I guess I would be surprised if it were two young players. I would expect it to be probably two veteran players, guys that have been around. But I have no -- boy, it's a tough job, actually, when you think about it, whether he came back or not, it's a tough job for the Masters. But I don't have a problem with it. I don't ever worry too much about stuff.
DOUG MILNE: And lastly, if you could just run us through your birdies and just give us some clubs and yardage.
JIM FURYK: Started on No. 10 today, so I birdied 11. Hit a really good drive and a 3-wood in the front bunker, hit a bunker shot to about ten feet behind the pin and made that.
I birdied 16, the par 4. I hit a very nice drive and I believe -- it's a long time ago, I think it was a 7-iron, to about 20 feet. And I birdied No. 1. I hit a driver and 3-wood right up pin-high left, just a couple of yards off the green and hit a great pitch to about a foot.
And then we talked about No. 8. I hit the 3-iron I think it was 20 feet left of the pin but I made a nice putt there.
9, I hit a drive in the right bunker. From there, bad lie, hit a decent iron but pulled it and hit it in the front left bunker, kind of half-buried and I hit a great bunker shot to about five feet. Then I hit a lousy putt and missed it left. So that was the bogey.
DOUG MILNE: Jim, we appreciate your time. Best of luck on the weekend.

End of FastScripts

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