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March 20, 2010

Jim Furyk


MARK WILLIAMS: Jim Furyk, thanks for joining us. 54-hole leader at 11-under par. It's the 14th time you've held a 54-hole lead and you're looking for your 14th victory tomorrow.
So can you just talk about your day today? It looked like you played the par 3s very well this week.
JIM FURYK: I played them well today. But, yeah, it's a good set of par 3s, five of them, which is a little rare. But just happy with the round. I felt like I played real solid on the front nine, missed a couple good birdie putts. I did make a couple good saves and couple good par putts on the front nine. I did let a couple birdie putts kind of slip by, couple I hit some decent putts and a couple I didn't, and was able to get on a little bit of a run on the back. I felt like the hole locations were quite difficult. There was a lot of slope and some very quick putts and hidden pins on the back side. So I got through those holes pretty well, and was able to position myself a few times for some good birdie putts.
And was able to make a bomb on No. 12, a 30-, 40-footer with a lot of left-to-right break and sitting in a very delicate position. So just a green I'm trying to get it close on and was able to make a long one.
Got on a little bit of a run on the back nine and turned out to be a good score.

Q. Hard to ignore, this is going to sound silly, but it's kind of hard to ignore the one guy behind the green on 12 screaming out, "Get in, get in." Did you not hear that?
JIM FURYK: You mean while my putt was rolling down there? No, I guess I really didn't. I probably did at the time but I don't remember. I was just kind of watching the putt and it was trickling down there until the last few feet it really turned out to the right and made a right turn right in the middle. I don't recall it now. Probably heard it if it was that loud.

Q. Three guys behind you who have won this tournament before sitting at 8-under. What's your approach on Sunday?
JIM FURYK: I guess they like the course. I really, you know, want to continue to do the same things. I'm in a great position in the tournament. I can kind of -- got a three-shot lead or two shot lead, whatever it is, you kind of dictate what the other guys have to do.
If I go out there and play a good round of golf tomorrow, which I'm hoping and planning on doing, I'm going to make them -- if I could be able to do that, I'll make them have to make a bunch of birdies. It's difficult on this course, but if I go out and make a few bogeys right off the bat, I kind of let a whole bunch of people back in the tournament.
So my focus is really not to worry about who is behind me or if they have won the golf tournament before. I just need to go out there and worry about what I can do and my score and how I play and continue to put the ball in the fairway and on the green and get my looks at it and shoot a good score tomorrow.
You know, there's a lot of guys back there, and someone's going to fire a good number. So I need to play a good round of golf tomorrow.

Q. Were you a little anxious on the drive on 16? Looked like it was heading --
JIM FURYK: A touch. But if it misses that tree, it's perfect. I was a little anxious about it hitting the tree. If it slips by it, it's going another 40 or 50 yards I think, and there was plenty of fairway behind it.
I was just worried about hitting that tree instead of kicking left, maybe taking a bad kick and going in the right. That would put me in trouble with the water. So as far as if that tree is not there, it's fine. I was a little anxious about it hitting into the tree.

Q. Because it could have kicked into the water.
JIM FURYK: But kicked left in the middle of the fairway and I said if it misses the tree, I'm probably hitting wedge in rather than 6-iron.

Q. I don't know if you saw any of the boards as you were walking along your round today but did you at all, and if you did --
JIM FURYK: Early on --

Q. Crazy to see, there was a huge bunch and then all of the sudden you got some separation.
JIM FURYK: Early on, I saw that everything was kind of bunched up and Carl started out making a couple birdies it looked like, and some of those guys were at 9.
And I didn't really see a board in the second half of the front nine, and it wasn't until -- probably didn't see another board or didn't look until the middle of the back nine once I had already got to 10-under and realized that I was leading the tournament.
Saturdays, I don't really -- I kind of want to look and keep an eye and see how scores were, but I knew it was tough out there. I think the back nine probably had a lot to do with spreading out the field a little bit. Those pins were in some pretty greasy spots. There were a few really tough ones.
Again, if you shied away, like 18, if you shied away to the fat side of the green, now you've got a 30-, 35-footer and I think I had a pretty darned good putt to just get it inside three feet. There were some tough pins out there and I could see how -- I think that's why the bunch widened out a bit.

Q. You mentioned some par saves. Any of them that stood out?
JIM FURYK: I made a good putt at 13. I hit an iron that double crossed it a little bit and that green, kind of shallow on the left and deep on the right, so I was trying to bring it in from left-to-right and turned it over a little bit. Landed about pin-high but kicked through the green and hit a little bit of -- I had a tough lie and hit a little bit fat on the pitch and left it, kind of a flop shot, about ten or 12 feet short and made that for par. That was a good save. Did I say 13? I'm used to playing the course backwards from the years ago. As 10 was No. 1 when I played here as a junior, that's always No. 1 to me. So I always think of the other side as being the back nine. So it would be the par 3 No. 4.

Q. How much did you play here as a kid?
JIM FURYK: I played a couple of events here. Used to have a big AJGA event where you had to qualify and go into match play.

Q. Did you do any good?
JIM FURYK: I did okay.

Q. You talked yesterday about -- you were tired about answering questions of when you're going to win next?
JIM FURYK: I don't think that's what I said.

Q. You said people asked me --
JIM FURYK: I don't think I said I was tired of it, though.

Q. People ask you all the time about winning. Can you talk about sitting on the lead tonight and maybe not having to answer that question?
JIM FURYK: Well, I was asked about it earlier and if I remember correctly, the context was that I said I didn't really mind people asking. I said I was bothered by the fact that I had not won but I realized that you all were doing your job in asking the question.
Yeah, I don't particularly care for answering it, but not because you have to ask it; because I have to won, and ultimately that's the goal. So it's not really a monkey off my back from a perspective of 'boy, I can't wait to not answer that question again.' It's just that, you know what, I want to go out and win a golf tournament. That's what we play golf for. That's what I practice hard for. And I haven't been able to do that in over two years, 2 1/2 years.
So it's disappointing, because I work pretty hard at it. You want to kind of reap your reward at the end, and you know, as you work hard, you don't always see results immediately. This game will try your patience, if tomorrow is that day, that's great. If not, I'll plug along and I'll show up next week with the same goal again.
It's not really an, 'I want to show you,' or there's any of that in my heart. It's more that I just want to win a golf tournament. I was able to do that at the Chevron, but I want to win an event out here on the PGA TOUR.

Q. Have you had any moments of doubt over 2 1/2 years, or have you been giving yourself enough chances where you have a broader perspective on that?
JIM FURYK: Well, I think that I've had -- I've had quite a few opportunities to win, and sometimes I've hit poor shots or I've played poorly, shot a bad round and got myself out of it.
And there's other times where like at the Memorial last year, I played quite well, I cleared everyone in the field by two or three shots, and got beat by Tiger. I think I finished a couple shots ahead of third, and everyone was going dead backwards on the back nine and I think I was able to play them 1-under while everyone else was playing it over par. He just ran us down and caught us and went the other way. At that point, you just kind of have to tip your hat and say well played. So I've had a little bit of that, and I've had some times where I haven't played well.
I think that doubt, I think, as I said yesterday, when you're playing poorly or you don't play well, it's easy to lose your confidence and it takes a lot longer to build it up. I also mentioned yesterday that I feel like my confidence is growing and building, and it may not be exactly where I want it or on top of the world, but I feel like I'm climbing back up the mountain.
Definitely along the way, I've lost some confidence in some of the things I was doing, and I've also had a lot of events in the last 2 1/2 years where I really felt good about my game and walked off the course knowing that I gave it my all, and really played my rear end off, but just got beat.

Q. Which scenario in those close calls is more aggravating, when you play well and you get beat at the end, or when you had a chance and maybe didn't play well and got beat at the end?
JIM FURYK: I think it's always easier to sleep at night knowing you played well, knowing that you've hit some good shots. But it is what it is. This game, it's humbling. It happens to everyone. Nicklaus won, what 18 professional majors and I think he finished second more.

Q. 19.
JIM FURYK: So that's unbelievable now that I think about it. It happens to everyone, no matter how good you are, the best players in the world, the guys that I've always looked up to, it happens to them. It happened to them, and that's part of what we deal with out here.
So you have to take your lumps, and the guys that always prevail and don't let it bother them, they come back working harder and they get them next time.
Nicklaus, I can't even imagine winning 18 majors, but coming in second 19 times would definitely have to get to you after a while.
MARK WILLIAMS: Before we left you go, can you go through your birdies.
JIM FURYK: I hit a good driver and a hybrid only about 20 feet from the pin, it was in the fairway and I chose to putt it, knocked it up there about three feet and made it for birdie.
11 and 12, another par 5, where I hit driver and 3-wood pin-high left, and had a touchy pitch. Hit it in there about four feet and knocked that in for birdie. We talked about 12 earlier. I hit 3-wood off the tee and I think 7-iron. It was about, I'll give it 35 feet long left of the hole and I had a downhill curler that I was able to get to go in.
And then 15, the par 3, I hit a good 6-iron about 15 feet behind the pin and knocked it in.

Q. That would be No. 6 on the old course for you?
JIM FURYK: That's weird. I haven't done that in a while. When I'm on the front nine and someone says 13, I have to think it, because it was 4 when I was a kid.

Q. And that was 25 years ago?
JIM FURYK: Yeah, you know, I don't remember how I played the holes or how I did or anything like that. Just for some reason when I stand on the 10th tee, it used to be 1. So, I don't know. I showed up at the right place this morning. It's okay.
MARK WILLIAMS: Thanks, Jim, appreciate your time.

End of FastScripts

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