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September 28, 2010

Jim Furyk


GORDON SIMPSON: Well, Jim, it's fair to say many congratulations on what you achieved Sunday night, fantastic. You've had one great Sunday; what would you give for another great Sunday this time?
JIM FURYK: Yeah, kind of got to enjoy last Sunday for about 24 hours and right back at it this week. But yeah, I feel like we're halfway there. I had a lot of people text me last week or e-mail me, what a perfect end to the year, and I said, "Not quite yet, we have one more week to go." It was the perfect end of the season but not perfect end of the year.
GORDON SIMPSON: It's quite an unusual, surreal way of celebrating, isn't it, on a flight like that.
JIM FURYK: I was fine, though. You know what, to see teammates and have everyone pat you on the back, I enjoyed it plenty, trust me. I was looking forward to getting over here and spending time with my teammates, and I think it's helped me relax a little bit, as well, which is sometimes tough to do at a Ryder Cup.
GORDON SIMPSON: Luke Donald said jokingly, he didn't come with you, but he would love to go back with you if Europe wins so he could do a little bit of gloating.
JIM FURYK: (Laughing). Well, he's not big enough to gloat. (Laughter). You shouldn't gloat at 165 pounds.

Q. Just wondering what your impressions are of that first tee box, it's pretty much surrounded by scaffolds and grandstands and looks like about 2,500 rabid celebrating partisans will be waiting for you guys to arrive, and what you think that atmosphere will be like?
JIM FURYK: I think it's great. There's no doubt the European fans are wonderful fans for their team. They were out-numbered 20 to 1 in Kentucky, and they made a ton of noise. 20 to 1 that maybe not out-voiced two to one. They were very low in numbers but high in spirit, and I always enjoy coming over to play.
It's obviously different; you enjoy being at home because you want all of that noise to be on your side, but they are good fans and they are going to make a ton of noise on the first tee and sing their songs and chants and support their team. It will be a great atmosphere.

Q. Do they bust a rhyme for you?
JIM FURYK: Just want to stay away from the pie story -- you don't remember the pie, "Who ate all the pies"? The Brits know it.

Q. You and Tiger and Phil have been on the same team except for last time since 1997. Hard to believe you've only won The Ryder Cup twice, and for Tiger, only once with that nucleus?
JIM FURYK: Yeah, finally won something more than Tiger Woods.

Q. Good start, Jim.
JIM FURYK: Yeah, it's been six events, two wins and four losses. It's disappointing, but I guess we have got an opportunity to get closer to back to square.
You know, instead of looking at the past, and obviously right now, we are coming off of a win, but instead of looking at the past, I think right now you look ahead, you look ahead to Friday, Saturday, Sunday and not worry about what's happened.
You know, the bad news is the last 20 years, we haven't won very often, but right now, I think good or bad, don't look at the past and look at the future and try to figure out how we are going to take the Cup back home with us on Monday morning.

Q. For those of us who don't know, what does it feel like facing a putt worth a little more than $1 million?
JIM FURYK: It was a guppy thing, goodness, I wouldn't have wanted a 6-footer. Even the team asked how long it was, and I said honestly I wasn't that nervous over it because it was short enough you couldn't screw it up. They said, well, for that much you might be able to. I said, honestly, it was short enough, I felt good over it. So I'm glad I hit that bunker shot got close because I wouldn't have wanted a 6-footer for the same thing.

Q. Is it strange that the Tiger bandwagon steals the headlines when someone like you is making headlines on the course?
JIM FURYK: I don't know, I've never been one -- the Americans are in here but I've never been one that needed all that much attention or went out of my way to get that much attention. Underrated, overrated, doesn't really matter to me. I'm comfortable with who I am and just try to help you all out and do the best I can, and if you write about it, you write about it, and if you don't, you don't. It's deserved. He's dominated the world of golf for a very long time and he deserved all of the attention. I'm fine with it.

Q. Just wanted to ask about the course. How does it look to somebody that's not as long as some of the other players out there?
JIM FURYK: You know, I didn't really -- I didn't feel all that stressed out as far as length is. It's not a short golf course by any means. I had a lot of 3-irons and 5-irons in my hand today. I think it's going to be more the weather that will be more a factor as far as they are probably going to have to bump some tees up here and there if the weather gets bad.
But it was a beautiful day today, sunny, clear. And you know, I don't know, supposedly East Lake was pretty long, too, but length isn't an issue. There are very few courses I've ever felt -- Bethpage in bad weather is one where I felt like, okay, we've hit a limit for length for me, but there's very few courses I've played where I've felt they were too long to compete.

Q. Do you expect the greens to be on the slow side when you play in The Ryder Cup over here?
JIM FURYK: We could have just stopped over here. The events I have played, the British Open -- a lot has to do with the weather. The British Open, you can't get the greens too fast because of the wind conditions. The ball wouldn't stay still. Struggled this year at St. Andrews to keep the ball still.
Ryder Cup, I haven't played on The European Tour, so I've played The Scottish Open, I've played The World Match Play, but for the British Opens I've been at, for The Ryder Cups I've been at, the greens speeds are -- they are adequate, but they are not quick.

Q. I guess the intention of the question was: Do you feel it's set up slower purposely; that it may favour the European side and the U.S. side is better off on quick greens.
JIM FURYK: It would probably be smart planning, but I don't know, I don't try to point any fingers or try to guess what's going on. It also allows for very aggressive play, if that makes sense. Last week, I was at THE TOUR Championship and the greens were so quick and pretty undulating in spots, and you're hitting a lot of putts defensively, which doesn't sound like a Ryder Cup.
You think aggressive at Ryder Cup, making birdies, charging; and you set up the greens where you can be aggressive and not worry about knocking it five, six feet by all the time. Maybe the setup is more that way to promote aggressive play. I don't think our greens are lightning, lightning quick.

Q. What was Valhalla?
JIM FURYK: Maybe. Maybe. They were probably quicker, don't get me wrong, but just from the events I've played, our greens will tend to be a touch quicker, just on the average, so I'm not sure it's anything dramatically slow.
Most -- I shouldn't say most, a lot of their players play in the United States as much or more than they play here, so you know, for Paddy or Luke Donald, Ian Poulter, green speed is not really -- I don't know if it's really a benefit either way.

Q. Try this again. Are there a couple of the European players that would make a particularly formidable opponent, pairing, for you?
JIM FURYK: Yeah, the ones that shoot about 8-under. Those will be the toughest. (Laughter).
I don't think there's a guy -- I don't go and study the other side, and go, wow, I hope I play that guy or hope I don't play that guy. It's kind of one of those, be careful what you ask for sometimes. You just play whoever you've got and you go out there and do the best you can.
I'm not worried about -- I don't know the golf course well enough yet to say that it favors a style or not a style. I'm not sure how they are going to set the golf course up.
So at the end of the week, you might say, well, you know, a guy that's really long might have an advantage, but you know what, the rough is so thick out there, and they are worried about our captains driving carts in the rough so that they didn't knock it down. I joked in our meeting that maybe they are afraid of losing a couple carts in it because it's about as thick and as long and difficult as we've ever seen in my career.
So length is great, but if you can't put it in play, it's not so good. But the fairways are amply wide. They are big enough, but you sure don't want to miss one.

Q. Is that in your career in Ryder Cup, or generally?
JIM FURYK: Generally. The rough is very long and very thick.

Q. Even like U.S. Opens used to be?
JIM FURYK: Yes. And it's wet, too, so that makes it even worse. It's going to be damp all week. Even as sunny as it was today, the rough was very wet. So, yes, if it doesn't -- I'm not expecting them to go out there and cut it any time soon but it's long and thick and it was fertilised, you can tell, the farther away you get from the fairway, the more it thins out.

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