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April 22, 2011

Jim Furyk


MARK STEVENS: I'd like to welcome Jim Furyk. You shot a bogey-free round today. Take us through your round.
JIM FURYK: Actually both days, Thursday and Friday I started off really hot yesterday I birdied the first two, and was 3-under through 5. Today I birdied the first three holes on the back nine, 10, 11 and 12, pretty good holes, so to get off to a good start was nice. I kind of cooled off both rounds afterwards but I felt like I played a very good round of golf today, solid.
The birdies at 10, 11, 12, I think I hit driver and -- that was a long time ago. Driver and I think it was a 6-iron at 10. I think it was a driver, 6-iron at 11. And a driver and pitching wedge at 12 and made about a 15-footer, a 6-footer and about a 12-footer on those holes.
And then I was able to birdie 2. Hit a driver and a hybrid just short right of the green, and pitched up to about 10 feet and made that for birdie.
I birdied the par 5, No. 5. A driver and 3-wood right in front of the green and I pitched it up to about four feet and made that for birdie.
I had a good save on No. 8. Good up and down from the bunker, and made a good putt from about 15 feet to keep the round going.
Overall I really felt a lot more comfortable today with my ball-striking and with my putting, both. Yesterday I played well and I kind of gutted it out and got the ball in the hole but didn't feel real comfortable with my game, didn't feel like I was striking it quite solid. And I made some putts but I didn't feel comfortable over the ball. And today I just felt very comfortable over everything. Felt like I had a lot of confidence and felt like I was going to hit some good shots and knock in some good putts.

Q. Are you very comfortable with this place now?
JIM FURYK: I've always been comfortable here, but it's been a little bit of -- as I said, it's always been feast or famine for me. I missed a lot of cuts here by a shot and had a number of top-5 finishes. I would have to think, this is one of my best events for the top-5 finishes in my career. And it seems like when I play well I play really well here. And I think it's a little bit of testament to the golf course. I really like it here. I think it suits my game. If you're not on or not playing well, it can bite you really quick because it's so tight.

Q. If we could go into where 14, 15, 16-under mid-day Sunday is where you need to be, are you comfortable on that?
JIM FURYK: Depends on the setup of the golf course the rest of the week and how windy is it going to be, how firm and fast are the greens going to be. If it gets a little breezy and the greens bake out and get quick, I don't feel real comfortable about getting 16. But if it stays benign, and there's not a lot of wind and we can hold the greens, then, yes. It's really not -- it's too early to be picking a number and trying to figure out what I need to get to. It will be going out and playing as good a round as I can tomorrow and trying to get myself in position for Sunday.

Q. How did the conditions change from yesterday to today at all? Did the rain soften things up at all?
JIM FURYK: A little bit, but I was a little surprised early on. The greens were a little firmer earlier on. They haven't been -- they're not brick hard, but we're not spinning the ball back, or I'm not stopping 7-irons on the greens within a yard or two. They're releasing out, and that was the same this morning.
So I would say no, they're probably a little bit -- in the morning they were a little bit more damp and probably don't have the speed putting. But it's a little harder for the ball to get away from some of those quicker putts. But I still felt like I didn't feel they were soft by any means.

Q. Winds picking up at all?
JIM FURYK: It's very stagnant out there. It's sticky. It feels like a thunderstorm really.

Q. Way too early to tell who you'll be playing with or where exactly you'll be on the leaderboard?
JIM FURYK: 50/50 it will be Jason Day (laughter).

Q. But does it excite you at all, if you're going to be contending for a championship, to maybe have a guy like Camilo or Jason Day, one of the younger guys trying to build their résumé, make a name for themselves, does that excite you to maybe fend one of those guys off?
JIM FURYK: No. I mean, I know both of them pretty well, and admire their games. I think they're both really good people. So I like them. But it's not really -- it's always something. There's always a story of some sort. It's more about going out there and playing my game and playing the best I can and try to win the golf tournament. But there's a lot of golf to be played.
We'll see what Garrett does this afternoon. He could fire a good number and pull away from the field. Right now I'm going to probably get some lunch, work on -- practicing my putting a little bit, just try to keep drilling in the same things I've been working on. And I'll relax this afternoon and I'll check the scores tonight just to see where everyone stands and get an idea for where I have to be on the weekend.

Q. So far in here Camilo came in before Jason Day, now you, this could be like a Major pressroom, with those kind of personalities, that quality of golf. What does it say about the field and this tournament that attracts those kind of players who want to come here and play well?
JIM FURYK: Yeah, I think this has always had a good, strong field. It's hard not to like this golf course. It definitely takes -- it always helps to be long. But it probably takes the power away from a lot of power players. Jason has a chance to reach like the 15th hole where I do not. He is hitting less club off the tee. He's hitting 3-wood where I'm hitting driver most of the time. But it definitely neutralizes some of the power. But yet Davis has always been long, and he's played the best here of anyone ever.
So it's just a fun golf course to play. You have to hit a ton of golf shots. It's not mindless, from the standpoint of seeing how hard you can hit it. You have to hit a lot of golf shots, and carve it both ways and hit it high and hit it low and think your way around the course. And I think it's a fun golf course to play.

Q. Did you bump into Brian Davis this week?
JIM FURYK: I have not seen him. I saw that he was like 2- or 3-under this morning. But I just saw his name on the board, but I haven't seen him.

Q. I assume between this year and what happened last year you had seen him and talked to him at some point at some tournament?
JIM FURYK: Yeah, but not at length, but not -- I'm not going to bring it up, if that makes sense. I admired what he did last year. I think it's obviously unfortunate. I said, last year it's not the way you want to win a golf tournament. But he was so quick to say, I think there's an issue here, and explain what he did. It was extremely upstanding.

Q. The way you talk about this golf course and it being under 7,000 yards, would you like to see more courses like this on Tour?
JIM FURYK: You're damn right I would (laughter). I'm comfortable. I'm not long by any means. You could argue I'm short. But I feel like I'm long enough to play on any course at any length. But obviously my strengths are getting the ball in play. When I'm playing well, my strengths are getting the ball in the fairway and attack the golf courses with short irons in my hand. Yeah, I'd love to play more golf courses at that length. It neutralizes power and kind of brought those guys back to my game.
But I pick and choose my schedule by the golf courses that I think favor me. Some of those are short courses, some of them aren't. Some of them are long courses. It has more to do with the style and how it suits my eye. I wouldn't consider Quail Hollow short, and it's one of my favorite courses.
But, yeah, I've always said that if the golf course was built before 1960, there's a really good chance I'm going to like it. If it was built after 1990 there's probably a good chance I'm not going to like it. And so I like to see us play more older, traditional golf courses. Some of them are falling by the wayside, but I think we've got a bunch of those on Tour and I enjoy playing them.
MARK STEVENS: Thanks a lot. Good luck this week.

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