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September 15, 2011

Jim Furyk


JIM FURYK: The best you can do is go out there and grind it out and play as hard as you can. It's a good start. I played real well under blustery conditions where I was able to birdie 14, 15 and 16, three holes in a row, get it to 3-under par. Made a couple bogeys, couple birdies on the way in, but overall feel good about the start. Scores aren't that good today, but got a bunch of rounds in front of me.

Q. When you're in the position you're in, do you go out there like you always do thinking about winning and letting things fall where they may, or do you worry about your position? I guess there's a spot you've got to finish this week to advance.
JIM FURYK: I'm not sure what that spot is, and I won't check. I know I want to go out and play as well as I can. As the week goes on they start giving you projections, too, so you have an idea of what's going on.
But no, I think the way they handle it is -- and I said this in the pressroom yesterday. When I was trying to win the FedExCup last year, I'd go in Friday night, Saturday night after my rounds and they were talking -- well, if you win the tournament tomorrow you'd win the FedExCup, more than likely you'd be Player of the Year and then down the line. It kept getting worse and worse as we went and as we talked. And I kept saying, yeah, but I first have to win the golf tournament. There's a lot of golf left and I have to play well tomorrow, so that's the main focus.
And I think when you come to an event like this, if I knew I had to finish 18th to advance, it's the wrong process to think about going out there and trying to finish 18th. The idea is we tee it up every week and you try to play the best with what you've got. But we're ultimately trying to win golf tournaments and jockey for position.
I feel good about my round today. Justin played a beautiful round of golf. He's going to separate himself from the field. I feel good about my position. I need to improve on a few things. There was a few things I wasn't happy with out there. But all in all I really ground out a good round and limited the mistakes and shot a pretty good number.

Q. The last two days in a row you've talked about the Presidents Cup. Why are those competitions and the Ryder Cup so important to you?
JIM FURYK: Well, it's -- it ends -- the point system ends this week. Why is it important to me? I think it's an honor to represent your country. I've played on a bunch of teams, both Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup, and I cherish those memories. I'm not wanting and my mind is not willing to give that up yet because I enjoy them so much.

Q. Talk about how Justin played today.
JIM FURYK: I think he played beautiful. You know, he drove the ball in the fairway, kept it out of trouble, hit some beautiful iron shots and he rolled in a bunch of putts. He wasn't knocking in 40-footers left and right, he was knocking in 15-footers. A really good round of golf. I thought he played well and played very aggressively there on the 9th hole and got another birdie out of it. So hats off to him. He played a spectacular round.

Q. You touched on the weather conditions out here this morning. Does it seem strange a little bit when you come out here and it's 50 when you remember the Western Opens when it used to be like 100 degrees out here?
JIM FURYK: We were happy last week in Florida because it got down in the 80s and it wasn't so hot, and then before I left it was back in the 90s again and I was sweating my rear end off. And then to come out here, it feels like winter to be honest with you compared to what we've seen. Yeah, it's awkward. I've got to assume this is pretty unusual weather for Chicago even this time of year.
The afternoons have been nice, but I think we've got one more morning to get through tomorrow, and then it's supposed to be pretty good weather the rest of the way.

Q. Has there been anything different in your game the last month or so after some struggles for a good part of the year?
JIM FURYK: Well, yeah, I've been pretty consistent with my comments all year. I feel like two things were kind of bothering my play this year. I didn't feel like I was putting very well and I didn't feel like I was driving the ball very well. Those are two of the three most important parts of golf. I worked hard and switched drivers and shafts back at Firestone, and I've been kind of working a couple drivers since, very similar, and felt like I've been more consistent with my driver, and the belly putter has definitely helped me become a little bit more consistent with my putting.
I've still got, I think, a learning curve, but I'm putting better now than I was before I started. At that point I really had nothing to lose. I really wasn't in good shape on the Money List, the FedExCup, I wasn't really doing that well, and I had nothing to lose and just felt like I was trying something new almost every week, and it felt like I needed to commit to something, so I committed to that style and felt like I'd give it a shot the rest of the year.

Q. It's been a weird evolution considering a year ago you were using a putter that you bought at a pro shop --
JIM FURYK: I was using a belly putter in the Playoffs last year, just because you all tend to forget that. In Boston I was putting the first two rounds with a belly putter and decided that it just wasn't the right timing and had no other putter with me, and I wanted to putt with a heel-shafted putter. They had none at the shop there at Boston so they told me to go to Joe & Lee's. They had one heel shafted putter. It was that putter I putted with last year, so I grabbed it, putted with it the fourth round. I brought it here and tried a bunch of other stuff but decided I liked that one the best, putted here and the TOUR Championship with it.
I actually putted three rounds last year of the Playoffs with a belly putter. I'll do anything with a putter, you'd better watch out. Subject to change any time.

Q. You've had so much individual success throughout your career, but is that consecutive streak of the Ryder and Presidents Cup teams one of the highlights of your career?
JIM FURYK: It's something I'm very proud of because of the consistency involved over the years. But more than -- I think more importantly I just enjoy playing so much. My wife and I enjoy the camaraderie and spending time with everyone, and there's going to be a day when I'm not going to be capable or able to -- I'm going to get older and I'm not going to be able to play in those events, and I'm going to miss it dearly, but like I said, I'm hoping that that day isn't coming any time soon and I'm going to get to play on some more teams.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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