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November 30, 2011

Jim Furyk


THE MODERATOR:  Okay.  We'd like to welcome Jim Furyk into the interview room here at the Chevron World Challenge.  Winner of this event in 2009 and also coming off a 5 and 0 record at the Presidents Cup.  Jim, welcome, and just get you to comment on being here at Sherwood again.
JIM FURYK:  It's nice to be back.  I wish the weather would stay just like it was today for the rest of the week, but hear the winds are going to be quite difficult for the next two days, but no, it's nice to be back.  It's a pretty important part of the world and a good way for me to finish off the season.
THE MODERATOR:  Okay.  We'll go right into questions.

Q.  Jim, obviously after you had a great year last year and then you sort of struggled this year, that Presidents Cup must have made you really feel, hey, man, I can still play?
JIM FURYK:  Well, yeah, I don't think I lost ‑‑ I lost some confidence along the way during the year, but I didn't lose confidence in the fact that you're not going to go from Player of the Year to, oh, I can't play anymore.
I realize you can lose confidence a lot quicker in this game than you can gain it.  You can lose it quickly, but you have to build up some momentum, build up some time and some consistency before you gain a lot of confidence back, and I feel like I'm hopefully back on track to doing so.  I feel a lot better about my game.
But going into the Presidents Cup and leading up a couple of months, I kept feeling better about my game.  I kept saying that I feel better about my game.  I'm not really seeing a lot of results.  I think the Presidents Cup, there was still some things I need to work on and things I wasn't happy about in my game, but I putted so well there and pretty much knocked in everything, so that covers up a lot of mistakes, and when you're putting well, you're playing well.

Q.  Jim, I realize this is dicey sometimes, but you made some equipment changes last year.  Looking back, was there any long adjustment to that that contributed to any of your problems this year or is that not a factor at all?
JIM FURYK:  Well, I hate to sit here and blame it on equipment because I don't really think that's the major thought.  I definitely tried to go a little bit different route in my game and maybe tried to address some of my weaknesses and trying to get a little longer off the tee, trying to hit the ball a bit farther.
I like the ball that I was playing.  It was spinning a little bit less than the products that I had played in the past.  The driver was spinning a little less than the products I had played in the past, so there was an adjustment period to that.
And I'll say that I didn't do a very good job adjusting at times either.  In hindsight if I had it to do over again, I may have done things a little bit differently.  I may have addressed my equipment a little bit different, but I think I learned a lot in the process.
And I really believe in the products I play with.  TaylorMade makes a great driver and I've said all year in commercials, they make a good golf ball.  I agree with that.  I learned a lot from them as far as from testing equipment.  And I asked a lot of questions, and I was struggling trying to get fit for a driver this year, and I think I learned a lot of information in the process that hopefully will make me a better player in the future.

Q.  Jim, can you talk about your experiences coming to LA and what you like about it, and also, if the weather is the way it's supposed to be tomorrow with the 30‑mile‑an‑hour winds, how that's going to affect how you guys play this course.
JIM FURYK:  Well, I think, you know, it's a beautiful place.  I think you look at the topography here, the weather here, this area of LA is beautiful, and the golf course is very picturesque.  So it's a pretty place to play.
When you think about the weather that's coming in, what makes this golf course difficult is a lot of Jack Nicklaus's golf course designs are built to be played in the air.  If you think of Muirfield in Ohio, one of my favorite golf courses, it's a golf course that if you're not bouncing the ball into a lot of greens, you're putting the ball up in the air and stopping on the greens.  And it makes it very difficult in the wind.  And it's the same with this golf course.
If the conditions are nice and the greens are soft, we can put the ball in the air and stop it and kind of maneuver around or over trouble, and with the winds kicking up and being I'm hearing 25 to 35 with gusts over 50‑‑ that's what I read this morning, gusts over 50, this place isn't ‑‑ it won't be playable.  So I don't know if that's actually the weather report, but I read that on weather.com this morning.  And it was worse last night when I checked.  It was 25 to 40 and gusts over 60.
So supposed to start at midnight tonight and last till noon on Friday.  So if we get weather like that, gusts over 50, the ball will not stay still on a green here.  We have to put the ball in the air to play this golf course, so the wind, we're going to have to be very careful and hitting very solid shots to control the ball when you put it up in the air in a strong wind.  I would expect scoring to be high, and I would expect the greens to be quite soft and quite slow.
I mean if you're going to get winds that are actually 35 miles an hour, I don't think you can cut the greens, to be honest with you.  Or else it's not going to stay on the green.  So it'll be interesting to see what the weather does and how everything plays out.  It won't be any fun.  I promise you that.

Q.  Congratulations on your score at Royal Melbourne.  How would you compare playing the Presidents Cup this year and previous Ryder Cups and Presidents Cups?  What was the high or where would you situate that?
JIM FURYK:  Well, I enjoy both events immensely.  My favorite events every year if I'm fortunate enough to qualify for the Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup, that's my favorite event.  I enjoy the camaraderie, and I enjoy going out there and pulling for my teammates or being the last match out, like Nick Watney and I were in the fourth set of matches and having the whole team there watching, and I enjoy that.
You know, the highlight of it all is when we're able to win, and so to go over there as a team and win, and we've been able to do so quite often in the Presidents Cup, it's been a lot of fun.  It's a great bonding experience, and I enjoyed playing the Ryder Cup last year, but it leaves a bad taste in your stomach to get beat.  We've had a bad record in the Ryder Cup, and you know, you're always trying to figure what if, or what I could have done better to help.  And you know, winning as a team and sharing that with those other 11 players and their wives and Freddie and Jay and John, you know, it's special and we'll always remember that and have a good time between ourselves because of it.

Q.  Jim, just going back to the equipment, why did you sort of go through those changes on the irons, and more specifically, the ball?
JIM FURYK:  I actually didn't ‑‑ I've always tried to tinker with irons a little bit and go to a set of blades, which I did for a couple of months in the season, but I ended up playing the majority of the year with my same irons that I played last year, so the irons weren't really a difficult change.

Q.  The balls?
JIM FURYK:  The balls, you're always looking for a better product.  You're always looking for something that helps you compete and play better, and I felt like, you know, I probably wasn't aware as much of the spin rate being down a little bit, but I knew that, you know, it makes sense.  I was hitting the ball higher, I was hitting the ball farther, and in order to do so, if you're going to launch the ball higher, the spin has to be a little less, and I was anxious to see how that played out.  You know, would it be a good thing for the ball, would the ball be receptive in the greens.
I expected it to be able to help me, and figured that I would hit the ball a touch farther off the tee, but I felt like I was hitting my irons anywhere from about a quarter to half club farther with the short irons and a half to a full club long in the long irons, and was anxious to see if I could turn that into something positive.
And a lot of it might be trumped in that I felt like I had some pretty good experiences and some pretty good ball‑striking events this year and some pretty good opportunities even earlier in the year to win some events, Harbourtown being one of them.  And I had some very poor putting experiences.  I was very consistently poor, I guess, for a lot of the year putting.  And you can't play well if you're not knocking in putts.  It doesn't matter how well you hit the ball, and it was a little frustrating and put a lot of pressure on the rest of my game.
You know, you feel like you gotta get the ball in the fairway and you have to get the ball in the green because I didn't feel like I was playing that well with the putter and probably forced too many shots to get them closer to the pin.

Q.  How do you find out about being invited to this event?  How does it happen?  When do you get the call?  Obviously you're getting ready and you say yes, but how does that happen?
JIM FURYK:  It goes off the world ranking, so you have a little bit of a history.  You can figure out what number got in through the previous years.  You look and get an idea.  I think at the time of the deadline I was in the Top 25 to 30, and historically that's gotten in at this event, so I felt like there was a good opportunity.  I knew I might be towards the bottom edge, but I also had heard there wasn't a lot of Europeans playing because of the Race to Dubai for next week, so I felt like there was a good opportunity I was going to get into the event and didn't really worry about it too much.

Q.  Some guys get knocked out or some guys just don't come?
JIM FURYK:  Yeah.  I believe it's the top 16 of the world rankings who want to play, and then there's a couple sponsor invites, but yeah, if the No. 5 player in the world chooses not to come or isn't here, it just keeps dropping down the ranks.

Q.  Do they close it two weeks ago?
JIM FURYK:  No.  This event happens earlier in the year.  I want to say it was maybe after Davis's event, after McGladrey.
THE MODERATOR:  September 19th, I believe.
JIM FURYK:  After BMW or it's even earlier than that.  Oh, you know what, it was HSBC.  It was after McGladrey.  So it was way back in our playoff series, way back at the BMW they said, so we've known for a long time, which is good actually in this case because you can plan your off season a little better, if you know you're getting in or not getting in, you can maybe plan around it and go play an event overseas.
It's such a nice event and it's here in the country for us.  And years ago I used to go play at South Africa Sun City, I won a couple times over there.  I really enjoy the people, I love the golf course.  But I've got this event.  Tiger runs it.  I've prayed a lot of golf alongside of him, and he runs a really good event for a wonderful cause.  And it's here in the U. S.; and it's just so easy to come over here, and it's a good golf tournament.

Q.  Do you know when you're going to start in 2012, and is there any sense of kind of wanting to get going and get started on the new year?  Is this week kind of the start to next year or do you not look at it that way?
JIM FURYK:  The past three years I've taken a lot of time off.  From the TOUR Championship to the start of my season this is really the only event I played.  This year I played two events in China and played the Presidents Cup after the TOUR Championship.  So you know, I've extended my season this year and will start pretty much where I always do, at Pebble Beach, play Pebble Beach, LA and the Match Play on the West Coast.
And if I had won, I would go to Mercedes and to Sony, but not winning in 2011 I'm not into Mercedes and will skip Sony.  I love the golf tournament, but if I'm not in it.  And I'm sorry.  I keep calling it the Mercedes.  It's ‑‑
JIM FURYK:  Hyundai, which bad slip on a veteran play there.  A rookie move.  Let's put it this way, the last time I played, I think it was.  (Laughs).  It wasn't this past year.  But I had played so many years under that name.
But not being in that event, not starting at the T of C I'm just going to take some time off, and I historically have not played San Diego, Phoenix or the Hope, just because I don't think they're really conducive to my game, so I need some time right now, I'm going to take two months, spend some time with my family and then I'll come out rearing to go at Pebble.

Q.  You mentioned Tiger's foundation earlier.  Do you do any charity work, and what was your inspiration to get involved?
JIM FURYK:  Well, actually my wife and I started our own foundation last fall, the Jim and tab that Furyk Foundation, we had our first event this spring, and it's to raise money for family and children's charities in our area in Jacksonville, Florida.
And I guess the inspiration is it was something that we always wanted to do.  We met through some kids in Columbus, Ohio, my wife and I did.  We were blessed with two healthy children, but realize there's a lot of kids out there in need and a lot of families in need, and we wanted to do the best ‑‑ I felt like having a great year last year was the perfect time to kind of start it and it was time for us to get off our rear ends and quit talking about it and finally start the foundation.
And a lot of players on TOUR do some wonderful charity work, and it's nice that when I have an event, you know, two or three, four or five of my friends will come and help me out, and I've done that as well, but I'm looking forward to kind of returning those favors and helping them out in their hometowns.
THE MODERATOR:  Jim, we appreciate your time.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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