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March 18, 2012

Jim Furyk


PHIL STAMBAUGH:  Hard‑fought day and you finish T‑2 here in a tournament you've done quite well at.  General thoughts about the day and take us down the stretch.
JIM FURYK:  I wanted to try to get a birdie in there after 3‑putting, I was on the fringe after 13 but after taking three to get down and making bogey and dropping back I was hoping to get a birdie in on 14 or 15 before hitting that tough stretch on 16, 17 and 18.
Actually I left the putt short, I got kind of caught up in the line on 14.  But hit some real good shots on that hole and didn't hit a particularly good iron shot at 15.  But I made a good second putt, which gave me some confidence.  And actually I had three pretty good looks to be honest with you.
18 maybe not the greatest of looks for birdie in regulation, but I hit a really good putt at 16 I thought might have went in.  I had a pretty good look at 17 and hit a pretty good putt.  18 was a little bit of a defensive putt but I got the ball in the hole and kept it on the high side and gave it an opportunity.
PHIL STAMBAUGH:  How about the putt in the playoff?
JIM FURYK:  Well, that's a putt, really, just trying to ‑‑ I hit it maybe a little harder than I would have usually and knocked it about five feet by.  Just a putt you're trying to get down there close.
I hit what I thought was a really good drive.  I didn't think that ball was going to miss the fairway and it hit off the back, what appeared to hit off the back of that mound and kind of shot forward and left and went much farther than hit it all week, because of that, got up there in the short cut and had an awkward lie with the ball way below my feet, especially my left foot was up really high.
Tried to take a little more iron because of the stance being so awkward, I didn't feel that I could go at 9 firm.  I felt like I would lose my balance, and so tried to hit an easy 8 and came out hot out of the short cut, and that's why it was long.
I hit good shots down the stretch.  I'm disappointed.  Obviously the 3‑putt at 13, I'll replay that through my mind a little bit and again got probably a little too caught up in the line.  It kicked really hard right coming off that fringe, but the speed was pitiful and I was a little surprised.  I didn't think I hit it three feet long, four feet long but ended up about eight feet long.
I hit the second putt ‑‑ absolutely, maybe the best putt I hit all day.  A little surprised that one didn't go in.  That first one was so bad, I left myself in that position.

Q.  Talk about getting out of the box so quick today.
JIM FURYK:  Well, I didn't really leave myself in a spot ‑‑ you would rather be in the front bunker with a lot more green to work with.  I drew a pretty good lie over there; it was a little uphill and hit just a perfect bunker shot.  It looked like it was just going to be a tap‑in and ended up going in the hole.
Nice to get off to a good start.  Then I hit a really poor iron shot into 11 and drew a tough lie there just left of the green when I chipped it past and made bogey.  I calmed down pretty good.  I hit some good shots at 3 and 4 and 5, kind of calmed down and got in a good rhythm today.
Didn't putt poorly today but I didn't see putts go in today like I did yesterday and that was kind of the difference in the score.  I would have liked to have kept the middle of that round going a bit more, see a few more putts good in and try to be a front runner there and put pressure on the other guys rather than being there in the mix.

Q.  On 18, how buried was the ball?
JIM FURYK:  The way the spotters and everyone was looking at it‑‑ you could see the golf course kind of browning out this week.  So from the tee you could see if you were in a brown area, you had a thin lie and you could go after it.  But I could see that it was really green and the way everyone was looking at it, I thought I had a horrible lie.  When I got up there, it wasn't great but I knew I could fly it on the green.  It was just a matter of kind of guessing right on the distance and how far that ball is going to go.
You know, it hit, I think I found the ball mark, just a little short left of the pin.  Hit a perfect spot and just hard to stop it coming out of the rough.  It was playable, as the putt was‑‑ the last two on 18, they were pretty mean.

Q.  So many guys got at or near the top today.  Can you just talk about being in the arena for five hours and what that was like.
JIM FURYK:  Yeah, at one time, once I bogeyed, I saw that Ernie was 14 and there was five guys at 13‑under par.
So in my mind, I was thinking that I had to get it to 14, and I was thinking that 15 was a win.  And knowing that stretch at the end was difficult, 15 would win for sure.  I know 14 would definitely at least be in a playoff.  I was a little surprised to see it was only 13 but those last few holes are difficult and were playing tough today.  The pins at 17 and 18 were very difficult to get to.

Q.  How encouraged do you feel?  Do you feel like you're back to playing Jim Furyk golf now for hopefully the rest of the year?
JIM FURYK:  I've kind of been saying all year I've been feeling comfortable about my game.  The results on paper might not show it before this week, but I felt good about the way I'm hitting it; the way I'm shaping the ball well; my short game feels good, I'm really happy with my equipment.
I'm really happy with my equipment.  I switched a lot of equipment in my bag this year but never felt better with it.  I did a lot of great testing at Callaway with it and I appreciate all their hard work.
I feel confident in my game.  I'm hoping to play better and to play well this year.  Talking about this year; I was kind of laughing about my press conference here yesterday, because all we did was talk about how I played last year.  I laughed about it on the way out of here yesterday.  And I would like to play well for a few more events so we could talk about how well I'm playing this year, rather than how bad I played last year.

Q.  There might be one or two big events coming up this year, so your timing could be maybe as good.
JIM FURYK:  It's disappointing obviously to get so close, and I had every opportunity like everyone else to close it out and get to 14‑under and I didn't do it.
I'm disappointed in myself for that, but it takes a lot of confidence.  You can lose it quickly and takes a lot to build it back.  I feel like I'm on the right path to building some confidence back and feeling good about my game.
PHIL STAMBAUGH:  Good luck next week.

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