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November 21, 2003

Fred Funk

Jim Furyk


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Jim Furyk, Fred Funk, thank you for joining us. Jim, you won two matches today and Fred got the first point in the afternoon. If we could from each of you start with a few opening comments and we'll go right into questions.

JIM FURYK: It was definitely a big day for our team today. We started the day one point behind and I think we're now three points up onto Saturday's round. So, we were able to turn the momentum today, keep it going this afternoon and it was just a real big day for our team.

FRED FUNK: Yeah, it was great. I was sitting out in the morning and went out and watched the first nine holes. It was a great atmosphere out there. It was just fun to watch.

Definitely turned the momentum around a little bit like Jim said. Playing this afternoon, it felt really good for me to get a victory point, one point for the team. A little disappointing finish yesterday and you looked at the beginning of the round today, when I looked on the board it was real early in the match. We were the second group. The first group was only through five. All four matches were down, or all five matches were down. It didn't look too good.

We were 2-down after three and the wind kicked up, it played pretty tough out there. We were just trying to keep the pressure on them in any way we could and, they made a few mistakes. And we made some mistakes, too. But David and I just played good when we needed to. Then what it's all about. Watching that finish right there with what Ernie just did, that was incredible. That makes it for really great theatre.

Q. After the disappointment of yesterday, what was the team talk about last night, what did you guys say to one another like you did today?

FRED FUNK: Should we really tell them? (Laughter.)

JIM FURYK: It was a disappointing finish. We didn't close the door when we had to last night. I think we just rallied as a team and you're there to pat each other on the back and get each other ready for tomorrow and for the next day.

You have to realize it's the first day and even though we were disappointed with the way we played, there's still a lot of golf to be played. Even though we're through three rounds, you still have to come out firing. And it's a strong team we're playing against. We're going to have to play just as well as we did today if we expect to stay ahead. So really it was licking your wounds a little bit and getting ready to come out.

FRED FUNK: Last night, though, at the meeting, not the meetings, but the player dinner, all the wives and everybody, and we just had a great dinner and a great time. A lot of great camaraderie with everybody. It was fun. There was no dejection at all. Everybody was just really light-hearted, telling jokes, doing other things. Talent contest.

Q. Who won that?

FRED FUNK: Well, I say Elin.

JIM FURYK: I guess there was a lot of non-golf talent in the room. (Laughter.)

Q. We've had two days of competition now. What are your thoughts of this layout where very often a par or sometimes a bogey can win a hole, this being good match-play; comments from either of you?

FRED FUNK: Think it's a really good match-play golf course. I would hate to play this thing in really tough conditions in stroke-play because anything can happen. You get some really bad bounces, a couple holes are really brutal holes. 12 today it's hard no matter what direction the wind is but it was straight in there this afternoon, and that's really the par 5. I think guys were winning holes, we might have won the hole, we won the hole with a bogey, might have won it with a double. They had really gotten in trouble on that hole. Really playing not to get into trouble on that hole. There were times when you could win a hole playing defense. It's not really a good golf course to play offense all the time.

Obviously it depends on what the other team is doing and where you are in the match. But you take your chances, you can get rewarded.

JIM FURYK: Just give you a lot of options off the tee and play the golf course in a lot of different ways and I think that's what makes the golf course interesting for match-play events.

Q. You had a great save on 12 but your second shot was 30 meters short. Was it a lay-up?

JIM FURYK: That's exactly the way we tried to play it. I couldn't have been happier actually with my second shot. Justin got a bad break off the tee and he drove it, he hit his best driver he said of the week and it hit right down there by one of the drains, and it only rolled about three yards and picked up a lot of mud. So we lost probably a good 30 yards off that tee shot.

I got on one of those mounds on an uphill lie and now I've got 210 yards to the front of the green on an uphill lie into the wind. In order for me to get back to that pin it was about 235 to the pin. I would have had to have hit a 3-wood possibly, 4-wood on to the green, 3-wood to the pin and I don't think anyone in their right mind is going to try to hit that shot.

Justin and I tried to play up short of the green, I hit it exactly where I wanted to. Justin kind of got a bad lie. The ball was sitting down kind of in some scratchy grass and he didn't quite hit it just how he wanted to and he saw it roll up the hill and roll down and was fortunate enough to knock that next shot in.

Q. Seems like if all of the Presidents Cups and Ryder Cups you play in personally, you've had a ton of matches come down to the 17th or 18th hole and today you didn't have one match go past the 15th tee. Can you talk about how rare that is in these type of competitions and how well you're playing to make that happen?

JIM FURYK: It happens once in awhile. Last time at RTJ I got rolled over in one match and then came back the very next match and did the same thing. But you're pairing up a lot of very good players and very highly-ranked players. You're going to see some very close matches and matches that go down the stretch. We've seen a lot of that so far and that's what makes it exciting. It's definitely more relieving for the players to have a good match and both myself and my partners played very well today. We got paired up against guys that probably weren't real happy about the way they performed, the way they played and expect those guys to come back strong tomorrow because they are great players.

End of FastScripts.

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