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January 7, 2006

Jim Furyk


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Jim, thanks for joining us. Past winner here at the Mercedes Championships. Another tough day, but you put yourself in position to try to unseed Stuart Appelby tomorrow. Opening comments about the day.

JIM FURYK: You know, another consistent round. Kind of got off to a bad start on both nines. I bogeyed No. 1 and 10 today. Able to rebound, make some birdies on the way in. Overall played a solid round.

I think tomorrow I'm going to have to -- three 72s, it's going to have to be a better one tomorrow if I want a chance to win.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Is 72 on a day like today still a good score?

JIM FURYK: I felt like I played a good round. There was probably less than 10 rounds under par. That being the case, it was a good, solid round. So, yeah, a good round of golf. Lucas I think shot 3-under. That's a real good round of golf. Got myself in a good position. It's fun. First tournament of the year. Be fun for Sunday.


Q. What is going to be the key tomorrow if the conditions are similar?

JIM FURYK: Well, I'd like to get off to a little better start than I have the last couple days. Even that being the said, for me it's probably continuing to keep striking the ball pretty well and I probably need to knock in a few more putts. I had a couple good looks today. On the backside I actually started rolling the ball a little bit better and hit some really good putts. A couple of them looked like they could have gone in and did not.

For me, it's going to be knocking in a few more putts, keep continuing doing the things I'm doing.

Q. Are you getting more comfortable on the new greens?

JIM FURYK: Yeah, the greens are better than they've ever been, so I'm definitely -- I haven't putted poorly, but I haven't putted great either. I've got no one to blame for that but me. The greens are as good as they've ever been - they're better than they've ever been. I think they afford you the ability to knock some putts in. It's really tough in that hard wind, especially when you get up on some of those high greens where there's no protection, we're getting beat up pretty good. It's hard to stay still and hit a good, solid putt.

Q. How do you stop the wind from just kind of tearing apart your game?

JIM FURYK: Well, I've never had a real difficult time hitting the ball low. For me, I'm more comfortable hitting the ball low usually than I am hitting it straight up in the air and hitting it high. I'm not sure. You have to be really creative. I mean, you're out there with -- I'm out there with, you know, 90 yards hitting 9-iron, I'm out there about 160 or 170 yards at times almost hitting wedge. You're really being creative with the clubs you've got and the selection you've got.

Really I think the experience from Thursday, Friday, Saturday, I'm not saying it gets easier, but you get used to and accustom to different shots, and "Okay. I continually long on this hole. I'm not taking enough yardage off on the hill or the slope, or I'm continually short on this hole, I'm not adding enough for the wind and the uphill."

You kind of adjust. You are kind of thrown out by that point. You're playing different shots. You're always on side-hill lies. You just have to be creative out here. You get more comfortable the more days you play. Especially with the wind blowing the same direction, it's been close, almost the same direction every day. If it turned around and went to a Kona tomorrow, it would throw everyone for a loop.

Q. Do you almost have to forget what it's like in less wind to deal with the wind we've had here this week?

JIM FURYK: Yeah, you can't hit your normal shots out here. If you try to hit just a normal 7-iron into this wind right now, I'd probably hit it about 120 yards. It wouldn't go anywhere. I'm trying to hit the ball lower and kind of smooth and easy, try to take some spin off the ball so I can kind of bore it through the wind, kind of bunt it around, try to put the ball in position where you have some opportunities.

Q. As a guy who has been on TOUR for a while, knows the players, their games, Stuart obviously plays well here, back again for a third year. Is that just a feeling of comfort for a guy? Other guys look at him and say, "Here he goes again"?

JIM FURYK: Well, you know, obviously his record is really good on this golf course. He must be very, very comfortable with the way it sets up for his game. Winning two years in a row, pretty much being in control this tournament most of the way, he's the guy to beat.

The other battle is a lot of guys -- it's the first tournament of the year, a lot of guys are coming off cold weather, Christmas, just haven't been playing a lot. A lot of guys, their games aren't in shape either. He either gets it back very, very quickly or he's been working pretty good in the off-season, one of the two.

Q. Down under.

JIM FURYK: Maybe he's been playing a little bit at home. A lot of us live in good weather. It doesn't mean we're always out there practicing. A lot of guys, you want to spend Christmas and kind of be with your family during the holidays.

Q. Nick Faldo used to say when you play in very windy conditions, it would be difficult to get his game back for a week or so. Do you have a hard time getting your game back after four days of this?

JIM FURYK: Can be. It can be tough. It's a good chance it could be eight days of this after next week (laughter). It can be. I've gone to the British Open at times, played in some very hard winds, I come home and it does take a while. I usually don't play after the British Open for that reason. The adjustment coming home, trying also to hit the ball in the air again rather than hit these low darts that run, yeah, it can be tough.

Sometimes it's taken me, you know, a day or two and I feel really comfy, and other times a week later I'm still trying to figure out the mess. I just kind of feel twisted up in my setup. A lot of times, your common mistakes, the ball gets pushed too far back, your weight is on your left side, your shoulders are kind of level. You kind of have to get back and get in a position where you can -- I don't think your swing changes, I think you get into habits playing in the wind that help you hit the ball lower. You just can't expect to click it and immediately go back to normal. It takes a couple days to work back into it.


End of FastScripts.

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