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July 1, 2005

Jim Furyk


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Jim Furyk, thanks for joining us. Just one off the lead heading into the weekend; second round 70 puts you at 8 under par. You're in good position heading into the weekend and your stats were comparable to yesterday, probably just didn't make as many putts.

JIM FURYK: Yeah, I had more opportunities yesterday, too. I hit the ball closer. It's kind of hard to compare 7 under and 1 under. They might have been close stat wise as far as greens and fairways, but it's not like I ran in a bunch of 30 footers yesterday and didn't make them today or that I putted poorly today.

I played well, and some of the bogeys early I actually hit some good shots and made bogeys and I made some great pars down the stretch hitting some bad shots, so maybe it all kind of rounded out today and worked out. Overall I'm happy with the round, would have liked to have shot better than 1 under, but overall in the whole picture of things, one off the lead, got myself in the second to last group tomorrow, so in good position for the weekend. I need to go out and play two good solid rounds now, and right now I'll be focused on tomorrow putting myself in position for a run on Sunday.

Q. Could you talk about the difference in the course conditions you had yesterday morning and then this afternoon?

JIM FURYK: Well, I was thrown off a little early by the course conditions. They were a little firmer today. Obviously the ball was chasing a little bit more in the fairways, ball released on some of the greens.

The moisture was coming out of the greens today, but in the high spots, like a pin on 18 where the pin is setting up high on the green, you can see balls landing on the green and hitting the fringe, I hit a really crisp 9 iron, landed about three yards short, two hops, it was on the fringe 25, 30 feet behind the pin. My eyes got about that big (indicating two inch circles), and then other holes where I hit a shot in, if it hit kind of a low lying area or a low part of the green or the front of the green where the moisture drained, the ball would die. I hit a 3 iron out of the rough and it died and the ball went that far (indicating one foot) after it hit. I was scratching my head trying to figure out what's going on early in the round.

There was some, I think, the low spots retained the moisture, and it kind of a good player will go out there and make a good educated guess about how the ball is going to react, but every once in a while there was a curve ball and a surprise. I had a good birdie opportunity at 18 but I was really surprised at the huge hop and then it came back off the slope. There was a few of those. I expect without any more rain it's going to firm up and play tough on the weekend.

Q. A couple weeks ago we had Jason Gore making a run from the Nationwide Tour at the U.S. Open, now we have another Nationwide Tour player leading this tournament after two rounds. Should we be surprised by that? What does that say about the caliber of play on the Nationwide Tour?

JIM FURYK: The caliber of play is good. I know 9 is leading but I didn't look at the board.

Q. It's Chris Couch leading.

JIM FURYK: Yeah, he's played the Tour before, so I don't think that's surprising at all. I'm trying to think of the scores I saw. I saw Herron at 8 because he finished real, real early, and that's the only score I could tell you that's around me on the leaderboard. I looked at the numbers, but never really looked to see who the people were.

Yeah, Chris has had his card, he's played the Tour, he's got a year of experience and understands a little bit more what it takes. The Nationwide Tour is a great proving ground. You look at most of our top players today and they've gone through there. Your exceptions are Tiger and Mickelson and maybe Justin Leonard, but most of the players that you can name that have come up young have been out there for at least a year, and there's a lot of players out there that are more than able and capable of competing very well out here and winning golf tournaments out here like a Chad Campbell coming basically right off the Nationwide and ready to go. It didn't take him long to prove himself. He was pretty much a superstar coming right off the Nationwide. There's some good players out there.

Q. You talked about the weekend. Is it just staying focused and keep doing what you're doing?

JIM FURYK: Yeah, I made some really, really good swings today and I really liked the way I hit the ball in spots, and I made some really horrendous swings today, a few that I got loose on and some stuff that I want to work on. That's all part of a round. I want to just stay consistent.

You know, I didn't get much out of the early part of my round today, say for the first seven holes, not that I really did anything all that poorly. I was 2 over through 7 and probably struck the ball through that part of the round as good as I hit it all day but just didn't whether the putt didn't go in or I didn't judge the yardage right or I pulled a wrong club or I hit the perfect shot and hit a good putt and it just didn't go in, I'll be focusing on score and trying to get the ball in the hole.

Like last week, when I sat in here last week, I talked about, hey, I'm in a great spot after two rounds. You're not putting the cart before the horse, just concentrating on playing a good, solid round tomorrow, trying to get myself in position and play a good round on Sunday and give myself a chance.

Q. You've won on a variety of different kinds of courses. Isn't this style course your favorite, more like the kind you grew up on in Pennsylvania with trees and rolling fairways?

JIM FURYK: I like our old traditional golf courses, tree lined fairways, greens that are relatively round in nature, sloping back to front. There's always a center of the green. That's what I like about these kind of golf courses. You get in trouble or you get between clubs or you get in a position where you're uncomfortable, maybe a tough, difficult wind, you can always put the ball in the middle of the green and have a relatively decent birdie putt, and that's how I grew up playing. That's how I learned. When you're in trouble, you hit a shot out to the front of the green, you always have an uphill play and you always have a chance if you get up and down to make par, and that's the way I was taught to play and learned to play.

A lot of the new era of architecture, like the TPC at Sawgrass, for instance, the 4th hole has no middle of the green. It does not exist. The middle of the green is a big hump. 13 is like that. It's just a different style, and I've learned to play it. I think living down there has helped me, one, play on Bermuda grass where I didn't grow up, and it's also helped me at getting better at playing different styles of courses.

But I'm still I went to school out in Tucson, and the ball goes farther and you're out in the desert, and I'd get used to it, I'd be out there for nine months in school and I'd go home, and the day I went back to Pennsylvania I was comfortable. I'd play all summer in tournaments back east, I'd go out to Arizona and immediately I was kind of a fish out of water for about two or three or four days or a week or whatever it took to get acclimated to different turf, different elevation. So I'm comfortable on this style of golf course.

Q. And yet you've been able to win everywhere, you've won in the desert, in Hawaii, a lot of different locations?

JIM FURYK: I think a lot of that is going to school at a different place. The ball goes further in Vegas and being comfortable with that. I live in Florida now, Doral. It's more of a traditional golf course, but playing on that type of turf. So I think it's enabled me to I think going to school in a different part of the country, living in a different part of the country, growing up in Pennsylvania, I've kind of I think it's helped.

But the good players will adjust, too, as far as to conditions, but that's probably been the biggest part for me. I spent four years in Arizona, I've lived in Florida now for nine years, so it's been good for me to learn those different styles and different ways of golf. I just need to move to Scotland now for a couple years (laughing).

Q. Kind of following what Gary was asking, since you do play so many different golf courses, do you ever work different clubs in and out of your 14? Like some of the guys were telling me they may take a driver with less loft to play at St. Andrews to get a little more run on the ball because that's what you can get away with over there.

JIM FURYK: That's possible. I switch, yeah. I have about 15 or 16 clubs that could possibly be in the bag. 95 percent of the time it's the same 14. I switch my bag around a little bit for Augusta, put something to get the ball up in the air a little bit more, like a 5 wood or something to that effect. One year I played without a 3 wood there because I just saw no reason to have it. When I go over to the British Open, I'll put a 2 iron in the bag instead of that hybrid or that 5 wood, or this year I may take a hybrid with a little less loft to drive the ball lower to get something under the wind. When you go to Augusta there's no reason to have one that you hit low and hot. I usually go in and out and adjust it to different conditions. Not too much. I'd say 13 clubs are real constant and one has the opportunity maybe to be moved around a little bit.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Jim Furyk, thank you.

JIM FURYK: Thanks.

End of FastScripts.

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