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June 24, 2005

Jim Furyk


CHRIS REIMER: 65, 69, Jim, let's start out with talking about your seventh, eighth hole going out from the fairway.

JIM FURYK: Interesting, I had kind of a wild ride there, holes 5 through 8. I had a three-footer for a birdie and missed. Hit it 12 feet on 6, missed that for birdie, both relatively easy putts. Went to 7, didn't drive it around on the corner far enough. Hit the trees. Third shot got it on the green, rolled back off. Fourth shot, knocked it like 10 feet back. Huge curling putt, goes in the hole for five. Missed two simple putts. Made a difficult one for five, good save. Needed to settle down a little bit, nice knocking that putt in. Hit a great driver over the trees on 8, tried to determine what the wind was doing between 9-iron and 8-iron. I wanted to hit the 9, my caddy talked me out of it; thought the 8 was the right club. After he told me what he thought the wind was doing, described the shot, I thought he was right. Took a little off the 8-iron and put it in the hole. I wish I would have birdie the 9th hole to top it off. I hit a good shot there, nice bonus, goes in the hole. I kind of flipped back and forth there a bunch those last few holes. Had some opportunities that I wasted, hit some great shots that went in the hole; so it was kind of an exciting finish.

Q. Yesterday you described the 18-hole, first-round lead as very unimportant; how would you describe a 36-hole lead?

JIM FURYK: The day is not over, but it is nice to -- it is a good feeling after coming off a good round yesterday. I separated myself from the field a little bit by three shots. It is a good feeling to go out and play a solid round, hit a lot of fairways, hit a lot of greens, what I was able to do today. Really, I didn't get in trouble a lot today. I had to make a few key par saves today. Two, three, four probably a few instances I was able to do that. And I made a good save on 7 for five. And then I got myself in a little bit of trouble. But for most of the day it was a lot like yesterday, kind of solid down the middle.

Maybe didn't hit the ball quite as close as yesterday, maybe not quite as many opportunities, didn't knock in as many putts for birdie, but I had a good solid round.

Q. Course management is critical on every course you play; is it more of a premium on a course like this?

JIM FURYK: Yes and no. I think it is premium on all golf courses. A lot of it is going to depend on the setup. As these greens dry out, as the pins get close to the edge, as we talked yesterday about the pin on 14, how severe it was, course management. There is strategy, it is trying to put the ball in the right place. The difficult part is executing it and putting the ball there.

Yesterday and today, I think on the golf course like this when it is set up tough, I believe because of the wind, it will probably firm up and get even a little bit harder and more difficult for the afternoon players today. There are some places you have to be careful out there. I think of lot of this is playing this golf course before and doing your homework in the practice rounds and identifying those pins and knowing from years past, this is a tricky pin here, if you get a little aggressive or if you miss it to the right, you are going to have a difficult job.

Yesterday I did a good job on getting the ball in the right spot, putting the ball on the green, taking the opportunity, two putt, get it out of there. When I had places I could pick and choose and be aggressive I hit really good golf shots. I was able to birdie those holes. Today I didn't take advantage of my opportunities as much as I did yesterday other than 7, I made kind of a dumb second shot play, but I still managed my game and put the ball in the right spots.

Q. When you hit a shot on and it feels right, it feels good, do you try to root it in or are you just sort of thinking it is going to be close?

JIM FURYK: No, final left pin there really just trying to hit a solid, good shot. I had the wind coming to the left. That ball started a little bit to the right of the pin, the wind blew it back on the pin. I was waiting for it to get close. It looked like it was going to be really tight. I was asking for it to get in there as tight as you can and it disappeared. I wasn't out there saying "go in the hole" or "be right today" or anything like that. It is just Friday, so I was asking for it to get close.

After bogeying 7, I should have a wedge in my hand. I was looking to try to get an opportunity on 8 and I knew I had a good birdie opportunity on 9 playing downwind today.

Q. A lot of times you see guys who win tournaments, they have shots like that, they go into a trap or someplace like that. How does it affect your mental outlook when you get one like that?

JIM FURYK: Well, yeah, I think of those shots too when you think back of guys winning golf tournament, when I think of winning Memorial, hole in a bunker shot and I lost in the Playoffs here one year, I hit it about 12 feet on 18 and made eagle, I think of those shots. I usually think of those shots on Sunday. It is definitely uplifting. It is a good feeling to be able to hold that shot out. Ultimately some of it is going to be good fortune, so it is nice to get a little of that early in the tournament. The way I look at it, I hit a golf shot that was going to end up close to the pin for birdie, I was fortunate to have it fall in.

Q. You are already in it eight under par do you think that the course may toughen up a little bit, it is a good way to finish off this morning and kind of --

JIM FURYK: Regardless if someone plays as well this afternoon or gets the lead, it is not going to matter to me if someone gets to 9 or 11-under or if I'm leading under 2, it doesn't matter. I am happy with the position I am in. I played well the first two days and tried to put myself in a good position.

Q. Do people give you grief anymore about your swing? If they do, do you have a standard response, press release or anything like that or is it beyond that now?

JIM FURYK: I think it is beyond that. When I first came out I can remember going to the media room on the lead or close to the lead and sitting there for 25 minutes and talking about my swing for 20 and talking about the round for five. And then, two or three years into it when I established myself on Tour and I've won tournaments, people quit talking about my swing and I heard it when I went to play foreign tournaments or to places or areas of the world where I've never been before, then my swing became a big deal again. It used to kind of push a button. If there was a question I hadn't been asked, it would have perked me up had there been. I ran out of stuff for a while. I had the same response. But it really hasn't come up very much anymore and I think you know, I've -- I think just being out here this many years, this is my 12th year on the Tour, establishing yourself as a ball striker and a player and a member -- no one has talked about it for a long, long time.

Q. Any talk in the locker room at all about what Annika is trying to do in Colorado? Guys talking about it in the locker room?

JIM FURYK: I haven't heard anyone talk about it. I watched about five minutes probably last night, running it maybe on ESPN 2 last night. I watched about five minutes. I was flipping channels and happened to see it. I was curious what she shot. I never did find out in that five minutes. Had Tiger been trying to win his third I probably would have heard four times what he shot. I hadn't heard many guys talk about it in the locker room.

Q. You think it is being overlooked at all?

JIM FURYK: I doubt it, Sorenslam, not if you've been watching ESPN. I am on the road, so normally I'm watching ESPN or HBO or a sporting event. As long as you have those on, they are talking about it quite a bit.

Q. Did something happen on 7 with that marshal, because I noticed after you made that putt, were they moving around or something on that right-hand side? That definitely got your attention I noticed.

JIM FURYK: Someone had a clearing of their throat up there a couple of my swings unfortunately. So before I hit my putt I asked if they were done clearing their throat. As I was hitting my fourth shot someone very loudly, it sounded to me, deliberately, once in the middle of my swing on my fourth shot, loud enough that I was 40 yards away from the person and I heard it very, very clearly as I marked my ball. I heard again, the same cough, real loud, whether it was intentional or not, I just asked, I don't know who it was, I asked if they were done clearing their throat. If it was intentional, I wanted them to stop and if it wasn't intentional, I wanted them to stop. I didn't care either way, just give me a little bit of peace and quite.

Q. Is there something that you do when something like that gets you out of your routine because that obviously got you out of your routine and that was probably the best putt you hit all day?

JIM FURYK: That was a tough putt. I was happy that it went in at the time. My emotions were flying high. I drove it right down the middle. I thinned the 3-wood, I was between 3-wood and driver, got caught behind the tree, was on my second shot. I am looking at making five or six. I was a little mad at myself. I didn't know, it was very loud and very deliberate, I don't know if it was done on purpose or not, but either way, I was hoping, "do me a favor and hold it in a while, I am playing, please." We didn't hear it again after that, there was no problems; no harm, no foul.

Q. Which birthday is it for your daughter?

JIM FURYK: Third, third. They were supposed to be here with me today, this weekend and they didn't make the trip. And so I got a chance to maybe -- hopefully she was watching TV, I doubt it, she doesn't watch a lot of golf on TV; if she did, she would've seen it.

Q. I am curious because some guys --

(inaudible) -- talking about families on Tour, they lose focus of their games, the other side is they have more stability in their lives and it helps their game, which side of the coin do you fall on

JIM FURYK: Well, I think that there is times where -- before you have kids, it was my wife and I, we dated for a long time, we got married. You are just so individualized in your thing; it is me, me, me or us, golf, golf, golf. That has its pluses or negatives. The plus is that is all you really focus on, the negative is that's all you really focus on at times. A lot of time your mind doesn't wander or have a time to rest. Having children, it changes things for you. You may never make a decision without thinking of them first. You always put yourself second or third in this case and golf becomes secondary. At this point it is still very important to our family and very important to me, but, you know, I think it is -- there is times maybe where I would have -- I don't know if I would have practiced more in the past, but there was time that I would go home and take golf home with me more. There is nothing better than -- I shouldn't say better. There is nothing worse than shooting 76, there is nothing better than going home and playing with your kids because they can care less, they don't know if you shot 66 or 76, all they want is their dad and want to hang out, that is special, that is fun when it happens. I think anyone that would say having children maybe hurt their game, I am sure there is people that would say that, but I'm sure they wouldn't have it any other way, because the rewards are so much more important than golf.

Q. Do you have any opinion on what they did to 7 and the change they made to 7?

JIM FURYK: Today I thought it was terrible -- (laughing) -- the way I played the hole. They made it a lot more difficult hole. I liked the old hole. Even though I was a guy that never hit it over the trees, I never really had the power or the length to knock it over that green, but I thought it was a really cool short hole because it gave you so many options. There were really three options, two that most people would utilize. Now there is pretty much one option, possibly two; it kind of cut down the options, it has definitely made it more difficult. I don't dislike it, I don't love it. I don't dislike it. It is what it is. I like the fact before that guys could go for the green and see a bunch of birdies and guys driving it up there close. And I thought it was fun. But I wasn't here last year. This probably takes a little bit out of it, a little bit out of the play. And it has definitely made what used to be kind of a long iron, 3-wood play out there, now it is a driver 3-wood, depending on the conditions. I still have to hit the ball over 260 to really get around the corner, so if you can hit a 1-iron 260, more power to you, most of us mortals can't, it makes a more difficult shot. If you can get it out there, you have a tricky shot in your hand. It has become, I think, a very difficult little hole.

Q. Not to belabor what happened on 7, did that get you to focus a little more after your wild ride; did you get focused a little bit?

JIM FURYK: That was -- knocking the putt in was pretty key. That was, you know, no one likes to make double bogies. I had a ten-footer that was probably breaking three feet. I was aiming way right of the hole and ended up dying it right in the middle. That was probably the biggest putt of the day. Even though I did knock in some really good putts today. It is kind of hard to walk-off of a driver and a sand wedge on 5 and feel good about, but I felt good about. Any time you can do something like that, step up, hit a good shot, make a good putt, no matter what the score is, you walk to the next hole and say, "I hit a good drive."

Q. Did that get you focused?

JIM FURYK: No, I don't want to overplay that person over there that probably, I don't know, ate a hotdog too fast. I don't know, sounded like he had the whole thing stuck in his throat. I don't know. Again, I'm not saying it was intentional. I don't know if it was. I wasn't rude. I wasn't, you know, I just kind of got up, I said, "Hey, everything all right with the throat there? You got everything cleared?" No one really said anything or laughed or anything. I kind of went on with my business.

CHRIS REIMER: Anything else, guys?

Q. How close was your ball mark, where did that ball land?

JIM FURYK: Fluff fixed it for me, probably landed six to eight feet short.

CHRIS REIMER: Take us through the birdies and bogies.

JIM FURYK: Started on the back side this morning, bogey at 15, tried to cut a driver around the corner a little bit and hit it just a smidge right and caught that tree, dropped down and back, but stayed just in the edge of the fairway. I had to hit a low slice around the tree, hit it perfect, right front of the green, took me three to get down.

18 was a birdie. I hit a driver down the right side so I had to lay up. Hit a good wedge shot to about six feet, knocked that in for birdie.

Birdied three with a driver off the tee and an 8-iron to about 18 feet, right of the hole, little short right, knocked that in.

We've talked about the bogey at 7 way too much.

Eagled 8, we talked about driver on eight.

CHRIS REIMER: Thanks, Jim.

End of FastScripts.

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