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June 23, 2005

Jim Furyk


CHRIS REIMER: Welcome our current leader, Jim Furyk, to the interview room. 6-under today, talk a little bit about your round.

JIM FURYK: Well, obviously had a good day. Happy with the way I drove the ball. Put the ball in play a lot off the tee, and I thought the golf course was set up fairly tough. I seemed to take advantage of the holes when I had wedges in my hand today. I think back, I made a bunch of birdies. There was some pins that looked very difficult. I kind of plodded through some of those holes, put the ball on the green.

Two putted, got out with my par. A lot of holes I had wedges in my hand, short irons in my hand, I tended to give myself a lot more opportunities and that's where I made most of my birdies at. Overall I'm pleased with the day and anxious to get out there tomorrow and try to get after it again.

CHRIS REIMER: You spoke a little about 18; how much do you like this golf course, could you talk a little about that?

JIM FURYK: I think most of the field will agree, it's a great golf course. I grew up on in the northeast here, grew up on traditional old golf courses built back in the '30s, '20S, '30s, '40s, kind of that style, green slope back to front, put the ball in front of the green or the middle of the green when you get in trouble. It's most -- not most but a lot of golf courses on Tour are not like that anymore. Any time we get to play a golf course like this or Colonial Country Club or Warwick Hills or a bunch of the older golf courses that have been around for a while, I tend to play those events. It's a comfort factor for me.

Q. Is the Wrist a non-issue now. Am I right, you haven't won since you had a wrist problem; how much has that been weighing on you (inaudible) with you look at it as a drought or something that you --

JIM FURYK: I kind of, obviously, I think more than saying I'd like to win since my surgery, I'd just like to win. Just period. Last year I didn't come back until June. I kind of viewed the last six months of the year, last actually four months -- we end in October, beginning of November -- the last four months, really play as much as I could. Early on I wasn't even playing every week; it was about every other week. The end of the year I could play two, three, four events in a row without a problem. I viewed it as getting my game back on track and trying to get ready for '05. Anything I did positive last year was kind of like gravy. Coming out this year, I expected it, I knew I was healthy, I knew my wrist was not an issue anymore. I expected to hop right back into things, jurors like, '0, '01, '02, '03. I put '04 behind me, used it as a way to really try and prepare for this year and have a good year. I've played pretty consistently. I've given myself a couple of opportunities to win already. And you know, I just want -- the rest of this week, what I want to focus on is playing as well as I can and giving myself an opportunity to win.

Q. When you have an injury like that, though, it's such a critical area, right at the height of your career, does that play any tricks with your mind, any worries that you went through?

JIM FURYK: Well, I think, yeah, there's a bunch of different stages, the first stage is, "oh, no, I need surgery." I guess, "oh, no, will I need surgery," or "will it heel." "Oh, no, I need surgery, will I be the same? Will I be able to hit the ball the same way, make the same swing? When my will my game change? Will I be effective?" Coming back you have to get over the hurdles if it's not going to hurt. That wasn't so difficult, because it hurt so much before the surgery. Anything was better. I knew that. There was days I couldn't even grip it before the surgery and afterwards my doctor just said, hey, your biggest hurdle now is just knowing that it's going to be fine, you can go ahead and let it go. That probably took me about two days. I was over that hurdle, and then getting ready for the U.S. Open last year. I probably asked my dad ten times if anything looked different about my swing. He kept saying no.

From that point on, it was just a matter of having almost six months off. I played to the middle of January last year and started back up in the middle of June, five months, taking five months off and not really touching a club. It was getting back in the feel of things and getting my confidence back.

This game I think it takes a while to build confidence where you go out and you play a good round and you play a good tournament and you have a good, solid month and you have a good, solid six months, you have a good solid year. You build up confidence, you build it slowly. It's a little easier to lose confidence than it is to build it up. What I wanted to do this year was be patient and play as well as I could. Everyone talked about when I got in contention, I lost for Wachovia. They want to talk about your wrist and winning. I don't view myself as really coming back from anything now. It was last year, it's over. I viewed '05 like I would in January of '01, '00, '02, '03. That was the same thing I was thinking in '05. Same player I was before. I expect myself to play at a high level and I expect myself to compete to win golf tournaments. That's what I'm trying to do.

Q. The two Top-10s, is this the first time you've led after a round this year?

JIM FURYK: Maybe, it probably is. It's very unimportant. Maybe leading after Saturday may become a little more important. But it's Thursday, we're only 25 percent of the way. Like going out and playing four or five holes of a round right now. So a lot can happen and I just -- I want to keep focused on the same things and keep trying to play as well as I can for the next few days.

Q. As good, as challenging as this golf course may be, is it in any sense easier, more relaxing, whatever you want to call it than last week was in terms of approach?

JIM FURYK: Well, I don't think the golf course or the setup was all that much more relaxing; a little bit. Because they're 2-, 3-under last week, but the scores are usually a little better here than they were today, so it was a relatively tough setup. So I don't think you go to sleep. I think the fact that at major championships the media room is a lot more full. A lot more questions, ten times the amount of fans on Monday. We put more pressure on ourselves, so from that instance, yes, it's nice to kind of get back to normal every once in a while. I wouldn't want to be on edge like that for 25 weeks a year. You know, there's no reason no one showed up here taking a deep breath like it's a letdown. If you're going to come you might as well prepare, you might as well do the best you can in a golf tournament. I think everyone is focussing, we put that much extra pressure on major championships.

Q. The back 9, did it get easier or the weather conditions --

JIM FURYK: I just played better. I think usually on this golf course you usually see lower scores on the front 9 than you would on the back. You get a few more wedges in your hand on the front 9, par 3s are a little shorter. The par 3 is shorter. Had to think about it. I think that's when you see guys shooting a pretty low number, usually on the front. I just played better on the backside, that's the best I can say. I finished up the front four, three-putt 9. Turned around and hit a wedge close at 10, made birdie at 11 hit a wedge close on 13, so kind of got off to a nice start birdied through the first four. Played solid through some tough holes. I thought the pin on 14 today was tough as I've ever seen. I'm sure there's going to be a couple of wrecks on that hole today, putting wise.

15 is a tough hole. 16 a tough hole. I had wedges in my hand on 17 and 18. I was able to hit those pretty close, had about two- or three-footer on 17. Probably three-footer on 17 and eight-footer on 18.

Q. A loft guys complaining about the pace of play here, is this golf course more susceptible to particularly slow rounds than other venues on tour?

JIM FURYK: I don't know why. The pace of play was quite slow today. We waited. We waited pretty much every shot, and the group behind us waited pretty much every shot. I'm sure it was like that down the line.

Last year I wasn't here. A lot of us playing on 7 and it was drivable. I don't know if it's the way the holes -- I never sat down and thought about it. I thought our pace this year actually has seemed improved upon years past. I don't know if the times show that. It seems like, while we're on the course, I've done a lot less waiting this year than I have in the past. Today was one of the slow rounds of the year, I thought. Seemed to work for me for some reason.

Q. I know it's early in the tournament, but you're three shots clear of the field; does that say something about the command you felt on your game today and how do you think it sets you up for the rest of the week?

JIM FURYK: I'd sure rather start ahead than from behind. I think the most important thing you said it's early in the week. To me, whether I'm three back or three ahead or whatever, it may be on Thursday night it's really a moot point how you're going out to play the golf course to prepare for the next day. I wouldn't start thinking about anything like that until Saturday night, get in position. I'm just going to go out tomorrow and play the round from scratch again, starting from even par tomorrow and try to shoot a round tomorrow, see where it puts me for Saturday's round and go out and do it again. It's so early in the tournament, whether I'm ahead, behind, doesn't really matter. I think, good rounds -- I judge a lot of good rounds. I remember being in the Riviera one year, Corey Pavin shot a 64 on Friday after Riviera. The next best score might have been 68 that day or 69. It was a phenomenal 64. Greg Norman shooting 62 at the Brisith Open that one year when no one was going low. I had a round at Doral where I was four or five shots clear of the field on a Friday round, where I shot 62, and I think the next best was 67. So those are rounds that I remember, but today I kind of fit right in there with the group, and I think birdies at the last hole are kind of what, birdied the last two and that might have separated it a little bit. It was a good round and I hope to keep it up.

Q. Did nine get you going at all?

JIM FURYK: Just the green definitely picked up a little pace today as opposed to yesterday. I thought it was quite a jump. I don't know how much a stimp meter it was, but for me I was pretty dialed in yesterday in the Pro Am from anywhere on the green, I felt comfortable with my

speed. This morning I came out knocked a few about 4 feet by pretty quick. I did that about three or four times on the front nine and that was one of the places. It's a relatively easy putt, it was breaking right to left. It was pretty flat. Maybe slightly downhill. Nothing that should have got away from me. I knocked it about 4 feet by and missed it on the way back. If you do that enough times, eventually one is not going the go in on the way back. I really had to focus on the speed of my putts because I thought the greens got a lot quicker.

Q. Are you at a point in your career where the Top 10 is not what it used to be just purely interested in winning?

JIM FURYK: Well, I think I don't know what people would say, I think we're all purely interested in winning. I know for sure, if I go through a year and I finish third eight times and I don't win, that's the first thing everyone is going to say about my win. There's always going to be a "but" behind it. You had a great year but...

I think we're always trying to win. You get yourself in positions out there, may not play well on Thursday and Friday, barely squeak by, make the cut, play well on Saturday. If you have a good round on Sunday, have a chance to finish. A lot of that is pride. I want to finish well in any tournament. Ultimately, when I'm sitting at home a couple weeks off, I'm not preparing to finish eighth. I'm preparing to try to figure out to win golf tournaments, what's lacking at that time and what I think I need to improve on. Even when you win a tournament you're still anything about what you could have improved on and what you need to improve on for next week. Ultimately, yes, I'm trying to win golf tournaments. Also I have a lot of pride in myself and my preparation. I'm not going to pack it in on any day play poorly, trying to stick it out best I can.

CHRIS REIMER: Go through your birdies and bogeys.

JIM FURYK: Number three driver and a pitching wedge to about 10 feet. Birdied there. Number five, I hit a driver and a 3-wood. I was about 20, I was about 20 yards short of the green on the front fringe. I still had about 50 yards to the pin, and I had a great wedge to about two or 3 feet. 9 that bogey we talked about. I drove it in the left rough there. Laid up. Hit a wedge about 20 feet and three-putted it. Got by me a little bit. Beyond a little bit. Number ten, I have a hybrid club in my bag, I hit that off the tee and a sandwedge to about 3 feet. 11 I hit a driver and a 7-iron to about oh 8 feet. Number 13 I hit a 3-wood and a pitching wedge to about 12 feet. And then last two birdies, that hybrid pitching wedge to about 3 feet on 17, driver, 3-iron and a sandwedge to about 6 or 7 feet on 18.

CHRIS REIMER: Good luck tomorrow.

End of FastScripts.

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