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September 2, 2004

Jim Furyk


JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Thank you, Jim for joining us for a few minutes here in the media center. You had a chance to play the course and I also am aware of the fact that you've probably had a little bit to do with some of the changes or suggestions for the changes in this course, mainly because of your location over there in Ponte Vedra. Talk about your day and helping out.

JIM FURYK: It's beautiful weather. Had a pretty good day out there today. Fun group with my amateurs.

As far as the changes, I don't really feel like I'm responsible. I don't think I was griping anymore than anyone else, how's that?

I would say playing the tournament last year and being close to our office, I was approached by the Tour to meet with Chris Gray, as were many other players, just to get some suggestions and they wanted to talk about some of the changes they wanted to make and how the players felt about it, if we had any additional comments. I spent a few hours in the tour office just discussing those. Got a letter from the tournament director here, sometime while I was actually injured, came back probably in the May area, just talking about the changes that were made and how they thought they improved the golf course. So I was kind of anxious to get here and see what exactly was done.

It wasn't as though the things we discussed I knew exactly what was going to happen with the golf course. Because at that time it was just kicking ideas around and knowing that, you know, they didn't know exactly which direction they were going to go. I think they were taking a collective thought from all of the players, and if they had ten guys and nine said the same thing, then it was probably a good idea to make that change.

So I was surprised at the number of changes when I got a letter saying that 17 of the 18 holes had something changed to them. That's a pretty big amount of work done to a golf course.

Q. Inaudible?

JIM FURYK: It wasn't really -- that's what I was trying to describe. It wasn't really the scope of taking on exact places or this and that. It was just kicking around ideas. We went 1 through 18 and they said, "This is what we want to do with this hole; do you agree or disagree." And you talked about what you liked or not liked about the hole. It wasn't like I went in there with eight ideas written down; I want to see this, this, this changed.

At the time I did it, it was still kicking around ideas and trying to get a feel, not an exact feel, a general feel for what the players thought. They took all of those general thoughts and one came back and made some more. I knew some of the fairways would be flattened out. I know that a lot of holes last year were very narrow up to about 280 and widened out a lot after 280. I knew the fairways were going to be a very similar width, and the hold throughout the landing areas. I knew some of the greens were going to be softened. Last year a lot of the times the greens with bunkers on front had a big slope coming off the back of a bunker, so that if you landed two or three yards over the bunker, it was skipping to the back of the green. So if you landed in the middle of the green, it was skipping to the back of the green. Just some pin placements where the best you could do was the back of the green and put back to the pin.

So I think they altered, I knew they were going to alter a few of those to reward good golf shots. But I didn't know exactly where those changes were made or how they would be made, but overall I think the golf course looks very good.

Q. Inaudible?

JIM FURYK: Well, I think this golf course, yes and no. I think there's always going to be tweaks and changes, depending on what course it is. Like Bay Hill, it gets one every year. So does Augusta. Arnold, like he used to like to tweak with his golf clubs and he likes to tweak with his golf courses; tries to make improvements every year.

Other places like Colonial and Fort Worth, I think since I've been on TOUR, maybe two tee boxes have been added, but nothing has really happened to the holes or the greens. It's still the same place. Maybe the surface, because they want to have better grass. It's just kind of like, every course has to do that every ten, 15 or 20 years. Some places change a lot and some don't.

I don't think this course was designed with a tournament in mind. And tournament golf and member golf; they are two different things. I don't think this golf course, from what I was told, was not designed with this tournament in mind. It was designed for a membership, and from what I heard the membership was very happy with the golf course.

So it's a shame that I guess we had to come in and change it for that matter. I think our sponsor in the tournament loved this area, loved this golf course, loved the fanfare. All of the support that it had last year, I think made us want to stay. Made our sponsor and made the Tour want to stay at that facility in order to have a premium event like they wanted. Like the sponsor wanted, they wanted to do some tweaking at the golf course to do it better and I applaud them for that.

Q. Are you following the weather and the hurricane approaching Florida?

JIM FURYK: Yeah, I follow a little bit. I get an update when we are watching the news at night and get an update in the mornings from what everybody at home is saying and what the news there is saying.

Am I worried? Sure, I'm concerned. But there really isn't anything I can do. My family left today. My wife and kids and her mom and dad and her grandparents left today. My mom, my dad was out of town in Pennsylvania and my mom flew up to see him and spend time with friends there. So basically my family is out and in a safe place.

Q. Did your wife's family come up here?

JIM FURYK: No, they went to Ohio where my wife is from to visit. My wife and kids would probably love to watch -- I don't think her whole side of the family doesn't want to come up and watch me trudge along for five hours every day. But they went to visit, they are all from Columbus, Ohio originally to visit family and friends, and maybe they will check out an Ohio State football game on the weekend.

Q. Inaudible?

JIM FURYK: Sure, sure, every once in a while the State of Florida skates by and gets no damage or minimal damage at all. That doesn't look like it's going to be the case unfortunately. I hope everything is fine with our house. We built one down there right on the coast, so -- or we bought one on the coast.

You know, that's part of it and you hope that nothing were to happen, but the only thing I can do is just play golf and come Saturday or Sunday. Hope it goes through and everything's fine.

Q. Inaudible?

JIM FURYK: To our house? Well, our house is about five years old. And that property, I think Jacksonville has been very lucky, it's been like 1961 since -- okay. So we've been fortunate. Maybe we are due if you look at it that way or maybe we'll stay fortunate. I don't know.

It's either going to happen or it's not. Things that I can't really control, I don't really tend to worry about too much. The important part is my family is evacuated and they are gone and they are in a safe place. They are irreplaceable. The rest of it, you can always build another house.

Q. Will you play a lot more later than normal the rest of the year?

JIM FURYK: I'll try. I'll try to do as much as I can. Within health. I can't go out and play five events in a row just to play events. It's not good mentally; it's not good for me physically right now my health and my wrist. I'll play as much as I can. I think by the end of the year, I might have 14, 15 events in, if you count the Ryder Cup and the two I played earlier in the year.

I've been hustling pretty good. I've done one on, one off, but playing a lot of golf and practicing and trying to get my game back in shape and get ready for the Ryder Cup. Once that tournament is over, I'm scheduled for Ireland and Vegas. If I could go Greensboro, Disney, Tampa, that would be great. I'm not sure I'm going to be able to go, to go that many events. 14, 15 events, that's a pretty full schedule for the second half of the year, and obviously a lot of time off at the beginning.

Q. Is there anything different about your swing or swing plane directly related to the surgery?

JIM FURYK: No. I wouldn't be playing, if I felt like I couldn't go back to the way I played golf before -- and that was a little bit of a concern when I first started hitting balls and playing. I mean, I felt pretty good with my golf swing at times at Shinnecock, and I kept asking my dad, "Does everything look the same as it did before?" He's my teacher, he's seen me swing my whole life and everything feels pretty much the same.

I'm not limited by what I can do. I'm limited more by maybe the amount of time. Playing 36 holes in Ryder Cup is not a big deal. We only hit 70 full shots. I can go hit 70 full shots in 30 minutes on the range. That's not a big deal. It's sitting on the range for an hour or two at a time and hitting a couple hundred balls; now I'm putting a lot of stress on it, shot after shot after shot real quick. That's where the practice time -- I like to practice. I like to hit some balls and chip-and-putt and be out on the golf course working on my game. I'm not stressing Vijay out for practice time, put it that way.

But as far as being out on the golf course, hitting shots out of the rough, if I hit a ball in the divot in the fairway and I have to go after it, I'm not afraid or I'm not flinching. I'm going after it. I have total confidence that my wrist will hold up.

Q. Inaudible?

JIM FURYK: To be honest with you, I don't want to play five golf tournaments in a row. I've not done it in the past and four is too many. If I were to play five in a row, it would be just because I haven't played much golf and I'm anxious and wanting to get out there and play and get some tournaments under my belt this year.

But it really hasn't -- I've played back-to-back tournaments this year with the PGA and the World Series. I could play three in a row and wouldn't have a problem. It's just the way the schedule is laid out right now. If I play -- it has not fallen where it's three tournaments that I like and one that I don't. It's always, you know, one or two that I really like and then a couple or one where I haven't gone to very often and a couple that I really like and one I haven't gone very often.

I wish some of the schedule laid a little different; I might have got an extra event in or two, but I still want to play at the golf venues and the courses and the tournaments that I like a lot. And there are some that I aren't played well that I tend to take the same ones off.

Q. Inaudible?

JIM FURYK: Same thing happened to me when I injured my right wrist in 2001. I was limited for the time I could spend. I don't need to be out there hitting 200 or 300 balls. I haven't for years and I've been a better ball-striker because of it. When I'm on the range I'm really focused and use my time wisely. I've learned to practice better instead of standing there and just hitting ball after ball after ball and maybe I let my mind wander and not getting as much out of it.

So my game isn't -- I'm not hindered by my left wrist at all. I don't feel like my practice is cut short or my schedule is cut short or any of that. I feel very strong for a medium period of time and I've never played -- it's been a long time since I tried to go four and five events in a row. So I know four is about my maximum mentally. After that, I'm on the borderline of being committed. I go back home and rest and get away from it for a while.

Q. Hal Sutton is working for TV this week, is there plans for a meeting to focus on Ryder Cup or are you just waiting to get to Detroit?

JIM FURYK: None that I know of. I saw Hal today and he was scoping out the golf course. My amateurs thought he was checking me out and keeping an eye on me. He was looking at the course for TV. I chatted with him for a few minutes, so I may get together with him later on this week possibly if it works out.

JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Thank you for joining us.

End of FastScripts.

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