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July 29, 2004

Jim Furyk


JOE CHEMYCZ: We welcome Jim Furyk, our defending champion, 6 under par 66 today. A couple of notes, that is 22 straight rounds at the Buick Open under par where Jim also has 36 of 37 career rounds at the Buick Open at par or better.

Just talk another great day here at Warwick Hills.

JIM FURYK: Yeah, I'm tired of hearing that under par stuff. I'd like to say that it was 156 guys in the field and 100 of them shot at least under par today, or more. Obviously pretty soft today. Relatively similar to what it was in the Pro Am yesterday. Didn't really seem to dry out too much from yesterday.

Greens, you had to be careful at times with some of those back pins like I talked about, maybe hit some half shots, try to keep the ball from spinning back. Really allowed us to be aggressive.

The golf course played a lot longer. We have a lot more club in our hands than we're used to into a lot of greens. You knew the ball was going to stop where it hit on the greens, so that's why you are seeing some of the really low scores.

The course is in very good shape. The greens, as soft as they are, are still rolling phenomenally well. If guys can be aggressive with their iron shots and greens are rolling good, someone is going to shoot another one. Vijay and Olin Browne who has been playing great recently the last couple of months fired two really good numbers. So, they will be the guys to catch this week.

Q. Have you ever had this many under par rounds anywhere on any golf course? There's so many here, only once in 37 rounds you've been over par on this golf course. Have you ever had this kind of streak anywhere else, and if not, there's got to be something about this course obviously that suits you better than any place else.

JIM FURYK: I wouldn't keep those stats or know those stats unless someone keeps spitting them out over here. I wouldn't know. I've gone on some good streaks maybe at home growing up through college playing my home course where I would go out, but I never really looked at 40 rounds and looked back. I mean, it's been a long time since I kept my handicap, so I don't have any way to look back in the computer. And when I did keep my handicap, obviously I wasn't that good of a player. So I would have no way to recollect, but I would guess probably not.

This golf course, I'm comfortable here. I like the golf course. It yields low scores, but it's a place that you still have to be patient. I think a place like Las Vegas, where I've also played well, it yields low scores. And you can go out there with the mind set on Thursday morning that, geez, you look up at the board and see Vijay is 9 under, I've got to make a ton of birdies, you can go out there and try to force it and that way it's probably not going to happen; or you can go out and let things happen and try to hit good golf shots and try to knock some putts in and not worry about it and let things happen. It's tough to do sometimes but the guys that are playing well, they are not forcing shots in there. They are just hitting good golf shots and making some putts.

Q. You talked about how phenomenally well the greens are rolling and always have, is that an advantage to a better putter? You are obviously a very good putter; or do perfect greens like this narrow the gap between maybe the average putter and the really good putter?

JIM FURYK: Well, I'm not sure that really matters. I think all good putters would rather putt on good greens. I think if you're on greens that are not so good and tough to make putts on, it probably favors the good ball striker that's an average putter because no one is really knocking in putts at that point.

I think if you look at Brad Faxon, Loren Roberts, some of the guys that are really known for being great putters, if you ask them where they like to putt, it's probably on really good, firm, fast, true greens where they feel like they can hit good putts and they go in.

Q. When you come to a place like this where you've had success, especially coming off the injury, do the good feelings come back and does it help you getting your game back?

JIM FURYK: Coming back, I haven't played that much, a little rusty. Didn't play that well at the British Open. To come back to a place where I played well in the past I won last year, I'm comfortable on the golf course. I've worked hard last week and the early part of this week on my game and on my swing and trying to hit the ball a little bit more solid and a little bit better, and it's getting better. It's getting better. I was happy with the way struck the ball today. Hit a lot of greens. I missed the last couple coming in, but overall I really gave myself a lot of opportunities and made some good putts.

Q. You had it to 7 under after 14 and finished at 6, does that leave a taste of disappointment in your mouth?

JIM FURYK: Not really. That would be that impatience that I was talking about. I hit a good shot on 15 to the middle of the green, didn't hit a very good putt.

16, a little bit of a bad lay up down the right side in the right rough and wedged it to 15 feet behind the hole and got caught up in the line and left it short.

17, just hit a little bit of a bad iron shot that caught the edge of the bunker. Hit a perfect bunker shot, perfect putt, didn't go in.

I really didn't do all that much wrong. I got on a great run in the middle there from 7 through 14 where I birdied I think six out of those eight holes, and so I guess if you wanted to, I could be really frustrated with the early and really frustrated with the last part of the round. But all in all, if I started out I was pretty much 1 under through six today and you look up at the board, 9 under is leading. If you get impatient, you are not going to allow yourself to make those birdies that I did.

So just go out and keep playing and keep trying to hit some good shots and knocking in putts, like I said, and don't lose your patience.

I think because I haven't played any golf this year and this is like the beginning of the season, I'm in a pretty patient frame of mind out there. I'm still kind of feeling my way around. And towards the end of the year, a lot of times when I get tired and fatigued a little bit, I can start, through September, October, I can start forcing on the golf course, start getting a little impatient at times. And a lot of that, it's just the end of the year and I'm tired. I guess I'll probably be fortunate this year, it will still be mid season for me, October and November. So it will be good to pace myself, and I think I've been fresh and patient because of it.

Q. Do you anticipate the golf course changing much for tomorrow, and how will that change your strategy or affect it?

JIM FURYK: I think it won't change much tomorrow for me because I'm coming out in the morning. The golf course should still maintain a lot of dampness, but if the sun comes out, maybe some wind it could dry it out and maybe firm it up a little bit for late afternoon or possibly for the weekend.

I'm sure it will dry up some. But early morning, I have a 7:36 tee time, I don't think it's going to get real firm in that way and we're going to see a pretty soft golf course again.

JOE CHEMYCZ: Take you us through your birdies, if you works please. First one at 1.

JIM FURYK: No. 1 I hit a 3 wood off the tee, laid it up kind of short and I hit like a three quarter 9 iron to about 15 feet and knocked that in for birdie.

7 was a driver, laid up with a 3 iron. Hit a wedge of some sort, probably like a sand wedge or a gap wedge to about six feet behind the hole.

And No. 9, I hit a driver and a 6 iron to about 15 feet behind the hole.

No. 10, I hit kind of a weak drive and a 7 iron to about six feet, seven feet.

11, I hit a 5 iron to again about six feet. See, ShotLink is bad; now everyone can go back and see how good my estimation is.

12 I didn't birdie 12, so never mind.

13, I hit a driver and I kind of punched a 3 iron under that tree to lay up. I hit a pitching wedge to about, maybe eight, ten feet. Probably eight feet.

14, I hit a driver and a little wedge to about two or three feet. It was real close.

The only bogey was on 17, I mentioned before, 6 iron in the left bunker. My bunker shot I hit good, but just didn't really trickle out. Stayed about four or five feet above the hole and hit a good putt. Just didn't go in.

I got it up and down on 18. Good drive down the right side and tried to cut a 6 iron to the pin with the wind, just started a little bit right and rode the wind too much and caught the edge of the bunker. The bunker shot took a funny kick. It kind of kicked left on me and I left myself a good six or seven feet for par and I knocked it in. After the bogey on 17, it was good knocking that in on 18. I would have been disappointed bogeying the last two.

Q. Why is it that star athletes in other sports inaudible play golf?

JIM FURYK: Probably don't think we are very good athletes, I don't know. (Laughing).

I think that it's a great sport in the fact that when I grew up, none of my friends I played basketball, baseball, football. Most of my close friends were basketball players. They thought it was awkward, while I spent all summer and they were getting ready for the fall season, I spent the time playing golf. Took a hard time for that. Now, they can't get enough of it, come over, want to go through the garage; need some old clubs; need some balls. They are all playing. I think for athletes in other sports, it's a great release. It's a sport that if you're a 6'4, 220 pound baseball player, you're probably not going to get injured real easily playing golf, as opposed to playing 162 baseball games a year. I think it's just a good release and good way to get away. A good way to spend four or five hours with your friends, have a beer afterwards. It's a friendly game.

And we can't go out and play baseball, football. We can't play other sports along with other pros, and our sport is one that you can. So it's really lent well to us not only in that fashion, but the corporate world and Pro Ams and such like that. It's been a good sport like that that way.

Good athletes, like I played with Joey Coetzer (ph), I think I'm saying his name properly, in the Pro Am, a good athlete, hockey player, and there's got to be some similarities, I would think in stick handling type sports. I think they said it was a four handicap on the card. He gets the ball around quite well and hits it hard and has a pretty good game. He said he didn't start playing until basically he was in hockey, until his 20s he didn't mention that but, and he's a pretty good player.

So I think that it's just the way a lot of him and his teammates spend summers and a good way to hang out and have a good time.

End of FastScripts.

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