June 14, 2003
OLYMPIA FIELDS, ILLINOIS
Q. Fantastic job.
JIM FURYK: Thank you.
Q. You must feel tremendous about yourself.
JIM FURYK: I'm happy about the day. 67 on Saturday, I put myself in great position for tomorrow with the lead, I believe, by three. Now I'm going to focus on the same things tomorrow. I'm going to play the golf course in the same manner, hit the same clubs off the tee and hopefully continue to strike the ball well and make some putts.
Q. Knocking on the door of majors, a lot of top five finishes and all. Have you ever been at this advantageous of a position at this point?
JIM FURYK: I don't think I've sat on a three-shot lead. I got out to a big lead one year, one year after nine on the final round in Vegas one year. I had about a six-shot lead with nine holes to play. But for the most part I don't think I've sat overnight on Saturday night with a three-shot lead before, but I'll try to draw from some experiences in the past and times I've been in contention. Whether I've done well or failed, I'll rely on all those experiences to try to help me out tomorrow.
Q. Last four Opens have been won by the guy who's either leading or tied for the lead. You'll be tough to catch, I think.
JIM FURYK: You sound like Mickelson. Are you throwing odds or what? I would say that really doesn't matter. Stephen Leaney doesn't matter, Nick Price, Vijay Singh, none of that matters. I just need to go out and play a solid round of golf tomorrow.
Q. Do you approach this as a regular golf tournament? Do you try to block it out that this is a major or does that make a difference?
JIM FURYK: I think we all put extra attention to perform on a week like this because it's a major, but the preparation of the week I think you treat relatively the same except for possibly -- I look at the week before a major championship, I try to see if I can hone my skills, if I can prepare for a major championship the week before like I want to, and that will be whether or not I play the week before.
Other than that, while I'm here I prepare pretty much the same way I would for a regular event on tour. There's a method after ten years of being out here of what enables me to play the best and I go through that same routine and try to get myself ready.
Q. Do you approach it the same way --
JIM FURYK: Absolutely. In order to do well you need to figure out exactly what you've done well, what's got you to this point, and don't change anything. Keep staying aggressive when you've been aggressive and conservative when you've been before and go out with the same game plan.
JIM FURYK: Well, it was nice. 17 left a little sour taste. I had a great line on that short putt. I actually hit a pretty solid putt on line. I guess I fell in love with the line as they would say. I just didn't hit it. It was a pretty solid putt. I don't know how you leave a five-footer short in a U.S. Open, but I managed to do it. That was a little bit of a -- I'm trying to think of a good word -- bummer, I guess, for lack of a better word. That left a sour taste more than anything.
I played 18 aggressively, I felt like I could carry the right bunker today where I couldn't the previous two. The wind was blowing a little harder, and I pulled out driver, although I pulled it a little bit. The gap wedge, I lashed at it in the rough and got it on the green and got a pretty good putt. That was a good way to finish. I wanted to play that hole solidly and play it strong.
Q. 15 you had your game face on, 15 that putt dropped -- you kind of --
JIM FURYK: Well, I saw that pin yesterday and I knew that if you hung one out to the right you were going to leave yourself a real difficult putt, and I got caught in between irons. 6 was too much, 7 wasn't enough. I tried to force a 7 and hung it out to the right. From the tee I said to my caddie that's going to be a tough putt. I'm trying to get it up there and lag it close. That gave me a burst of energy.
Q. Three cumulative rounds under par, does that make you confident going into tomorrow? You haven't even shot par yet.
JIM FURYK: It's a heck of a lot better than playing poorly the last three days. I'm comfortable with the way I'm playing. There's a few things I'll work on and think about tonight. Actually I'll probably think about more in the morning. Seems like it's already dinnertime and I'm ready to get out of here, so I'll work on some things in the morning, talk to my dad about them. I feel good about my game. I have a lot of confidence right now so I need to continue to play the same way.
Q. How much do you want to win this tournament?
JIM FURYK: As much as everyone else, that's for sure. Winning golf tournaments is what every one of us is out here for, and a major is just that much more important. Just as much as everyone else does.
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