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March 13, 2003

Jim Furyk


JOHN BUSH: Thank you for coming by. An 8-under par 64, nice start today. Despite a couple bogeys, how good could it have been out there today?

JIM FURYK: Well, I think I made a bunch of great birdies, too. I'd rather shoot 64 with a couple bogeys than a 65 with none.

Yeah, I had a couple bad holes, one bad mistake on front nine on my second side. I just hit a bad drive on 18 and made an honest bogey. Overall it was a great day, to start 6-under through 8, and then played solid the rest of way in.

JOHN BUSH: Now you've had five straight rounds in the 60s; sort of hitting your stride here in Florida.

JIM FURYK: Well, I've played well all year. I really worked hard the last couple weeks of December. Even my off-weeks this year, I've practiced pretty hard and really, I think I have a tendency to work my hardest when I'm real close, but just not quite getting over the hump, finishing fifth, sixth, scoring solid, but not quite putting myself in contention.

Those are some of the most frustrating times because you are so close, but so far, but also there are times when I've tended to work my hardest in my career to try to get over the hump and get in the winner's circle.

JOHN BUSH: Would you take us through your birdies and bogeys starting on No. 10.

JIM FURYK: 10, right out of the box, it seems like about 12 hours ago, but I hit a 3-wood off the tee, a pitching wedge to about 15 feet. Made that for birdie.

No. 12, I hit a 3-wood off the tee in the right short cut, and that's only my second time around that course. I hit a 9-iron to about six feet. That was a real good shot.

15, I hit a driver off the tee just in the right rough. Laid up with a 6-iron and hit a sand wedge to about five feet.

16, I hit a real good 6-iron to about four or five feet which was a good shot; it was a tough pin.

17, I hit a driver and a 3-iron to about six inches and tapped that in for eagle.

Then my only bogey on that side, 18, I hooked a driver into the left bunker. I hit a sand wedge out of the bunker and I left myself between a 9-iron and wedge. I hit the 9-iron just over on the back fringe and decided to chip it. I pitched it up to about six inches and tapped it in for bogey.

No. 1, I hit a driver and a 60-degree wedge to about 12 feet.

No. 4, was the only bogey on the front side. Hit a beautiful drive, and we were playing into a pretty hard wind and I just pulled the iron shot just about four yards, five yards left of the green. The pin was right there on the front left and I chose to putt it. I left it about six feet short and I missed that. So it was kind of -- that one, I actually hit some pretty good golf shots and made bogey. I was a little mad at myself. I turned around and hit a 4-wood off the tee on 5 and actually drove it into a fairway bunker; hit a 6-iron out of the fairway and a 9-iron to about 15, 18 feet and made that for birdie.

That's a different hole, considering 630 yards and Robert Damron hit an iron off the tee in my group. So that's a little unusual.

No. 8, I hit a 9-iron 15 to 20 feet and knocked it in for birdie.

No. 9, I hit a driver and a 4-wood just off the front left fringe over the bunkers and I pitched up to about three or four feet and knocked it in for birdie.

JOHN BUSH: Let's go to questions.

Q. After Monday's playoff, does it take long for you to get over the disappointment?

JIM FURYK: Well, I'm still a little chapped about it personally. (Laughter.)

That would be a good way to put it; yes and no. Yeah, I said after the tournament that it's more disappointing to finish second in an event than to finish 10th or 15th because you got so close; you're in a playoff.

You know, I played well down the stretch, but just didn't make a birdie coming in. I had my opportunities, I had my chances and didn't close the door and win the golf tournament, and Scott did in the playoff. So, it was disappointing.

But the good news is: I really felt confident about my game. I said that in the interview room last week, and I'm playing well. And I chose to play here, one, because I have a lot in the past, Honda. Coming to a new course, but it's my fourth event in a row. I wasn't sure how physically I would be feeling, if my health would be holding up. I want to be fresh going into THE PLAYERS and the Masters, but last Friday I committed because I felt like I was playing so good and I wanted to come out and play. I felt good about my game and I was anxious to play.

Again, doesn't mean I'm going to play well this week, but when you are anxious to get out there and you have a lot of confidence in your game, you might as well go give it a try.

Q. You said on TV that you were pretty physically tired Monday and Tuesday.

JIM FURYK: Yeah, I think any time you play -- I'm always pretty physically tired by Sunday afternoon after an event, and the better you play, I think the more it takes out of you and the more physically tired you are. If you're getting up and playing in one of those first groups on Sunday and you pull out at noon, you don't put a lot of stress on yourself; you're not all that tired. But getting in contention, waking up at the crack of dawn on Monday morning, I was pretty beat and worn out.

My wife and I drove up Monday morning and I registered here and we just kind of sat around the place that we're staying all day and just relaxed, rested, got a good night's sleep and came out here Tuesday afternoon and started working a little bit. I beat a few balls. I played 11 holes on Tuesday. I played real quick because I went out about 3:30. I got that in pretty past and I hit a couple of balls and I was done and called it a day. Early Pro-Am time yesterday.

Q. You're 6-under through eight holes; are you thinking it can get really low?

JIM FURYK: You know, I wasn't really worried about it. I never really -- I knew I was 6-under. I felt good. The wind kicked up right about the time we were playing 17. By the time we got to 18, it was blowing pretty good. But at the time I just -- things were going well. I just tried to put the ball in the middle of the fairway, put it on the green and made a bunch of putts on the back side. I'm just trying to think about giving myself opportunities, not really thinking about total score.

Q. Is there any one hole that you thought was tougher than the others?

JIM FURYK: Well, I would say the two I bogeyed. 18 was the longest hole. The front side is a little shorter, a little tighter. It gives you an unusual look off some of the tees.

The back nine, it was a little bit longer. I don't know if the card says that but it plays a lot longer. Two holes that are definitely -- it really paid to play a practice round on the 15th and 17th. First time I stood up there in the Pro-Am, it just doesn't look right to your eye until you get out there and play and know where to hit it.

So I was glad that I was in the afternoon yesterday in the Pro-Am, had I not been able to get through there and play those holes, it would have been a little awkward.

Q. How was the wind today when you played? In the morning it was pretty much non-existent.

JIM FURYK: It was pretty much non-existent. It was a little breezy but not much. On my eighth or ninth hole, it kicked up, and then it would kind of -- it went back and forth but it was blowing -- I wouldn't say it was blowing hard, but it was a fair wind for most of that side and it would kick up sometimes and it was a little harder than others. It definitely -- my last ten holes were more difficult than my first eight because of the wind.

Q. How long was the 3-iron on 17? Have you ever had an albatross before?

JIM FURYK: That 3-iron was 208, 205 -- 213, no, I've never made a double-eagle, an albatross, I guess.

Q. Did you see that it had a chance to go in?

JIM FURYK: It was about that far short right of the pin (indicating a few inches). The fans got a little rise from it. I knew, the way they reacted, I felt I kind of had just a tap-in, kind of a gimmee. I was hoping, at least.

Q. This is your fourth week in a row. Are you good at five weeks in a row?

JIM FURYK: It's been a long time. I haven't done that maybe since my rookie year.

Q. So is that fair to assume you won't play next week?

JIM FURYK: It's fair to assume, yes. It's 100% sure; that's how fair it is.

Q. It looks like all the scores, there's very few in the afternoon are as good as the morning ones. Was it a distinct disadvantage to be in the afternoon or will it even out tomorrow?

JIM FURYK: I think the only way for me -- because I didn't play in the morning. The only way for me to really comment on that is just take the average score in the morning and afternoon and that will pretty much sum it up.

As far as playing tournaments in a row, if I played next week, then it's six in a row. And going into THE PLAYERS Championship being the sixth tournament is just not wise, in my opinion. Because I've been playing very well and a lot of rounds and a lot of stress, and I just don't think that's a wise decision.

End of FastScripts....

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