home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


March 7, 2003

Jim Furyk


JOHN BUSH: We got Jim Furyk in the interview room. 10 under par 134. Great shape heading into to final two rounds.

JIM FURYK: Yes, it looks like 11 is leading right now. I didn't look at the board too much. I'm not sure if that's going to change. I'm in good shape. Today was a real good round, a good finish I need to carry that over for tomorrow.

JOHN BUSH: Let's go through your round. Quite a round there.

JIM FURYK: This is nice. Start out birdie on one playing real short. I hit a driver and 6-iron to the middle of the green, a long 2 putt.

A bad bogey at 5. I hit a 3-wood right down the middle of the fairway and hit a sand wedge to the green a little too hard and skipped it in the back right bunker, the pin was on the right side in front of the bunker. I didn't get the ball up and down.

A birdie at 7, a 3-wood off the tee and a pitching wedge into about 6 or 7 feet.

An eagle at No. 8. A driver, 3-wood to about 25 feet. I hit a great 3-wood there over the water.

No. 10 was a 2 putt birdie, a 3-wood off the tee and a 4-wood to about 25 feet. And then a bunch of pars.

I hit a bad drive off of 14. I hooked a 3-wood into the left bunker. From there I hit an iron to the green-side bunker on the left. I hit it a little fat left it on the collar and pitched it up 2 inches and tapped it in for bogey.

I had a great finish. A 7-iron to about three or four on 15.

16 was a heck of a birdie. I hit a drive that I thought was in good shape and it was just in the right rough, had a thick lie in the right rough and the ball jumped out more than I thought. The pin was in the back right and I hit it about, on three yards to the green on the fringe and I putted from off the green from about 25 feet and knocked that in.

And then 17 was a driver, wedge on the back left fringe probably about 20 feet away. Knocked that in.

A good save at 18. I drove it in the right rough, hit a pitching wedge in between the green and right bunker and pitched up about six feet passed and knocked it in for par.

JOHN BUSH: Questions.

Q. What did you do on 12?

JIM FURYK: 12, driver 3-wood in the front bunker kind of under the lip. I got it out. It was a long bunker shot. I got it out to 15 feet and missed the putt.

Q. What is that commercial that you were filming out in L.A. for about an hour and a half over and over. Promo for the TOUR?

JIM FURYK: Yes, I think for -- that was an ABC promo. They are going to use it later on in the year. It is supposed to have attitude since I have a lot of attitude out there. (Laughter).

Q. You got most of your victories on Bermuda grass. When you come to a Bermuda course does your confidence level up and you feel like you have a chance to win?

JIM FURYK: Not really. I am really comfortable, growing up in Pennsylvania, I'm really comfortable growing up in an old-style and going to Flint, or Westchester, some of the old traditional courses up north I really enjoy. Firestone comes to mind is one of my favorites.

But I have had some success on Bermuda and I think that I like firm, fast fairways. The two Hawaii events and Las Vegas come to mind where you can hit a drive, it flies 250, 260 it will run out. You need to work the ball whether you hit a draw or cut, keep the ball in the fairway, it's easy to knock it in the dog-legs. I enjoy that style. I think I can get the ball out there farther. Use my ability to hopefully keep it in the fairway. But I love Bermuda fairways. I have never jumped up and down about Bermuda greens, but I think the fact that I moved down to Florida and I live in the Jacksonville area playing there and practicing there and getting used to Bermuda has really helped in the last seven years where I have become a lot more comfortable. We play a lot of Bermuda out here. You have to learn to adjust. It was definitely tough performing early in my career. I played college golf out west so I played off of Bermuda fairways. Arizona we had mostly bent greens. Getting use to putting on Bermuda greens was adjustment for me. I think living now in Florida has been the major step in being able to learn to do that and do it well.

Q. Jim, you got a victory here and a course record one time except for maybe Vegas. Are you as comfortable here as any other course?

JIM FURYK: No, there is a quite a few that I like that I really enjoy and I think favor my game. This is one that I would always like to put on my schedule. I definitely put it in my top-5 to 10 favorite tournaments of the year. I'm going to play here pretty much every year unless there is something in the family. Last year I was sick and I wasn't feeling well and I had to withdraw from most of the Florida swing. This is an event I mark on my schedule every year.

Q. Two Top 10s already this season. You got off to a good start, 3, counting Match Play. Do you attribute that to anything or do you like to put yourself in position as often as you can?

JIM FURYK: Yes, I have been working real hard this year in my off-weeks. I played the first two weeks. I stayed home and we had great weather. I stayed home through Christmas. I went to visit my relatives in Pittsburgh in mid-December because having a daughter this year and having the family, we made them all come see us. The weather was great. I played a lot, practiced a lot and was ready to go when the season started and played well in the first events of the year. I stayed out in Hawaii and the two weeks that I was off during Phoenix and Hope I worked hard with my dad and tried to get my game ready. That showed at Pebble Beach where I had a good finish, and I had a week off going into L.A.. I think the fact that the weather was good, I was able to play a lot before the season started I was ready to go on January 1 this year which isn't always the case for some people. Have family, Christmas, last year's tournament we were at the Mercedes. I think we got there to 29th or 30th. Christmas ends, you are going to your first tournament, you haven't switched over the gears this year. This year was almost a week later. You got to wind down after the holidays, get in and get ready for the year to start.

Q. How well do you think you are playing?

JIM FURYK: I'm playing well. I'm confident about my game. There are some things I want to work on. I feel real good about it.

Q. What has (being a) father done to help your game at all? Is it mentally help for you in any way?

JIM FURYK: Yes, I think so. I think even the older you get out here things were -- I'm not going to use the word perspective, but things at 23, a three-footer was a heck of a lot more big deal than it is at 32. It's going to be even less important at 42 and 52 and 62. And then having a child it's just definitely changed the focus of my life. My wife and I, always were just about us. And that's pretty easy to do. Now you make every decision and you do everything in your life revolving around your child or your children, and I think you become a lot less a selfish person. It definitely reflects in all aspects of your life and it definitely reflects in your work.

I know there is other important things and I think at times - although I'm still very passionate about the game of golf in preparing and working hard - I think it's just kind of wrapped up the whole package; I'm a happy person now.

Q. Do you think over the balance of the rest of the year do you think a lot of those three-footers will go in because you are more relaxed?

JIM FURYK: Some weeks they have; some weeks they haven't. (Laughter) But I don't get as mad at myself out there as I used to. And I think a lot of it is, you know -- I still want to make that three-footer as bad as I did before. I don't think I get upset with myself as much. I'm not a club-thrower, or a guy that makes a lot of commotion out there, but I can boil pretty hard inside. I think I have relaxed a little more and that's definitely helped my game.

Q. Do you attribute that to fatherhood?

JIM FURYK: Somewhat. Also maturing a little bit, getting older. But somewhat the fatherhood. I will tell you what, you finish the last hole and you play terrible, you walk off the green, you go home and hold your daughter, you forget about it a lot quicker and it puts you in a better frame of mind. You realize there is tomorrow. You walk off the green, she is going to love me whether I shot 62 or 82. So I attribute a lot to it. It's a life changing experience in all aspects of your life.

Q. Can you talk about Bob Tway he had a lot of success early in his career, but just about him as a player and what you think about his game?

JIM FURYK: I haven't had an opportunity to play with him too much. A little bit. He is kind of a lower trajectory hitter. He hits the ball very flat. He is not a real high-ball hitter. Obviously, a real solid player; has a major championship under his belt. His last win was Hilton Head maybe, MCI, the old MCI. A real solid player. I haven't had a chance to really play with him all that much. I know that when he was playing well, like I said, he hits the ball kind of flat, a little bit lower trajectory, he hits the ball straight. He can work the ball both ways and a consistent grinding-type player.

Q. Does your family travel with you now and did your wife travel with you before?

JIM FURYK: My wife pretty much always traveled with me. If I played 25 events she probably traveled 23 of them. She did full-time. Now, after having children, or a child, we are still feeling that out. They didn't come to L.A. or Match Play. It will be kind of a pick-and-choose, the spots that it's easy to do. We still haven't decided what we want to do. I definitely want her to grow up in a normal world lifestyle instead of ordering room service when she is 4.

Q. Everyone talked about death on the TOUR through the 18 first-time winners last year, on a day like this where the guys are dead last going into the weekend are still only 8 or 9 shots out of the lead. It's been like that at L.A....

JIM FURYK: Yes, the cuts have been surprisingly low. It happens a lot. The last few years someone goes out on Saturdays and shoots 8 or 9 under par and they are tied for the lead or one back before the leaders tee off and give themselves an opportunity if the weather gets tough to contend. I think -- you are right. That is what reflects it the most is the depth. It's a little bit of -- I got here on Monday afternoon. I walked to the range on Tuesday to hit balls and was asked a lot of questions from I think mostly some local outlets like the ABC, NBC, CBS - I'm not sure who - and everyone wanted to talk about who had withdrawn from the tournament and what I thought. I said, well, you might have to remind me who that was since I just got here. I'm not sure who committed and who withdrew already. Everyone is worried about Tiger and Ernie and Phil, you know, the top 3 players in the world not being here. I'm sure that's tough for the tournament, tough for TV. People want to view them and see them playing. But you can almost take that as a knock against the other players.

Like you said, there is a lot of depth on TOUR. There is a lot of guys that are challenging to win golf tournaments that your average fan might not know their name yet. Everyone wanted to know -- I was asked did that affect the way I was going to play this week because some big names were dropping out. All I can do is go about my own business and play my own game. Again not that they meant to be -- but it's a knock against those players. They might be 200th in the world and they are good players, they can shoot a 64 and put themselves in contention to win a tournament.

Q. Do you remember your attitude, where you narrowly made the cut, were you still thinking (Inaudible) --

JIM FURYK: I had a year, it wasn't last year but the year before where I made about 5 cuts on the number and in 3 of 4 of those events finished in the top-10. I did it here at Doral, the year I was defending, the cut, I made it by one. Went up to Honda, made the cut on the number and almost had a chance to win that golf tournament and finished in the top-10. I think I finished 7th there and maybe 9th here. That happens a lot. I did it another one or 2 more times throughout the year. You can go out there on Saturday if you get things rolling, you jump up on the leader board it's a good feeling and you have a lot of time to practice Saturday afternoon.

Q. Using the year that you won as the baseline, how different is this course for you to play, easier or harder or what's the differences for you?

JIM FURYK: The only difference if you remember in 2000 the scores were really low all around. It wasn't just -- Franklin and I pulled away from the field a little bit, there was a lot of guys at 18, 19, 17, 16 under par which you don't see a lot here. The reason was the course played very similar to now where it didn't have as much rough. You can get away with hitting it out of the fairway. I think I hit it in the left rough, or on 8 Sunday and was still able to go with the green with a 4-wood in 2. Now I would be hacking out with a wedge or 9-iron unless I got a really good lie. In some years the rough has been thick; others it hasn't. I'm guessing we have had a lot of rain here this year and there wasn't that year. Historically Doral has had some thick and tough rough and that year it just was down.

Q. What's wrong with the TOUR back at these Florida courses this month, the wind blows, it may be difficult to score. If it doesn't then some guys are going to shoot 15 under or better almost every week...

JIM FURYK: My question is what is wrong with 15 under? Other than the USGA doesn't really like it. I don't see a problem with setting a golf course up that there is no sense in building or setting up a golf course that is not playable on all conditions. You will see that a lot at the British Open, where we go over there, if the weather is tough and miserable and raining we shoot around even par. And when the weather is good, the courses, you can get at them. You can get to the pins, play the courses differently and guys shoot 6, 7, 8 under par. You see guys winning British Opens at 18-under or 5-under or even par. The weather dictates how well you play there. A lot of that is the case here in Florida. Like TPC Heron Bay, the course we used to play next week, was playable in all conditions. People argued that it was boring and you couldn't remember the 13th hole, 14th hole, that may be true, you can play in windy conditions. In March you will get that here in Florida. I'm not saying that it wasn't one of my favorite courses or it's not a great golf course, it was playable in all conditions.

Q. You never know when the weather is going to come into play, why not let that be the defense mechanism instead of putting (Inaudible) --

JIM FURYK: Our Tour does the best job in the entire world of setting up golf courses, period. There is some other organizations we can pick on first before we went to PGA TOUR. They do it 42 times a year. A lot of organizations do it once a year for our level of play. You are going to make mistakes. It's inevitable that you are going to put a pin in the place when the weather changes; it may be tough to putt at. One that comes to mind at L.A. got a little out of hand one day but for the most part our TOUR does a really good job. And you still see -- we still have Las Vegas tournaments where 28 under wins. They try to keep the scores down. You still have to make the golf course fair. I think for the most part they do. It isn't just something that's happened this year with pins getting 3 from the edge. I keep my pin sheets every year. Every year I write them down in my yardage book. I know where the pins on No. 18 have been -- I should say for about the last six years I know exactly where every pin has been because I have written it down in my yardage book. Over the course of the last 10 years they slowly shifted. Every two years they've shifted in a step. Now all of a sudden we used to see a lot of 6s and 7s from edges, then a lot of 4s and 5s. This year 3s have peeked up. As long as they are playable and in a good position I don't mind it. A pin can be 10 from the edge but if it's on top of a crown and it looks like miniature golf it doesn't make it good. So the 3 doesn't bother me as long as it's playable. It's definitely changing. Golf courses are changing, equipment is changing and our game has changed even in the time that I have been on TOUR, it is so much power dominated now than it was 10 years ago. There is just so many more people that can hit it farther. I don't know which came first the chicken or the egg or if golf course design changed that or we changed golf course design. It's a little of both we fed off each other.

Q. Do you think the pins is about as extreme as it should get, stadium course -- (inaudible) --

JIM FURYK: The stadium course is a tough test of golf, it's a hard punishing penal golf course, if they want to set that course up to be unplayable, they have every opportunity to do it. To me it's the hardest golf course we play if they wanted it to be. The TOUR has to be careful that the greens don't get too fast and when you hit it into the middle of the green on 13 and the pin is down below, you are lucky if you can keep it within four feet anyway, but you have to make sure that you don't drip it over the edge and it's on a fringe, that's not really golf. That course was setup, you know -- the course doesn't look too hard when I play it every day of the year. You got to beat that putt down the bottom of the hill to get it down the hill most of the time. Most of the time I'm breathing on it and crawling it over the edge, I think they have to -- my best memory what was the winning score last year? Craig Perks won 8-under. Yes, I think if they keep scoring -- if someone is sniffing double digits and the course was tough it was probably playable. I remember we even got some rain last year. We had to come off the course on Friday's round or Saturday's round, we got taken off the course. I am sure that softened it up a little too. It must have been playing tough if we got rain and single digits won the tournament.

Q. Do you think 3 off the edge would be too much on that course for any green?

JIM FURYK: I think you can could do it on a few. You can do it on -- I think it could be done. There is some greens where it might not work. I would love to see it 3 from the edge on 13, that way it would be perfect. When I hit it up on the green I can hit it next to the hole. The same on the 4, that would be perfect. I think for the most part they could get it done. As long as the pin is in a good spot and you can putt to it and get at it, 3 is okay. It can be 10 from the edge and be in a goofy spot. They are trying to make the course difficult but fair. Sometimes there is a line between fair and unfair and difficult and unplayable. They are trying to -- it's a great championship with the best field, they are trying to make it difficult. Every once in a while it will leak over the wrong side. The year Duval won I think it leaked over the other side. He played it well enough and he was playing well at the time. I remember not hitting a darn green out there because it kept skipping through. That was the year it might have borderlined. The year Lee Janzen one were the toughest years.

JOHN BUSH: Thank you for coming by.

End of FastScripts....

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297