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


January 9, 2003

Jim Furyk


TODD BUDNICK: We welcome Jim Furyk, 9-under, 64. We can see why you call this place home, as well. Four Top 10s in your last four appearances. Another great start this year.

JIM FURYK: Yeah, got off to a real fast start through that Front 9. Eagle on 9 for 5-under, going out and birdie-ing 10 and 12. I let some opportunities go down the stretch, but I also made a couple great putts on 16 and 17, 17 in particular, made about a 40-footer there.

It was a good start to the year, good start to this week, and hopefully I'll keep it up. But the putting was the key today.

I hit the ball solidly, kept the ball in play, on the fairways, which you should be able to do here. I positioned the ball well. I shaped the ball off the tee. I gave myself some opportunities with irons, but also did make quite a few 15- and 20-footers, which always helps, but the putting was the key.

TODD BUDNICK: Had you done much over the off-season? What was your approach?

JIM FURYK: A little bit more actually probably than usual, but only because I spent more time at home in Florida. We went up north to Pittsburgh, in that area, to see my relatives, but we went early for Christmas, mid December. I spent quite a few weeks at home in some decent weather before coming out here. I won't say I played golf every day, but I definitely worked at it a little bit, kept loose with the golf club through the off-season.

Q. Is there home field advantage here for you?

JIM FURYK: I don't think so. It's nice. I think I'm fortunate, I've played a lot of events here. This is the fifth year for the Mercedes. I've been fortunate enough, lucky enough to play in all five. I've played in a lot when it was a November event. I played in I think three of those. I think this is my eighth event, maybe more. I got to see the course in a lot of different conditions and styles.

But I was here in November for a little while. I played 27 holes while I was here on this golf course. I played down at the Bay one day. That's probably not enough to really rack up a lot of holes or a lot of course knowledge.

But I know the course plenty well, whether I play here in the off-season or not. I've played enough tournaments and seen enough conditions that I know the course well.

Q. How often are you here? You mentioned November. That is about it?

JIM FURYK: I would like to spend as much time between November and February, through those four months, as I could. If I could get two months out of those four, it would be great.

Q. Do you do that now?

JIM FURYK: I would like to try. We finished our house last summer. My daughter was born in the summer. No way to travel over here at that time. My wife and I came over for a couple weeks in November. We're going to spend a couple weeks here. I'm not playing Phoenix or the Hope. We'll get five weeks out of it for the first 12 months, and hopefully next year it will be a lot more.

Q. Of all the times you played, were the conditions today, where do they rank for you?

JIM FURYK: About as good as they can get (smiling). The course is in great shape. The course is in better shape now than I've ever seen it, and it's not even close. I think they've done a wonderful job with the condition of the golf course. The weather, the wind laid down for us today, made it possible to go out there and shoot low scores. Looks like 5-under is the last score on the leaderboard. Right now there's still a lot of golf to be played. The scores are going to be really, really good.

Q. Would you like to see the wind pick up at all?

JIM FURYK: You know, I never root for bad things to happen, that's for sure. If the wind picks up, I'm comfortable. I've won golf tournaments here in the wind when it was blowing really hard. I'm comfortable, my style of game suits itself for playing in the wind when I'm playing well. I would never root for bad conditions.

I think if you go into the last day, you're five or six down, you might have to hope for some bad conditions. If you can go out and play really good round in bad conditions, the leader can falter. Right now, this stage of the tournament, I'll take what tomorrow gives me and go out and play the best I can.

Q. You talk about course knowledge. Is it more everything going up to the greens or is it mostly the greens?

JIM FURYK: The greens are tough to putt. Normally it's blowing, so that makes it difficult to putt. But there's a lot of slope on these greens, although they're not relatively fast greens, they couldn't be, because the ball wouldn't stay on half of them. If they were real fast, firm greens, we couldn't play out here because there's a lot of slope, a lot of movement. You get a lot of six-footers that are breaking close to a foot because it's on such a side hill. You get a lot of breaking putts.

The green plays a big part of that. I think the greens are in a little better shape, might be a little less green than in the past. But it still plays a part.

There's some putts on holes that look like they're going to hardly break at all, but they follow that grain and turn a little bit. It's enough for guys to get frustrated out here. I still do. There's a couple greens that give me fits out here. Some of the ones that are more benign, the ones that don't have a lot of slope, I still misread a lot of putts.

It's a tough place to putt, I think. I think guys definitely get frustrated coming here year in, year out, struggle making putts.

Q. At this stage of your career, how do you go about setting goals for yourself, having accomplished quite a few things?

JIM FURYK: There's always a way. My goal every year, someone is listening, getting tired of me saying this, it's to keep getting better. Instead of setting I want to finish somewhere on the Money List, make so much money, win so many tournaments, the goal is always to win events, put yourself in position to win events. In order to do that, I think I have to keep trying to get better in this game. Whether you're Tiger Woods, the best player in the world, or if you're the 500th player in the world, there's still a lot of ways to improve, get better.

The things I think about in the off-season, even when I may not be playing golf, I'm thinking about the year, what I can do to become a better player, to help my game to improve.

That's a goal: to get better this year, to learn more. Definitely every year, even though maybe the stats, position on Money List, I felt like I've improved as a player. For a while, I had a great streak in majors where I really had some great finishes. Last few years, I haven't played as well as I've wanted to.

To get myself in contention, compete, give myself a chance to win one of those tournaments would also be a good boost for the year.

Q. Is there anything in particular you need to work on, any part of your game that you're focusing on?

JIM FURYK: Well, last year -- definitely last year I think I feel like I had a good year, I had my best ball-striking year ever. My statistics were good, but like I say, I don't really look at statistics. I had a lot more confidence in my ball striking last year than I ever have. My putting for the first five months of the year was horrible. It wasn't even bad; it was awful. I was hitting the ball so well, though, I was kind of getting away with it, still finishing okay. But I -- there were quite a few events I felt like I had an opportunity to win early last year, but my putting held me back.

I think towards the end of the year, that started improving, I putted well. I won one event, the Memorial, gave myself a real good chance at Las Vegas, and didn't win. That was something I really worked hard on last year. Today it was definitely good, but hopefully it's not one day. You're not trying to maintain that through one week or a month, but through an entire year. To keep continuing to strike the ball well, hopefully get my putting in line, that will be good.

TODD BUDNICK: If we could go through your card. Birdie on 3.

JIM FURYK: 3, I hit a 3-wood off the tee. I have a new club in my bag, I don't know what they call it, a gap-wedge, I guess, 50-degree wedge. I hit that to about 10 feet, knocked that in.

I birdied No. 5, driver, 4-wood, about 40 feet behind the pin, 2-putted for birdie.

No. 6, driver off the tee about 30 yards short of the tee, hit a bad pitch about 15 feet past the pin, but I made the putt.

No. 9, I hit a 4-wood off the tee and a 4-wood into the green, made about a 15-footer for eagle there, maybe 15 to 20.

No. 10, I hit a 4-wood off the tee and a sand wedge to about 15 feet.

No. 12, I hit a driver and 8-iron.

This is the beginning of the year, bear with me. I'm not used to doing this.

That was probably about 15 feet also.

Then 16, I hit a driver off the tee, and that 50-degree wedge again, about 20 feet behind the pin. I hit it a little bit too far, then knocked that in.

17, I hit driver, 7-iron. I kind of long-righted the pin about 40 feet. I made a real long putt there. It was kind of a good end to the day.

TODD BUDNICK: 9-under, missed birdies on two of the par 5s, as well.

JIM FURYK: Yeah, disappointing on the back. I made the par 5s on the front good, didn't birdie either 15 or 18. Hit a bad second shot at 18. Hung my second shot right at 15, which is going to happen. I hit a good pitch to about six or seven feet, missed that one.

I missed another short putt on the front side, I think it was 7. I hit it in there about six or seven feet, missed that one.

You can always look back and say I missed a few, but I also made a bomb. Made up for it on 17. That's the way it goes. Hit good putts on both those holes, they just didn't go in.

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