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August 17, 2001

Jim Furyk


JULIUS MASON: Hello again, ladies and gentlemen. Jim Furyk fires a 64 today in the second round of the 83rd PGA Championship. If you would not mind giving us some opening thoughts, then we'll go through your card and Q&A please.

JIM FURYK: I'm obviously very happy the way I played today. Got myself back in the tournament. Still a little surprised at how good the scores are. I think the golf course is demanding. It's very long. It's a tough golf course. I think right now the greens are fairly receptive and moist and that's allowing the guys to shoot some decent scores. A lot of it is letting us play a little bit, but also because of the extreme heat a little bit so they don't burn up. Overall, I'm very pleased and looking forward to the weekend. First birdie today was on No. 5. I hit a driver and a 3-wood out to the right of the green about -- probably 25 yards short of the pin and hit a good pitch to about ten feet and made that for birdie. Then turned around and birdied the sixth hole right behind it. Driver down the left side and 8-iron to about six feet and made that. Finished out the front side with pars and then made some birdies early on in the back side. Birdied No. 10 with a driver and a 6-iron, I believe, to about 15 feet. 11, I hit a 3-wood and a 7-iron to about 15 feet. No. 12, I hit a driver and a kind of hit it down the left side of the fairway and had to punch it underneath that pine tree. Left myself a 9-iron into the green and hit that about 12 feet behind the hole. 13, I hit a 3-wood and pitching wedge about four feet. The only mistake on my card today was a bogey on No. 16. Ended up being a very good bogey because I hit it pretty far left off the tee into the pine needles into the trees. Tried to play a shot underneath them up by the green and I hooked it a little bit, hit some big trees in the left and again under some Pine Needles under the trees. Hit a 9-iron, best shot of the day, underneath the trees just over the bunker to the back fringe and 2-putted from there for bogey. Where I left myself after the second shot could have turned out to be anything. Birdied 18. Hit a good drive and 4-iron to about 15 feet behind the hole and got that to go in.

JULIUS MASON: Questions, folks.

Q. Was this one of those in-the-zone putting days for you, or -- because a few times I saw you were so close and beautifully played, did it take pressure off your putting?

JIM FURYK: I don't know about "in the zone," but I didn't make everything I looked at. I felt more comfortable with the putter today than yesterday. A lot of that is giving yourself opportunities. I felt good with my irons and hit a lot of crisp iron shots and gave myself a lot of 15- to 18-foot birdie putts today and even closer. For a while there seems like from 15 feet in, I had a birdie putt for about five or six holes in a row. When you are doing that and you are confident that you are hitting close, I think that does take a little pressure off your putter, but I feel very good with the putter today and I was fortunate to get some to go in.

Q. Are you relaxed this week because you took care of Ryder Cup business last week and gave yourself some breathing room?

JIM FURYK: That definitely helps. Last week I was pretty uptight going the to the tournament. I knew that being 11th, I had to gain some points if I wanted to make the Top-10, and, you know, from the start shooting 64 the first round, shooting 8-under and being tied for the lead, that just started all the questions, so every day, being in the media room, I fielded a lot of questions about the Ryder Cup and that seemed to add -- I kept putting more and more pressure on myself. I'm happy with the way I played, and it's tough. You have to kind of forget about that and just go play golf. It's tough, because it came up -- I've said it before it came up 150 times last week; that someone mentioned the Ryder Cup to me. So with that competitive -- just with that repetition with someone reminding you all the time, you can't forget about it and it does add to the pressure. This week, being eighth, I've gotten a lot less questions. I've tried to totally forget about it. It's been easier and I just want to go out and play golf. It's conceivable that I could get passed, but if I go out and play good golf this week, that's not going to happen.

Q. All week all we've heard about is how long and hard this golf course is particularly the last four holes out here, yet the scores look like the Buick Open. Have we been misled or are you guys just that good?

JIM FURYK: The scores don't look like the Buick Open. I shot 6-under last week and held my position every day. Today I made a pretty good push with that score, but I think the golf course is very difficult and it's very long. It's drying out nicely, so that we are getting a little bit more distance on our tee shots. It's not playing quite as long as the practice rounds. What's making the scores, or the reason for the scores being fairly low is, I think, just the greens are a little soft. We are able to hold shots. A guy like me who is pretty average distance with the driver, I'm hitting a lot of 3-iron, 4-irons, and when I get a 5-iron in my hand on this golf course, I feel like it's a short iron because it just didn't happen very much but I'm able to hold a 3-iron on the green, able to hold a 4-iron on the green within about ten feet. So I think that's allowing us to play well right now. I think that's why you are seeing scores that are good. If the greens got firmer, those scores would go up in a heartbeat.

Q. Mark has not posted a score like this in quite some time. What was he like on the golf course? A lot of chit-chat?

JIM FURYK: He is pretty much the same. He is pretty much the same whether he is shooting 75 or 65. He has a pretty good attitude. I'm not going to say he is the most talkative person in the world but we talk quite a bit. You know, he's -- I think for that reason, he's a good guy to play with, because he's not a distraction. He's not going to get so excited when he's playing great and he's not going to get really down and start banging clubs when he is playing bad. He's pretty much the same person no matter how he's playing and that's a credit to him.

Q. Does the course get shorter going from the practice rounds to the competitive rounds because you play the competitive rounds with more energy?

JIM FURYK: I don't think so. I don't hit the ball any farther in a tournament round unless I'm just so geared up on the 18th hole that there's a chance my iron will go a little bit farther. The course has dried up. Very rarely have I picked up mud on my ball. Maybe once or twice in the last couple days. In the practice rounds it was hitting and moving about a foot after it hit and it was coming up with a hunk of mud and we were losing a lot of roll and distance that way. It was making me hit one or sometimes two or three more irons into the holes.

JULIUS MASON: Questions, questions twice. Thanks, Jim.

End of FastScripts...

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