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THE PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP


May 9, 2014


Jim Furyk


PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FLORIDA

Q.  Did you go out with the idea today of I need to get something really low to kind of get in contention?
JIM FURYK:¬† No, it wasn't my attitude, it was to go out and play a good round.¬† I saw how good the scores were yesterday morning and looked at the weather report.¬† The breeze was supposed to be a little down this morning, so I felt like the idea was I wanted to see what the golf course looked like, but I felt like conditions would be best to score on that first side, and then it would kind of pick up and firm up a little bit on the front, and I was right, so it was nice to get off to a good start.¬† I was 3‑under through 8.
But I'm anxious to see what happens this afternoon with the scores because there were so many good scores yesterday morning.¬† There was a lot of guys stacked up at that 3‑, 4‑ and 5‑under par, and I want to see what the wind does and how the golf course plays for those guys this afternoon.

Q.  Adam says if it doesn't come up, the course is kind of there for the taking.
JIM FURYK:¬† It is.¬† It's not an easy golf course, but it's playing‑‑ the greens are still somewhat receptive.¬† You can stop the ball.¬† They're not overly fast.¬† I think they've probably had to keep some moisture in them to keep them healthy.¬† It's there, I think it's possible, and like we talked about yesterday, I think scores were so good yesterday because the greens weren't that firm and guys could get a little bit more aggressive.

Q.  This golf course makes you stay in it on every hole.
JIM FURYK:  It can jump up and bite you.  Even the short holes can jump up and bite you.  There's a lot of sharp edges and severity around the greens out here.  Just a shot that's just a little bit off can end up pretty bad at times, so yes, it keeps you on edge the whole way around.

Q.  Your results haven't been all that great here.  Are you kind of figuring it out a little bit this week?
JIM FURYK:¬† Oh, no, I've had the golf course figured out for a long time.¬† I just haven't played particularly well.¬† You'd think that it would be a golf course that would suit my game.¬† It's not power dominated.¬† It's more about placing the ball in the right places.¬† It just has an extremely awkward look to me if that makes sense, and Pete's courses tend to‑‑ I don't play a lot of his golf courses on TOUR to be honest with you.¬† His courses tend to look very awkward to me.¬† I tend to avoid playing them, and he's actually even joked about that with me a little bit.¬† I know where to hit it here, I think it's just the visual is so much different than what I grew up on.¬† I grew up on tree‑lined fairways and soft, rolling, where everything here is real sharp and jagged and just‑‑ it's different, and I think that‑‑ in the past it's probably made me a little bit more uneasy.¬† But I know where to hit it here.¬† Even though I've played less than a handful of rounds here a year for the last 10 years, I know the golf course as well as anyone.¬† I mean, I've played enough‑‑ I've lived here for almost 20 years, so I know the golf course.

Q.  You've been playing consistently well for a pretty good long stretch now.  Is everything kind of going as well as it looks like it is?
JIM FURYK:¬† I've been able to kind of‑‑ I had a bad stretch yesterday on the front nine where I didn't hit very many fairways and didn't hit very many greens.¬† I wasn't that far off, but as we talked about, the course can kind of jump up at you.¬† I think I only hit three greens on the front nine yesterday, but I've been scoring well.¬† When things aren't going well, I've been able to kind of keep a peace of mind and a calmness about me.¬† I've been able to score and get the ball in the hole.¬† I got it up‑and‑down a bunch yesterday when I needed to.¬† I hit three greens and made two birdies, so on that side I shot even par.¬† And then kind of found a good rhythm on the back nine, hit the ball really well, gave myself some opportunities and shot 2‑under, and I've gone on to shoot 2‑under every side since.¬† You look at it, but that nine was probably the most important because I could have probably shot 2‑ or 3‑over real quick and got myself in a hole for the week.¬† Those are the kind of things I've been doing when I've been hitting the ball well and having some opportunities, I've taken advantage of them, and when I haven't had rounds that were maybe going that well, I've kind of bided my time well and been patient and got it around.
I kind of did that last week.  The first round I think I shot even par.  I could have played a lot better, but I didn't.  It didn't happen.  But I stayed patient and eventually the week came around and I ended up finishing second.
I really haven't forced the issue, and I think it's helped me out a lot.

Q.  Last week you spoke about being more happy on the golf course.  Can you expand on that?
JIM FURYK:¬† You know, it's my 21st year as a golf professional, or actually a PGA TOUR professional.¬† I've been a golf pro now for 22 years.¬† I think I told someone earlier that last year I kind of got in a funk earlier in the year where golf became a little bit more of a‑‑ it felt like a job.¬† It felt like my occupation rather than being fun.¬† I have no one to blame for that or I'm not looking for anyone to feel bad for me by any means.¬† I only had myself to blame, and I think I had to kind of figure out a way to‑‑ I reduced my schedule a little bit for the rest of the year.¬† If I remember last year I took Charlotte off before this week.¬† A lot of that was I was just burned out, I was tired, and I was kind of miserable on the golf course, and I didn't want to be that person.¬† I didn't play well here, but the idea was I was going to change my attitude and get back to having fun and playing golf like I was a kid again and enjoying it.¬† In order to do so I felt like talking to my family and talking to my dad, talking to my wife, talking to actually even Doc Rotella a little bit, I just felt like I needed to limit my schedule a little bit, kind of play the events that I really loved and wanted to be at, and I needed to go in with a much better attitude, and I think it's bred me turning around and being patient and kind of enjoying the game a little bit more again.

Q.  Was there a specific point where you kind of came to that realization?
JIM FURYK:¬† It was pretty much about Sunday night before Wells Fargo last year.¬† No, it was probably at Hilton Head, I think I got to the point where I was just like‑‑ and I don't know how to say it.¬† Like I said, it's not going to make sense to most people, but a lot of golf professionals have been in that position where‑‑ I remember my rookie year, I was leading‑‑ rookie or second year I was leading Houston after the first round with Wayne Levi, and Wayne was talking about how golf is a job, and they were talking about having fun out there, and he was just saying it's a job, it's what I do for a living, it's my occupation.¬† And I was thinking, I was a young guy on TOUR, I was thinking this is the greatest job going.¬† I was thinking, man, just shoot me if I ever get to the point where it becomes a job.¬† I might as well quit.¬† So I remembered saying that, and last year I'm looking at my wife saying, it's a job.¬† And I told myself I'd quit if I ever got to that point.
I had to figure out a way to make it fun again and to enjoy what I do, and it's not hard.¬† I mean, I played this game my whole life because I love it, but it's real easy to‑‑ I think after so many years and wanting to do so many more things at home with my family and my kids and missing ballgames, getting in the car and driving away knowing I'm going to miss two lacrosse games and two baseball games one week became‑‑ I was getting in the car going to work rather than getting in the car going to play a golf tournament.
I just had to kind of reorganize things and fix things, figure out things a little bit, and I'm fortunate to have a very understanding family, as well.

Q.  Martin Kaymer told us almost the exact same thing yesterday, that he likes to go out and play golf now.  Do you have to convince yourself of that every day, or is it a general mindset?
JIM FURYK:¬† I think it's going to be different for everyone.¬† We're in different aspects of our lives.¬† When I was his age, it was when I played too much I got flustered, and I wasn't a guy‑‑ I didn't know how to pace myself.¬† Young guy, get out on TOUR, I was just going to play a ton of tournaments, but I realized I couldn't be sharp for 35 weeks a year.¬† It's just not possible.¬† So I had to figure out how to tone it down, and then as I've gotten older, you have other things that are‑‑ when I was 22 golf was pretty much the most important thing in my life, and now that I'm going to be 44 soon, it's really not up there in the top three if that makes sense.¬† It's important to me, but my wife and my kids and my family and other things come first.¬† You know, and golf then takes a secondary role.
So being able to figure out how to manage all that and still go out and be competitive and play well was what I was kind of really struggling with.¬† Right now I've got a nice recipe, and it's not always going to be that way, but I feel like my attitude has bred my good play for the last‑‑ when I come out in February, I don't really expect to play that great.¬† I just took four months off.¬† I'm not really fooling anyone thinking I'm going to go win my first event.¬† I'm still trying to figure out which side the grip is on.¬† And then I kind of use the West Coast to really tune up, and when I get to Doral, Tampa, Valero, Augusta, Hilton Head, I feel like I'm kind of ready to go.¬† I've had my warm‑up, and I think I've played well through that stretch because my attitude is good.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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