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THE PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP


May 11, 2014


Jim Furyk


PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FLORIDA

CHRIS REIMER:  Jim, a solid 66 today turned out to be almost enough.  Just talk about your day today and sitting here solo second at THE PLAYERS Championship.
JIM FURYK:¬† Yeah.¬† You know, I felt like it was going to take probably a 7‑under, maybe an 8‑under to get into contention today and have a shot at winning the golf tournament.¬† A lot of overcast skies, golf course was a little softer than it was yesterday, the wind wasn't blowing as hard.¬† I think the opportunity late in the round today was better to shoot a good score, and it was fun to get off to a really good start.
I birdied 1 and 2, and then Nos. 4 and 6.¬† I had the putter going pretty good, knocked in some good putts.¬† Stalled a little bit through the middle of the round, missed a decent birdie at 8, missed about an eight‑footer for birdie on 9, hit a good putt, I was expecting it to break.¬† And knocked it in there stiff at 10 to make birdie and stalled a little bit again through that 11, 12, 13 range where I felt like I had some good opportunities to make birdies and did not.¬† But played solid the rest of the way.¬† 13, 14, 15 gave myself some birdie looks.¬† They were probably 30 and 20 feet.¬† Two‑putted for birdie at 16, and wish I had hit a little better shot at 17 but was able to get out of there with a 3 and hit two of my best shots of the day really under the gun at 18 where I hit a driver and I think it was a 9‑iron.¬† It was playing a little drier and a little firmer then.¬† I hit a 3‑wood and a‑‑ was it 3‑wood, 8‑iron or 3‑wood, 9‑iron, I think it was 3‑wood 9‑iron, knocked it in there about 12 feet behind the hole.¬† When it left the putter I liked it, but I hit it a little bit too hard and knocked it through the break and missed it on the high side.¬† That was the margin.
Obviously give a lot of credit to Martin; he made it exciting with the 6 on 15, but that putt on 17 was‑‑ that up‑and‑down at 17, I know how hard that is living here, and that wasn't one that I would have expected him to get up‑and‑down very often percentage‑wise, but that putt was incredible, to have a good eight feet of break in it and pour it right in the middle.¬† If it misses it only goes an inch by the hole, so it was one really, really good putt.
CHRIS REIMER:¬† The finishing stretch here is notorious for anything can happen, a lot of risk‑reward.¬† What were your emotions as you were watching Martin come down 16, 17, 18?
JIM FURYK:¬† Well, I really felt like those three holes probably you won't see them probably play any less difficult than they did today.¬† 16 with that much wind is very reachable for a lot of players.¬† The hole is in a location where you can still miss the ball to the left of the green and have a relatively straightforward up‑and‑down. ¬†17 there wasn't much wind; tee was up.¬† When I got there I hit gap wedge in there because it was a little down breeze, I think.¬† By the time the leaders got in off the rain it softened up a little bit and the wind wasn't blowing down.¬† 18, I don't hit 3‑wood, 9‑iron in there very often.¬† That front left pin in my opinion is going to yield a lot more birdies than say that back left.
I felt like those three holes were gettable.¬† I only played them 1‑under par, and I felt like I needed to get to at least 2‑under those three to really give myself a good opportunity, and that's kind of what it ended up being.

Q.  Can you just talk about the last putt and how difficult it was after the break and the delay and all that?
JIM FURYK:¬† You know, I said outside, I think it was both good and bad.¬† The wait was good in that when I missed the 12‑footer for birdie, my mind was racing, did I hit it too hard, did I play too much break.¬† You're kind of thinking what you would you have done differently, and I was disappointed that I missed it.¬† At times like that, sometimes it's hard to rein the focus back in and just concentrate on knocking the little one in.
But then it was bad in that sitting in there for an hour thinking about a three‑footer for an hour is no fun, as well.¬† I really didn't believe that it was going to give me‑‑ knocking that putt in was going to give me an opportunity to win the golf tournament.¬† I really felt like Jordan or Sergio might even catch me for second.¬† Jordan got off to a bad start after the rain delay on 14 and 15, and that ended up being the difference.
But I really felt like I probably a T2 was probably what I could have expected, but it was good to get out there on the putting green, knock a few ‑‑ I hit about 20 three‑footers, and I think I missed one of them but I knocked a whole bunch of them in and had a lot of confidence going back out there.

Q.  Are you encouraged tremendously by your play this week?
JIM FURYK:¬† Yeah, I've been playing really well.¬† I feel like confidence‑wise I'm climbing the mountain right now.¬† I've put together a lot of really good events starting back at the Match Play.¬† I didn't play well at Doral, but played well at Tampa, played well in San Antonio, had a good run with the Masters and got a little cold with the putter on that last nine, or I would have finished a lot better than what I did, finishing T14.¬† Had a good RBC event, Hilton Head; solo second last week after a really good Sunday finish with 65 and solo second this week with a Sunday 66.
Confidence‑wise I'm doing‑‑ I feel good about my game.¬† I feel good about where I am mentally out there on the golf course.¬† I'm a little disappointed to get to close two weeks in a row.¬† It wasn't like I sat on a lead and finished second both weeks, so it wasn't kind of like a huge letdown.¬† I fired good numbers on Sunday and really didn't think either one was going to hold up, and then it got so close, so it was getting that close taste.¬† It's worse watching, I'll say that.¬† I like being out on the golf course.

Q.  Have you gone through something like what Martin had to do in that hour wait when you had the lead and you had to sit and wait it out?
JIM FURYK:¬† Sure.¬† When I won the FedExCup and the TOUR Championship, I think it was on the 8th green we had a long rain delay before going back out and I was sitting on a lead, sitting on the golf tournament, sitting on the FedExCup, possible Player of the Year.¬† I had a lot of things riding on that one event, and it was difficult.¬† I was pacing a lot.¬† I'm a huge football fan.¬† Football was on TV in the locker room, and I was having a really hard time focusing on the game, wanted to‑‑ was kind of chomping at the bit to get back out there.

Q.  You've done it two weeks in a row now.  How helpless is that feeling of sitting there and really not being able to do anything about the outcome?
JIM FURYK:  You know, I think it sucks to have a TV in your face, really.  I'll be honest with you.  Every time you scratch your nose it's on television.  But I understand it's part of the deal.  You're looking for a reaction when you know you're not going to get one, considering a guy knows that there's three cameras pointed at him, so it seems a little pointless to me, but I understand.
I mean, I did what I could.¬† I left it all on the golf course, and I hung it all out there today and every clich√© you can think of.¬† I played hard today.¬† I played really well.¬† For all purposes I hit 18 greens today.¬† I think I hit two fringes.¬† You know, a couple putts didn't go in here and there.¬† I misread the one at 9.¬† I could have got the ball maybe up‑and‑down at 11.¬† It was a tough up‑and‑down.¬† I hit the putt a little hard at 18, but for the most part I hit a lot of good quality shots, and could have worked out better, could have worked out worse.
Like I said, it's more disappointing to have the lead and shoot 70 and have someone pass you up and finish second than to go out there and fire a 65, 66 and get close.¬† You've got to feel good about shooting a good number and probably‑‑ I think I shot the best score last week on Sunday, and I think there was maybe one 65 out there today, so one of the best scores today on Sunday, so you've got to feel good about that.
CHRIS REIMER:  Just comments on Martin Kaymer as a player and the way he played this week.
JIM FURYK:¬† Yeah, you've got a major championship winner, the PGA.¬† He went through some struggles for a while, but he's a good guy, I think a guy that most people like in the locker room, doesn't matter where you're from.¬† He's personable, mild‑mannered, gets along with people.¬† He's a guy you have to root for, as well.¬† I like Martin a lot.¬† I haven't had a chance to talk to him in quite a few years, but when I've been around him and played with him, I've enjoyed his company, and I'm happy for him.
CHRIS REIMER:  Good finish today, and good tournament.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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