Jim Furyk Interview (Flash)
Score 139, 1‑under
Q. Talk about your day?
JIM FURYK: Obviously happy. I feel great about the 69. I felt like yesterday coming down the stretch maybe I hit a couple poor putts and wasn't disappointed in the score, but I had a makeable putt on 18 and I really didn't hit a good solid putt. But today I feel good about the score. I kept the ball in the fairway pretty well. I hit a bunch of greens this week and could probably get a little better with my speed on my mid‑range putts, on my makeable putts. But I feel solid and in control so far, so I know obviously it's going to get even more probably firmer and faster and even more of a stern test for the weekend. So get some rest this afternoon and get prepared for and try to envision what the course may play like and get prepared.
Q. What do you think makes you a good U.S. Open player? You played good here 14 years ago. You were somewhere up in the Top‑20, I seem to recall.
JIM FURYK: I think that I'm comfortable now working the ball both ways. I think when I'm playing well I do a great job of keeping the ball in the fairway and being patient and trying to put the ball on the green in a spot that's playable, and I guess you have to realize at the U.S. Open par is a really good score and you're going to make some bogeys. And when I'm patient when I'm playing well I've had some success here.
I think it's a lot of it, you just really, mentally you have to be in a good frame of mind, and physically you have to be on top of a lot of areas of your game. But keeping the ball in the fairway is of the utmost importance, and when I'm playing well I do a good job of those things.
Q. Are there similarities to Olympia fields or is that just totally different and you happened to be playing well at those two events?
JIM FURYK: Well, I think they're similar in that they forced a lot of players, both courses forced the players to play from the similar spots in the fairway. Length isn't really much of an issue here. Whether you hit driver off the tee, 3‑wood off the tee or 2‑iron off the tee, we're all trying to put the ball in similar spots here, for most of the day. And Olympia Fields has that same quality at times as well.
But you really have to shape the ball probably a little bit more here and hit a lot of different shots, whether it's high or low, to get the ball in the fairway and hold it against the wind and hold it against the sides of hills to get the ball in play here. The ball just wants to take those slopes and run into the rough too often.
Q. Does it seem like nine years ago?
JIM FURYK: No, time goes quickly. Time goes quickly. But the kids remind me because my wife was pregnant with our second and he's eight and a half, so I guess it does.
Q. The course seems to be changing from day‑to‑day. Can you learn anything for the weekend?
JIM FURYK: It's getting firmer and faster and the ball is going farther off the tee because it. The ball is chasing. But we played in very similar wind conditions all week from Monday on. The wind's basically blowing from the west somewhere. Usually from the west, southwest, but it's blowing from that direction.
The golf course has played pretty similar. I'm maybe not hitting 3‑wood off some tees that I was hitting driver on Monday and Tuesday, and that could turn to hybrid later on in the week if it keeps baking out.
Q. Oakmont is compared to this course a lot, and you and Tiger were both a part of the cast there, as well as Cabrera who is playing well out here. Can you talk about that?
JIM FURYK: Well, Oakmont is a drastic golf course even on a day‑in, day‑out basis. But the rough there was really penal. Some of the worst U.S. Open rough I've ever seen. This golf course the rough isn't as difficult as it was, but the fairways are tougher to hit because of the pitch and the slope.
So the scores at Oakmont and Winged Foot were, I think, somewhere in the 5‑over range to win and if this golf course continues to get tougher and firmer, I could see that as a possibility. But it's going to depend a lot on the conditions and the setup for the weekend. But I could definitely see over par winning the golf tournament.