Jim Furyk Interview
Score 283, 3‑over
Q. How disappointed are you right now?
JIM FURYK: Very. Very. I don't know how to put that one into words, but I had my opportunities and my chances and it was right there. It was, on that back nine, it was my tournament to win and I felt like if win the out there and shot even par, 1‑under, I would have distanced myself from the field and I wasn't able to do so. And I played quite well, actually until the last three holes. So we'll have to look at holes 70 to 72 of what cost me the tournament.
I needed to play those last three better.
Q. 16th hole. Tell us everything from the tee box on.
JIM FURYK: The tee was a hundred yards up. So I'll be quite honest, it was 99 yards up from the back of the very back tee. I know the USGA gives us a memo saying that they play from multiple tees, but there's no way to prepare for a hundred yards. So there's no way that you're, I thought that they put the tee up like they did, maybe 65 yards up on Friday, but to get to a tee where the tee box is a hundred yards up and the fairway makes a complete L turn, I was unprepared and didn't know exactly where to hit the ball off the tee. And I took a little bit more of an aggressive route with that 3‑wood.
In hindsight, I like the way Graeme played the hole. He played it 2‑iron, 2‑iron, and sand wedge. And I don't know what to say, other than there's no way anyone else in the field was prepared for the tee to be that far up. I just didn't handle it very well. And I'm not sure I hit the wrong club off the tee, but probably hit the wrong shot off the tee. And that probably as much as anything forced me to make a poor swing.
Q. How unsettling is that to get up on the tee box and really not have a clear picture of thousand manage that hole?
JIM FURYK: It's awkward. That happens, that's happened quite a bit in the setups here in the last six and seven years and I want to be clear, I really like the way Mike sets the golf course up, I think he's done a great job. But there's always one round where, towards that late in the day, where you grab a hole and it's much different than you would expect it. And there's no way when we play our practice rounds you're going to hit a shot from a tee a hundred yards up unless someone tells you.
But the rest of the field had that same shot to hit today and I'm pretty sure no one hit as shitty a shot as I did, so. I did the best, the worst job of handling it and I have no one to blame but myself. I should have hit a different shot off the tee and if anything you need to miss that fairway to the right to never to the left. So it makes mine twice as bad.
Q. Talk about the par at 12 and how so much of the day was just about kind of hanging in there.
JIM FURYK: Yeah, I had my opportunities early too. I had good birdie putts and 4 and 7 and wasn't able to convert on either one.
I hit a bad putt at 4. But hit a pretty good putt at 7 but it lost some speed and missed low. I didn't make a birdie today. So you're going to have to grind it out and make a bunch of pars along the way, but you have to sprinkle a couple birdies in there to cover‑up some mistakes. You can't go the whole day out here without making a bogey.
So the lack of birdies hurt. And 16 still wasn't that bad, I mean, I had 17 in front of me where you can make a three or a four and 18 with a wedge in my hand. I caught kind of a fluffy lie on 17 and I wanted that 4‑iron to come out kind of hot and it came out weak. And then I didn't hit a very good bunker shot or putt. So really, when you look at it, nothing was terrible, but I needed to hit a good shot at that momentum and I did not.
Q. As you are studying the leaderboard, how shocked were you to see Webb kind of make that charge?
JIM FURYK: He was 1‑under early on the back nine from what I remember. So it was really not much of a shock. When I got in trouble on 16, my biggest fear was that he would birdie 17 and my bogey would cost me, it would be a two‑shot swing and all of a sudden I would go from even to 2‑down. I was kind of relieved. It took a long time for them to post his 17 hole score. In fact, they went straight to 18.
When I left 15 green he was still through 16. When I got through 16, they posted an 18 hole round. So it was nice to see that. More than anything else, I wasn't shocked, I was kind of happy and relieved that it was two pars and that I realized Graeme and I were still in the event.
Q. You obviously know what it feels like to win this championship, but as you approached the final three, four holes, did you feel like you were going to win, what was the sense that you had?
JIM FURYK: I don't think there's a player out here that gets in position and has an opportunity to win the golf tournament that doesn't feel like that. There was probably six, eight guys today that felt like they were going to win the golf tournament. At least three or four. And so I guess, going back to, how disappointed are you, I really felt like I had a lot of confidence in myself and a lot of belief in myself and you feel like you're going win the golf tournament, so when you don't, it's that much more disappointing.
Q. Did the sense of feeling change your nerves at all on the back nine?
JIM FURYK: I was calm all day. I made a bad swing at 16, but I didn't make bad swings, I didn't hit bad shots, I wasn't twitchy with the putter. I just needed to ‑‑ 16, to make six on that par five with a tee that far up really hurt. But I still had my opportunities. I just wasn't able to hit that one good golf shot, that one great golf shot that I needed.
And 18 I tried to kind of force that wedge in there and just tugged it a little bit. And ended up kind of mistake then it buries and we could have been a 12 by the time I was done. I knew that, I knew on that third shot that I told my caddie boy if this doesn't hit the stick we're going to end up down there by the cameraman and who knows what we're going to make. Actually getting in the bunker there with a good lie was about as good as I could have expected or hoped for.
Q. Does today's result give you confidence that there are more Majors maybe to come for Jim Furyk? I know it's not result you were looking for, but the way you handled it this week.
JIM FURYK: You know, I'm a little ‑‑ I don't know how to say it ‑‑ in the proper sense. Two years ago I was the Player of the Year in the United States. I played poorly last year, and all of a sudden I'm middle‑aged. So I got to be honest with you with you, that pisses me off.
So, yeah, I think I have a few more good years. I've been saying it all year and I would like to get another opportunity, whether or not that happens again in a Major Championship, I don't know. I know I let one slide today and slip and, hey, Webb went out there and got it too. He went out and shot 68 and to do that on this golf course on a Sunday is phenomenal. He's a very good player and a good person. So I'm very happy for him and Dowd.
Q. Is it that much harder when you get so close as opposed to you come out her and you have a crummy week or never really get your self into contention or do you, I know it's a little early but do you take the positives that there you are?
JIM FURYK: Well, yeah, I mean at least I had about 15 minutes to kind of collect my thoughts and I've already gone through the said the stuff I shouldn't have said. But y'all weren't around, so. So I've had a little time to calm down.
But that taste of honey definitely is worse than if I would have come back today and shot 2‑under and finished in the same score I would be, I'd be walking out here with big smile on my face and a tie for fourth.
But I was tied for the lead, sitting on the 16th tee, with wedges basically if I hit good shots, I got wedges in my hand or reachable par‑5s in my hand on the way in and one birdie wins the golf tournament, I'm definitely frustrated.
Q. What were your thoughts as you stood there on 18 and you Graeme had those putts to clean up it seemed like such an empty deal?
JIM FURYK: Yeah, you know, I slammed mine in the hole, actually. But, no, I didn't have Mike read too many putts this week. I had him read probably less than 10, and I told him while Graeme was putting I said I'm going to need you to take a look at this one. My mind is kind of in a different spot and I told him it was inside left he said, yes, like it. And I knocked it in. But I wouldn't be surprising if one of those misses just because the air was let out of the balloon at that point.
Q. It's hard to hold the lead, it's happened to great names here, is it just because it's such an incredibly demanding golf course that these guys come from behind and it's hard to hold the lead as the last group?
JIM FURYK: I don't know. You name a U.S. Open on any golf course that isn't hard to hold the lead. So I would I'll take that position time in and time again. You get me tied for the lead significant on the first tee on Sunday and I got off to a good start, which would be even better. So now I've got to make my game's about putting the ball in the green and putting the ball on fairway and letting people come to me and chase me and have to do something special, and Webb did that today. But I didn't close it out.