U.S. Senior Open Championship

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA

Saucon Valley C.C. (Old Course)

Jim Furyk

Quick Quotes

THE MODERATOR: Jim Furyk, even-par 71. Kind of a roller coaster round. Can you talk us through that?

JIM FURYK: I think four bogeys, four birdies. I don't know you were going to escape today with the weather and the golf course and some of the pin locations without making some bogeys. I was able to make four birdies and kind of cover those up.

One careless one, I think, was the three-putt at 16 where I'd hit the first putt way, way too hard. I did that a couple times on the first side, on the back nine where I had some long putts and blew them past the hole pretty far.

It took a little while to get comfortable with the speed and the change of the greens with the rain, but I putted beautifully today. Obviously I struggled a little down the stretch. I hit a terrible drive off of 8 and hit a fat iron into 9. I actually didn't drive -- I drove the ball really well on my first side, and I didn't drive the ball very well on the front, on my second side.

Playing out of the rough, I actually did a pretty damn good job to get it in at 1-over there. The save on the last kind of puts a smile on my face even though it's disappointing to make bogey, but it could have been a lot worse.

Q. How tough were the conditions, especially early in your round?

JIM FURYK: The first five, six holes were brutal. I think the first six holes, kind of started to let up on 16, our 7th hole, and then it stopped raining -- or 17 or 18 -- then I thought we were kind of home free.

Then it just slowly picked up again on the back nine, so our second side.

Just tough. Tough to kind of hold onto the club, keep everything dry. We went out with three towels, and those were pretty much drenched through about seven holes. Just trying to keep things dry, hold onto the club.

And because the rough is so long and thick when it's wet, it was not playable in a lot of spots.

It's tough to get the ball in the fairway because of the conditions, but if you didn't, you were going to struggle. It was a battle.

Felt good about some good saves today. It wasn't my best round, but to get it in at 70 in those conditions never hurts you in a U.S. Open style.

So we'll see what the weather does this afternoon. If it lays down, I'd expect maybe some decent scoring, but even-par won't kill me.

Q. Does the weather at all change the plan for Friday or Saturday based on the conditions?

JIM FURYK: I think we'll have to come out -- we're going to be in the afternoon tomorrow. I didn't see a lot of wind in the forecast; see if some sunshine can maybe dry it up.

I'm guessing the greens are going to be receptive tomorrow. We went from relatively firm greens in practice rounds to the last shot I hit on 9 in the drop area, I'm thinking about not spinning it, if that makes sense. Trying to take some spin off of it, grab a club where I don't have to hit it that hard.

So, yeah, totally different mentality.

I think it helped where there was a couple of really, really tough pin placements today, and having the greens maybe a little softer where you could maybe throw it behind it and bring it back or hit something a little more dead hand and stop it near the pins, it definitely helped.

The guy that's playing well and controlling his golf ball, the receptive greens are going to be better for scoring.

Q. Jim, when you're this close to home, I don't know if you saw it, but there are guys with Furyk Fanatic shirts on. What's it like to have that support here at such a big event?

JIM FURYK: A lot of fun. A lot of fun. Those guys have traveled to events around the PGA TOUR in the past. Always in the Powder Blue and a lot of fun.

Coming back to this event as defending champion and also being in my home state, in kind of eastern PA, not far from where I grew up, as you said, is really kind of a cool feeling.

I feel bad that this area has kind of anticipated this event probably for a couple years now, and then the first day we get, it's pouring down rain.

I couldn't hear a lot of claps there because everyone was holding on to their umbrella, right? I heard some cheers, and I expect with -- actually, I thought the crowd was really quite good considering the weather. I was really impressed with the turnout.

You figure out through the rest of the week with the weather getting better it should be great.

Q. What does Manheim mean to you, just that hometown of Philly people who grew up there, it's so special to them?

JIM FURYK: Yeah, I feel like it was a great place to grow up, great memories. For me, it's usually, when you think of places, I don't get attached to houses or cars or structures, it's the people.

Just I realize it's not middle America, kind of good wholesome middle America, good folks. I still have a lot of great friends that I keep in touch with from Lancaster. I kind of sought some warmer weather, we'll say, and I love where I live now, but I'll always be from Lancaster.

Q. Jim, on 8 it was that like U.S. Open thing from the '70s where you drive it in the rough and you have to wedge it out. How many times did you have to do that? Also, what did you hit on 18?

JIM FURYK: It was a 4-iron. It was a 4- or 5-iron. I hit 4-iron trying to hit it smooth and quick and hit it real fat. I knew when I hit it I wasn't covering that creek. Then tried to change my mind thinking how could I get out of there with a bogey?

Q. The wedge in and out.

JIM FURYK: I had to wedge out probably -- I got lucky on 2 and 5, where I could kind of chop the wood out and get it up -- I really knew I wasn't going to get it on the green, but I could get it up near the green.

On 15 I hit one literally that far in the rough. It wasn't that far in the rough, and I moved it maybe 30 yards on the second shot, on the little short hole.

So I had to hit my third shot with a wedge up there instead of my second. I probably laid up like that -- I did it on 8, did it on 15, got some good opportunities at 2 and 5.

Back side -- I missed one other fairway. Where was it? Oh, I missed 18 but I hit in the fairway bunker so I was okay and I could knock it on the green from there.

Fairway bunker is way better than the rough right now, especially in the rain.

Q. Last week compared to this week, a little bit shorter irons going into it, not much, not much. The difference, did it help you prepare as you're playing this course, to go at it last week to come to this week? What are the advantages, I guess, that you bring into this week?

JIM FURYK: You see difficult conditions, heavy rough. Everyone talked about the severity of the greens at Brookline, and I kind of forgot about that from '99. I didn't remember how severe they were. These greens aren't giving up anything to Brookline as far as severity, and they may be even more severe, to be honest with you.

It's really the distance and the clubs that I'm hitting into the greens. It's the significance.

One thing about Brookline is they had five holes that were close to 500 yards long. We'll say 485 to 510 in par-4s, but the shorter or the mid-length, we'll call the 420s, you couldn't hit driver. A lot of times you couldn't even hit 3-wood, so you were laying it back 240 and leaving yourself 180.

Here you can hit more drives. You can get the ball out there a little bit farther, and when you get a 424 on a 30-yard hole, you can attack a little bit from 150 rather than from 180, 190.

I think in one sense these are the third and fourth events of four in a row, so I was a little nervous about playing that much and being tired when I got here, but I kind of knew that was coming.

I tried to manage it along the last four weeks, and I wanted to play, I wanted to get my game in shape as well. But playing the U.S. Open last week and kind of testing myself and playing a good round, I mean, I needed to play really well on Friday and shot 70 and felt like I was going to make the cut.

So it's a little boost of confidence, and I needed that coming in here.

Q. You mentioned gallery. It wasn't a wild gallery, but anybody specifically, not to mention their names, that you reconnected with, that reached out to you, I can't wait to see you at Saucon Valley, that you hadn't seen in 15, 20 years?

JIM FURYK: Not that long. Most of the folks that called and asked for tickets I've seen, I've kind of kept in touch with. The guy in the scoring tent, I played high school golf with, Kirby Martin. I haven't seen him in over 20 years. That was kind of fun.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
122010-1-1041 2022-06-23 18:17:00 GMT

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