MORE INTERVIEWS: Valero Texas Open transcripts archive
Q. A very efficient 3 under 69 today. Your tee to green was exceptional. Was there anything specific that was clicking for you?
JIM FURYK: I felt like I hit the ball really well today. I hit a bunch of fairways, hit a bunch of greens, didn't have to scramble that much. And I did have some good putts, but I think it was nice that I got off to a great start birdieing 1 and 2 into the wind, and that kind of relaxed me a little bit. That was a tough start the first four holes right from the tee into the wind. I'm sure it took its toll on some of the field, and I was able to get through those 2 under, so that was a good way to start.
Q. I know you didn't get a chance to play much of a practice rounds. The first two rounds got you acclimated to the golf course. You feel comfortable out there now?
JIM FURYK: I do. Yeah, it was funny to wake up and have the wind dead opposite. What I was hitting hybrid into Thursday and Friday, I'm hitting 9 iron today, so vice versa. I'm glad I got a couple rounds under my belt before that wind switched.
Q. That was a heck of a day, windy conditions, a five hour and 15 minute round?
JIM FURYK: That's all? That's all? It felt like six hours and 15.
Q. How proud are you of that round?
JIM FURYK: Very. It was nice to get off to a good start, birdieing 1 and 2. Those first four holes were tough. Right into tee through the wind. Bogeyed number 4, but really felt like through those first four, I had my feet under me. And coming in, you have some downwind holes where you have a chance to make some birdie.
Q. You hit a lot of fairways; only missed two today. That's been a pretty good formula for you so far.
JIM FURYK: On this golf course, you have to keep the ball between the cactus and the rocks and the scrub, and I was able to do that very well today, better than the first two rounds. Then you've got some severe greens. You have to put the ball in places where can you putt from, and if you miss the greens, places where you can get the ball up and down.
Q. Excited about tomorrow?
JIM FURYK: I am. It will be whirlwind of a day, getting up, having a chance to win here, hopping on a plane and trying to get over to Augusta and get ready for that event. I'm excited. I have a nice opportunity in front of me for tomorrow, and I'd like to go out there and find a good number.
Q. Overall, you just kept rising up the leaderboard without making noise later in your round. Tell me about the feeling of playing in a golf course where there were very difficult conditions and it seemed like your style of play was the right one for this day?
JIM FURYK: Well, I was able to get off to a good jump. Birdieing the first couple of holes. Those first four were playing tough into the wind. I was 1 under through 4. Felt good about the start, then kind of plodded along the rest of the way. I think I just made a couple of birdies the rest of the day to no bogeys and ended up with a great score.
But it's a severe golf course. It's got a lot of undulation of the greens. The corridors are big enough with the driver, but if happen to miss that corridor, the penalty can be very severe. So it's kind of a potluck out there with the cactus, and the rock, and the scrub bushes. So I was able to hit a bunch of fairways, keep the ball in front of me and plod along and make pars and a couple of bogeys.
Q. You're going to be a couple of shots back at the end of the day. When you go into that final round on a golf course like this, are you going to let the lead come back to you or is it something where you have to be more aggressive than you thought you would?
JIM FURYK: I think a lot of it has to do with the conditions tomorrow. If we're in severe and tough conditions like we were today, then you go out there and shoot 2 or 3 under par and you put a lot of pressure on the leader. But if you have a calm day like yesterday afternoon, you have to be a little more aggressive and make some birdies and chase Billy down.
He seems like he's been playing very, very well. He's been on top of the leaderboard all week. I was noticing some stats out there. I was first and second in about every putting stat possible, so he's probably knocking in some putts and playing very well.