MORE INTERVIEWS: Valero Texas Open transcripts archive
Q. You're known as a player that plays tough venues, Innisbrook, the U.S. Open Championship. Give me your impressions on the TPC San Antonio?
JIM FURYK: It's tough. The corridors are wide enough off the tee, but with the wind you can expect here, when you do miss the fairway, you can get in some really rough spots with those rocks and the cactus and all kinds of things. The greens are very severe.
Right now the way the TOUR set it up with the wind yesterday, the greens weren't overly quick, they weren't overly firm, and that allowed us to have a chance to play. But if you got this place firm and fast, there wouldn't be a lot of pin placements out there. You'd limit the amount of places you could put the pins and the greens will be tougher. I'll be interested to see with this warm weather and it getting sunny and hot, what happens to the greens and that will be a direct reflection on the course.
Q. In talking with Jim Furyk earlier this week you had said that the reason you played this golf course is because you were told that it really fit your game. Overall you're rising to the top of the leaderboard. How is it fitting your game?
JIM FURYK: Yeah, the reason was two weeks off between Bay Hill and The Masters. I didn't want to take two weeks off and go into a major championship when I felt just by asking, I haven't played actually in Houston or here, but by talking to some of the friends on TOUR and the guys on TOUR, they said the scores this course should suit my game better.
Q. Overall, what is working well for you getting you up the leaderboard?
JIM FURYK: I think scoring right now. I've made some mistakes. I've missed my share of fairways. I had a couple of good breaks when I did hit it and stuff. I was able to get the ball out and manage the par or move forward. I've made some good up and downs to keep my rounds going. But I think I've done just enough good things.
I could improve on getting the ball on the fairway a little bit more. That was the difference between me shooting a rally low number today and just a couple under.
Q. You're toying with playing with a couple of drivers for The Masters. On Thursday you did; on Friday you didn't. How are you managing preparing for Augusta while still trying to win this golf tournament?
JIM FURYK: I think first and foremost, the best way to prepare for Augusta is to try to play well this week, to get some momentum, to feel good about my game. The two driver idea is something I've been toying with for about a month. But I wanted to give it a practice run, if you will, out here at San Antonio. The one driver, the less lofted driver that I'm trying to hit a little farther has a left in it, and I'm having a hard time. So I may have to switch shafts out. I have a couple ideas I'm going to work on this afternoon to see if I can get it a little bit better.
What I'll probably do is get in that Callaway trailer on Monday morning in Augusta, make a couple adjustments and try to play it through Monday and Wednesday in practice rounds and see how comfortable I get.
Q. Talk about nine holes, things tucked down very well.
JIM FURYK: Yeah, I think I made two bogeys in the first two rounds and they've both been on number 9. Started both times with missing the fairway, and that green is probably, in my opinion, the most penal or the toughest to hit on the golf course, it's so narrow, especially in the front. So bad starts with missing the fairway left yesterday, right today. Then on top of that, hitting poor second shots. Both days I knew if I missed the ball to the right, I could probably get the ball up and down relatively easy, and missing it left, I was going to have a hard time getting the third shot on the green. I hit them both well left of the green and hit poor golf shots and I missed the green both times on my third shot and got the ball up and down for five.
It is what it is. If that's in the middle of the round, you walk away, and it doesn't really bother you. Usually that would leave a sour taste for me on the last hole. But I was in such bad shape after the second shot, getting out with a 5 feels pretty good.
Q. You didn't really have a chance to play this course at all because of the weather on Wednesday. Are you surprised at how well you managed your way around a very difficult golf course?
JIM FURYK: Yesterday, I tried to go online a little bit before my round and get an idea where guys were hitting balls off the tee and using yardage. The yardage books are so good now.
My caddy did a good job preparing for the golf course. I don't know if I'm surprised. I didn't play a lot of golf last week. I played golf two days kind of on my week off. I was on spring break with the kids and felt really good about my game coming in here, surprisingly.
I don't know if I'm surprised. I think yesterday I really kind of mentally I was worn out at the end of the round, because I was really trying to focus on where I could put the ball and where can't I and can I not play from. If I got in trouble off the tee, I had no idea where I was going to hit it next to be able to get the ball up and down. So I was relying on Mike a lot and what I could find in the yardage books.
Yesterday I was mentally strained and was really happy in that wind to get through it with 3 under. Today I feel like I left a couple out there, but overall I feel like I'm in good shape.
Q. Do you think there is a risk in playing a course like this a week before the major in that it is so mentally taxing and there are not a lot of birdies?
JIM FURYK: No, there aren't that many birdies at Augusta anymore either. They lengthen it out another 400 yards and there would be no birdies at Augusta. I don't think so. I usually like to play my way into shape. I like the golf course, I like to play the week before a major. If it's an event I don't usually play, I'll just take the week off. I feel comfortable preparing either way.
But I feel like I gain momentum as I play, and to try to take two weeks off and hop into a major championship, I wouldn't have been ready. So I think it's much better that I'm here. I think going to a course like Houston where guys say high bombing, right to left, and that's not really my game. That's not going to do me good any good either.
Q. When is the last time you didn't know a course coming into it?
JIM FURYK: Never, never. You know what? That's not true. I played Rivera as a rookie and Monday qualified because I wasn't in. The Monday qualifier got rained out, qualified on Tuesday, and then I went out and played eight holes in front of the Pro Am. I had to run out to the 11 tee and play eight holes and I had to walk the front nine with a friend in the Pro Am just to kind of see it.
Q. You only got four and a half in the other day?
JIM FURYK: Yeah, hit our drives on 14.
Q. That was it?
JIM FURYK: I wanted to go out and walk, but the weather report was bad, and the rules official said there was lightning coming and it wasn't that important.