Grand Slam of Golf

News Conference Transcript: Jim Furyk, Mike Weir, Ben Curtis, Shaun Micheel

Overall, the day really evened out. You know, the greens are tough out there. They are difficult to read, a little tricky. I think they fooled all of us a few times, getting the line and the speed correct. Overall I'm happy with the position I'm in. I want to stay focused on going out tomorrow and playing another good round.

JULIUS MASON: Very good. Mike, some comments on your day today, please.

MIKE WEIR: Well, wasn't much happening. I made one birdie on the front nine and all pars on the back nine until 17. I hit a poor 5 iron and made a bogey there. It was pretty uneventful, really. I drove it pretty well. I was in the fairway almost every hole. Just didn't seem to convert. I don't know about the other guys, but we haven't have the ball in our hand today. A lot of mud on our balls on almost every shot. I was just a little disappointed for that. I think a lot of us we really couldn't control our shots and I think it would have been fun for everybody if we would have been able to get a little closer to the hole a little more. We'll see what happens tomorrow.

JULIUS MASON: Before we jump on other the two guys, Jim, if you wouldn't mind just going through your card, specifically your birdies.

JIM FURYK: No. 2, I hit a driver and a 3?wood in that very short right bunker. I think all of us, all of us might have found that bunker today. Hit a real good wedge shot out of there to about ten feet and made that for birdie.

No. 9, it says here I hit a driver and a 5?iron, and I think that's right, to about four or five feet right of the hole and made that putt.

No. 10, I hit a driver. I found a mistake, since I don't have a 4 iron in my bag, I hit a 3-iron, to ten, 18 feet and knocked that putt in.

No. 12, I hit a driver and a 5 iron to No. 12 about 15 feet short left of the pin there and made a good left to right curler.

14 is the par 5. I hit a driver and 3wood. I hit my gap wedge from 70 yards up into the wind to about six feet and knocked that in.

18 was a pretty good way to end the day. I didn't hit too many good shots on 18 with all of the good shots I hit up to 18. Hit a driver, laid up pretty far right, hit my 60 degree wedge a little sticky into the green to 30 feet.

JULIUS MASON: Ben, you are at +1. Some general comments on your day today.

BEN CURTIS: I was quite pleased the way I drove the ball. Usually after taking some time off, that's the first thing that goes. I could have made a few more putts. I felt like I hit a lot of good putts but not a whole lot went in. That's the way it goes sometimes.

You know, to only shoot 1-over, quite pleased with that under the circumstances, and try to go out there tomorrow and hit some more iron shots a little bit closer.

JULIUS MASON: Shaun?

SHAUN MICHEEL: My day today was not very good. The fairways I did hit, there was quite a bit of mud out there, and I guess playing the sport outdoors you're going to get that. It was disappointing because, like Jim who always hits his irons well, we were not able to hit the ball close to the hole. I certainly didn't, which was kind of why I shot 75.

I think the course is in great shape. The greens are just a little bit slower than I think we're used to, but those are things you just have to adapt to and I didn't do very well with that today.

JULIUS MASON: Thanks. The floor is yours, ladies and gentlemen.

Q. Jim, was there anything different on the back nine compared to the front nine; did you get in a rhythm in your putting?

JIM FURYK: I hit some good putts on the front nine. Through the course of the day, you're going to miss some putts and make some putts. It seems like on the front nine, I missed my share, and on the back nine, I definitely made more than my share. I might have turned out on the good side of it, but it was feast or famine. I didn't do so well on front. I hit some good putts that didn't go in. On the back nine, I was fortunate that most of my putts did go in. That was the biggest difference. I was happy with the way I struck the ball.

Q. Did your experience in playing here in Hawaii help you?

JIM FURYK: I don't know about that. We all have experience. We play on different grasses in different conditions. I'm sure where Shaun lives there's a lot of Bermuda greens. I live in Florida and on the Tour we have quite a few Bermuda events. It's not extremely difficult here as far as trying to figure out which way it's going but it's still, you know, difficult to get the right speed and the right line with the amount of grain in there. It's still guesswork. There's no exact science to it. You know, quite a few times today we were fooled and we didn't guess right.

Q. Anybody who feels like answering this could. We've been following you around and sharing some of your experiences on the island and it seems like way week for some recreation. I wondered if you still reserve the right to get upset with yourselves or that upset with yourselves, it seems like you all didn't have your game faces on, even though the purpose of the week seems to ??

JIM FURYK: You always reserve that right, don't you? Mike?

MIKE WEIR: It's still competition and you don't like to play poorly. Yeah, absolutely. I think except for Jim, we were all a little frustrated out there. We didn't get much out of it. Yeah, we are all competitive guys.

Q. Were you aware that Mario Lemieux had made the trip to see you?

MIKE WEIR: Yeah, I saw Mario out there. He's sporting a 'fro now. Did you see that? Yeah, he's a piece of work. He's one of my closest buddies.

Q. You were playing well, but you couldn't make up ground on Jim, especially on the back nine; did frustration set in for you and if it did, when?

MIKE WEIR: No, I was just trying to stay patient. I drove it pretty well today. I drove it better than what I had been and I just didn't hit my iron shots close enough. Actually on the backside, I did have a few chances. I just didn't putt very well on the back at all. I missed pretty much every putt on the backside. I made a few nice savers on the front side to kind of keep my round going, and on the backside I didn't make anything. But that's the game.

JULIUS MASON: Questions? Questions twice?

I will remind everybody that we are hitting the ball tomorrow morning at 8:40, not 9:00. 8:40 tee time tomorrow morning.

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  • Left alone to flourish (12/1/03) — When Mike Weir was a promising junior in his native Canada, he wrote a letter to the great Jack Nicklaus asking if a young left-hander should try to learn the game right-handed. The Golden Bear wrote back, and the advice he offered made Weir a Masters champion.
  • Furyk finds home in Hawaii (12/1/03) — Considering the career success he's enjoyed in Hawaii -- two wins and nearly $2 million in winnings since he joined the PGA Tour in 1994 -- it should come as no surprise that U.S. Open champion Jim Furyk and his wife built a second home on the island of Maui.

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