For Jim Furyk, 2012 was his PGA Tour season of discontent, with one heartbreaking Sunday meltdown after another. However, Furyk didn’t shrink from talking about those painful losses in an exclusive interview in the February issue of Golf Magazine.
“I’m going to have to stick a knife in my heart at the end of this,” Furyk said as he rehashed his Sunday missteps, which included snap-hooking a tee shot out of bounds on the 70th hole of the U.S. Open and missing par putts on 17 and 18 to lose his critical Ryder Cup singles match to Sergio Garcia. “This is the most depressing interview I’ve ever given for this amount of time.”
Below are some highlights. You can read the entire interview here or in the February issue of Golf Magazine, on newsstands now and available for the iPad and other tablets here.
Golf Magazine: Davis Love III said he told you that you were three swings from being a Player of the Year candidate. He said that’s what his dad would have told him. Is that how you’re thinking of 2012?
Jim Furyk: I’m thinking about it positively, but I’m not sure I’m thinking about it that positively. [Laughs] I know what he means, though. Here’s the way I look at it: Amateurs come in at the end of the day, they sit down, they have a beer, and they talk about the two great shots they hit for two hours. Golf professionals come in and piss and moan about the two bad shots that cost them a 66, and were the reason they shot 68 or 69. Those two shots will keep them up at night, thinking about how they’re going to get rid of them, so they can trust their swing the next day.
GM: Does it give you some comfort to know that even Michael Jordan missed the game-winner sometimes?
JF: No, I know that. I know that. [Long pause] I feel like I’m as competitive as anyone in the world, and I want to win as much as anyone in the world. But I’m just not a feel-sorry-for-me type of person, so I’m not sure where the rest of the interview is going, but this isn’t going to be a let’s-feel-sorry-for-Jim thing. That’s just not me. Look, I got paid a lot at both events that I screwed up in front of a lot of people, and no one’s feeling too bad that way for me.
GM: Is there any tangible takeaway from 2012, a specific part of your game that needs improvement?
JF: If I was at fault anywhere it was from a mental standpoint. I made a swing on 16 at the U.S. Open without being committed to exactly where I wanted to hit the ball. I got a little quick and a little fast on my pre-shot routine on my third shot at the Bridgestone, and kind of went underneath it and hit it high on the face. I made those two or three swings, to go back to Davis’s quote, due to mental errors.
GM: Putting under pressure is a mental thing, too, right?
JF: It was mechanical for me. I had some mechanical flaws I had to work on [in 2011] and I worked really hard on them and got my confidence back.
GM: What about the putts on 17 and 18 against Sergio?
JF: I hit good putts — 17 was a 15-footer that everyone misread, from what I’ve been told, and 18, I couldn’t have hit that putt on a better line or a better speed, it just didn’t go in.