With his bogey at the 17th on Sunday at Oakmont, Jim Furyk missed his chance to force a play-off with Angel Cabrera. Whether you think he blew it or not, here's his post-round press conference with his explanation of how the last few holes played out.
JIM FURYK: I played well all day. I struck the ball well. I hit a lot of good putts. I think I ended up making four birdies today, and the four bogeys just -- I didn't do all that much wrong; I didn't hit that many bad shots. I just wasn't able to dig it out of the rough and get the ball on the green on two on 17, and in the end that's going to be the difference. But I had a few holes like 2, 12 and 17 where I really should have been able to make par, to manage par on those three holes and I wasn't able to do it. And that's what a U.S. Open does to you, you hit a lot of good golf shots, play the hole pretty well, and somehow you add it up in the end and you have a few bogeys, and I did that a couple of times today. I was able to turn it around in the back nine. I thought making the turn if I shot 2-under, I would have won the tournament and that would have been the case. And I had a lot of opportunities; it just didn't work out.
Q. Right after your second shot on 18, you took a look over to where the crowd was. Was there a noise that you heard? Why were you looking over there so long?
JIM FURYK: Probably was looking at the scoreboard on the way up to the green. It was difficult coming in. I saw the board at 15, and then we didn't see another one until 17 green and it was tough really to be aware of what was going on ahead. I was trying to tell by the groans. I couldn't tell whether Angel Cabrera made four or five, and I wasn't aware at the time what he made on 18. But either way, it didn't matter. I was trying to hit it at the stick, just wasn't able to.
Q. On 17 did you know you were tied for the lead?
JIM FURYK: I didn't know what he made on 17. There was no way for me to know that. I heard the groan; knew he missed a putt of some sort, but I didn't know if it was a birdie or a par putt.
Q. Can you talk about the birdies and keeping the adrenaline down and how you kept yourself in it?
JIM FURYK: That's what we do to get into those positions to try to win tournaments. I think I got really excited probably after knocking the putt in at 15, and that was a pretty crucial putt. I was three down at the time and I knew the leader, Cabrera, was right in front of me. And I had to knock a putt in and get momentum going again. And I made a great par at 16. And I'm still a little surprised at 17. Surprised I made bogey and with the pin on the left-hand side of that green. The no-no is to go left, but I didn't think I would hit the ball -- I haven't hit a ball anywhere within 20 yards of anywhere that one went. So I was shocked to see how far it went. At my length, I can hit the ball left of the green and it had an avenue up the center, and that's where I wanted to go all week. And the ball I hit today carried a lot farther, and I was surprised by basically how far it went and didn't realize from the tee box that I put myself into that poor of a position. I should have been able to dig it out, and I was playing away from the pin because I had no shot at it. And I should have been able to dig it out and make a 4, and it cost me. Q. Are you the type to take consolation from two runners-up in a row and being the only guy that's going to shoot even par on the weekend, or do you kick yourself for that? JIM FURYK: No one likes consolation prizes. I'm proud of the way I played, and I'm proud of those finishes. But, you know, a second is not that much fun to be honest with you; possibly third, I guess. I'm not sure what Tiger did out there.
Q. Would you have been done anything differently on 17; would you have taken an iron and laid up?
JIM FURYK: No. The play I made was the play. Now if I went back, I wouldn't hit left of the green for damn sure. But, no, it was the play. I would stick by that play through and through with the way the wind conditions were and the pin position was. In my mind, I made the right decision. I shouldn't have hit the ball so far left, but I'm surprised it went as far as it did.
JIM FURYK: At the very end, about eight, 10 feet short it looked like it might have had a shot, but I was trying to coax it up there, and I was playing a good eight, ten feet of break. From that distance I didn't have a club in my bag to go at that pin. My 3-iron wasn't going to safely carry the bunker and get back there. And my next club is a hybrid, that as soft as I wanted to hit that, I thought I would have trouble hitting the green. So taking a three-iron out to the left and trying to make three was my only option.
Q. Talk about the gallery.
JIM FURYK: It was a lot of fun coming back to Pennsylvania, my family being from Pittsburgh and the people here; knowing that this is where my roots started. And even though I grew up in eastern Pennsylvania and I call Lancaster home, I had so much support here and so many fans from Pennsylvania rooting for me, and it was special. It meant a lot to me.
Q. Did you hear the chants from the guy behind the bleachers?
JIM FURYK: I heard a ton. "Here we go Jimmy" was the great one on 17. Wish I would have made birdie; I would have remembered that a lot longer.
JIM FURYK: If it would have come back 15 feet, I would have a realistic chance of knocking the putt in. The shot I've been fighting I double-crossed a few times; I did earlier in the week, quite a few times this week and I hit it in the Church Pews. And the shot was kind of a regular to a little bit of a smooth 7-iron. Ran it down in the valley and hop it up to the pin. And being a little jacked up, I got quick and I double-crossed it. And because of getting over the top of it, obviously I hit the ball longer than I wanted to, quite a bit longer than I wanted to. And, you know, whether I was at that time -- whether I was tied for the lead or one back, I was sitting there right in the middle of a fairway with a stick trying to win the U.S. Open, just didn't do it.
JIM FURYK: No one enjoys getting their rear-end kicked, but I feel good about my ability to get the ball in play and hit the ball straight and kind of gut it out. And I think I've come to the U.S. Opens in the last five or six years in a good mind-frame, knowing that the course is going to be really difficult, and there is not that many places where you can go out and shoot 72 or 73 and feel good about yourself; or shoot 75 like I did in the second round and know that you hadn't shot yourself out of the tournament. You just have to -- I do enjoy it. But I also, as I said, I don't have that much fun getting pounded and shooting 6-over par.
Q. You pulled your hat down and caught your breath. Do you remember what your thought was there, covering your face.
JIM FURYK: Just excited, taking a deep breath and concentrate on what I wanted to do in the last three holes. I hit some decent shots in the last three holes. I would have liked to have got it in at par or better, but I guess if I had to kick myself on one shot, I would love to go hit the 17th tee shot again. But more than anything I would like to dig that flop shot out of the rough and get it up on the fringe and make 4. But I wasn't able to do that.
Q. 15 and 16. You and Angel Cabrera were side-by-side. And you see what each other are doing; does it feel like match play?
JIM FURYK: Not really. No, I wouldn't go that far. But I was definitely -- I was surprised when I got to the 15th green. I didn't think I was three back. I don't know where he made the birdie, whether it was 14 or 15, but I hadn't realized at that pint -- there wasn't a heck of a lot of leaderboards out there, and you get lost in the golf course where they don't have the ability to put them by 11 and 14 and some of the holes. But there was times where you would go two or three holes without seeing a board. I think you go from 9 to 12, I'm not sure if there is a board on 10 but there might be. It seemed like two-hole jumps, rather than I'm used to the 1-hole jumps. But I knew I had to knock a 6- or 7-footer in, and let him know there was a roar coming and he wouldn't make a mistake.
Q. I think there was a five-shot swing there in three holes, you went from five back to the share of the lead; is that good that you don't know about it?
JIM FURYK: No, no way. I don't mind looking at the leaderboard and seeing where I stand. I realize there is a couple of holes where they can't put one, but I like to see them.
Q. Of the majors, is this the most difficult one to come from behind, even if it's only two or three strokes?
JIM FURYK: Starting today? I would say no. You can make up two or three shots in a hole here; so I would say not. It's tough to make up two or three shots when you've got to go out there and -- I think it's harder when you have to fire birdies, and you know the scores are going to be low. You start two or three back here and par one, you can be pretty much tied at that point. I think going out there and grinding away and get in red numbers in the U.S. Open, you can make up ground in a hurry.