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May 20, 2015

Lee Janzen


JULIUS MASON: Welcome to French Lick Indiana, Lee, your first Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid. What's it feel like playing this Major?

LEE JANZEN: Well I've seen a lot of guys that I haven't seen in a long time and I keep thinking about all these old guys I see and then I realize I'm their age, too. It mostly just, starting the Champions Tour has been a lot of fun, seeing the guys that I started out with on TOUR, played a lot of golf with, and I knew who they are. There's so many good young players coming up today that hit the ball so far and it's just a great progression to move on. It was time to move on. I know that most of the guys on the Champions Tour are very grateful that we have a tour to play on and we get to keep playing. So, it's always a treat to get to go to somewhere where it's even a bigger week for us, like the Senior PGA Championship.

JULIUS MASON: Talk about your state of the game right now.

LEE JANZEN: I would like to feel better about my game than I do. Which might actually give me some freedom this week, because the course is so hard that there's no point in trying to hit a ton of balls and get worried about trying to be perfect out there, because it's very intimidating looking. And Pete Dye, that's one of his ways of designing golf courses, part of his strategy is to intimidate you visually. And often most of the holes, the sides of the fairway that looks the most intimidating is really the side you want to be on. There are quite a few holes this week that it's really not going to be the end of the world if you miss the fairway, as long as you miss it on the proper side and you can have a shot straight into the green. If you're on the opposite side of the fairway your angle will be very difficult. Mostly you'll be hitting fliers out of the rough. So it would be very hard to hit the greens from there. And then around the greens the ball deflects. So that's where you really get into trouble. So you hit the ball in the fairway, great. If you hit it on the proper side of the fairway, even better. If you miss the fairway, miss it on the right side. Proper side.

JULIUS MASON: Thank you. Questions?

Q. Can you just talk about how nice it was to get back in the winners circle earlier this year and do you think that's going to give you any confidence this week?
LEE JANZEN: It was a great, fun time to be in the hunt, playing well, and one of the things that helped me in Naples was I played the Callaway last fall and played very well. Probably should have won. We all have tournaments like that. I had a three-shot lead, but just a couple of mistakes. I birdied 18 to get in a playoff. I played the 18 hole well in the playoff and didn't win. But it was a huge confidence boost just to play like that for four days and hit good shots down to the end. So that helped my states of mind in Naples, even though the last few holes I kept pressing to make a birdie, there was never any panic. So, the win will help, if I play well. I mean, it won't be any pressure, like it's been so long since I won, am I handling this the way I should, can I handle it. I don't have to worry about that. It will definitely help in that matter. I don't know how much it will help, but I have to at least get near the lead for that to even come into play.

Q. Banging your head against the wall for awhile, was it a big relief to get that win?
LEE JANZEN: Yes, I worked very hard at a lot of things. When you don't see results for awhile, you wonder, am I working on the right things and do I change, do I have a different strategy, or do I stick with it. What's my belief? Am I doing the right thing? So some of the things you do change and some of the things you don't change. If you're not getting the results, you really need to give your self a good self analysis and say, am I working on the right things.

Q. How much time have you spent on the golf course and what are your thoughts on Pete Dye golf courses in general?
LEE JANZEN: In general, I've enjoyed playing Pete Dye courses. And coming in, I somewhat expected to see similar traits that he has on other courses, because I played enough of them. Because he does, he bends the fairways out this way and puts trouble on the inside. The secret to playing the Stadium Course at Sawgrass is you have to take tight line. Meaning you have to challenge the hazard side, whether it's a bunker or water, on every hole. That gives you the best shot into the green. So if you're on, that's why guys play great on them, when they're playing well. And the way the greens are designed, too, that the ball will funnel towards the hole if you hit a great shot. If you don't, it goes away from the hole. It's just enough movement in them that the ball deflects. So, I have seen the course twice, and there's, it's going to be very difficult. I just want to, I don't want to miss the ball in the wrong direction. That's pretty much what I'm going to try and do is keep my misses in the right direction. Just avoid some areas at all costs because you can get up-and-down from the other side generally. But eventually you're going to have to hit some good shots, too.

Q. Rocco Mediate said this morning that when Pete Dye designed this golf course he was a little angry with this one. What do you think he meant by that?
LEE JANZEN: Well, with Rocco that could mean anything. I think that Pete -- I can't speak for Pete Dye, I'm only going by what I think and what I've heard generally from other architects is that Pete really tries to design the holes to not give the long hitter an advantage, to put the trouble out there to make everybody play over this way and play the hole the right way and have the same shot into the green and so on. I think that sometimes that some of the holes are so hard that you have to play the tee up and then it ends up giving an advantage to the big hitters. So, what he sees in these tournaments are guys just annihilating his courses and then he gets mad, and says, I'll just make it longer and harder. Make it more narrow, more penal and so on. So I'm only guessing that that's what Rocco means.

JULIUS MASON: Mr. Janzen is teeing off at 1:40 with fellow Major champions Sandy Lyle and Tom Kite. Thanks very much for coming in, Lee.

LEE JANZEN: All right. Thank you.
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