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BMW INTERNATIONAL OPEN


June 24, 2015


Fabrizio Zanotti


EICHENRIED, GERMANY

Q.  (On number of German players in the field this week).
STEPHAN J√ĄGER:¬† The German pros have a huge impact on it, and I think a lot of the younger guys, the younger amateurs and the younger professionals that play on various tours and small tours in Europe, I think look forward to the event every year because they get invited.¬† The Top‑10 get invited and they get a chance to kind of prove themselves on the big tour and play with the big boys.¬† I think a lot of them enjoy that experience.
I think a lot of the guys do also take a lot of positive experience from that, and I think it's huge for the Federation for sure.

Q.  You're a local boy.  You grew up 800 metres or so from here and you're a former amateur club champion here.  How do you get around with your life and your pride intact?
STEPHAN J√ĄGER:¬† Yeah, well, I think the golf course plays a little different during the year than it does in the BMW.¬† The rough is a little thicker and the greens are a little faster.¬† The main thing is that you have to hit driver well and you have to hit fairways and you can give yourself a lot of opportunities for birdie because the greens are fairly small, fairly receptive.¬† They spin a lot.
I think a lot of guys are going to shoot low numbers which they do every year, which is okay because the fans want to see birdies.¬† They don't want to see U.S. Open double‑bogeys and bogeys every time.¬† They want to see birdies.
I think you've got to go low.  You've got to make a lot of birdies.  The par 5s are reachable in two, and I think a lot of guys are going to take advantage of that.  But you have to hit the fairways.

Q.  Are you surprised, ecstatic?  What were your emotions?
STEPHAN J√ĄGER:¬† I didn't play well the weeks before going in.¬† So it was kind of a little bit of a surprise.¬† But me and Ken worked on a few things, me and Coach worked on a few things that just clicked that day.¬† It's 36 holes and it's a marathon kind of.¬† You've got to go and play well.
The golf course was set up pretty tough so you had to know where to go, and I had that knowledge there.  And I just kind of went with the confidence I got from the first couple holes.  Kept playing well, kept playing well, and normally when I get in contention and I get to that spot where I'm in that moment, I'm pretty good.  I went with it and it worked out.
I talked to my parents, and they were super happy and they were saying, I'm coming over.  It was a cool experience.  It was even better when I went there.

Q.  How did you cope with the magnitude of the event?
STEPHAN J√ĄGER:¬† You know, it really wasn't that bad.¬† Like I said, I played it as an amateur in 2011, the BMW and I couldn't feel anything on the first tee.¬† I think over the years, I played different PGA Tour events and Web.com events, I think it kind of calm me down a little bit.¬† I think over the years, I've kind of gotten used to it a little bit.
It really wasn't that bad on the first tee.  I thought it was going to be worse but it wasn't bad.  You know, you go through a round, of course you're going to get a little more nervous there but overall it wasn't any different than if you're in contention on a Web.com event.

Q.  Just tell us about your history.  I know you speak with a heavy American twang but you're very much German at heart.
STEPHAN J√ĄGER:¬† I got to the States when I was 17 and went to high school, went to college there.¬† Stayed three years afterwards.¬† I have a little bit of a German accent that comes out sometimes when I'm tired or had a couple beers.¬† But other than that, it's a weird‑‑ I've heard "weird accent," that's all I've heard.¬† The Germans of course think I have an American accent, even speaking German.
Like I said, I'm always happy coming home.  It's my home.  Just the streets look like German and the people look German and the food is German.  I love it, I really do.  I miss a lot of that during the year, too.  So I get it all out of the way this week and for Christmas.  I will always be a German at heart and I think that's never going to change.  I think that's a thing that will always be in there.  Like I said, my family is close and my sister still lives here.  I will always have German ties and that will never go away.

Q.  How does it feel playing your home event after last week?  How are you feeling?
STEPHAN J√ĄGER:¬† Well, you know, the energy level, they are okay right now.¬† They will be pretty down here this afternoon.¬† Jet‑lag is going to hit me eventually.¬† It's a nine‑hour difference from Seattle to here, so eventually it's going to hit me, but it's exciting, it really is.
As tired as I'm going to be maybe at the end of the week, I'm going to take every single step and enjoy every second of it.  You don't get to see many of these people, members, family, friends but twice a year.  You have to enjoy every second of it and you've got to make the best of it.  And hopefully I'll play well and get in contention and it will be ecstatic for the people watching.

Q.  Will you play more events on The European Tour?
STEPHAN J√ĄGER:¬† It always depends like you said.¬† If I establish myself on the PGA Tour and I have full status and I've won an event, I'm not against playing some European Tour events, especially this one.¬† Growing up when I was five, six years old, I have always been around it.¬† I've watched it.¬† I used to ask the guys for balls after a round, and gloves and hats and shoes and all kinds of stuff, but it will always be in my heart.¬† I think it will be one of the events that I will be choosing to play a lot if I can.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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