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June 25, 2015

Lee Janzen


Q. Tell us about your round today.
LEE JANZEN: Nope. [Laughter]. Good start. I mean, right at the first hole, it's just an iron off the tee. But it's a fairly narrow fairway and has a little bit of tilt. So you still want to get the ball in the fairway to start your round. Ultimately, golf should just always be the same, but it is a new venue, a new event, U.S. Senior Open. It's going to be different. I didn't know exactly what to expect with tee placements, hole locations and so on. The golf course is in fantastic shape. The greens are rolling well. Everything seems to be very firm. With all the heat, the staff's doing a great job with the firmness and the consistency and all of that. So didn't have to worry about any of the guessing there. But it's just important to get off to a good start and be under par. Not knowing really what kind of score it would take to win. After a couple days, we'll get a feel for that. Couple Weeks ago in Boston, I got to have a pretty good start, and then Langer shot, I think, 6 under in the afternoon. The wind was blowing pretty good. Then went out early the next day and just kept going, and he just pulled away. So that's possible to also happen here with the light winds and the great conditions. Someone could shoot 7 or 8 under today. If they go out again tomorrow and shoot low, they'll be very difficult to catch.

Q. Was the heat any factor for you?
LEE JANZEN: Not yet, no. I expect the afternoon rounds will be a little tougher. We start out -- we don't have the heat to start with, so it builds up during the day. The mornings here are beautiful. I live in Orlando, Florida, and this time of year, it's just as hot at 7:00 a.m. as it is at 6:00 p.m., if not more humid.

Q. You think by the weekend, things are going to get pretty difficult if somebody can kind of pull away in these first couple of days?
LEE JANZEN: The tees were up a little bit on enough holes that they can be lengthened, and it would definitely make the holes play a little harder. I don't know what the strategy is with the USGA, if they were waiting to see what the scores were to see where the placement of the tees would go, if they'll stay the same, go up on some and back on others, or if they'll just all gradually go backwards. I know some U.S. Opens I've played, the first day has generally been the easiest day, the tees have been the furthest up, and they gradually go up every day. Chambers Bay was a little bit of a mixing, you know. We were up, and then we were back and then back up.

Q. What was the longest club you had on a par 4 today?
LEE JANZEN: The longest club into a par 4, I drove it in the rough on 13. I had a tree. I also had to slice it. So I hit a 3 iron because it's just easier to slice a longer club. Had I been in the fairway, I might have hit a 4 iron, possibly even a 5 iron just because once you get -- a longer shot into the green is going to roll a lot further. That green is pretty flat from back to front, front to back. Doesn't really tilt toward you.

Q. Compare and contrast Chambers Bay with the conditions here now.
LEE JANZEN: It would have to be heavily treed to be the exact opposite, but it is quite different. Just the flat manicured, very smooth areas of grass, of green grass, and then last week it was just rugged and bumpy. Just rough, I would say, is one way to put it. The fairways were in pretty good shape, but the greens were a challenge. They weren't in great shape. This week, we're putting on ideal greens, perfect conditions with perfect speed.

Q. Is it tough going from that to this? It would be tougher the other way around, huh?
LEE JANZEN: I would say, if I were just coming out of college, maybe turned pro, even if I was a first team All-American or one of the best college players, there would be this learning curve that you just have to get used to the changing conditions all the time. But 30-plus years now, adapting to new conditions doesn't take long when playing a different course all the time. You can see a design theme sometimes and really start to learn the course even before you get to the hole, already know what way the greens will be shaped, where he wants you to come in from, the angle. I don't know who Kyle Phillips is, but he did a fantastic job with this golf course. And the club, whenever you redo your course, you could always go with a name, and to go with someone who hadn't established their name quite as big as some of the designers, it was a great move. So hope Kyle gets to do more courses, whoever he is.

Q. He's a local guy. In some ways, is it a blessing in disguise that you didn't play over the weekend at Chambers, that you could get down here a little earlier, get acclimated?
LEE JANZEN: Well, it gave me a little bit of time to be prepared this week, but I would have -- I was playing well enough last week to make the cut. Really just a couple dumb iron shots. I really cost myself. I should have made the cut. I played well enough to make the cut, and I think I played well enough -- I was playing well enough to maybe get in the top ten, which would have been a great accomplishment. I would have been very happy with that. So there's a little bit of I knew I could do better. It carries over into this week. That's never a bad thing to know that I could have done this, and I probably should have, from my own personal standpoint. So I carry that a little bit into this week as a little motivation to play better.

Q. Thank you.
LEE JANZEN: Sure. I also think it's great Tom Watson's playing well.
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