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February 4, 2006

J.J. Henry


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: J. J., if we could start. Just one off the lead of J. B. Holmes going into tomorrow. Talk about how hard it is to follow up a 61 after you played so well yesterday.

J.J. HENRY: Well, to tell you the truth, it's the first time I ever shot 61. Any time you play really well, for some odd reason, any time anybody shoots a real low round, seldom do you see somebody back it up with another one. I wish I could say why. I felt like I hit it almost as good as I did yesterday, I just couldn't convert the putts.

If somebody said I would be a shot back with a round to play, to be honest, I'd almost prefer that in a way, being that I've never won before. I don't have to sleep on the lead and there's no pressure and I just get to fire away and make as many birdies as I can and see what happens. Somebody is going to have to play really well, with the way the golf course is set up. It's playing pretty firm and fast. And with as hot as it is, the ball is going a long way, so somebody is going to shoot a low round tomorrow to win. Hopefully it's me.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: You picked up some momentum with birdies on two of the last four holes. You made a good approach shot there on 18 and sunk the birdie putt.

J.J. HENRY: Yeah, it's a great way to finish, being the fact that I'm just a shot back. Any time you can birdie the last hole, especially close to the lead with one round to go. Hopefully I just carry it over tomorrow. Again, it's a good way to end, especially with not converting a putt. I had a good opportunity on 17 and thought I had a good shot on 16 at the hole and I hit it right over the green. I had a lot of good shots, just couldn't get as lucky as I did yesterday.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: You'll be playing with J. B. Holmes and Ryan tomorrow.

J.J. HENRY: Yeah, a great pairing for me. We're all kind of in the same boat, so to speak. I know Ryan has won once before, but I've played with Ryan a lot, played a lot of college golf together.

J. B. Played great today. The first time I've really ever seen him play, tremendous talent, hits the ball forever. I don't consider myself short by any means, and it was impressive to watch. As far as he hit it, he had a really good short game, too. He'll be tough to beat tomorrow. He really didn't show any sign of really at the start, I think he got off to a great start. He birdied the first two holes, so any kind of anxiety or excitement or nerves or whatever, after birdieing the first two holes, he just was off to the races.

Q. Is it a little bit of a surprise to have a guy like that come out and you're not a short hitter, have him blow it by you today?

J.J. HENRY: Yeah, and he'd hit a nice little cut out there. You wouldn't think it would go as far, and I would be 25 yards behind him. With the way this golf course is set up and how fast it's starting to play, obviously distance is an asset. But you've still got to keep the ball in play here. If you hit the ball in the fairway, you're going to have birdie opportunities.

The couple bogeys I made today, really the first bogeys of the tournament. I don't think I made a bogey the first two days, because I just missed a fairway or just hit it in the rough and was kind of on the defense. If you're hitting the ball in the fairway here, you're going to have some birdie opportunities.

Q. After playing with him, does it feel like you need to hit the weight room?

J.J. HENRY: No, I consider myself a pretty long hitter. Again, it doesn't look like he's swinging real hard at it. He doesn't take it back real far or anything. It's fun to watch. He's a heck of a talent and I'm sure he'll do good things here. He's an asset to the Tour, no doubt.

Q. You were pretty aggressive on 16 today. How much of that hole location do you think you can go after and how much is it you just playing to the galleries?

J.J. HENRY: I think any time you've got 40,000 or 50,000 people on one hole, I actually didn't think I had enough club to get all the way back to the hole, to be honest with you. I was pumped up and hit a great shot, just tried to draw it in there and landed four or five feet from the hole and it just trickled. That green got real firm, a lot firmer than the other holes. When I first hit it, I'm thinking, "This place is going to go nuts." Unfortunately, it just carried too far.

Q. Does that in any way influence the way you play the shot when you've got 40,000 people watching you?

J.J. HENRY: Well, you don't want to miss the green or get booed. You come around 13, 14, 15 and hear that crowd, it's pretty cool, there's no doubt. It's something you only get to experience once a year. You don't want to make bogey or hit a bad shot, that's for sure.

Q. What would be the closest in terms of atmosphere? Maybe Sawgrass?

J.J. HENRY: I think so. I'm trying to think what are our tournaments.

Q. Hartford doesn't get that rowdy.

J.J. HENRY: Hartford doesn't get rowdy like that. Maybe the par 3 at the Buick in Michigan. I think the 17th hole gets pretty rowdy, pretty crazy. Maybe the 13th hole at Colonial, not quite the deal, but they can kind of get back there, and there's plenty of boos flowing back there. It's pretty exciting. But nothing like this.

Again, I was pretty excited to play today. Any time you get a chance to play in front of 150,000 or granted, maybe only 50 of them really knew there was a golf tournament going on (laughter), but any time you get a chance to do that, that's what we practice for. You get a chance to play in the final group, and you know you've got a lot of people out there watching and you know there are probably a lot of people on TV, as well. It's exciting. That's why we work hard. And hopefully I'll get a chance to do that more.


End of FastScripts.

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