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September 12, 2002

J.J. Henry


TODD BUDNICK: J.J. Henry, 4 under 67, clubhouse leader right now. J.J. made nine straight cuts. 3 weeks ago, T-3, game is coming together, it seems.

J.J. HENRY: It really is, today was a solid day. I got off to a good start. Yesterday playing at the pro-am the wind blew pretty hard. I kind of kept a good attitude starting this morning. Again, it was pretty cold and windy starting off and I knew it would be important to get off to a good start. I hit a good driver to the 10th hole but started playing dead into the wind and made a long birdie putt that really carried my momentum during the day.

Q. (Inaudible)?

J.J. HENRY: I wish I could, for some reason, ever since college, or even just when I turn pro this was my fourth year as pro, I always played my best golf in what seems to be, late summer and early fall. I haven't pinpointed what it is. I Know I had the ability to compete, and to win out here by staying patient, and, you know I was able to do that. I probably put too much pressure on myself starting the year because I did have a nice rookie year and wanted to get off to a good start this year but I stayed patient and now I'm kind of reaping the benefits of some good rounds and hopefully I will continue to do it pretty much throughout the rest of the year.

Q. Of course it doesn't hurt to play on the course much like you grew up on?

J.J. HENRY: I grew up two and a half hours from here Fairfield, Connecticut. I live in Ft. Worth, Texas, I grew up playing an old style course like this, and even similar -- you have to hit a lot of shots through the trees. Really the first time I played this golf course was yesterday. To get off to such a good start, really not seeing it virtually only once with a lot of undulation and pretty difficult pin placements today, I'm extremely happy with the way I played.

TODD BUDNICK: Guys, we will take some questions.

Q. Can you describe the first hole, how that got you in the right frame of mind?

J.J. HENRY: I don't know, Todd, you may know. Yesterday was the first time I played the 10th hole. My caddy said it was one of the most difficult holes on the Tour two years ago. I'm teeing off in the morning, the wind, it's pretty darn cold and the wind is blowing dead in my face. I stepped up there and hit a good drive down the right side of the fairway and hit an iron to the middle of the green and made a long kind of swinging putt probably about 40 feet to really kind of warm me up a little bit, so to speak, kind of carry my momentum through that front 9 which was the backside. I made three other birdies and got off to a good start.

Q. You said he told you it was the toughest hole before or after?

J.J. HENRY: I said Matt, next time you know it's one of the hardest holes let's keep that out. I don't know need to know it's one of the hardest holes on tour. Let me hit a driver down there and an iron down to the middle of the green to give myself a chance. We used a little wishful thinking on that one.

Q. J.J. what is your situation on the money list, what are you trying to accomplish?

J.J. HENRY: My caddy and I are good buddies. I guess it was the week after Reno out in Vancouver, we kind of joked, I said, I had about as much money, so to speak, talking about the money list as I did last year at that time and I went on to make over a million dollars and have a great rookie year, so virtually, you know the way I look at it, I'm excited about going out and playing, I don't know, the last 6 or 8 weeks we have left and get myself to win a tournament. I'm pretty much, I don't know for sure, but I'm in a position -- I am probably 100 on the money list, 100 and 3rd or fourth or something. (Inaudible) I can really just go out and try to within, you know, try to play more aggressively and give myself a chance. That's basically what I'm trying to do the last 7 or 8 weeks.

Q. How did it go in Reno, were you in the hunt on Sunday.

J.J. HENRY: Actually it was kind of a two-horse race. Chris Riley who ended up winning -- (inaudible) your first goal each year is to make sure that you have a place to play next year. You know a lot of guys, it's hard, you're always thinking about that coming down the stretch when you are playing well and need to make money. I'm lucky to play well the last couple of weeks to try to win. That's my goal.

Q. Is there anything to learn from 2 or 3 weeks ago?

J.J. HENRY: Well, I did have 2 runner-up finishes last year. I have proven to myself that I had the ability to win out here. You put yourself in a position and a chance -- I'm still learning. I feel I'm still getting better, and I am looking forward to some good things.

Q. How did you putt on these greens? Did you stay below the hole like they say?

J.J. HENRY: I did, I tried to, I played to the fast side of the green, a lot of the pins were tucked over knobs and different tiers and stuff. I took advantage of the par 5s, I birdied 18, I birdied, I guess it was 15. I used my length to my advantage and made a couple of real good saves which kind of carried the momentum and again making a 40-footer on the first hole kind of sets the tone right away for the day. I played solid and only making one birdie on a pretty difficult golf course in different conditions, I am very pleased with that. For some reason I always play good on hard golf courses. I hit a lot of fairways and greens and this is one where you don't have to shoot way way under par to win. If you give yourself some chances, play smarter and conservative on some you are going to do good things out here because the greens are perfect, they really are. They run at a nice speed considering how much slope is in the greens. They are a little bit slow uphill, but downhill they are pretty treacherous. It's a pretty good mix.

Q. In your days in the Northeast did you ever have an opportunity to play in the Philadelphia area?

J.J. HENRY: I'm trying to thinking, I've been to this area quite a bit. The head pro at my golf club, Jeff Moyer, he always talked about this area. A fellow before him, head pro at Brookline, Brendan Walsh, (phonetic) he was the head pro before Jeff, so I knew a lot about the area and it's a great golf area and again it's only 2 and a half hours from where I grew up so I knew a lot of players from this area, a lot of juniors, a lot of good amateur players when I was coming up in Connecticut.

TODD BUDNICK: Thanks, guys.

End of FastScripts....

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