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March 8, 2002

J.J. Henry


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: We'd like to welcome J.J. Henry. J.J., 32 holes today. Must have felt like you were back in college golf.

J.J. HENRY: It really did. Actually, it's a day where if you really get off to a good start, it can work to your advantage. MY first hole of the day was the fourth hole, and my first shot of the day was a little wedge shot and I hit it about four feet to get me going today. Really I carried that through the whole round.

I hit a lot of good shots and made some putts this morning. It's really been my kind of Achilles heel, so to speak this year, is I've gotten off to bad starts and been put behind the 8-ball. I know it was -- really, the first round for me, I think was kind of key. I feel like now I've, obviously, put myself with a chance , to give myself a chance on the weekend and that's really what I was trying to do here today.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: This afternoon's round, you had one birdie, one bogey. Just looking at the score card, it looked uneventful.

J.J. HENRY: It was. Really, I hit a lot of good shots. Sure, I got a little tired out there and it was a little more difficult this afternoon with the wind. It was a little bit more of a guessing game. I hit a lot of fairways, a lot of greens and really just didn't make the putts -- a lot of good putts; and fortunately made one or two more than normal in the morning and didn't make one or two in the afternoon, but it evened out. All in all, it was a great day, and to get off to a good start in the morning really helped me carry through to the afternoon.

I tried to look at it as a positive. I think last night, sitting in the hotel and then virtually all day, I was remembering a little bit of the Kemper Open where it was stop-and-go, stop-and-go. We played 36 holes, I want to say, on Sunday and I finished second that week. So I tried to take something positive out of sitting around all day knowing I was going to have to play 32 holes today.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Does it feel good, the fact that you have two scores posted now?

J.J. HENRY: Sure. Obviously the golf course, if you are hitting the ball well -- I don't know what the leaders are doing, but at least I'm near the lead. That's the most important thing. I don't have anything to prove out here, but just to go out and play golf, and I know good things will happen. I haven't really got off to a great, great start this year, but I know I'm capable of doing a lot of good things. If I just stay patient and kind of take what the course gives me, I'm looking forward to a lot of good things this year.

Q. Is that the most you've played since Kemper in one day?

J.J. HENRY: Sure is. Like I said, I tried to take something from that the same kind of deal; I got off to a good start that week and it carried me through right on until we had to finish that Monday morning. But being one of the younger fellows out here and feeling like I'm in pretty good shape, I think that can work to my advantage.

And still, not that far out of college. We used to play 36 holes of college golf all the time. So it, really, honestly -- being in the first group, too, we didn't wait a shot all day, which I think was great. We just got up there and hit it again. Being the first group out, it's nice, because we didn't see anybody for the last 27 holes.

Q. Is it better to be in a situation where you've got 32 holes more or less right in a row, than to be one of the guys who went out yesterday morning and played, and in the case of one golfer, come out, one putt and has an eight-hour wait and he's got to go back out tonight?

J.J. HENRY: Yeah, it can go both ways like I talked about. If somebody gets off and plays real well tomorrow morning, maybe they can carry that into the third round and vice versa. Obviously, it's a long day regardless of what happens, and you've got to kind of pace yourself. Really starting out this morning, we are supposed to be positioned at 7:30 and we didn't get off until 8:30. As soon as I heard that, I went back to the hotel, I'm staying right here, and relaxed, read the paper. I didn't want to be out there for another hour because I knew I was going to be virtually on the golf course all day long.

I didn't hit a lot of balls this morning. Just loosened up, ate some breakfast and loosened up, and it worked out for me. I really played a care-free round this morning. That's what's holding me back, is I've been living and dying by every shot; and I went out this morning knowing it was going to be a long day. You know there's going to be some bad shots here and there, and I just took what the course gave me.

I made a little change, too. I was working with my instructor just north in Palm Beach, Todd Anderson, the last couple of days and actually went left-hand low on my putting, and it's helped me a lot. If there's a weakness in my game, it's been my putting over the last year, year and a half. I'm a streaky putter. When I putt well, I seem to, you know, jump up the leaderboard. But I really feel for the first time in a long time, I'm kind of excited to putt, if that makes sense.

I've always been one that hits a lot of fairways and hits a lot of greens, and now if I can really get that feeling where I'm excited to putt and I really think I'm going to make those birdie opportunities, I think, hopefully, good things will continue to happen.

Q. Do you feel like you've been putting added pressure on yourself to play better? Is that why --

J.J. HENRY: Sure, a little bit. I've put a lot of pressure on myself, I think. Whether that's good or bad.

I got a good taste of what it's like out here last year my rookie year, and maybe I expected a little too much too soon early in the year. Obviously, we would all like to get off to that good start and let things happen and I've kind of done the opposite. I've really tried to force things and just gotten off to a couple events, kind of so-so starts and missed a couple cuts here and there.

But I'm really starting to feel like I'm playing good golf, and hopefully this is the first of some good steps and stepping stones, to hopefully give myself some more chances to win here in the near future.

Q. Talk about how strange it is. You played the back nine; what did you play first?

J.J. HENRY: For this morning I started on the front yesterday. So I finished 4 through 18 on the morning round and then teed off 10.

Q. So you play the back nine to finish and then you go right back out?

J.J. HENRY: Exactly. We had about 30 minutes, I grabbed a quick sandwich and was off to the 10th tee.

I said to myself, I was playing so well that morning round that, you know in a way it sounds funny, but almost maybe would have been better off just to keep going if that makes sense. Not that 30 or 40 minutes is the end of the world. Obviously, I needed to get something to eat and take your -- put your feet up for a little bit.

But I was really hitting a lot of great shots there in the morning. Kind of went stale for a little bit that back nine, the front round of my afternoon round, which was the back nine.

Q. What did you say your first shot was in the morning?

J.J. HENRY: It was about a 95-yard wedge shot, the fourth hole, par 5, and I hit it to about three or four feet to kind of ease my way into it, so to speak, and just kind of carried it through that whole morning round.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Thank you very much.

End of FastScripts....

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