May 27, 2021
Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA
Southern Hills Country Club
THE MODERATOR: We're with Lee Janzen. Lee opened with an even-par 70. A little bit of good, a little bit of bad. Do you like your position hereafter 18 holes?
LEE JANZEN: Yes. I know the history of tournaments here, it's great to have the first-round lead. We'll see if that holds true this year, too, but I think almost every tournament that's been played here, the first-round leaders won the tournament. Somebody check on that and get back to me in probably five seconds. But anyway, so I knew getting off to a good start is always an important thing to do in any tournament.
I've enjoyed playing this course. I think Gil enhanced it. He ought to use that as a tag phrase for his name: Enhance. Vijay and I were arguing about that just now. I like it a lot. I like seeing the course play really fast with a lot of wind. I think that that will bring out all the design features of it.
Q. You play tough golf courses well, that's kind of your MO. You're feeling kind of at home this week, aren't you?
LEE JANZEN: Yeah, I think every hole that you have to be careful what you're doing. You've got to pick the right shot and be careful not to miss it in the wrong place. You're going to have to just accept that you're going to make a bogey if you hit the wrong shot somewhere.
Q. What's working well in your game as you come in here?
LEE JANZEN: Well, I have been driving it great and hitting the ball very well. Not really holing very many putts today. I didn't hit that many shots the way I like to hit them, but they went in the general direction, so they weren't that far off, they just weren't exactly what I was trying to do, and then I holed some putts early in the round which I have not been doing from outside five feet, outside ten feet, which is great, to make a couple of those, because I really haven't been making them. I've been working pretty hard on my putting, so there's no reason why I shouldn't be putting well, so maybe this will be the start of something good.
Q. Was there one or two highlight birdies today?
LEE JANZEN: I birdied 4. I hit a driver and got down there pretty far and hit sand wedge to the front right pin. I was dead pin high, which is pretty good to get it pin high on a front pin, uphill into the wind. You don't want to make the mistake of being short, and it's easy to be past the pin, putt downhill. I birdied 5, hit a good drive, chose to lay up with a 6-iron, then hit a sand wedge above the hole and made a good putt from eight to ten feet.
I had a couple good bunkers saves on 1 and 6, and then my other birdie was 12, which is a great hole. There's a few great holes on this course, but that's probably one of the coolest holes on the course design-wise. To a front right pin I hit a good drive and a little chip 8-iron back into the wind and made a 12-footer. I wish I had more birdies to talk about, but that's it.
Q. As you made your way around in the practice rounds, does it come back to you? It's probably been my guess is 10 or 12, 14 years since you've been here. Does it come back to you like that or is it all new, too long ago?
LEE JANZEN: I probably could have given you the routing of the course, where the holes went, but I couldn't have told you exactly how far it was, two bunkers, over bunkers, the shapes of greens. I have a book from when I played here 20 years ago was the last time I was here, but I just didn't think it would do any good since the course got redone. No point in bringing that.
Q. You talk about Gil enhancing the course, kind of going back to that. One of the ways he did that, he moved the 7 green toward the creek there. Again, I know you just talked about how you don't remember a whole lot about the course other than the routing, but 7, the green was up kind of off to the left. Do you see that playing a little bit tougher this week as he moved that toward the creek?
LEE JANZEN: Yeah, I think that's also a great hole that you couldn't just make, you had to go find it on the property. I remember hitting like a hybrid off that tee when we played here in '01 I guess because it was more about position off the tee, but now you want to hit driver and see if you can't get it all the way down to the bottom and have a shorter shot to the green. If you don't get it all the way down to the bottom you could be hitting 7-iron or 8-iron or even 6-iron in there for some of the guys, and that's not a huge green to be hitting it in with all that trouble. Yeah, I think that's a cool hole.
Q. What part of the round did you have to start factoring the wind in more so than at the beginning?
LEE JANZEN: There was a little bit of a breeze starting out. Remarkably we've hardly seen any wind since I got here Sunday. Today is the first day we've had any kind of wind, and it really seemed to be picking up on 16 the last three holes, just in the last hour or so, and it's turning a little bit. It started out south and it's going closer to west now. Still southwest, but it's getting closer to west.
Q. Feeling pretty good about being in, signing the card and just waiting and letting everybody else --
LEE JANZEN: Yeah, I'm happy I'm done because I know the weather forecast isn't great, so there's a chance that they'll get halted and have to finish tomorrow morning, which will push us back to tomorrow, which means I might have to get up early Saturday morning. But I'm done today, I'll get a good night's rest which will help going into that first early morning.
Q. This is a tough golf course. You know you're going to have wind, you have these runoffs now. Do you kind of relish the toughness of it?
LEE JANZEN: Yeah, the challenge is there. I don't think that we get too upset about mistakes like we might have when we were on the regular Tour. The challenges are there. I think everything is just much more level as far as if it's more challenging or less challenging, it's -- we've done this long enough that we're not going to go hit it 30 yards further. It's going to be really hard to figure out how to do that. We play faster because what's going to be different now than it was 30 years ago. You just get up and hit it.
It's not hard to figure out where not to be on the golf course, and you just try and execute and hit it where you're supposed to be.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports