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September 1, 2006

J.J. Henry


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: J.J. Henry thank you for joining us, a pretty good start on a day with tough conditions, especially early in the morning.

J.J. HENRY: The wind really picked up on our last six holes. The golf course is really playing long this week, too. I know we had some rain early in the week but again, you can't win the tournament the first day, but you can actually lose it. Unfortunately I bogeyed three of my last five holes.

I got off to a great start and was 5 under through I guess 13 holes today. Obviously I'm pretty tired, I played the last five weeks, kind of a whirlwind four or five days with our trip to Ireland and stuff. We decided to be here. I just loved playing here growing up in Southern New England and I feel like I'm playing great, so even making three bogeys there, they are tough holes. I hit basically three bad shots all day, unfortunately made three bogeys, but I hit a lot of good ones.

Q. The three bad shots, were they selections or executions?

J.J. HENRY: A little bit of both. Again, the wind really picked up on my 14th hole I guess which would be the fifth hole, the dogleg left there. The wind was dead in our face and I had a 5 iron to a tough pin and just pulled it left of the green. I actually was lucky to make five. It was just kind of a bad second shot in tough condition.

The next hole I hit a perfect drive, the sixth hole which is my 15th hole and it got real windy and I just didn't commit to what I was doing. The wind kind of grabbed it and kicked it right of the green and had a tough up and down and made another bogey. And again on 9, hit a perfect drive right in the middle of the fairway kind of hooked around it with a 7 iron and just pulled it left of the green again in a bad lie. I think I made four birdies and on eagle out there. It was a very stress free round with the exception of three shots. I hit a lot of fairways and a lot of greens. It didn't go in and was just a quick little tap in, so a stress free day with the exception of those three holes.

Q. Inaudible?

J.J. HENRY: Well, I mean, obviously we all aspire and recognize he's the best in the world and what an asset he is, even for guys like myself to be able to play week in and week out with Tiger and recognize that he's the best player in the world, and we all kind of aspire to do some of the things that he does.

I think a lot of people don't realize how much of a pleasure and how much fun he is to be around off the golf course. He really is a great guy. He's just a lot of fun to hang out with. You know, obviously being a member of the team now, he invited us to dinner Friday of Akron last week and of course we were able to spend a lot of time, too, Monday and Tuesday, actually played with him both Monday and Tuesday this week. We played college golf together.

But at the same time, we really haven't spent a lot of time together virtually the last six, eight years. He's just a fun guy to be around. He really is a great guy, great person and obviously the best player in the world. He's just the whole package, there's no doubt about it.

Q. Can you talk us through the three days with the team starting in Akron on Sunday?

J.J. HENRY: Well, not to be too specific but everybody is dedicated to bringing the Cup back home or hopefully. To have all 12 players, there's talk schedules were changed and chit commitments worked around so call players and caddies could go over as one as a team. It meant a lot obviously to Captain Lehman and meant a lot to the other players, as well, to show that you know, all 12 of us and 12 caddies, all 24 players, the captain and the assistants were over there, I think it was as much as about going over there, the camaraderie, having some fun before it gets chaotic and playing the matches in couple weeks.

Yeah, we all learned the golf course a little bit, played it over two days, two rounds and at the same time spending time together as a team and as a unit, we're committed to going over and winning.

Q. Inaudible?

J.J. HENRY: Well, I mean, obviously no, again, as close as I got probably was playing in the last group this year Saturday of Phoenix. Technically it's considered probably the biggest party on Tour, not playing in the last group in front of, I guess, I don't know, what did they say, 165,000 people out there on Saturday, which is like the party, kind of the environment of that atmosphere.

But as far as, you know, again, I've played in majors, I've played in front of big crowds and I enjoy doing it but I've never really obviously experienced it. I played in some teams, I played in the Palmer Cup which is like a Ryder Cup for college players which was actually over there at St. Andrews my senior year of college in '98. So I played some International Team stuff, but as far as experience in a Ryder Cup, I'm looking forward to it in a couple of weeks, there's no doubt.

Q. Would you have played this week if this tournament was anywhere else but New England?

J.J. HENRY: Actually that's a great question. Honestly, probably not. I mean, it means that much to me, the fact that I'm from New England and obviously winning earlier in Hartford, I just love the area. Growing up here, I love the people, I love the crowds. But you know, with as much as I've played and as much has been on my mind, we've played I think this is my fifth week in a row with a major and world golf event thrown in there, a couple day trip to Ireland and back. And the other reason why I say I might still have played is I feel like I'm playing well. You kind of ride out the wave, so to speak. But being from here, I wouldn't miss this for anything.

End of FastScripts.

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