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September 3, 2006

J.J. Henry


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: J.J. thanks for joining us. A third round 68. Right now you're a few shots behind leader Vijay Singh, but you've been playing well this week, maybe some opening comments.

J.J. HENRY: Well, first off, it's an unbelievable round that Vijay shot today. I didn't think that 10 under was out there. Obviously the greens were soft and receptive, but it's pretty awesome golf. He obviously played well and made some putts.

But unfortunately now, shooting a couple under par, I guess I'm five back. He's 11 under. So I'm going to have to go out tomorrow and do what he did today to win the golf tournament. But again, I feel like I'm playing great. I made a lot of birdies coming in, once I kind of got settled and the weather got a little bit better. So hopefully I can just continue that pace tomorrow.

Q. You haven't really started that well, but you've kind of hung around and the back nine's been pretty good.

J.J. HENRY: Well, I played great on the back nine this week the first three days. Heck, I think that I don't know, I would have to look but I shot 1 over, 2 over, 3 over, I don't know, I'm, I would say probably 10, 11 under par just off the top of my head on the back nine this week. And just on the front for some reason I haven't gotten off to real good starts playing the front nine. So tomorrow obviously it's important to make a couple birdies early and hopefully to gets myself a little bit kind of in the hunt.

And obviously Vijay, if he goes out and plays anything like he did today, he's going to be tough to catch. But the greens will be soft again tomorrow, hopefully, and I'm going have to go out and shoot a low round.

Q. For those of us who haven't had a chance to ask you, what did Tiger taking you and the three other Ryder Cup rookies out to dinner in Akron mean to you, what did you learn from him, obviously you have known him for awhile, but I guess seeing him in that light.

J.J. HENRY: Well, it's not just a dinner. Obviously that was something from a golfing standpoint we all look up to and aspire and just are in awe of what he does. But what I have said and I talked about is just he's such a great person to be around. He really is. He's just a lot of fun. With as good of golf he plays, he's as good as a person too. And I enjoy being around him. And I think just having a chance to talk to him even helps my confidence that much more. And I think I went out and I finished good off last week at the Firestone and I'm right back here again in the hunt this week. So I feel like I'm really playing with a lot of confidence.

And I played with Tiger both Monday and Tuesday over in Ireland, it's the only chance you get to play with the best player in the world and it can only help your game. I think that's what it's doing for me.

Q. How many times a day are you asked about the Ryder Cup? How is your life going to change?

J.J. HENRY: Well, internally I ask, I talk about it, it's always on my mind. But, again, obviously it's a life changing experience for me in the fact that I really feel like now there's a real sense of belong I think and I really think it's helped my confidence just to go out and play better golf. And I think that I'm very kind of feel like I'm, I really just kind of enjoying what's happening and kind of going about my business and golf just seems to come that much easier when you're playing with a lot of confidence. Obviously I'm excited, anxious, nervous I'm all those things. But I feel like I'm playing well. And actually I talked to Captain Lehman called me last night and just said, hey, you know, he's looking forward, he's really looking forward to me going out and helping the team. And hopefully when the bell goes off I'll be ready to play. Or when the bell goes off I will be ready to play, I'm excited about it.

Q. (Inaudible.)

J.J. HENRY: I'm pretty worn out. I've played four weeks in a row with a whirlwind trip to Ireland. This is my last event before the Ryder Cup. So I possibly would have liked to have played the week before, but my caddie is actually getting married that Saturday night, so myself and my actually my wife is good friend with his wife. She's in the wedding and my two year old is the ring bearer. So the whole family, it's a whole family affair. I'm going to take a couple days off, relax, really prepare and do some things and get ready for the trip over. The wedding is actually out in the mountains up in Denver or Beaver Creek area out in Colorado. So we'll spend a couple days out there and then fly back and get ready to go over to Ireland.

Q. Couple more Ryder Cup questions for you. Did you get any hint of it today feeling alongside Robert?

J.J. HENRY: No, it was fun. He's a great guy to play with. A great guy. But, sure, I was thinking about it, absolutely. And it's nice, you know, hypothetically if I do play against him, it's nice to know what to expect. So I think I was glad I was actually paired with him today and not that this is the Ryder Cup, but I think that I played real well on the back nine, which can only give me confidence if I was to obviously go out and play him in a couple weeks.

But again we weren't really thinking or talking about a Ryder Cup. But he's a really nice guy and I enjoyed both him and his caddie, we had a lot of conversation and it was a lot of fun.

Q. Secondly, Ian Woosnam named both Darren Clark and Lee Westwood to the team. Do you have any thoughts on what you think the impact of Darren Clark playing for them might be?

J.J. HENRY: Well, we all, obviously, we all want to win more than anything and bring the cup home. But sometimes you put things in perspective and I think that off the golf course we're all friends and we spend a lot of time and a lot of those guys on the team we spend time with them and to have Darren playing I think is great.

Obviously I can't imagine what he's been through, but I think that we're all excited that Darren is playing. Especially being so close to home in Ireland. And obviously I think he'll be a great asset. Now I know maybe he hasn't been playing a lot of golf and it's probably the farthest thing for his mind for a long time, but it will be very inspirational I think for the other teammates to have him there and he really is a great guy. So I'm glad that he's playing.

Q. Right or wrong, the perception of the U.S. Ryder Cup team in the past obviously you haven't been, this is your first one, but perception has been that the guys aren't very close and it appears at least from our, from my perspective that Lehman is doing everything he can to in my opinion that in the bud immediately.

J.J. HENRY: Well, absolutely. I mean, heck, it was like a bunch of fraternity brothers, Monday and Tuesday, hanging out. I mean just having a good old time. Having a couple Irish's finest. We just had a great time. Golf aside, it was nice to go see the golf course. But to have all 12 players, the caddies and even Tiger mentioned too, you get back to talking about Tiger, when he first played in I think '97 was his first time, a lot if not most of the guys on the team were, heck, they were twice his age. And now he's got guys that are, he's got five, four other players that are kind of all his age and can relate to him.

So I think that it's, granted he's taking more of that veteran role and we all look up to him and we all bounce ideas off him but at the same time it's nice to have a lot of guys on the team that can kind of relate to each other. Our wives are friends and such, so it's a great group of guys. You got, obviously, the two best players in the world, you got some good veteran players that have been there before that are playing good golf and you got four rookies that I like to think that I'm playing obviously pretty good right now and I'm excited to go help.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: J.J., thank you.

J.J. HENRY: Appreciate it.

End of FastScripts.

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