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May 2, 2008
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA
JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: We'd like to thank Jason Bohn for joining us for a few minutes here in the media center at the Wachovia Championship. Solid round today, great start with four birdies on the front side and then got it to 9-under to take the lead on the back side. Looking good going into the weekend, and actually you've been playing great as of late, since your injury of last year.
JASON BOHN: I have, yeah. Just recently in the past few weeks I've started to play a little bit better. It's nice. I did a lot of nice things today, so kind of happy. You'll see a lot of smiles out of me, that's for sure.
Q. A lot of guys were having trouble out there. You're not supposed to be having this much fun making this many birdies. What's going on?
JASON BOHN: I'll tell you, the golf course played extremely difficult today, and it's getting firmer and faster, and it's going to play more difficult come the weekend unless we -- hopefully we skirt the rain, but if we get a little rain and it softens up, I think you'll see some good scores. I've been executing very well, and I've been picking my places, when to fire at flagsticks, and I've had some really good numbers and got some good bounces, things are kind of going my way, so I guess that's why I'm sitting here.
JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Any big pars or any changes in the round today that made a big difference?
JASON BOHN: Yeah, I made a huge par on 16, probably a 15-footer up the hill. I made a couple nice par putts, and I'm rolling my golf ball really nice right now, and I think that's great. I'm really excited to get to the putting green.
Q. Just hard work, or have you changed something that's sort of led to this?
JASON BOHN: Yeah, actually I brought in my putting coach earlier in the week, and I lengthened my putter an inch. I've changed a little bit of my left-hand grip. I've strengthened it a little bit, and I've really paid attention to where my ball is and my ball position, which really kind of helps my alignment, so I worked on the same things that I needed to do in the past.
But the biggest change for me is that my putter got lengthened an inch. My coach had been wanting to do this for over a year, almost two years, and I just didn't feel comfortable, but finally I wisened up and listen to him. I'm sure he's going to be calling to say good thing I did listen to him.
Q. What's his name?
JASON BOHN: Mike Shannon from Sea Island.
Q. What do you have to change in your technique when you lengthen the putter, anything at all?
JASON BOHN: Actually what it did for me is it enabled my arms to become a little closer to my body, and that allowed me to kind of free my swing up a little bit more. My arms were getting too far away from my body and they would twist and turn a little bit more, and this kind of keeps them in steadies them quite a bit more. My strike is much more solid right now.
JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Can we go through your birdies and bogeys real quick? You made birdie on 2.
JASON BOHN: Yeah, I hit a great shot in on 2, maybe 12 feet, but I had to play at least a foot of break, so it was a great putt.
Birdie on 3, I hit another good shot in on 3, I guess, obviously. I would say another 12-footer, another one that broke probably six or eight inches straight downhill, so two great putts right out of the chute.
Birdie on 5, the par-5, another good putt, probably about 12 or 15 feet straight down the hill. It actually broke quite a bit. It was a great read by my caddie (Billy Spencer) on that one. I totally didn't think it was going to break left. He said just trust it, he had rolled the putts in the practice round. I give him credit, I would have missed that putt had I read it on my own.
Birdie on 7, I had an unbelievable chip on 7 that saved me. I drove it in the left bunker. I tried to hit -- as soon as I walked in there, I'm thinking wedge it out, wedge it on the green and try to make birdie that way. Another time my caddie stepped in and -- he told me to hit 4-iron and play it way up the left-hand side and try to make an aggressive swing and get it up there just ten yards short of the green. I didn't execute the shot very well, but I liked the fact that he was thinking aggressively and I wasn't at that time. But I hit an unbelievable chip to probably -- maybe two feet.
Bogey on 12, I drove it in the left rough, I tried to hit 3-wood off the tee to play it safe, and maybe I need to play more aggressive because I pull-hooked it into the rough. I just had to lay out. I made an intelligent bogey, didn't try to do anything foolish. So it was a good bogey, if there is such a thing.
Birdie on 13, best shot of the day, hit a 7-iron on 13 to probably maybe four feet just left of the hole and made it in front of a lot of people, and that was kind of nice because I got a bigger roar right there.
Birdie on 15, I drove it in the fairway, tried to hit a 2-iron right into the front bunker, which was a good leave, and I executed both shots great and just kind of hit a little bunker shot to about three feet and tapped in.
Q. You sound like you're as excited to come to the golf course as you may have been in a while; is that fair to say?
JASON BOHN: That's very fair to say, yeah. I'm just excited to play. I don't have a lot of pressure now that my medical status is taken care of, so I can just kind of go out and free swing it. Like I said, the biggest part about it is I'm excited to putt, and when you're excited to putt, it takes a lot pressure off all the other aspects of the game.
Yeah, I'm excited to be here. I'm always a little bit excited, but I'm more so excited right now.
Q. Had you come to dread putting?
JASON BOHN: It was getting out of hand, yeah, absolutely. I was starting to lose some confidence, and that's -- putting is pretty much -- I mean, it's a little bit of technique, but it's so much confidence. If you think you can make it, you're probably going to make it. So I wanted to kind of get reestablished and refocused on what I was trying to do and get some good thoughts and some good practice routines, and that's what I -- when Mike came in this week, that's what he kind of set up for me, and helped me, again, get back on track.
Q. When your putting is a little off, how does it affect the other parts of your game?
JASON BOHN: It's a tremendous effect. I think with every player, it's amazing because you're trying to hit it a little bit closer so you're trying to force shots, and when you're chipping you're trying to -- all right, I've got to get this a little closer, and you're just not free-wheeling it as much.
When you're putting well, you don't really care if you hit it 30 feet, you really don't. You're like, wow, I can make this. That's kind of the attitude, and then typically you don't hit it 30 feet, you start hitting it 12 and 15 feet, and then you start running them in.
Q. Can you detail your three hole-in-ones, how much money you won on each of them? I've heard you have three.
JASON BOHN: That's true.
Q. And you won on each of them a cash payout?
JASON BOHN: That is true. In detail, my first one was 135 yards, I hit a 9-iron. It was worth $1 million.
Q. What course, or any little details?
JASON BOHN: The first one was at the Harry Pritchett Golf Club in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, was the million-dollar one. It was 135 yards, it was a 9-iron, I hit a Top Flite 3, I didn't use a tee. That's so true.
And the second one was in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, at -- and I'm drawing a blank. It's a Jack Nicklaus designed golf course, but I hit --
Q. Long Bay Cove?
JASON BOHN: That's it, yep. I hit a 5-iron from 190 yards. I was hitting a Titleist 3, and that one paid $1,200.
The third one was in Canada in Alberta at a golf course called Wolf Creek, and I hit a 6-iron playing a Titleist 1 from like 170, and that was worth $5,000. The $1,200 and $5,000 all got spent on a bar tab, and the million I still have.
Q. Doesn't it come in installments every year or something?
JASON BOHN: Absolutely. On October 1st now every single October 1st, it comes via FedEx, and I get $50,000 a year for 20 years, and I have exactly five payments left.
Q. Was that around Halloween?
JASON BOHN: It was the night after Halloween. Do you want the whole story? Do you want the million-dollar story?
JASON BOHN: The night before was Halloween, and I was 19 years old, and I went to every costume party in Tuscaloosa, and I was out looking for Cat Woman, and I didn't have much success that evening. But I was Batman, and I wore a cape. I don't know how good my costume was. I don't really remember to be honest.
I came in in the wee hours of the night. My roommate got me up. I had qualified for this hole-in-one contest, and he got me up at about 10:00 in the morning and said, you need to go or you're going to miss this opportunity.
The only reason why I went was because he kept saying, you've got to get up, you've got to get up. Actually I think I was encroaching his space because I was still on the living room floor (laughter). I didn't make it to my bed that night.
But I got up, I went out there, obviously wasn't feeling too well. In the semifinals everybody had to hit a shot. Anybody who hit it within the six-foot circle originally had to hit a shot in the semifinals. There were about 150 shots to be hit. They pulled my name out of the hat third.
I hit my shot on the driving range, and I figured, if I don't hit a good shot, I get to go back home and go to bed. I hit it like three feet, I think it was seven inches. That varies. Anyway, it was about three and a half feet.
And now I had to wait for another 147 shots to be hit, so I did. I kind of took a little nap on the range, and my college golf coach was not very impressed at the time. They took me to a hole on the golf course, and by this time I was really pretty tired; it was about 1:00 o'clock in the afternoon and I was ready to get back to bed. I just teed it up, swiped it with a 9-iron, it took two bounces, and I didn't sleep for two more days (laughter). It was a life-changing experience. But in all honesty, it is the only reason why I'm sitting here today.
I had an opportunity, I took advantage of it, won the million dollars. I got a job ten days later, worked my way through the rest of my University of Alabama, I stayed in school, I saved up all my cash to be able to chase and pursue my dream of playing professional golf, and without that hole-in-one, there's no way, because it took me seven or eight years playing the mini-tours. It would have been financially impossible for me to do that.
I definitely -- a bad thing turned into a good thing, which even turned into a better thing.
Q. Were you in the Batman costume?
JASON BOHN: I had a cape on at night. I was trying to be Batman, yeah.
Q. I mean when you hit the shots.
JASON BOHN: No, no. I did change clothes.
Q. You said you woke up on the floor.
JASON BOHN: Yeah.
Q. Where did the money come from, was it a pot?
JASON BOHN: Yeah, they were both professional golf venues. One was a mini-tour event called the Power Boat Tour, and they had done something similar where they put four airline tickets on one hole, 1,200 bucks on the other, a car on this one. Same thing in Canada; it was all different prizes.
Q. Was that a Canadian Tour event?
JASON BOHN: It was a Canadian Tour event, yeah.
Q. What was your roommate's name?
JASON BOHN: Jeff Amershadian, and I saw him out here yesterday. I still hug him every now and then. I don't give him any cash, but I still hug him every now and then.
Q. Did you guys have a conversation?
JASON BOHN: Yesterday, yeah, I saw him walking off the 1st green between 1 and 2. I made birdie on 1 yesterday, so he just kind of said, "Nice putt," and we slapped hands. I do talk to him every now and then on the phone. He lives in Atlanta, also, so yeah, we stay in touch.
JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Thank you.
End of FastScripts