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April 16, 2009

Lee Janzen


MARK STEVENS: We'd like to welcome Lee Janzen to the interview room. Lee shot a 6-under 65 today, and had 22-putts today. So Lee, if you'll start off talking about your round.
LEE JANZEN: 22 putts, that means I only two-putted four times. So I'll see if that's true.
MARK STEVENS: Talk about your round.
LEE JANZEN: It's always a pleasure to play Harbour Town. I think there's just certain tournaments that after being out here as long as I've been out here you just look more forward to. No matter what week you're playing, you want to take the right attitude on the golf course. But when you're playing a course you really like it's a little easier. It's a very challenging course, so making a bogey early in my round is not the end of the world.
I just really was thinking about one shot at a time, trying to connect as good as I could. I made enough shots near the hole and made enough putts that I had a good score.
MARK STEVENS: Sorry, 23, and did not record your 9th hole, for some reason.

Q. Been a long time since you've been in the interview room?
LEE JANZEN: I don't know. Does that matter?

Q. You've had a great career, but seems like you haven't been up on the leaderboard that I can remember for a while.
LEE JANZEN: Led at Bay Hill, the last tournament that I played on Friday at some point.

Q. Would you consider the conditions out there to be ideal for scoring this morning?
LEE JANZEN: The rain Monday certainly softened the golf course. The fairways are soft, the greens are firming up but they're still very receptive. I think this northeast wind is a good wind to score on this golf course, because some of the holes that normally play downwind, today they're into the wind so you can hole them. The holes that are into the wind, you can still hold the greens. You have a chance to get near the hole. Just the way the pins were, everything was accessible.
Like I said, the fairways are soft. The guys are hitting a lot of fairways, which will give them a chance to shape an iron on to the green. The greens aren't big, so if you're on the green you have a birdie putt.

Q. You mentioned that wind, is 18 playing pretty long into that?
LEE JANZEN: Yes. The tee's up a little bit. The hole, they don't all go exactly parallel and perpendicular, so you have to work out where the wind is going to be before you get there. It's not straight in, it's a little off to the right. It's a huge fairway, tee is up a little bit, 15 yards or whatever, so you hit driver. I hit a 4-iron on to the green. A lot of guys are going to hit 4-wood or 5, maybe a little more. There's plenty of room on the green, so I imagine guys will use that area quite a bit.
There may be a few bogeys, but I think if you've got to make a par, the pin is in a good spot. If you play it right of the green you can get up and down where the pin is.

Q. What is your status with exemptions on the Tour? I don't believe you finished in the top 125 last year.
LEE JANZEN: I didn't, I'm playing in a Past Champion category, which comes after 126 to 150, which I played the last few years. It's hard to make your schedule. It's a lot better when you're playing from the exempt and you make your schedule, play a certain amount of weeks, practice, and gear your whole schedule around certain tournaments and I haven't been able to do that, which is a challenge. But really whatever tournament I get in, I have to play as well as I can.
I'm fortunate to play Hilton Head. As long as a play 15 tournaments, I'm always at Hilton Head from the U.S. Open. It's the only one that has that category. There's some tournaments I get in off past wins, but not enough, only three. I had to get an exemption for Tampa and Bay Hill. It's always helpful to get an exemption wherever I can. Whether I was exempt or not exempt, I still need to play well as often as I can to get exempt next year.

Q. Would you have applied for a sponsors' exemption here?
LEE JANZEN: Yes, I would apply. Fortunately I'm happy that I have eligibility into this tournament. I've played it every year I could since I've been on Tour, other than one year I missed. Other than that I would have played every year.

Q. Can you give us examples about experience in Harbour Town helps you score better than somebody that maybe is showing up for the first time?
LEE JANZEN: Well, one of the things I was a little surprised at the first time I came here, watching on TV all those years you only see the last five or six holes. Guys don't hit drivers off 13 and 14 is a par-3. 15, guys sometimes they don't hit driver. 17 is par-3 and then you've got 18. So you think the whole golf course is irons off the tee. Then you get here and you find out you hit driver all the time. That was surprising when I first came here 20 years ago. The ball goes further now, so guys hit 3-woods more often now than they would then. I think that's probably surprising to some of the younger guys, that the course is longer than they expected, how much they have to curve the ball into the greens because the trees are overhanging the edge of the fairways.
And I guess there is experience where you just know certain fairways that are softer over the years or certain greens that don't hold. With you the wind is always tough to gauge on 16, 17 and 18, because 16 turns so much to the left, and at 17 it goes another direction, and 18 is back another, so you have to be careful. You can easily get fooled by the wind expecting it to be a certain direction when it's not. And you're trying to avoid the trees.
MARK STEVENS: If you would go through your birdies and your one bogey.
LEE JANZEN: I started on 10. I bogeyed 13 from the middle of the fairway, 119 yards downwind and hit a sand wedge and really felt pretty good about the club selection and shot, and it just hit about two yards short, rolled back into the bunker. From there did not hit a good bunker shot and I made bogey.
14 is playing pretty good today. I think it's 192 yards to the hole, pretty close straight front, a little right-to-left, but mostly straight in. It's a 4-iron shot for me, I played it left center of the green. I felt like I hit as good a shot as I could possibly ask for there, I had a 20-odd footer there and made it.
The next hole, 15 is into the wind, also and playing very good, too. With the front right pin, pretty close to the front right there's not a lot of room there, with the wind coming right-to-left and in. So it's good to get near the hole there, I hit a decent shot, rolled down the slope and made a long putt, probably 30 feet.
Both times the guys with the blowers came out, blew off the green, so the green looked perfect. I told them I think they had an influence on me making the putts.
All par's until No. 1. I hit a 3-wood and 8-iron about 12 feet right of the hole.
No. 2 I hit a driver and 4-iron short left of the green and chipped it up to about a foot, and then we got around to 5, hit a driver in the bunker, laid up with a 6-iron, hit a pitching wedge 18 feet to the left of the hole and made that.
No. 6 I hit a driver and 8-iron about five feet left of the hole.
No. 8 a hit driver, 6-iron about four feet left of the hole.
I hit a close shot on 7, too, but six feet and missed it.

Q. Lee, on No. 9 how close were you to possibly catching it?
LEE JANZEN: Well, I had a good yardage into the green, 115 a little into the wind with a wedge, my shot just came up short, three feet short of the green. So I was chipping out of the rough. My chip was dead on line but it was a foot short. If it would have gotten to the hole, it might have gone in. It looked like it was going in the hole but never got there.
MARK STEVENS: Thank you very much, Lee. Good luck the rest of the week.

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