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June 3, 2004

Lee Janzen


TODD BUDNICK: 3-under 69 for you today, Lee, pretty decent round, one little mistake on 17 it looked like.

LEE JANZEN: I didn't hit a great drive, which put me with a tough shot to the green, 212 to the hole with a downhill lie off the fairway. You want to be on the left side of the fairway preferably. I have not ever seen the left side of the fairway. For some reason, I keep hitting it down the right side. It's a difficult hole if you don't drive the ball in the right spot, and even then it's not an easy shot to the green.

TODD BUDNICK: Talk about the conditions out there. I heard people saying it's a little bit soft out there.

LEE JANZEN: It is very wet and soft. I had a couple embedded balls off the tee, not rolling anywhere, backing up balls, surprised when you see it bounce. Hopefully it's going to dry up some. It's not going to get fast this week, there's just not enough time. Obviously it's a great tournament and the course is great, otherwise you wouldn't be getting the fields you're getting every year.

TODD BUDNICK: You have to be starting off at 3-under 69.

LEE JANZEN: It's a decent score. At the end of the day we'll see how it stacks up, but I hit the ball in the fairway, hit the ball on the green. I had a lot of chances to make a ton of putts. I was on in my short game, but I didn't hit a lot of putts. With exceptional putting I would have had a better score.

Q. Did you get any mud on your ball at any time?

LEE JANZEN: Yeah, I had some mud.

Q. Would you like to see it played up tomorrow?

LEE JANZEN: No, not after playing it down today. We could have played -- I don't think it would have been a good idea to play it up today. Just because you have mud on the ball doesn't mean it's unplayable, it just adds a little challenge to it. The ground is soft enough and the greens are soft enough that if we have a 30-mile-an-hour wind it'll certainly make it challenging.

Q. I think on average the scores today are probably going to be a little bit higher than they've been generally in the first round the last six, seven, eight years. Is the wind playing a little bit more with the ball out there with not as many trees?

LEE JANZEN: Well, I don't think the wind is really blowing all that hard. I've played many rounds in harder wind. I don't know what to say about that. I think the greens are fast enough that if you don't put it in the right spot, it's very hard to make putts. The putts are quick, and if you're above the hole, they just really trickle them down to the hole.

Q. Now that you've got a tournament win under your belt this year, were this year's alterations by Jack on the course, were they affected today in the play or not?

LEE JANZEN: Today is the first day I played the back nine, and I noticed that they took a lot of trees out on 14. There's a tree on 17 they took out short right of the green. I don't think it was really in play, but it blocked your view from the right side of the fairway. I don't think they really have any effect whatsoever on the playability of the course, they probably just help get certain places so the grass will grow better, which is a good idea.

Q. Just generally, how are you feeling about the way your game is right now?

LEE JANZEN: I'm pretty happy with how my swinging is coming along. Really, the shots I missed today are correctable without much. If I just keep a good rhythm and think my way around the golf course, I should be able to shoot good scores. I'm working on putting very hard and that's coming along, too. I may be playing as well as I've played in two weeks or I may not, but the whole idea is to work on my game and get it there, so whether it's in two weeks or two months it doesn't matter to me.

Q. But specifically, two weeks --

LEE JANZEN: That would be great. I am somewhat excited that the U.S. Open is coming up and I feel like my game is coming around.

Q. Is it the time of year, the summer, that you usually play well? Is it the time of year or the courses you play this time of year?

LEE JANZEN: I definitely like this time of year. Growing up in Florida, I don't know why I would like playing northerly courses, the smell of bent grass, soft greens that are super fast, I didn't grow up on any of that, but I love playing them, the U.S. Open stop courses. I think it's the late days. I just like a lot of sun.

Q. The leaderboard most of the day has had U.S. Open champions on it, you and Ernie and Corey. Is it coincidence or is it the things in people's games that the courses test?

LEE JANZEN: I think this course challenges you to be -- course management. You just have to hit the ball to the proper spot off the tee. You can't just wail back and hit it as far as you can and whack it out of the rough if you hit it in the rough. You've got to put it in the right spot. I'm sure that was Jack's strong point his whole career, look at his course management, so I'm sure that had an influence on how the course is set up. But this course, you just have to think your way around it, put it in the right spot, put it under the hole when you can, be very careful. You have to be careful the way you play the golf course.

Q. Have some of the changes he's made in fairways over the past three, four, five years put more of a demand on your game from that standpoint?

LEE JANZEN: You mean narrowing the fairways up?

Q. Yeah, and putting bunkers in at 18 and deepening the bunker at 7, things like that?

LEE JANZEN: Some of those bunkers, I'd have to go over and look at them just to know that they're there because I can't get to those. I think he's put more deep bunkers out there at 320 (laughter). As soft as the fairways are, you have to really be hitting it off line to get it in the rough. If you hit it down the fairway it's going to stay in the fairway.

Q. Even apart from the condition of the ground, has what he's done in the past five, six, seven years put more of a demand on you off the tee?

LEE JANZEN: Yes. The fairways are still generous, but if it was playing fast it would be a whole different ballgame. It would be very easy to roll it into the fairway into the rough on a number of lines, so you have to be even more precise.

Q. Are you getting used to the cicadas?

LEE JANZEN: I like that. It's a constant humming. It drowns out some of the noise around. I got in bed last night and it was so quiet and I couldn't figure out why or what was so strange about that, but that must have been the cicadas noise I heard all day yesterday. We were discussing that today. They only live for like three weeks. 17 years of incubation and three weeks of living? They got a raw deal, didn't they (laughter)?

TODD BUDNICK: How about your birdies, and we'll finish it up?

LEE JANZEN: Birdie on 1, driver, 6-iron, 15 feet. You'll have to check ShotLink.

4, I hit a 5-iron two feet.

5, I hit a driver and a 3-wood to the right of the green, just a little pass on the right side in the chipping area and chipped it down there about three feet.

15, hit a driver and 3-iron, two-putted from about 50 feet.

End of FastScripts.

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