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June 1, 2003

Lee Janzen


JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Thank you Lee for joining us. You ran into a player that's been pretty hot over the past two weeks but you have to be pretty happy with the way you played.

LEE JANZEN: There were enough positives that I am happy about the way I played. It's certainly easy to look back and see what could have been, knowing that he didn't finish certainly the way he wanted to or the way he played the first 11 holes, it never looked like he would make any mistakes or even crack. He made a great up-and-down on 12 and those are the things that you see Tiger do time after time, he always saves the round by making a crucial putt. I never gave up hope about catching him but I didn't think he would come toward me. I thought I would have to make a lot of birdies and go towards him. 13, 14, 15 I played as well as I could. Just a half inch here and there I could have picked up a couple of more shots. I did not play a good enough iron shot on 16. I guess that ultimately was it.


Q. Lee, there are an awful lot good players on that leaderboard but nobody made a run at them, was it, between the wind and the green, a hard day?

LEE JANZEN: Yes. The pins were in shots and the greens were fast enough you had to hit an exact perfect shot to get it close. The 9th hole I hit a really good solid iron shot and it just carried downwind a little too far. That was probably, you know, as good as I hit it. I expect to be pretty close to the hole. I could have had a birdie putt on that it. It certainly would have made a big difference for me the rest of the day. I think that was it, everybody knew that they had to play a perfect round to catch him, aim at the pin and hit perfect shots. Every shot that didn't come off resulted in a bogey. It's hard to catch up. You have to make 2 birdies for every bogey you make, there is not enough holes if you make 3 or 4 bogeys.

Q. It's tough to catch a guy when he shoots 32 on the front 9 and that is leading.

LEE JANZEN: Exactly. He went out and played ideal through the front 9 for a guy who had couple-shots lead on one guy and left the rest of the field behind, basically. Like I said, I never gave up hope that I could catch him. The way I was playing, I really felt I would have to birdie every hole.

JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Can we go through your birdies and bogeys.

LEE JANZEN: I had plenty of bogeys. I bogeyed No. 4. I had pushed a 4-iron out to the right of the bunkers. And almost hit a miracle chip shot and left myself about 15 feet above the hole and 2-putted. I birdied 5, I drove it in the rough. I just nicked the trees that are short of the corner. I hit those things twice this week. Every day I drove it in the rough and made birdies, it worked out. I laid up the other fairway, hit an 8-iron 25 feet. It was a big breaking putt. It broke about five feet, I think. That was great time to make a putt. Kenny got off to a great start so I needed to make a birdie. No. 7 I hit a good drive. It was too far to go for it, I laid up and hit a lob wedge behind the hole.

No. 8 I hit a 7-iron pretty much how I wanted to hit it. I expected it to draw and it never drew, it flew all the way past the pin, which is about 196 yards or something in the air, which is a long way to hit a 7-iron. I joked with my caddy, what would be the chances of making 3 bunker shots in a row. It was a very hard shot. All I did was aim at the pin and hope it hit the pin and it did, it went right in. 9, I hit a 3-wood down the right side perfect angle to the pin and I hit a 9-iron downwind and I hit it too good. I was a tad bit too hard and I just went over the back and I add very tough lie. I only managed to get to ten feet and miss that for par. 10, I hit tight to the right, in the right rough. I had a terrible lie. I could only get it to about 60 yards from the green. From there I hit a lob wedge 20 feet passed the hole and to the left and 2-putted for bogey. Birdie on 15 a driver and 3-iron. The 3-iron flew near the hole and it released to the back of the green. I had a 35 -, 40-footer. It was a very fast big breaking putt and I nearly made it and it just rolled over the top edge of the hole going very slowly. If you saw that on TV, it rolled two feet by it, so it was a very fast putt. Those are the kind of putts that you get at the U.S. Open. I was happy to have that kind of touch on that putt. And then 16 I just tried to hit a high draw 4-iron back against the left-right wind and just blocked it out to the right through the green, and hit my chip too hard and left myself 12 feet past the hole and missed that for par.


Q. What was your club on the second shot on 18? Did you think it had a chance?

LEE JANZEN: Well, I figured a 2 and -- before I even hit, I figured if I could make a 2, which chances are small, but I had a chance if I made a 2 because he could make a 5 and he hit it over the green and I knew that chip was nearly impossible to get it near the hole so I figured might as well aim at the pin. I hit it good, it looked great in the air, it drew a little, the wind pushed it back to the right. It was great to hear the reaction of the crowd. I guess they were hoping -- I guess they wanted to see more holes too.

Q. What club was that?

LEE JANZEN: A 6-iron, 179 yards.

Q. Lee, after you holed out on 8, and he is looking at a 7 foot, I think it was a 7-foot putt for par, the difference there can go from 4 to 2, if he doesn't make that putt. Are you telling yourself, this is the time when maybe I could get inside the zone he has been all week?

LEE JANZEN: Yes, I think that I would have had to have get within one shot or 2 at the least. I started the day two shots back. The way he was playing, I don't think a birdie by me was going to bother him unless I picked up. Got within a shot, had he missed that putt. I don't know what I would have been, 2 down at that time?

Q. Yes.

LEE JANZEN: Yes. Maybe another good shot on 9 could have done it. He hit first on 9 and hit a foot from the hole. Obviously it didn't rattle him too much. I don't know if he just didn't concentrate as well coming in, if it was hard playing with that kind of lead. I don't know what was going on inside his head but he just didn't play the same, didn't hit. He wasn't quite on top of his game. The chips and putts coming in. He had a big enough lead it didn't matter. I would love to be in that position, too.

Q. Lee, going into this round did you think that would you have to pressure him early or because he has been playing so well you wouldn't think he is going to come back to you?

LEE JANZEN: I just wanted to shoot a good score. I figured if I could hit fairways, greens, make a few putts and birdies that I would at least maintain the same sort of pace he was going to play on. I just figured if I was within a couple of shots with a few holes to play, I would have a chance to catch him. Who knows? Anywhere during the round if he makes a mistake, I make a birdie, I could pick up lots of ground. He made a good par putt on 8. I wasn't expecting him to 3-putt but that was a good 2-putt he made. I think 9 was probably my best chance there. If I could have made another birdie on 9, I think those incoming holes could have made a difference today.

Q. Is your satisfaction level of playing well all week and coming close override the disappointments of not being able to catch Kenny?

LEE JANZEN: I do have some positives I can take away this week. I putted extremely well. My touch was great on long putt, my chipping was great. My bunker game has got to be pretty good, holed 3 bunker shots in a row, I never done that. I could have been a little bit better here and there. But overall, I beat a lot of very good players this week. Kenny Perry, other than the last 6 holes, played near perfect golf, and he is on a roll, too. It's great to watch a guy get on a roll like that and play like there is nothing in the way. That he is just out there playing in his own world. That's where I want to be and I am getting close to that. That's what I'm striving for. I guess I should say I know I'm not on top of my game but I'm getting closer every week and maybe the next time I play, I will be there but hopefully soon.

Q. Do you think he was catchable this week at all?

LEE JANZEN: Yes, I thought I was going to catch him before the day started. I never gave up hope today. Obviously on the back nine, I was 6 down at one time. You can't get 6 back at one time. I just needed to hit some good shots, make a few birdies and if I could get within two or three with 3 to play, it's at least a game.

Q. What did your caddy say when you made the joking comment about holeing the bunker shot at 8 and after you holed it, did anybody say anything?

LEE JANZEN: He said, these unbelievable 3 bunker shots in a row. I said well, I knew I couldn't stop it so I just aimed at the pin. He said, well, you hit it.

Q. Did Kenny say anything?

LEE JANZEN: He said great shot, after he made his putt. If he hadn't made his putt, he might not have said anything.

Q. Lee, what is your caddy's name?

LEE JANZEN: Mike Hicks.

Q. You were playing well at Atlanta and played a poor last round did you take anything from that?

LEE JANZEN: I know it was not a good story at Atlanta. I drove the ball well in Atlanta. At other tournaments I would be in position -- I played poorly on Sunday. I hadn't done anything well on Sunday. So that was positive. I drove it well. So I thought I would go out today and play well enough the last three days. It's easier said that done. It's just another day of golf. You just got to go out and play like it's just another round of golf and not worry about any of that stuff that's what I have been doing too much. Today I did less worrying and just tried to play.

Q. I know you guys always talk about just worrying about yourself and not thinking about the other guy, but as well as Kenny has played the last two weeks, were you thinking that the wheels have to start coming off this guy sooner or later before the end of the day hopefully for you?

LEE JANZEN: Well, you know, we know Tiger can sustain a roll probably better than anybody on TOUR. I have never had a chance -- I finished in the top-10 a week after winning and I know that the last time I won was Olympic and the week after I finished third, I don't remember for sure. I think I finished third at the Western. With nine holes to play I had a chance to win. I just ran out of gas. It's hard to maintain that emotional focus for that extended period of time. I wondered, could he stay that focused for the whole day? But he started out great so usually your habits are -- you carry them on. If he started off shaky, it's hard to have a great round all day. The way he started out, it just looked like he was going to play that well that day.

Q. What's he doing (Inaudible)

LEE JANZEN: Well, he has always been long. He has pretty much played right to left. I would say his ball curved less today than I'm used to seeing. I guess he usually plays a pretty good draw. I would say it drew less. Sometimes his putting is not as good as it could be. I think he putted well the last two weeks. On top of that I think that he also probably minimized his mistakes. He didn't put himself in real big trouble. So if you don't give yourself a whole lot of chances to make bogey and hit it 10, 12, 15 feet like he did last week. I don't know what he did this week. The front 9, he was very solid. He could have made a couple of more putts.

Q. Lee, since Olympic have you felt better than this going into an Open and how important is it having Mike Hicks on your bag in an Open situation?

LEE JANZEN: Each week has been good the last few weeks. The Byron Nelson was his first week with me. We improved every week. I think we are going in on a roll, which has been good. He has been to the U.S. Open plenty of times. I would say this is the best I felt about my game since '98. Every U.S. Open you get into, you try to give yourself some kind of hope that you will play well.

Q. Who has Mike been working for since Payne?

LEE JANZEN: He worked for Bob Estes for a while, Justin Leonard for a while and most recently Steve Stricker. He caddied for me a half dozen tournaments last year in the fall at the end of the year including Sharp Shootout that Bronco and I won.

Q. Two weeks like this can redefine a year, is Kenny a better player than a lot of us have known?

LEE JANZEN: Most of the time I've played with him he has played really well. I played with him earlier in the year when he shot a course record, which was 62. I seen him shoot really good scores. He plays well usually when I play with him. I don't know where he is on the money list year after year, but I think he usually has pretty good years, doesn't he? I know he likes hanging out with his kids in the fall. Maybe he will play a few more tournaments and have a higher finish. I think he plays well when he plays.

JOAN vT ALEXANDER: That's it, thank you, Lee.

LEE JANZEN: Thank you.

End of FastScripts....

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