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May 30, 2003

Lee Janzen


JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Thank you, Lee, for joining us for a few minutes. A par 67 to start out with this week, a great position going into the weekend, a couple comments about your round.

LEE JANZEN: I thought it played a little tougher today. The wind was certainly much stronger today, which dried the greens and made them quicker. How far down do you have to put the bunker on 18. He was just talking about some of places guys were hitting it. Everybody is hitting it further. Some of guys were hitting it in spots you can't even conceive. Vijay hit it over the bunker on 18th yesterday and there was hardly any wind.

Q. Jack knocked it over --

LEE JANZEN: He hit it over the creek, up to the left and chipped it up towards the green. He said, that didn't even cross my mind to do that. I did think about hitting a driver on 18 over the bunker today though we thought 315 might have been too far. I don't know what the yardage is in the other fairways. 319, it was crosswind, not even downwind. The guys are rearing back and killing it. With the equipment today, the ball goes straighter. It's not as much of a risk as it once was.

Q. You are probably tired of overpowering golf courses in your length?

LEE JANZEN: I'm long enough. I'm hitting spots I never used to. The first time 10 years ago we were probably pretty close in length. I never hit a 2-iron off of 18 before, a 2-iron and 3-iron to the back pin. I don't think he intended that hole to play that well.

Q. You are blowing it by Nicklaus though?

LEE JANZEN: Gary, he is pretty long.

Q. Is there still a big deal to be paired with Jack?

LEE JANZEN: I really had a great time the last two days. I enjoyed it. This is probably the best place to play with him. This is his place. To watch the ovation. I don't know if you caught the ovation of him walking up 18. That was awesome to watch. And I appreciate what he has done for the game as a player and as an ambassador of the game. I think everybody out there appreciates it too. He deserved that kind of applause. I'm not bitter that I probably will never receive an applause like that, but that's okay.

Q. You play pretty well when you play with him?

LEE JANZEN: I think so. I think I have for the most part.

Q. Is it focus? Chris said he played with Tiger for the first time because it helps him focus, do you find that with Jack at all?

LEE JANZEN: It's worked out I have played well with Jack for the most part. Fred Couples and I never played well. Then I started playing well. Payne Stewart, I always played well with him. Maybe once or twice I didn't. There are certain guys, for whatever reason you may play better. It's great to play with Jack. He is a gentleman, a true professional, he watches how I act on the golf course. He is always conscious of the other player, not to ever walk around when they are getting ready to hit or do anything to distract another player, even though he is thinking about his own game.

Q. Do you remember the first time you got paired with him, it wasn't The Masters?

LEE JANZEN: I played in a practice round with him that same year for the first time.

Q. Was that a memorable occasion?

LEE JANZEN: It was. He and I played Billy Andrade and somebody else. It must have been Brad Faxon and we lost. I think I was too nervous. It was only a practice round. It was probably a pretty good thing that I played with him in that practice round before I played with him in The Masters because I probably wouldn't have been able to sleep.

Q. The practice round, Jack gives everybody a tour of the hole course, does he do any of that in the tournament, Thursday and Friday, does he talk about any changes?

LEE JANZEN: If you e are waiting on a tee and you ask him about the course, he will tell you. We stood to 5th tee today, I told him I loved the fourth hole; that was a great hole. I named a number of other holes that I always thought were great holes on the course. He talked about the 15 tee. He raised it. He said, I raised it. It's supposed to be faster.

Q. Would you consider this a course that you need to have knowledge on to play well? The reason I ask that is most of the guys on the board right now have played here a lot but Retief hasn't. He has never played here before and he came in and played one practice round and he is 10-under par and he says he is not hitting the ball that well.

LEE JANZEN: There are certain shots that you learn over the years because they will fool you. The 12 hole, the wind is really tough on that hole and you have to, you know, play that hole under all conditions to know what club and where to hit it sometimes on that hole. So you can get away with the shot if you are doing whatever.

There is another hole, No. 6, is very easy to hit over that green when it plays in the wind for some reason. It must be the way the wind comes across there. The ball goes to the wind there. It must be protected from trees. You have to have the experience for some shots out there.

Q. Is there any way to explain why -- is he just a good enough player?

LEE JANZEN: He is really a good player. He won the U.S. Open.

Q. If you do say so yourself.

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

LEE JANZEN: I birdied the fourth hole. I hit a 5-iron and I had about an 18-footer from the middle of the green towards the hole with a slight break left.

No. 5 I hit a 3-wood off the tee, it caught the trees to the right. I had to lay up across the creek to the fairway. From there I hit a 9-iron and probably made another 18-footer. I have to check Shotlink.

On 3, I hit a driver, laid up with a 5-iron, hit a lob wedge about 12 feet, pin-high. And the 10th hole I bogeyed hit a good drive pushed an 8-iron to the right of the pin and 3 putted from 30 feet.

I birdied the 11th hole with a 3-wood. I hit it to the right, laid up with a 3-iron and hit an 8-iron about 10 behind the hole.

13th hole, I hit a driver and pitching wedge and made about a fifteen-footer past the hole, straight behind it.

And I bogeyed 14 and I hit the 3-iron and pitching wedge in the first cut of rough past the penalty a bit on the left, and chipped it down three feet and missed it.

And I birdied 15 with a driver, 3-iron and 2 putts from 20 feet. And then I hit a 6-iron about 15 feet behind the hole and made birdie.

Q. You were the terminator finishing off the holes. It seems to be a lot of good starts, one round takes you out of it. Have you learned anything from some of the other dealings?

LEE JANZEN: I did that back then, too. I usually took myself early enough out on the weekend that no one noticed. But now I've gotten, you know, The Houston Open and The Players in '98 and Atlanta this year. I don't remember too many tournaments in the early to mid 90's where I was leading in the last round. I just figured if I keep getting myself up there, I will play well enough to win one of those weeks that's what I'm striving for and that's all I can do. I can't let -- it's frustrating, I can't say I wasn't disappointed after Atlanta this year but I thought it was positive that I played very well for three days and I drove it absolutely perfect on Sunday and I never missed a drive. I think that's at least a starting point, if I could go out and drive it well with the lead, that at least I know I'm putting myself in a good position. I hit some lose iron shots and cost myself.

Q. Do you think it's a technique thing or do you think it's a mental thing having not being in the hunt after a couple of years?

LEE JANZEN: I think what happens is when you get in the hunt it exposes your flaws a lot more. Coming from Atlanta, I thought that was another positive, that I really saw what exactly I needed work on to get better.

Q. Which was what?

LEE JANZEN: I just worked on getting better impact position, meaning my body sometimes out raises my arms. I guess I am more likely to do that under the gun. I shouldn't say under the gun, but maybe in situations where you are feeling a little more pressure than I would have been if I wasn't in the heat of the tournament.

Q. You win a couple of U.S. Opens, play well in the Ryder Cup and you still feel the pressure?

LEE JANZEN: Yes. I hit shots in those tournaments and felt the pressure then. And I pulled them off and don't know if I could really tell you why I did it then. I think I'm more relaxed now under those situations. I felt totally out there the last few holes today. The greens were getting hard and fast, and I missed 3 putts about three feet long before the one on 18. Not today, but the last two days. And those, you know, if you're thinking about being in the lead, that's a tough putt to make and I step right up and hit it in the middle, which hopefully will be a positive for the weekend. It was nice to step up, I hit it relaxed and stroke it the way I wanted to.

Q. Someone said there is a front coming through that you may have some British Open weather tomorrow, how does that change thing as far and you say have been playing in conditions here all week, that you don't get here a lot, now all of a sudden --

LEE JANZEN: I guess I better go buy some long underwear and I will wear a sweater tomorrow, too.

Q. How does that just change things after you are playing well in these conditions?

LEE JANZEN: It's going to be same for everybody tomorrow. You are going to have to hit different shots, but the wind was pretty strong this afternoon and there were shots that you had to play. You had to keep it down and you had to work it against the ball to stay under control. I'm sure the same will be tomorrow. You might have to just be accepting further of the pin and accepting of more pars. You may not see as many birdies. But if it rains tonight, the course will be softer and you'll be able to shoot at the pins.

Q. These two rounds, how do they rank in how you have been coming back the last couple of years?

LEE JANZEN: I have played a lot of rounds like I did the last two days. Very similar that I played very well but left a couple of shots out there. A 3 putt, a missed short putt, and I must have had a couple of short ones yesterday. I didn't birdie all of the par-5s I did today. I probably played better today and the conditions were tougher today. The score was the same. I have seen that in a lot of tournaments where I shot good scores and almost felt like it was easy and wondered why I struggled in other rounds so much. But I see it coming around. I played very well last Sunday at Colonial and 66 was probably the highest I could have shot. And I played well at the Nelson, too on Sunday and shot 69 under good conditions, and that was probably the highest I shot there, too.

Q. Vijay is in the hunt today even though he got some catcalls the last couple of days. What's the feeling among the players about the way he has been treated in the aftermath of those comments and the whole thing the last couple of weeks?

LEE JANZEN: I don't think he is picking on women in general, I just think he thought that everybody who is playing Colonial had to get in the top 80 on the money list or win a tournament or get an exemption from the past champions and, you know, Annika is a great player but I don't think he was trying to disrespect her. I think if she wasn't a woman, she wouldn't have gotten the exemption. The other guys who get the exemptions are TOUR members. He thought those are the original people that should have been playing in tournaments. There are guys that qualify on Mondays and there are some amateurs and other pros from other areas that get exemptions.

Q. Since he in some circles has been vilified from what he said, will it make more players be more guarded?

LEE JANZEN: I think players have been guarded for a long time. What he said was his opinion, and you know it was supposed to be freedom of speech. In other areas other than sports, you can see when people voice their opinion and it is not a popular one, they get -- the Dixie Chicks are catching a lot of heat. They have the right to voice their opinion, it doesn't mean they are right, it doesn't mean they shouldn't face some consequences either.

JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Thank you, Lee.

End of FastScripts....

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