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May 29, 2003

Lee Janzen


LEE JANZEN: All of those things made it really bad. At Hilton Head, I couldn't walk up the tee boxes. I thought I did something to my knee. It was my ankle.

Q. You first did it at Doral?

LEE JANZEN: I did it in December. I just rolled it playing baseball. I didn't realize that I injured it. My foot just wasn't lined up properly. I kept walking on it wrong. I just have a bruise on the bone. It will heal. I just have to be careful not to step in any more holes or no more long-jumping or sprinting.

Q. So you mentioned that you have been wrapping this? Is this one of those sort of nagging things, that you just kind of try to play through without really treating it, without really resting it?

LEE JANZEN: I ice it when it hurts. I haven't had to ice it a whole lot. I can sit at home and do nothing but I don't think it will heal any faster. I've got to walk anyway, whether I go to the store, or go anywhere I've got to walk somewhere anyway. If I've got to walk, I might as well play. I'm not going to skip certain tournaments even with a slight injury. I really don't think it's super serious but it was hard to walk on it before I wrapped it.

Q. Can we list you as one of the walking wounded?

LEE JANZEN: Yes, I guess so. The reason it was hard to set up to the ball, it was painful and hard to put weight on my right foot, but it doesn't bother me anymore.

Q. Were you ever concerned playing on it, that you were making it worse?

LEE JANZEN: I think I was doing that. I didn't really play poorly at Hilton Head, I hit a double and triple. I shot 1-under par. It would have been a pretty good turn for those the holes. I felt pretty good about that tournament. I hurt my ribs playing Ping-Pong. I had to withdraw from Wachovia. Other than that, I'm just going to be very cautious the rest of the year with what I do.

Q. Did you slip and fall playing Ping-Pong?

LEE JANZEN: I fell into something that was very far from the table. It was a winner though. Playing doubles, going across the table and trying to run around for my forehand. We have tile on our back porch I just tripped, I gave up my body and hit the winner.

Q. That's the price of fame.

LEE JANZEN: Yes. I had a big bruise there.

Q. What did you land on?

LEE JANZEN: A candle holder, a big long tall thing with prongs sticking out of it, my wife probably found it in Mexico somewhere.

Q. In the conservatory with the candle stick and Professor Plum?

LEE JANZEN: Yes, I hit it right there. I had bruises on it laying on the couch, glass broke and my elbow was bleeding. My knee swelled up.

Q. Were you able to finish the game?

LEE JANZEN: They didn't want to. That put us to 11 and they wouldn't play last point.

Q. This is with your family?


Q. When you hurt your ankle playing baseball, was that with your family, also?

LEE JANZEN: No, I was playing at First Academy, where my son goes to school with a bunch of guys that work in the PE department and dads and their kids go there.

Q. Can we go through your birdies and bogeys?

LEE JANZEN: I birdied 2 with a driver. An 8-iron and probably a 25-foot putt. Who's got shot link?


LEE JANZEN: So you guys know how far they are. They are not totally accurate.

Q. We know it makes few discrepancies now and then.

LEE JANZEN: Yes. My drives are 350 yards, no matter what shot link says. Third hole I hit a 2-iron and 8-iron two-and-a-half feet from the hole.

The fifth hole I drove it in the rough on the right side, I hit an 8-iron down the fairway and then hit a pitching wedge from 107 yards to 12 feet left of the hole.

The next birdie was No. 10, I hit a driver and a 6-iron and the ball stopped a half inch or maybe an inch behind the hole and a little left of the hole, and the pitch mark was right of the hole. It came close to going in, I don't know how much of the hole it caught. It was too far for me to see that far. I think it almost went in.

Q. Did you have an nine and a half?


Q. Did you make that putt?

LEE JANZEN: I did, without having to mark.

Next birdie was No. 14, I hit a 3-iron off the tee into the rough and I hit a pitching wedge about two-and-a-half feet from the hole.

18, I hit a 3-wood and 7-iron and made about a 12-footer there, too. I bogeyed 8, I hit a 7-iron in the right bunker, blasted out about 50 feet, and I hit the putt the way I wanted to. I just didn't read it right and missed it left. I thought it was going to break right and it went left.

Q. You kind have been close to breaking through this year?

LEE JANZEN: I think so. There are just little things that I'm noticing. I'm feeling more comfortable over certain shots. I'm putting better. I'm getting up and down. Some hard spots that I wasn't getting up and down before. I'm just doing things to keep my round going. There are just little things. They all add up. Eventually your confidence starts growing and growing. I'm coming to the course with more of an expectancy that I'm going to shoot a good score.

JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Couple more questions.

Q. Have you ever seen Olympia Fields?

LEE JANZEN: I think 1991 or '90. Maybe before they made some of changes. I don't remember any of it. The only thing I remember about it is I think I lost a head cover there.

Q. You can check on it when you go back this summer.

LEE JANZEN: I changed clubs so many times, I don't know what kind of a head cover it was.

Q. Lee, does it almost matter with the exception of say Pebble Beach, where the U.S. Open is, is it still going to be the same course because of the way they set it up?

LEE JANZEN: There are some characteristics. I don't know what elevation is if we have uphill shots. Brookline is kind of quirky. There are certain courses definitely different. Olympic you got to work the wall a lot with the slopes there. There are some things that are consistent. You expect very high rough. Very difficult to chip out around the greens. Anything above the hole is near impossible to get up and down some rounds. There are certain things that you can expect.

Q. You said actually during the week of winning at Olympic, you come to the U.S. Open expecting nothing to be fair, how long do you think it takes most guys to figure that out?

LEE JANZEN: Well, you know, that year I went there with that attitude, and then last year I didn't think it was fair at all. I wasn't willing to accept it. I thought it was so tough last year. There wasn't anything fair about it. The thing most unfair is that Tiger shot 5-under-par and nobody else could do that.

Q. Lee, are those characteristics why players talk so often about having to be patient at The Open because everything changes?

LEE JANZEN: There are a lot of things that make you become patient. Driving to the course is tough, the practice rounds are long, a lot more autographs, there is a lot more attention, it's an unfamiliar area, you are trying to learn the course, learn the area, be comfortable with your surroundings. There is just a lot of things that go in it. There is a lot to soak in for a few days to get ready for that tournament, the guys that are able to handle that and prepare the best, are the ones that play the best all the time. Tiger is not only the best player, but he prepares himself out here the best, too.

Q. Have you done so well there?

LEE JANZEN: In the U.S. Open?

Q. Yes.

LEE JANZEN: Well, I didn't, until Baltrusol I hadn't made a cut in one and that sort of took the pressure off. It's like, I know something that the other guys don't know. It's not putting too much pressure on yourself, think of it as another tournament. Don't worry about the rough, hit it off the tee. The second you start steering the ball in the U.S. Open, you are going to end up in the rough a lot. You won't hit as many quality shots. You have to really, if can you put yourself at peace and forget that it's the U.S. Open, is really the best way to play it.

Q. Are you talking about low expectations as well then?

LEE JANZEN: Well, I'd say you prepare yourself in a way that you're ready to win, but go there without worrying about how you are going to finish. If you play well at a U.S. Open course, you can shoot 67 and you are going to beat a lot of guys. It's not the same as a weekly TOUR event where you have to do it every day. If you can do it once or twice at a U.S. Open have you a good chance of winning.

Q. Is it a good all around test or has it gotten away from that?

LEE JANZEN: I don't know how this year will be set up. I keep going back to Pinehurst, the lowest rough we ever had in the U.S. Open. They did studies on stroke average of guys who hit it out of the rough, and their stroke average was higher when they guy try to hit in the green than the right rough because they got it into more trouble. I think the imagination is going you grow rough so high you don't have a shot. All you can do is take a wedge and hack it out in the fairway.

Q. That seemed like it worked?

LEE JANZEN: Yes, I think you can use your imagination and mow courses in certain ways, if a guy wants to hit a ball out of a dry, hot rough, you got to hit a great shot or it's going to get into more trouble. It doesn't work on every single course. I think a Olympic club would be cool without any rough at all. You would be in the trees all day there.

Q. Talk about being comfortable over a shot, what's the biggest factor, you mention from the bruise on Ping-Pong, to the rough, what's the thing to overcome to be comfortable over a shot?

LEE JANZEN: You are talking about at a U.S. Open?

Q. Any tournament?

LEE JANZEN: Any time. You shouldn't make that a goal. You have to practice it over and over again. It took me years where I started feeling where I could swing freely on the golf course even after I won tournaments. I still went out there and pushed myself to really letting and play freely.

Q. When you start playing freely, do you play badly then?

LEE JANZEN: I think it makes you play better because you are more willing to try shots that you -- you can watch guys in practice rounds or at home practicing, guys hit all kinds of great shots and they are not willing to hit them in tournaments.

Q. One more question: Do you think if Tiger is playing well that he is tough to beat at a U.S. Open or at Augusta?

LEE JANZEN: I would say U.S. Open since that's our next tournament. I don't want to make him mad. He takes everything personal. I don't want to make him mad. I think Jordan tells him that, take everything personal and beat him.

Q. Assuming he is deaf, what would you say?

LEE JANZEN: I really think Augusta because it's the same course every year. The U.S. Open course change every year. There are probably certain U.S. Open courses he will excel at more than others. I don't think there is a course that he can't excel at.

JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Thanks, Lee, for joining us.

End of FastScripts....

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