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April 5, 2001

Lee Janzen


WILLIAM MORRIS: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. We are delighted to have Lee Janzen with us this afternoon. He had a very fine 5-under par and this is his 10th Masters appearance, and as we all know, he has won the U.S. Open twice. Lee, why don't you give us some general comments about your round and then we'll have a few questions.

LEE JANZEN: Well, I think it starts with driving. I drove the ball particularly well today other than the drive on the ninth hole where I hooked it into the trees. I put my drive pretty much in the right spot all day long. I may have hit the first cut of rough a couple times, but for the most part, I think the driving set it up to where I had easier shots to the greens. Sometimes when you don't drive the ball to the right spot it is really a challenge to get the ball close and all that does is bring in more trouble. I was able to avoid all of that. I made some really good par saves on 9 and 13, and I was able to get a nice chip-in on 15 for eagle and that really is probably all -- after the bogey on 10, I hit it a foot on 11. I hit it in the water on 13. Got up-and-down for a par. Birdied 14 and chipped in for eagle on 15. And 16, I hit a 7-iron, had eight feet and I made a birdie there, too. So it all happened right there.

Q. A lot of 1-putts?

LEE JANZEN: A 1-putt and a no-putt. That's good. That should lower my stroke average on the back nine, by at least a stroke - (laughter) - I mean, ten times, the more you play, the harder it is to lower it. But I have not had too many 32s on the back, or whatever I shot. I haven't had too many of those on the back nine, if I've had any.

Q. Was there any indication on the front that what happened on the ninth was going to come, any signs?

LEE JANZEN: The hook? No. I hit every drive good. It was a mental error all the way.

Q. On the front did you see any indications that you were going to play so well on the back?

LEE JANZEN: Well, ten years here, you know that can happen to anybody. You've just got to be patient. You know, if you push too hard, then that's when you shoot 38 and 39s on the back, I can't say I was expecting to shoot 32, but just the same, I wasn't surprised. You know, you can make birdies on those holes if you hit good shots. I played fairly well in Florida and I had a week last week to work on my game and I feel like this week, I have progressed pretty well for three days. I've gotten off to a good start here plenty of times. I just need to continue it. I've been in good position after two rounds here plenty of times, but not after four.

Q. Talk about the conditions of the course and how much more aggressive you could be with no wind and softer greens out there?

LEE JANZEN: Without the wind, that's probably a bigger factor than the soft greens. The fairways are also very soft, because I got mud on my ball quite a bit today, and I know that everybody else probably did, too. But with the wind, you know, if you've got mud on your ball and you've got wind, that really brings into your mind what to do and where to go and where to aim and what kind of shot to hit. But without the wind, you can be a lot more aggressive, and the greens are fairly receptive, too. They are pretty quick. They don't seem to be as fast as I've seen them, maybe on a handful of other rounds, but they are still pretty quick.

Q. How was the 12th hole for you today?

LEE JANZEN: I hit an 8-iron. I hit it full. I probably should have hit it a little softer, but there's not a whole lot of trouble on that back fringe. I hit it left of the pin a little bit and I had maybe 25 feet from the back left fringe. I was off the green by two feet. I almost made it. I rolled it by the hole three feet but it almost went in. Just missed the hole.

Q. Phil was here earlier and thought that it was about as accessible today as he had ever seen it.

LEE JANZEN: The wind was very predictable, and I probably hit 9-iron. I think if I had hit a hard 9-iron, I could have gotten there, but it's hard to know when the wind can swirl in there and anything short is in the water. I just hit an easy 8-iron. With the yardage and the club, I could have gone straight at the pin, but I was 1-under par at the time and I didn't really feel a need that I had to shoot at the pin.

Q. What yardage did you have?

LEE JANZEN: It was 149 over the bunker, and it was 153 right to the hole. Sprinkler there on the side of the tee is 151. 153 to carry the bunker right over there that and then it was 4 over the bunker.

Q. 157 then?

LEE JANZEN: That's from the sprinkler. The tee markers were up four yards.

Q. What do you expect to happen here with the weather and the golf course?

LEE JANZEN: I expect it to dry out. Tee shots will roll more. The greens will firm up and probably get a little faster, if not a lot faster.

Q. You mentioned the driving thing being the key for you today. It seems like the last few times we've talked, that always seems to be sort of a central issue with you. I guess you used a bunch of different ones?

LEE JANZEN: You've had the same driver now for six weeks, and I think since I've made -- gone to this particular driver, it's really helped my whole game. It's just taken pressure off of having to scramble every hole or losing confidence in my swing because I've missed fairways by, you know, odd amount of yards. Now if I miss a shot off the tee, I know exactly what it is; it's not the driver, it's me.

Q. What driver are you using?

LEE JANZEN: A TaylorMade 320.

Q. Is the rough here, the inch and a half or whatever it is, does that keep you from spinning the ball?

LEE JANZEN: It can. Yes. The ball has to be sitting just perfect, where you have to get maybe downgrain to be able to spin it. I drove it in the first cut on 18. I just ticked a branch, otherwise, I think I would have gotten past it and been up there with a 9-iron in. Anyway I hit it -- would have been a hard 8-iron but I thought out of the rough it might have flown and gone over the green so I took a 7-iron, three-quarter shot and punched it to control it more. What it does is it makes you play a variety of shots out of there. You have to be smart about what you are going to do. If it had been in the fairway, it would have been -- you know, I could have just done what I wanted to. The rough kind of dictated what I wanted to do.

Q. We ask a lot of questions about changes in the golf course in terms of playing conditions from day-to-day, the four round. Would you give us an idea of how much this golf course can change from today to Sunday afternoon?

LEE JANZEN: You know, with just Sunday afternoon, if there's a 10 -, 15-mile-an-hour breeze, that will dry it up and make it play faster. Of course the pin placements are going to change. I think traditionally, they seem to be a little bit more friendly on Thursday than they are on Sunday, and, of course, when you miss the green on Sunday and it's harder and faster, suddenly your chip shots are a lot harder, too. Where I hit it on the 15th hole today, I was over the green on the upslope and I was five or six yards over the green, but the greens are soft enough that I can fly it on the green and spin it and make it stop. And the water over on the other side was not a problem. Come Sunday, that green, when it is hard, I would not be able to hit that shot. I would have had to bump it and then it would have been much harder to even get it close, much less make it.

Q. I know you get asked this all the time, but why do you do so well on the hard golf courses?

LEE JANZEN: I don't know, I guess I just like a challenge, I don't know. That's a good question. I don't know if I can come up with the answer -- it's probably -- I think it's a concentration thing. I think the harder the courses, the more that you have to concentrate, and maybe I'm just -- maybe I have A.D.D. -- H.D. -- or whatever they call it.

Q. What's kept you from this tournament as opposed to being so dominant in an Open as you have been?

LEE JANZEN: Just make sure everybody else knows that I've been dominant in the U.S. Open.

Q. Well, to --

LEE JANZEN: That's a dynasty, right, these days?

Q. (Inaudible)

LEE JANZEN: I think the U.S. Open is more a test of perserverence; where, here, you have to be aggressive at certain times and almost be heroic here. They don't reward heroes at the U.S. Open, ever. They just write about how they could have won. I guess that, you know -- I've got a -- if I'm ever going to win this tournament, I've got to get in contention on Sunday and do something heroic on the back nine. Two years ago I was one shot off the lead with nine holes to play and I bogeyed -- if my memory is correct, I bogeyed 12 and I doubled 14 and bogeyed 17. I've had lots of years where I've been in decent shape going into Saturday and Saturday has done me in. So I thought last year I would do better. I thought I had finally gotten closer and get a little better and I ended up missing the cut this year. So I'm excited about shooting a good score again today and moving back down the track where hopefully I can get in contention this weekend and do something.

Q. Will you consider changing your approach to the weekend, given that pattern that you were talking about?

LEE JANZEN: I think what I have got to do is stick more to my game. Sometimes, like today on 13, I was right in the middle of the fairway, had 192 to the front of the green, but I was on the steepest part of that fairway today. And the smart thing probably would have been to do was probably lay up, even though it is hard to lay up from 190 yards. Even though I was 192, I could hit a 4-iron on the green every time from a flat lie, but I just hit a low-line drive right in the creek and it was just -- it's a pride thing, I guess. It's a macho thing. I feel like "I can't lay up from here. I've got all of those people that have been watching me; I can't lay up." But tomorrow if I'm in that same spot with that lie, I don't know, I can't say that I would lay up tomorrow. I would probably say, "I'm going for it again."

Q. Does playing like that on the course, is that part of the mystique that lures you?

LEE JANZEN: I think that's a sign of a great design, risk/reward. If you don't risk you don't get any reward, and that's what the great courses have always done. THE PLAYERS Championship, you know, the drama is there, if you are willing to take a risk, you can hit heroic shots there. And just about, to, win that tournament, you've got to hit it on the tightest line, in all of the trouble there at TPC there, and all of the great courses are setup that way.

Q. On a course where experience is so important, what does it say about Chris DiMarco coming out here, first round, and going 7-under?

LEE JANZEN: It's been done before. There have been rookies or guys that have been only here, maybe in their second try and gone out and shot good scores the first day. I think he must have obviously played very well today and had I hit a lot of good shots. When you are hitting good, you don't even look at any of the trouble. You just fire at the pin. The mystique about the course here sometimes can lull -- lure you into playing a semi-safe shot and getting yourself in actually more trouble. You know, I think where the pin was on 15 today, you had to go after the pin, because if you lay up -- if you have no choice but to lay up, that's one thing. But if you try to hit the fat of the green and go over, then you have a downhill tricky chip. The best place to be is right over the green or just left of the green, even. That just comes from appearances of missing in the wrong spot sometimes and just figuring out where you cannot do. Every pin placement on this course, there is a strategy for the pin placement, and it may take a few years to figure each one of those out -- and some of those I might not have figured out yet, but working on it.

Q. Since your last Open victory, how would you establish your play in the majors?

LEE JANZEN: What have I done? Do you know? Do you have it written down?

Q. No, I don't.

LEE JANZEN: I haven't really threatened, other than the Masters here in '99. I'm trying to think -- that was only, I missed the cut at the PGA last year. The PGA was at Valhalla last year. I hissed the cut at the British Open last year. I really haven't threatened anything. This is probably the best round I've played. I haven't really thought about that, though. It would be easy to press and try too hard if you haven't done well in five or six majors in a row.

Q. Are you using the new Titleist ball?

LEE JANZEN: No, I'm not. I'm using a TaylorMade ball.

Q. Have you tried it?

LEE JANZEN: I have. I have tested it against my ball and I'm happy playing mine. I'm happy to have mine.

WILLIAM MORRIS: Lee, thank you very much and good luck the rest of the week.

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