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June 26, 1999

Lee Janzen


LEE PATTERSON: Good work today. Maybe just a couple thoughts about heading into tomorrow and we will open it up for questions.

LEE JANZEN: I feel great to be where I am two shots off the lead with one round to play. I played very well from tee to green today. I thought I was going to start making a bunch of putts. I have struggled with my putter; not putting the way I'd like to. Still managed to have made the birdies over the last few months and keep getting myself in position. But I just don't feel like I have been making any putts that I need to be making outside of five feet. I made a couple putts earlier today, but after that it was a struggle all day. Basically only missed one green today, on the fringe twice. So I know those don't count, but 32 putts counting the fringes, I would have had 34 putts, that is too many putts. So basically I am hitting the ball well tee-to-green. I just got to make more putts. If I can do that tomorrow I think I have got an excellent chance to shoot a good round.

Q. What is the difference between being one of the big names on the leaderboard and a guy -- being a guy like Jim; people are going to walk on the course tomorrow they will know you; they may not who Jim Carter is. Will that make a difference?

LEE JANZEN: It may make a difference, I don't know. Jim has been out here a long time and he has probably made it up in his mind that he is going to win a tournament some day and he is trying to. He wouldn't be on the leaderboard -- he would have probably struggled once he got his name on the top of the leaderboard, looks like his name has been there all week, so he must feel comfortable there.

Q. Is a larger gallery something you had to get used to?

LEE JANZEN: Yeah, the first time I have played in front of a gallery was very intimidating. I played the U.S. Open when I was 20 years old; that was the first time I played in front of anybody. I got paired in a group behind Jack Nicklaus so you could imagine how many people were out there.

Q. Where was that Open?

LEE JANZEN: Oakland Hills. Believe me, if I had whiffed my first tee shot, I wouldn't have been surprised. So in the beginning I couldn't believe all the people and I was very self-conscious of everybody out there. Now I don't -- as far as hitting down the fairway, I don't see the people. But I hear them when they shout encouragement or whatever.

Q. Does it put any added pressure on you being one of the big names? People like to see the big names win.

LEE JANZEN: That is fine. I think that I am a fan too and I like to see somebody who I know win when I watch the other sports. It's like watching Michael Jordan and the Bulls win, everybody knew who he was so -- I am not comparing myself to Michael Jordan or the Bulls but I am just saying -- I don't look at it that way myself. I just -- this is a course I love playing and I think if it came down to 18 tomorrow and it was somebody who hadn't won a tournament and the guy who has won a number of times -- I think the guy who has won a number of times is going to have advantage. That doesn't really mean anything - David and Goliath. Nobody thought Duke could lose either.

Q. How did you come in here? I mean, you like the course and all that, but being defending champion last week and not really being -- barely making the cut, that type of thing, you have been able to put that disappointment behind you quickly?

LEE JANZEN: Yeah, I think I was somewhat relieved that the tournament was over last week. I really hoped that I had done better. I am not really as disappointed as you think I might be. In fact, I think Payne was, you know, gave me a lift, I was very happy to see him win. I thought it was great.

Q. Because you are good friends?

LEE JANZEN: Yeah, I just thought it was great. To see a guy come back, you know, the way he lost last year, it would be very easy for his game to fall off and if anything he is playing as well since the last year's U.S. Open as he ever has in his career. He has had a lot of big finishes and you could just see the determination on his face. He was going to make that putt on 18.

Q. This is kind of a tight game at this stage with everybody bunched up. Can you talk about that how it sets up for a pretty good finish?

LEE JANZEN: Always possibilities. Somebody coming out of the pack playing early and shooting a good score. I remember one year here 4-under was in a playoff and both guys were in the playoff started the day 1-over shot 66s, and moved past everybody and were in the playoff. 8-under is leading so it must be playing very tough similar to that year. So it very possible someone could go out in the morning and shoot 7-under par and sit in the clubhouse all day. I would expect, though, that somebody on the leaderboard now will win the tournament though.

Q. You know Jim at all?

LEE JANZEN: Very well.

Q. Would you even gander a thought on how he would handle a two-shot lead last day of a tournament when he has never won before?

LEE JANZEN: It is hard to predict what anybody is thinking inside their head. They have got to win their first tournament sometime. You know, you look at Tiger Woods leading a tournament, he has done very well when he is in front going last round, but it is not a lock even when he is in the lead so it is never a lock even for the No. 1 player in the world. But just the same, he is probably very hungry to win.

Q. Does he have the temperament to kind of not get too up-and-down?

LEE JANZEN: I think so. I have played a lot of practice rounds with him and I think he knows -- I played with him actually last week in the practice round U.S. Open. I thought he was hitting the ball very well. He has played very well in the practice round we played, so, I guess it is not very surprising that he is playing well.

Q. You were talking about the Open; you are said not as disappointed as we might think you are. Why is that?

LEE JANZEN: Well, I just like to go to the tournament like just prepare something as though it is just another tournament, practice rounds, hitting balls, whatever, to get ready. So much of the tension is on the person who had won the most recent U.S. Open. I would say that it is somewhat distracting for me because it is not the way I normally prepare. Tiger does that every week; I don't know how he does it. I don't know how he maintains the level of play he does with the attention he also gets. It is really quite amazing. So I just say that I wasn't looking at the U.S. Open like I couldn't get it over, but once it was over, I knew that all that was over and I could look forward to the next tournament. This happens to be probably my favorite tournament on Tour outside of the majors. It is a course I have done well on for since the Masters. I have played late on Saturday every week but one -- so excluding the U.S. Open I guess two times, so overall I feel like I have been playing pretty well.

Q. How much is Ryder Cup weighing on your mind these days?

LEE JANZEN: A win, 150 points would put me in great position, for move me up the list quite a bit; then also give me even more consideration for a pick if I don't make the team. But I know I have still got next week, British Open, Hartford and the PGA so I have still got a few tournaments left. If I can string together four, five really good tournaments in a row I might be able to make the team on my own.

Q. How badly do you want to be on it?

LEE JANZEN: Well, if you want it so bad and you just miss, then you are really disappointed, so I don't want to be that disappointed. I do want to make the team. That is why I am playing next week and the British and Hartford. I wish -- I just as soon take next week off to have a couple weeks off because this is my sixth out of seven weeks in a row, so, it gets tiring, but I know that I have got to keep playing in order to make the team.

Q. You are playing a little more than normal?

LEE JANZEN: I would say this stretch is, yeah. I would say that if I had done better early in the year, I probably won't play next week; have an extra week before the British just to be rested; then ideally I'd like to not even play. Then the British and PGA, but that is -- I would think I would have at least to win a tournament and have some more Top 5 finishes to be far enough on the money list and far enough on the Ryder Cup list but I can't take a break now then play after the PGA because the team will be set by then. So I figure I am better off playing now, hopefully get everything done now; then I can take October off if I want to, other than the last couple of events.

Q. When you were talking about the distractions, most recent Open win, talking about the week-to-week on Tour....

LEE JANZEN: Just the last few weeks, about the last four weeks really hit me. Everything had been great up to then.

Q. You weren't just talking about just the Open; you were talking about the tournaments leading up --

LEE JANZEN: Yeah, I don't think it distracted me during those other tournaments. It was just really the last week toward the U.S. Open.

Q. Did we misread what it took at Pinehurst? Was it different than people were saying that it was going to be, a lot of short game and a lot of, you know, just getting it up-and-down basically or was it --

LEE JANZEN: I think it favored the big hitters.

Q. Seemed like the scoreboard ended up showing that --

LEE JANZEN: Now, the wind direction was exactly the opposite that it normally is. The first hole is usually 2-iron and 9-iron. Second hole, driver, 8-iron. Those two holes will play completely different. I don't know if the winning score -- just think if it would have been -- wind was the other direction (inaudible) -- the course was designed for that and I would have preferred the other wind because I think it would have shortened the course on some of the holes. The tough holes still would have been tough. I didn't really notice any difference on 5. I thought into the wind actually had a better chance of hitting the green into the wind, coming uphill, you can get stop it, lands on the green.

Q. So it was kind of Augusta in that way, less club you hit, the better off you were into those greens?

LEE JANZEN: Yeah, sometimes. Yeah.

Q. Did we get it right or --

LEE JANZEN: I think it was -- they got a great champion. I think they got a guy who played tremendous golf for four days; did all things that they expect out of a US Open winner. So I think it was great. I can't wait to play there again. I can't remember shooting 18-over in a tournament ever and couldn't wait to play it again. I don't know, where did I finish?

Q. 30th.

LEE JANZEN: 41st something like. Which is about as good as anybody does when they defend since Curtis won, right? I saw something on TV that the last -- since Curtis defended his title, that about the best finish was around 40th.

Q. Seemed slow out there today. Any reason why?

LEE JANZEN: There is some holes out here that can back up. 5 is reachable par 5, and there is also some trouble you can get into on 5. 9 reachable 5. Always takes longer when you have reachable 5s; then 10 is a hole you can drive so everybody is waiting for everything to get off the green, basically 320 yard par 3 in a way. You are waiting for everybody to get off the green so it takes 15 minutes to play the hole. I made a 4 there so I guess I bogeyed it. That -- after that I think it played pretty quick. 15 is a tough hole too, so you have got a lot of easy holes where the pace of play goes pretty quick; then we get jammed up when we get to the hard holes. I remember the pace of play being like this a lot. We were flying along the first four holes. Actually Freddie and I were bragging about how the pace of play is going to be. I said if it's going to be like this all day, it is going to be great. We waited on 5 tee for 10, 12 minutes.

Q. Something in your eye two on the --

LEE JANZEN: Yeah, got a bug in my eye. Over the hill a bug flew in my eye. I got it out eventually, but...

Q. Did it affect you on that --

LEE JANZEN: It may have affected my shot. I don't think had anything to do with the putt. But if I hit a better shot to the green, I wouldn't have been putting so far away.

Q. Does Ryder Cup make these stretch of tournaments more fun or more stressful?

LEE JANZEN: It can be more stressful. I remember in 95 I was pressing very hard to try and make the team and I got too disciplined. I didn't finish in the Top-10. I played 25 tournaments in the year; if I could finish in the Top-10 half of those tournaments, that would be a tremendous year. I have never done that, so I shouldn't get that disappointed each time I don't finish in the Top-10. I notice if I just don't worry about it too much, I seem to play better. If I just go out and play golf just like it is another day on the golf course for anybody else I always seem to play better.

Q. Easier said than done?

LEE JANZEN: Yes, taking me ten years to realize that and might take another 10 to accomplish it.

Q. Travelling around bother you at all? Like you say you have got this eight-week stretch at the moment --

LEE JANZEN: The travel -- if you are not playing well, the travel, I think, can get to you more. My family is with me every week which makes it a lot better so I can -- some days I just take off and we go to a movie or go to the bowling alley or go to putt-putt or go do something; makes it a lot better staying in hotel with a pool. There is things to do with my family. If I was out by myself, there is no way I could play seven out of eight weeks.

End of FastScripts....

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