March 27, 1998
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FLORIDA
WES SEELEY: 70, 67, 137. Lee Janzen is 7-under par and leads by one over Tom Kite.
LEE JANZEN: Currently.
WES SEELEY: Currently. Give us some general thoughts about the round and then we will go through these birdies.
LEE JANZEN: Okay, I think really yesterday I was 2-over through 10 and it was very similar to a lot of rounds I have played this year where I just wasn't scoring very well, to how I was playing. I just stayed patient. Finally made some birdies and started making putts; where today I just made -- capitalized on a lot of my opportunities and any time I got in trouble, I got up-and-down. My chipping was outstanding today. I got up-and-down from some pretty tough spots. My putting was also very good and I just stayed out of trouble.
WES SEELEY: Take us through these birdies and also we will talk about those saves.
LEE JANZEN: Okay, first birdie was on the 12th hole 3-wood and sand wedge and made a 15-footer. Next birdie was on the 15th hole, hit driver in the left rough, and then hit 8-iron, a good shot, landed short, bounced up, landedup on an green. Made about a 30-footer for birdie from pin-high down in the valley. The 16th hole, hit driver, 2-iron. I didn't hit a very good iron. I was short of the green about 30 yards -- well, maybe not that far. Maybe about 15 to 20 yards. I was past the tree but in the rough. And I hit a great shot to about two feet from the hole. The 17th hole, I hit adjust a chip 9-iron landed past the pin came back down the hill about a foot away inside that for another birdie. My last birdie was on the 9th hole where I had driver, laid up with a 6-iron, then hit pitching wedge about six feet and made it.
WES SEELEY: And where were these saves?
LEE JANZEN: The saves -- the one up-and-down was on the 16th hole. The other up-and-down on the backside was on the 13th hole where I hit in the the right bunker - pin is in the back right portion of the green. There was not as much sand in that bunker as some of the other ones. I knew I had to land the ball in the fringe and almost die it there to get the close to the hole. I just chickened out, hit it by about ten feet past. But it was a good time to hit a putt like that. Keep the round going after making a birdie on 12. Next up-and-down was on -- let's see, No. 4 was a good one. I hit it in the left rough off the tee. I hit a 9-iron; jumped on me a little bit more than I was planning on. Went over to the green to the right, and in the rough, and it was fortunately -- chip shot was in the wind so could hit it high enough and soft enough so can make it land soft, and I trickled it just to the edge of the slope there and the pin is in the bottom left portion by the water, it almost stopped on top and then just had enough on it to get down there and rolled down about two feet from the hole. Then the fifth hole I drove it in the left rough, hit a 2-iron to the left short of the green in the rough, and chipped it to about 12 feet - wasn't a great chip shot, but I got it pin-high and had a straight uphill putt and made that. I think that was it for the good up-and-downs.
WES SEELEY: Questions for Lee.
Q. So you listed 16, Lee, as one of your savings, as a birdie save?
LEE JANZEN: Yeah, just an opportunity to get up-and-down from inside 50 yards.
Q. Difference in your name at the on leaderboard here as opposed to any other tournament?
LEE JANZEN: Oh, yes I think this tournament is a lot better than any other tournament. It is a long way from being over, and I think that the only way you can be comfortable being at the top of the leaderboard is after two rounds is if you are there on a two-week basis. I don't know if it bothers Tiger as much as other guys. I played the last group on Saturday at the Honda. I didn't do very well. Hopefully, that was just something I can learn from and do better tomorrow.
Q. Any other tournament?
LEE JANZEN: Any other tournament? I'd say this is -- the players think this is, you know, as big a tournament as we play all year.
Q. Do you feel like if could you just get over a hump, maybe get one victory, that you could really be ready for a hot streak?
LEE JANZEN: Well, you see some other guys do that. David Duval, he is a great example. Everybody asks: When he is going to win, when he is going to win. Then it was: When is he not going to win. He had four wins in - I don't know how many starts - 6 or 7 starts or so. He is constantly near the top. It was just a matter of time before he won. I can see where he would do that and Steve Stricker won a couple of tournaments in a short span of time. The confidence is probably the biggest factor and if you can win, you have got to have the confidence to win, but if you can win one, chances are you might win another one sometime not too far off of that.
Q. Are you getting frustrated in anyway?
LEE JANZEN: No more than usual. Even when you are playing well, things are going your way, you still -- you still, you know, get upset at some of the shots you hit. This week I have just tried not to throw away as many shots. I just try to keep the ball in a better position. If I miss -- instead of trying to always hit it right next to the hole, you know, if I am in between clubs, I always try and take whatever club in and shape the shot to get it right next to the hole and easily getting myself in trouble if I don't hit it just right. Where, this week, if I am trying -- if I am in between clubs, I just go ahead and take it to the middle of the green or in a safer spot and take par.
Q. How much do you draw on past positive experiences here?
LEE JANZEN: Well, I am excited about how the condition of the course is because it is dry and hard. I think that is the way the course is meant to play. It was dry and hard in 1995, so, I don't know if that made me excited enough to make my game better this week, or if it is just that I am just playing better over the last few weeks than I have all year. But, I prefer it dry and hard because I think it challenges you more, more off the tee and around the greens.
Q. Looked earlier in the day like Rick Smith had orchestrated the leaderboard with you and Rocco running 1, 2 there for a while. Have you had any recent tuneup sessions or has it been a while?
LEE JANZEN: I have seen him -- I saw him over the winter, November, December, I saw him -- let's see, I saw him on the west coast somewhere. He came to Phoenix. And, then I saw him like the week of Doral, he came down. So I saw him right before the Honda and last week at Bay Hill, so i have been seeing him quite a bit over the last few weeks and last couple of months.
Q. You mentioned being patient yesterday. Was there a key hole that, you know, kind of got you going?
LEE JANZEN: I think -- well, I missed a short putt on the fifth hole for par. Then I made about a 4-footer on 7 for a par after driving it in the trees and hitting it in the bunker. I think that was the turning point even though I bogeyed the next hole because I made that 4-footer and I have been struggling with my putting the last couple of weeks, just made me feel better about my stroke. And, then once I made a birdie on the 11th hole after that, and then made a putt on the 12th hole, my confidence soared and I started making putts everywhere. Basically, since the 12th hole yesterday, I have holed just about every putt I could hole. That is conceivable, I mean, I am not, -- we expect to make 10-footers, "and in," so I have been making almost all of those.
Q. Your last bogey yesterday was on the 8th?
LEE JANZEN: Right.
Q. Obviously you won the U.S. Open. When you won here in 1995, it was a single digit under par?
LEE JANZEN: 5-under.
Q. So do you figure when the tournament is going to be won in a single digit under par, that that plays into your strengths?
LEE JANZEN: I'd prefer it that way just because you know I think it challenges aspects of your game. Rather than just firing at the pin, you have got to land it short of the pin or play away from the pin. I think most weeks on Tour we are all programmed to just fire at the pin and the guy who is on and putting good is the one that shoots 17-under and wins. I don't think you can do that when the conditions are dry and fast. That doesn't mean just because it is dry and fast, all of a sudden I am going to be up there. You have to play well too, and I didn't play that badly last week. I just hit two balls in the water on 6. That cost me four shots. I didn't get a chance to play on Sunday. If I could have just been even par going into Sunday and shot a couple of 8s, I could would have finished in the top 5, so I wasn't that far off.
Q. Why wouldn't you prefer the "Putting contest" as good as a putter as you are?
LEE JANZEN: Then everybody is in the game then. I think that, you know, I am not going to argue that I am not a good putter. But, I think the putting stats also are misleading. I think if a guy is getting up-and-down on the par 5s a lot of his stats are going to be better and if he shoots at the pin more, he is going to miss the green by a little bit. That doesn't count against the putting stat and he will also have closer birdie opportunities, too.
Q. If the weather stays like this, next two days, what would you think would be the winning score roughly?
LEE JANZEN: I thought Wednesday about 11-under par would win if the conditions stayed exactly the same, but the greens, I think, are firmer today than they were yesterday. And, I don't know what their plan is, if they are going to keep them right where they are or let them get harder. If they get harder, I don't think it will get 11-under par.
Q. Single digits again?
LEE JANZEN: Yeah, I am not sure, but I think Corey Pavin shot 6-under after the 1st round and the scores backed up, but that doesn't happen very often. The scores should get better every day. There are a ton of guys under 5-under? It is not like there are only five, six guys under par. There are a lot of them. So somebody can come out and play really well on the weekend and pass everybody.
Q. When other players are complaining about conditions being too tough, are you smiling a little bit?
LEE JANZEN: Yes, I think that guys -- if guys start worrying on what the conditions are, they are not focusing on the game that and it eliminates some guys. But, still, you know, the really good players are there all the time, they are going to excel. I am not saying they are -- I am there all the time. I am just saying if you can eliminate part of the field that certainly helps if you play well.
Q. 20 minutes ago Lietzke was in here talking about not playing very much, only nine, ten times a year. Do you guys consider him sort of a freak of nature? How he is viewed on the Tour?
LEE JANZEN: I think a lot of guys would like to be able to do the same thing when they get to be in their late 40s just play a few tournaments and enjoy their family and not worry about it. I think most of us, though, are probably so crazy about the game there is no way we can do it. We will be out here playing every week. We were joking that he almost screwed up his schedule by winning the Bob Hope because then he would have had to play The Masters and World Series and those aren't in his schedule. So it just -- not that he wasn't trying to win the tournament. But he is a fine player. It is amazing that he can take that much time off, but he knows his game.
WES SEELEY: Anything else for Lee?
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