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March 26, 1996

Lee Janzen


WES SEELEY: We have defending champion, Lee Janzen. How does it feel to be back?

LEE JANZEN: It feels good. I guess there is a microphone I could use. It feels great to be here. Not because I am defending champion -- I guess you can say as defending champion. It is great that I was the winner last year. I just feel great to be here at this tournament I think it is one of our elite tournaments on Tour. The course is in magnificent shape. It should be a great test of golf, barring any major rain, which I hope we won't have. And I think this course challenges you to hit good shots on every shot, from tee and into the greens. I am really excited about playing the course just because of that.

Q. How is your game?

LEE JANZEN: My game is pretty good. I worked very hard last week on something in my swing. At the beginning of the year, I was concentrating on keeping my right knee flexed on my backswing, but I'm doing it even more now. It is more of -- I was keeping it flexed, but I was also moving off the ball too much, which made it hard for me to get a good turn and get the club in proper position. I hit the ball pretty good up until -- through Bay Hill. I had hit a few bad shots here and there and I was trying to get rid of that, and I'm hitting the ball much better now, just judging by the last two days. We will have to see what happens when the tournament starts.

Q. Just a look back at last year, the whole year. I mean, the win here, the big wins, let-down over the Ryder Cup; how does that all fit in?

LEE JANZEN: It was a great year. Beginning of the year I had high hopes, and I was actually pressing -- probably trying too hard this tournament. I really learned how to go out and just play and let it happen, not worry about my score, just stick to my preshot routine. Relaxed behind the shots and, you know, my preshot routine, really. And my mental attitude before I hit the ball really improved this week last year and became a key for the rest of the year. I don't even really look back as last year being a disappointment over the Ryder Cup. Other than the Americans lost, that is the only disappointing part about it.

Q. Can you talk about -- you started out pretty well at the first two events, and then in Florida your swing wasn't real good for you.

LEE JANZEN: Right. Yeah, well, I had a few weeks off, which I hoped was going to be great for me to be refreshed. I practiced a few days before I went down to Doral; had a great start. I really wasn't feeling very well. Didn't have an opportunity to really practice at all the whole week. I played the Pro Am, I didn't hit any balls the entire week other than in play. And I think that and not spending any time chipping and putting the whole week cost me. My short game was really the key one that I didn't play better. If I had chipped like I normally do, I would have finished in the top 10, I think, which would have been great. Then Honda, I just wasn't in it for some reason. I don't know what was wrong with me that week. Probably would have been a good week not to play. Three weeks off and played one week, I was already burned out. Bay Hill is always a tough spot for me for some reason. I hit five balls in the water the last week, and the year before I hit nine balls in there, so if I can find a way to keep the ball out of the water, I think I probably would have a good tournament.

Q. Lee, you have had three straight weeks where first -- guys have won for the first time out here. Two questions. Why is that happening? And is it possible for a guy to win his first tournament at this place, do you think, this week?

LEE JANZEN: I guess it is possible. Tim Herron, a rookie, and the other two guys of course had a year on Tour, or more, you know, somebody is going to win his first tournament sometime. It is kind of amazing in three weeks in a row a guy has done it. I think part of it is like when the guy broke the 4 minute mile for the first time; 30 other people did it rest of that year and 300 people did it the next year. People see somebody else doing it from their same position; they suddenly open their eyes and see that they can do it too. Everybody out here as the ability to win. It is really the mental part of the game. Norman probably has the strongest mind out here. He believes more than anybody that he is going to win and guys finished 125th probably don't believe as strongly as he does. That is the difference.

Q. How difficult would it be for somebody to do it here?

LEE JANZEN: I think it would be tough. I think this course takes some local knowledge, the winds, the holes -- just about every hole here seems to be a crosswind and the wind blows pretty hard, and just the miscalculation of, if it is into you or helping or straight across, can spell a lot of trouble. This course really challenges. You always have to hit a good shot no matter what. You can't play safe. And you really just can't bail out anywhere or you are faced with a very tough chip shot or even a tough iron shot if you bail it out off the tee.

Q. Keeping with that theme which evidently is going to be in both Washington and New York tomorrow, how much is the Nike Tour responsible for guys coming out here mentally tough and ready to go?

LEE JANZEN: I think that is helping them a lot. The year -- two years before I played on Tour I played on what was called the USGT and PGT, and there is quite a few guys that played on that with me. They are now on Tour, that I think had the Nike Tour been going, then it would have been the same group of guys, and great experience because we travelled around the country. We played four rounds. We had caddies. We had cuts. It was a little different. Entry fees were a little higher, and didn't get courtesy cars or didn't have many people watching us, but I thought that was a great experience to go to a different town every week that we had never been to. Have to make arrangements in advance for a hotel, find the closest place, you know, finding restaurants. There was a lot; not just showing up and playing the golf course, there was a lot more to it for young guys on Tour. I think that probably is a big help for them playing the Nike Tour.

Q. Each of these guys has looked like he just you know, was mentally tough and that was unshaken by leading a tournament and Herron goes wire to wire. Are you noticing that these younger guys are tougher mentally when they come out?

LEE JANZEN: I think they probably noticed on TV they watched the people win and they are focusing on what the guys that have won, what they have done and they have plenty opportunities to either miss a putt; hit a bad shot. They always came through, whatever. They always made the clutch putts; good up and downs; played safe; played the ball away from all the major trouble. They did all the right things. For whatever reason, they all thought pretty rationally under the most extreme conditions. I am sure they all thought about winning too because they had pretty big leads with four or five holes to play; it would be easy for their mind to wander and start thinking about their acceptance speech and how big the check was and what club they were going to hit at 12 at Augusta.

Q. You said earlier that what you learned about yourself here last year helped you the rest of the year. Could you be a little bit more specific on what exactly did you learn about yourself that you didn't know?

LEE JANZEN: I realized that if I don't worry about my score, no matter what I shoot that day, is the ideal thing is to do my best on every shot. And when I was -- prior to this week, I was pressing so hard and things, I wanted so badly to play well, and when I didn't have a good hole or didn't hit a shot that I thought turned out right, I would be either too hard on myself, or be a little too tense after that on a few shots. I just -- this tournament just gave me such a world of confidence. I played very well at Augusta. I played well first few days at Greensboro. I remember, you know, winning Kemper; then US Open I played very well again, so I had a lot of good tournaments after this tournament because of that. I matured enough to know that I am going to make mistakes; just not to let that bother the next shot which you have heard that a million times, but --

Q. Didn't you learn those things winning the Open?

LEE JANZEN: Yeah, but learning, you know, the best student is the guy who teaches, when he teaches he learns. So it is not that I learned it once, you got to keep learning it. You have to master it. When I master it, then I will be the top player I can be.

Q. What do you get from these Tony Roberts seminars you went to one recently; didn't you?

LEE JANZEN: Right. That was incredible. It was a lot of fun. I suggest anybody should go to him. I guess what you -- there is so many things you realize. There are some people there that come from disadvantaged environments or tough situations that they have overcome so many things. You realize that no matter who you are; where you are, changing can happen instantly. You have got to change your rules and outcomes and values. That is worked on mostly in that seminar. Most people have values they want and values they don't want. The rules to get the values they want are usually very hard to accomplish and the values they don't want, usually the rules are very easy to accomplish, so that is why most people are kind of -- never seem to be extremely happy with their lives, I am not saying everybody, just some people.

Q. So what did you do to make you more happy with your life?

LEE JANZEN: Well, I have a list of values, of course, after reading all his stuff and doing his tapes. I was already prepared for what he was going to do there, but if you make your rules virtually impossible, ever feel -- there is no reason for me to ever feel keep pressing my game or frustrated or any of that. Because I, you know, even if I don't ever win another tournament I already had done quite a bit just to now. As long as I have my family and friends, what else do you need?

Q. That wouldn't seem to be an awfully strong motivating force to think that you know, if I never win again, it is not a problem?

LEE JANZEN: That is not really my goal or anything. One -- like Tony used his values on the board. And he didn't have desire up there for his at all because he knows that that is just him no matter what he does in his life he will just always have desire to want to learn. And I feel the same way that I don't have even have to worry about; that that will always be there. I will always want to accomplish.

Q. You mentioned Greg having probably the best mental attitude right now. Who might be the next four or five?

LEE JANZEN: I think you just have to look at who is the number one player 2, 3, 4, 5 like that. The top players in the world, obviously, they believe they are going to play well. It is an expectancy things. They don't go to tournaments wondering if they are going to find their game, or they already -- they may not even know, but they have an expectancy level of themselves, they are going to play great, play well. Just by watching Greg, I think he probably demands a lot from himself. He expects to play well.

Q. Where would you put yourself in that order, I mean, how close are you to knowing that you are going to play well every time you go out?

LEE JANZEN: It comes and goes. I think that is probably the biggest difference for me. I think once I finally realize that any given week I can play my best, then my game will continue to get better. I don't need to have any doubt -- even when your game is tip-top shape, there is no guarantee you are going to shoot a great score or have a great tournament. You can even miss the cut. But there is a certain, you know, if you are pressing it is going to be hard to play even -- I have noticed some weeks with me, that when my game is tip-top that is when I press because I expect to do very well. Or I want to do very well so badly that I don't let it happen.

WES SEELEY: What changed for you after your first win that has probably changed at least these three guys?

LEE JANZEN: Well, let's see. None of them had to make a putt on the last hole, did they? Goydos, did he --

WES SEELEY: He had a cozy 50 footer.

LEE JANZEN: They still had to play with pressure. I got to make a putt on my last hole and in Tucson, and I think that has really been, you know, if I could have bogeyed the last hole, maybe it would have made a difference to win. But I think being a step up make that five footer with the break gave me a lot of confidence that under the most extreme conditions I can perform. And they will realize that they are going to have definitely a higher confidence level for themselves.

WES SEELEY: Anything else for Lee Janzen? Thanks a lot.

End of FastScripts.....

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