March 26, 1996
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FLORIDA
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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