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July 1, 2011

Justin Leonard


JUSTIN LEONARD: It was a pretty low-stress round, which is hard to do on this golf course, and able to make a few putts and shoot a couple good scores.

Q. Talk to me about your putting. Have you tightened up the stroke a little bit?
JUSTIN LEONARD: I have. I sought the help of Marius Filmalter in Dallas, and I've always enjoyed seeing him and saying hello. He's got a great energy. So I worked with him a little bit, let's see, the weekend before Memorial. It's been good, just trying to get connected again. My stroke had gotten a little loose. And kind of doing too much with the hands and arms and getting the stroke back in the shoulders, and it feels really good.

Q. I know your career has had ups and downs. In 2007 you were on a little bit of a frustrating season and yet you ended that with a victory at the Valero Texas Open. Do you think you're on the upswing?
JUSTIN LEONARD: I do. I'd rather not get down to this point, but I feel like I've got some good things going on, and I'm excited about the upcoming events. I'm off next week, and I'm going to play four or five in a row, and I'm excited about that.

Q. Looked like you had a pretty good handle out there on the golf course. A little bit of struggles on 9, your last hole, but it looked like overall you had to be pretty pleased with your second round.
JUSTIN LEONARD: Yeah, pleased with the way today went. Started off, didn't hit a very good drive off 10, made bogey, but came back and hit a great 8-iron into 11 and felt comfortable all day long. I kept the ball in the right part of the greens and hit some good shots when I needed to, so it was a pretty comfortable day.

Q. You have to be pretty pleased with where you are, as well, two strokes behind K.J. Choi going into the weekend. Do you think you can make a move on him tomorrow?
JUSTIN LEONARD: Most definitely. I'm just glad I played a couple rounds that I can build on. It'll be nice teeing off late on a Saturday. It's been a while. So looking forward to seeing what I can do this weekend.

Q. How is that course playing out there? Is it different from yesterday? I know it's different from earlier in the week.
JUSTIN LEONARD: You know, very similar to yesterday. I played yesterday morning, the greens were probably firmer than I expected, and I was expecting some pretty dried out greens this afternoon, but they were -- the ball was bouncing a little bit. I know not having had any humidity the last couple days the greens were pretty dried out. But the tournament staff here has done a nice job of keeping them up.

Q. You have a pretty good crowd following you. That has to feel good for you, as well.
JUSTIN LEONARD: Yeah, at times. They probably don't realize that I'm a Dallas Cowboys fan, but I will keep that quiet until Sunday night.

Q. Is it too simple to say holing a few putts has made all the difference, or are you doing more than that?
JUSTIN LEONARD: I think that's the difference between this week and Memorial and last week at Travelers, and being able to make a few putts, it takes the pressure off everything else. I don't feel like I have to hit every green. It creates an ease out there on the golf course that I haven't played with in a while, and it's been very nice.

Q. What was happening before Memorial?
JUSTIN LEONARD: Before Memorial I didn't hit the ball all that well. I played pretty well at THE PLAYERS, same thing, just didn't make any putts, and then the next couple weeks started to hit the ball well. I kind of started Memorial, I started working with Marius, and it's been a fun process. But I enjoy that, and things are starting to feel pretty natural.

Q. Are you working with him on more than just putting?
JUSTIN LEONARD: No, just putting. Marius came over to Royal Oaks a couple weeks ago when I was home, and he and I and Randy played around for a little bit. I told Randy what we were doing, and he liked his ideas. He and Randy talked quite a bit. I want to get everybody on the same page.

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