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Interview With U.S. Women's Amateur Finalist Jennifer Johnson

BETH MURRISON:  Jennifer, congratulations on your great play today and making it to the final.  Can you talk a little about making it to the final of the Women's Amateur.

            JENNIFER JOHNSON:  It's just really exciting.  I just can't believe it.  You know, tomorrow is going to be a long day and there's a lot of golf, so I've just got to be patient and not think about the outcome so much, because that can get in the way.

            BETH MURRISON:  Have you ever played, not necessarily 36 in a day, but this sort of format where it's a 36‑hole final, or this much golf in one day?

            JENNIFER JOHNSON:  The California State Women's Am, I played in a 36-hole final.

            Q.  How did you do in that?

            JENNIFER JOHNSON:  I won that, I think 5 & 4.

            Q.  Was that this year?

            JENNIFER JOHNSON:  Mm-hmm.

            BETH MURRISON:  Can you talk about your match today, you built a lead and Alexis started to chip away at it, just sort what have was going through your mind while that was going on.

            JENNIFER JOHNSON:  On 16, her putter got really hot.  She made two great putts.  I thought she was going to make that one on 18 and I was ready for extra holes.  But I was just trying to, after the drive, put myself in the spot to get up and down on 18.

            Q.  You seem even-keeled, and when Alexis got it back to all square, you didn't seem to be bothered by that; you're very low key in terms of your emotion; is that a correct assessment?

            JENNIFER JOHNSON:  Yeah, I work on that, trying not to because if you get too emotional out there, that can be your worst enemy.

            Q.  Are you like that off the golf course?

            JENNIFER JOHNSON:  No, I'm just, off the course, I laugh a lot.  Like I don't smile much on the course, but I'm not like that off the course.

            Q.  How much has your caddie helped you this week?  What has he helped you with?

            JENNIFER JOHNSON:  I think he's been a pretty big advantage because he knows the greens well and all of the bounces and where he wants the ball and where not to.  It's been good.

            Q.  How much of is it the technical aspect; is there a calming influence to that, as well?

            JENNIFER JOHNSON:  He's really low key and doesn't say much, but he does when he needs to.  I think we just work really well together.

            Q.  I think people maybe looked at your match today as you were the underdog; did you feel like the underdog?

            JENNIFER JOHNSON:  Not really.  I mean, we're both, we compete against each other a lot, and, no (laughing).

            Q.  At 7, the first time you had been all square, and when you hit the shot at No. 8, you turned around...

            JENNIFER JOHNSON:  Yeah, 5-wood.  That was a really good shot.  I just like fed right to the hole.

            Q.  Do you think that might have been the turning point? ?

            JENNIFER JOHNSON:  The two holes that I lost on 5 and 6, that was just really stupid.  I mean, that chip was awful, and I just bladed that little lob shot.  But I meaning, it was all my fault, because par won the hole.  I didn't really get too down on myself after those holes.

            Q.  Not having trailed all week, has that allowed you to play a certain way, to not take risks or anything like that does it get comfortable to sort of play out there?

            JENNIFER JOHNSON:  Out there I don't really think about that.  But I just try when I get the opportunity to get up a point, I try and take advantage of it, because you know, sometimes the matches are really close, so it's just hard to get a huge lead.

            Q.  Do you remember what your game was like at 14, and maybe can you compare?

            JENNIFER JOHNSON:  Yeah, she's really mature for her age.  I certainly didn't hit the ball as far.  Yeah, probably the length and I didn't manage my way around the golf course as well as she does.  I think just her distance and stuff.

            Q.  Have you elevated your game this week, or is this just your game?  Is this the same as any event you played, even the Women's Pub Links, are you just the same basically every time out, or is this a particularly good week for you?

            JENNIFER JOHNSON:  This is pretty much my standard game.  Sometimes I putt a little better, and pretty much, yeah.

            Q.  So this is just Jennifer?

            JENNIFER JOHNSON:  Yeah, I mean, today, I wasn't good around the greens, and I hardly, I made one birdie.  So that's not very good scoring.

            Q.  We were talking about her focus; do you feel like you focus well when you're out there, you're even keel; is concentration part of that, too?

            JENNIFER JOHNSON:  Yeah, I try and stay focused out there and try not to think about anything else besides the shot.

            Q.  I know you're playing against somebody else, but do you pay attention to Alexis or any other opponent?

            JENNIFER JOHNSON:  I do like on par 5s, or you have to, if she hits first and she putts her shot, just placing it, I'll be less aggressive if she's missed a green.

            Q.  What does a Jennifer Johnson temper tantrum look like, and when is the last time one of those happened on the golf course?

            JENNIFER JOHNSON:  I threw my club down, that's about it.

            Q.  When is the last time you did that?

            JENNIFER JOHNSON:  I did it on the 18th tee.

            Q.  Having a big gallery out there, is that something you enjoy?  I don't know how often that happens.

            JENNIFER JOHNSON:  Yeah, I don't usually play in front of that big of a gallery.  Some tournaments, you don't have any gallery.  I was a little nervous on the first couple of holes but then I just got used to it.

            Q.  Did playing at the Kraft help?

            JENNIFER JOHNSON:  Yeah, that helped.  That was really nerve-wracking on this first tee, but you kind of calm down after you get playing.

            BETH MURRISON:  Jennifer, thanks for joining us and congratulations again.  Good luck tomorrow.



Championship Facts

U.S. Women's Amateur

HISTORY: The U.S. Women’s Amateur is one of the United States Golf Association’s original three championships. It was first conducted in 1895, shortly after the inaugural U.S. Amateur and U.S. Open. The Women’s Amateur has since been conducted every year except 1917-18, when it was temporarily suspended because of World War I, and 1942-45, when it was suspended because of World War II.

PAR & YARDAGE: Old Warson Country Club will play at 6,422/6,468 yards and par of 35-36—71.

ARCHITECT: Old Warson Country Club was designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr. and opened in 1954.

COURSE SET-UP –The USGA Course Rating® for the Women’s Amateur Championship at Old Warson Country Club is 78.1 and USGA Slope Rating® is 140.

Tees and fairways, height of grass – 7/16 inch

Collars, height of grass – 0.2 inch

Putting greens, speed – 11.5-12 feet on USGA Stimpmeter

Intermediate Rough – 1.25 inches (3 feet width)

Primary Rough – 3 inches

FORMAT: The U.S. Women’s Amateur is conducted with 36 holes of stroke-play qualifying. The low 64 scorers then advance to match play, with the champion determined by a 36-hole match-play final.

WHO CAN PLAY: The U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship is open to female amateurs who have a USGA Handicap Index not exceeding 5.4.

ENTRIES: A total of 955 contestants entered the 2009 championship. The record of 969 was set in 2006.



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