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Interview With U.S. Women's Amateur Runner-Up Jennifer Johnson

BETH MURRISON:  We are here this afternoon with Jennifer Johnson.  It was a great match out there really fun to watch.  Can you talk little bit about how you are feeling after the match.

            JENNIFER JOHNSON:  I'm disappointed.  It was a close match, and I gave it my best, so.

            Q.  What did you learn about yourself as a competitor during this championship?

            JENNIFER JOHNSON:  You know, I guess I'm good at match play (Laughter)and I don't know.

            Q.  Talk about the momentum you lost after being 4 up through 10 holes and then all square at the lunch break?

            JENNIFER JOHNSON:  Well, you know, I just made stupid mistakes, you know.

            It wasn't that I was playing, you know, bad or anything, just more mental I think.  So that's on the back 18.

            Q.  Inaudible

            JENNIFER JOHNSON: I guess they were good shots.

            Q.  You started making a comeback in the afternoon 18 at holes 12 and 13. Can you talk about those shots.

            JENNIFER JOHNSON:  On 12 I hit a pitching wedge.  I just kind of played a wedge and had a close birdie.  Then on 13, I had another close birdie.  I hit 8-iron.

            Q.  Inaudible

            JENNIFER JOHNSON:  It was more like 10 [feet].

            Q.  But you had some other early opportunities in the second 18 for birdie that you didn't convert like the one at No. 5.

JENNIFER JOHNSON:  Yeah, I kind of steered [the putts] a couple of times, but, I mean, I was probably thinking about, you know, a little too much the putt, you know.

            Q.  What do you build upon from this week?

            JENNIFER JOHNSON:  Well it's definitely a confidence builder and a really good experience, and, I think, you know, I don't know it was just a good week, you know.  This is kind of my last tournament before college (nomicrophone).

            Q.  Was your plan to lay up on 16 all week?

            JENNIFER JOHNSON:  Well, I should have gone towards it the first time I played that hole because I was not [that far]. That was stupid.  But, yeah, the second to last hole we played there was too much grass on my ball. I did go for it once this week. It was match play, and I was up. I think it was against Sydnee Michaels.

            Q.  When you trailed for the first time after the first five holes, did that thought cross your mind at all, oh, my gosh, I'm behind?

            JENNIFER JOHNSON:  Well, I was actually kind of glad I got behind because, you know, then I could just get that out of my head and, you know, come back strong.

            Q.  How many text messages did you get?

            JENNIFER JOHNSON:  A lot of people, like all of our friends and family, you know, were calling, kind of crazy, you know.  You get one text message and the next one.

            Q.  Did the Arizona State coach try to come?

            JENNIFER JOHNSON:  She tried to make it out but couldn't.

            Q.  Afterward it looked like your caddie was taking it pretty hard.  What kind of bond was formed throughout the week?  Was it really that kind of a special experience for him today, to break down like that afterwards?  Did it mean that much?

            JENNIFER JOHNSON:  Yeah, I kind of show my emotions a little different, but I think he wanted to win as bad as I did.

            Q.  Can you describe the mechanics on your bunker play.

            JENNIFER JOHNSON:  I'm actually a good bunker player.  I just try to go out and pop it up.

            Q.  What about the bunker shot at 15 in the afternoon?

            JENNIFER JOHNSON:  That bunker was different.

            Q.  Was it the ball lying on a down slope?

            JENNIFER JOHNSON:  It was a down slope.

            Q.  Do you feel like this week was a good learning experience in terms of the exposure of some of the media?  Do you feel like this was good practice for later?

            JENNIFER JOHNSON:  Oh, definitely.  Yeah, all those TV cameras on every hole and the galleries and it will definitely make it easier in the future, so, yes.  Good focus too.

            Q.  You know, getting back to your grandparents, I was talking to your parents you left Rolex for Missouri then U.S. (inaudible) then you stopped at your grandparents on the way back down here?

            JENNIFER JOHNSON:  Like, went to Missouri to my grandparents, then I moved to (nomicrophone), then I went back to their house, then we drove to New Jersey.  I don't know.  Yeah, okay.  We went Rolex [Tournament of Champions], grandparents, [Women's Amateur] qualifier, then I think we went straight to New Jersey, then I went back to my grandparents, then here.

            Q.  Is your mom back in California?

            JENNIFER JOHNSON:  She's a little left out, which is kind of sad she wasn't here, but she watched it on TV.

            Q.  Is your mom working at home or packing for you for college?

            JENNIFER JOHNSON:  Well, she's gonna to be.

            Oh, what does she do?

            Q.  Yeah.

            JENNIFER JOHNSON:  Yeah, she had to work.  Then we're kind of moving.

            Q.  Where are you moving to?

            JENNIFER JOHNSON:  We're moving back full-time to San Diego.

            Q.  I know you like lime-green tees, so was the lime-green shirt today appropriate?

            JENNIFER JOHNSON:  Yeah, I was getting a little low on clothes.

            Q.  Did you play high school golf?

            JENNIFER JOHNSON:  I played on the boy's team.  We had a pretty good team.

            Q.  You won Rolex last year, then you won a bunch of tournaments in '07.  What have been the highlights for you?

            JENNIFER JOHNSON:  I think Rolex definitely.  This is a highlight.  And playing on the Junior Ryder Cup, that was really cool.  I think it's been a good four, five years, so.

          BETH MURRISON:  We're glad we had a chance to spend a lot of time with you.  We hope you enjoyed it and good luck to you at school.

            JENNIFER JOHNSON:  Thank you.



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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