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May 27, 2016

Tom Lehman

Benton Harbor, Michigan

Q. You played your way right to the top of the leaderboard here?
TOM LEHMAN: Yeah, I played well yesterday and really didn't get much out of the round.

But today the putts started to drop and as the putts started to drop, I actually started hitting it better. I hit a lot of really, really good iron shots today. Which is, like everybody probably tells you, you have to do that.

If you drive the ball in the fairway, then you got to be really accurate with your irons to got yourself in positions to try to attack your putts.

So I did all of that today and I wouldn't ever say it was an easy 6-under, but it was a pretty anxiety free 6-under par round. Just had a lot of really good chances.

Q. As a guy who's won Majors before, what do you anticipate you'll need to do this weekend to do that again?
TOM LEHMAN: I don't know what the forecast is. So much depends on the forecast here. But if the weather stays like it is and the way it is right now, with the overcast and the humidity, the course is staying soft and you can really take advantage of it. So I would have to assume that, if it stays somewhat like this, that the scores will be relatively low.

Q. Will you watch Rocco this afternoon at all or just figure out what the number is tomorrow and start chasing it if you have to?
TOM LEHMAN: I may watch some. I'll probably practice a little bit. I enjoy watching golf. I expect that somebody this afternoon is going to have some really good rounds. I can't imagine that someone's not going to go out, Monty or Kenny Perry or Rocco or somebody, whomever, go out and shoot a really low score.

So I would have to believe that all the guys that played this morning, including Langer, will probably be chasing someone who is leading after the day's over.

Q. How important is it for the TOUR and for the tournament and for the fans out here to have guys like your self and Bernhard and Rocco up there on the weekends?
TOM LEHMAN: I don't know if I can answer that question properly. I think that it's always nice to have top players in the mix. But there's so many good players, I would say there's so many great players, everybody who is out here playing on the Champions Tour are guys who have had amazing careers on the PGA TOUR, so they're all household names.

The thing that's fun about this is there's some really quality players who don't play the Champions Tour full time and some great talent, some guys who have always been really good players, but chose to go a different path with their life, coaching and club pros or whatever it might be. So there's, it's always fun to see some of those guys, too, play well.

Q. You had a real nice birdie on 9. Take us through that a little bit.

Q. Par-5.
TOM LEHMAN: I hit a mediocre drive, followed by a mediocre lay up, followed by a really good third shot that kind of took a bad hop and left me with about a 18 foot putt, and made a really good putt there for birdie.

That's a hole today that you could probably reach in two and I kind of was in the process of butchering it, until I made a good putt.

Q. When you're hitting your irons the way you did today do you feel like you're tough to beat?
TOM LEHMAN: Well, I wouldn't say tough to beat, but I feel like I'm going to be in the game, for sure. You have to hit them solid. The only way to deal with distance control is by hitting it solid and to know how what trajectory you're going to hit. In order to do that you hit the ball in the middle of the club face.

I typically do that. The strength of my game has always been tee to green. If I'm swinging well and hitting it solid, I'm probably going to be somewhere around.

Q. When you play this golf course several times, do you feel you have gain more education, being as, on this is the way this golf course is configured?
TOM LEHMAN: Yeah, I think the players have learned it and I think the PGA of America have learned how to set it up in a way that makes sense. The greens aren't quite as fast as they were in the past and I think that leads to a little more aggressive putting. I think it's probably the best way to set the course up. All they need is a little bit more firmness to them and the scores will go up. But the speed just right.

Q. What did you think about the selections for the counter part?
TOM LEHMAN: I didn't see. Who was it.

Q. It was Harrington, it was Thomas Bjorn, and Paul Lawrie.
TOM LEHMAN: Interesting. I would say Bjorn, no surprise. Harrington, no surprise. Paul Lawrie, maybe a little surprise. I wouldn't necessarily see that.

But it's a good pick. It's a very good pick. I'm not sure -- has he been an assistant before? Maybe he has, I just haven't noticed.

Q. I think Bjorn has.
TOM LEHMAN: I know he has a bunch.

Q. I don't know.
TOM LEHMAN: Lawrie, I don't know. That may be a first. But I could be wrong. Paul Lawrie is a super, super phenomenal player and a really nice person and I think a great guy to have around on a team format. So he'll be a very good vice captain.

Q. The good thing is we're going back to a state you know something about.
TOM LEHMAN: Yeah, I do. Yeah. I think it's going to be a good Ryder Cup experience for our team.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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