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July 26, 2005

Loren Roberts


RAND JERRIS: It's our pleasure to welcome Loren Roberts to the interview area this afternoon. Loren is playing in his first United States Senior Open this week.

Loren, throughout your career you've been known as one of the better putters out here on Tour. We have had a couple of players earlier this afternoon commenting on how difficult or interesting the putting greens are here this week. Can you give us your thoughts on how important a role putting is going to play in this championship.

LOREN ROBERTS: I haven't been on the golf course yet, but I'm going to get out and play a practice round here. But I hear they are very undulating but they have some pretty decent speed. Obviously with the undulation you're going to have speed. I hear it's a very straightforward golf course and I'm just kind of looking forward to taking a look at it.

I hope the greens are firm and fast.

RAND JERRIS: You've played in 14 PGA TOUR events so far this year. This is your second event now on the Champions Tour. What are your plans or your schedule for the rest of the year and how do you see yourself dividing your time.

LOREN ROBERTS: I'm looking forward to playing this week, and then I'm looking at probably the Jeld Wen Championship later in the year, and then returning to the regular Tour and finishing the year out. I'm playing the PGA Championship in two weeks, so I'm looking forward to going back to Baltusrol and playing there, and I'm really not looking that far ahead. I'm looking at playing the three majors out here, possibly one more, the Pebble Beach event, and finishing the year on the regular Tour and starting next year on the regular Tour and going from there and seeing how it goes.

RAND JERRIS: Talk about how your game has been in the last few weeks and what your expectations are coming here this week.

LOREN ROBERTS: Well, I started off very well on the West Coast. I played well the first two weeks that I played. I had a legitimate chance to do well at the Bob Hope, ended up finishing 4th. You know, I could have been right there at the end. And then I just really haven't played well up until the last couple of weeks, and now I'm looking forward to I feel like my game is coming around and I'm looking forward to this week. I think probably the fact that my first senior British last week kind of inspired me to kind of get back and really start working at it, and I'm looking forward to this week, too. I feel really good about where my game is going right now.

Q. Could you just kind of elaborate about the dilemma you're talking about, about why play where? What are the things that draw you to PGA TOUR events and what are the things that draw you to Senior Tour events and why is it so hard at times?

LOREN ROBERTS: Well, you know, it is a dilemma for me right now because I still feel like I can be competitive on the regular Tour. You know, there are certain golf courses that I can be competitive on on the regular Tour. I still want to play the regular Tour.

However, I do realize I'm 50 and I don't want to burn some early years doing the Champions Tour when I know I can really be competitive out here, so it's a bit of a dilemma for me to decide. I still have a lot of friends on the regular Tour, and I like to compete, I enjoy competing, and I'm just going to that's why I'm just taking it a month at a time, just to see what I want to do.

I'm definitely not going to be someone that's going to stick around on a regular Tour just to finish in the Top 125. The minute I don't feel like I am competitive enough to have a chance to win a golf tournament out there, I'm going to leave and I will play the Champions Tour full time.

But in my mind, I haven't quite reached that point yet.

RAND JERRIS: Unlike most weeks on the Tour when you guys may be returning to courses that you've seen for several years, you're coming to a new golf course. When you go out to play a practice round say tomorrow, what will you be looking for? What are you looking to accomplish tomorrow in the course of a practice round?

LOREN ROBERTS: Well, I just kind of want to get a feel for what I need to hit off the tees. I have been told if we don't get some rain, it's going to be playing pretty firm and fast, and that's the way I like it. So basically a practice round for me is just to determine what clubs I want to play off the tees to put me in the position where I have the best chance of putting a second shot where I need to on the green.

I think that's all I'm really going to get out of a practice round because obviously conditions change every day and every day is a new day, but I just want to decide how I want to play the golf course logistically, what clubs I want to play off the tees. You play a practice round to figure out where you don't want to hit it, and that's what I'm going to get out of the practice round.

Q. Twice you've mentioned "firm and fast," which is the earmark of USGA setup. Does the USGA course setup favor your game more than you might see on say the regular Tour or the Champions Tour?

LOREN ROBERTS: Well, obviously I'm not known as a great ball striker, but I have been a pretty good putter, and I think those kind of conditions are going to favor somebody that can make some putts. Obviously there's a difference between firm and fast and ridiculous. I think that without having seen the golf course, I can't really comment on what we have here, but by and large, every time that I have watched a Senior U.S. Open on TV, it looks like the golf course is really set up well, and that's what I'm looking forward to this week.

Q. Getting back to your dilemma, who have you talked to about it? Have you talked to Jay Haas? And I'm sure some guys have probably offered you advice. What kind of advice have they given you?

LOREN ROBERTS: I've heard comments from all over the spectrum, but any time that you can compete, and especially it's called the Champions Tour for a reason. I mean, there's a lot of guys, a lot of major championships represented, especially here this week. If you just mention Greg, Tom, Raymond, you just mention those guys, there's an awful lot of major championships that are represented there.

Obviously everybody can still really play golf out here, and it will be a challenge and I'm looking forward to it. But it is a dilemma. World Ranking points on the regular Tour, that's a consideration. I'd love to play in the Masters one more time. That's the reason I'm still trying to keep my hand in the regular Tour.

Q. It wasn't any one guy who gave you some advice that you thought was good?

LOREN ROBERTS: No, uh uh. You've been around a lot, Gary. You know the feelings are all over the map on that.

Q. Coming into the tournament Raymond Floyd would seem to have had an edge because of his success here and his record, but in a recent interview he admitted he didn't really remember anything about that week, the weekend or the golf course. Does that make you feel better?

LOREN ROBERTS: (Laughing) You know, I'm sure was it 1969?

Q. '69.

LOREN ROBERTS: Yeah, so that's a long time ago. But as competitive Raymond is and the way he loves to compete, he will leave everything out on the golf course to try to win, and that's what I expect of Raymond. Believe me, I think that he will have a legitimate shot.

Q. But basically since you don't really play the course at all, nobody really has a home field advantage?

LOREN ROBERTS: I wouldn't say that there's a home field advantage because really nobody has really seen the golf course, obviously, since 1969. I don't know how many guys are in the field that played in 1969 here.

Q. Have there been any pleasant surprises about life on the Senior Tour so far and anything really fun happen to you so far?

LOREN ROBERTS: I was surprised last week at the number of guys that I hadn't seen in 20 plus years. I saw some guys over there, some Australians, some guys that played their whole career in Europe that I had met when I just kind of played briefly as a club professional on the Tour down in Australia in '77, '78. There were some guys I hadn't seen in 25 years that I saw. It's nice to be remembered by guys you haven't seen in a long time because obviously when I played down there, I wasn't any kind of a player, so it was nice that they remembered who I was (laughing).

I will say one thing, just a brief observation that I made from my first week out and still a raw rookie was the fact that there seemed to be a lot of camaraderie and a lot of friendliness my first week out.

RAND JERRIS: If we're remembering correctly, we're thinking you are paired in the first two rounds with Mr. Watson and Des Smyth.


RAND JERRIS: Obviously the three of you had great success last week at Royal Aberdeen and what it's going to be like playing with them again this weekend?

LOREN ROBERTS: It's going to be an honor obviously to play, to play with Tom and with Des. Obviously I don't know Des as well as I know Tom. I did play against Des in the UBS Cup in '01 or something like that, and I think he threw a 65 on me and thrashed me, but it's going to be a thrill. I'm really excited about it. Considering it's a major championship, to be paired with major championship contenders.

RAND JERRIS: Loren, thanks very much for your time this afternoon. We wish you luck this week.

End of FastScripts.

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