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July 1, 2004

Loren Roberts


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: I'd like to welcome leader in the clubhouse, Loren Roberts, great round today, 7-under 64. Talk about your day, no bogeys, seven birdies.

LOREN ROBERTS: Played really solid tee to green today. Didn't hit anything real close to the hole, but I was very good in the 12- to 15- to 18-foot range with the putter today. I made several of those, including a couple for pars in probably about that 10- to 12-foot range, which really kept the round going.

Q. I saw you hit 16 greens. Do you think sometimes there's so much talk about your putting and what a great putter you are that people forget that you can actually hit the ball a little bit, too?

LOREN ROBERTS: Well, I'm not going to impress anybody with length, and I don't hit at a lot of flags. I try to hit really the safe side of the pins and things like that and try to play to my strength, which is the putter. I hit the ball extremely well today as far as putting it where I wanted it and hit a lot of greens. I drove the ball in the fairway just about every hole. If you're going to make some putts, it equates to a low score.

I had the ball in good position today. I didn't get it above the hole very often. I was always pretty much under the hole and I didn't have any tough putts.

Q. You were the 54-hole leader at Westchester and didn't have a very memorable Sunday. How did that impact you?

LOREN ROBERTS: Well, I went home to practice my putting, spent a lot of time working on my stroke. I had someone look -- I had Jim Suttie look at my stroke a little bit yesterday and made a little bit of an adjustment and it paid off.

Q. Just a bad putting day that day?

LOREN ROBERTS: Yeah, I had a bad putting day. I missed a couple early and had gotten into some places where you could three-putt from very easily, and that just kind of compounded the errors. I just got off to a bad start the first nine holes that day and didn't play well.

You know, I've been out here long enough, I forget about those things.

Q. What adjustment did you make?

LOREN ROBERTS: You know, I've always had what they would call a square-to-square, and I've been letting the toe come over quite a bit lately, so I just made an adjustment with my shoulders a little bit and started trying to work the heel through again, and I got the ball started back on-line.

Q. Would you say is it accurate that maybe 80 percent of the guys out here putt with what's called the Utley way or the Scottie Cameron, the closing of the door and the opening of the door? Not as many guys putt your way, right?

LOREN ROBERTS: Well, that's what I've been told. I mean, I don't watch a whole lot of other strokes on the putting green. I think by and large, that's the case.

You know, I've always felt that your putting stroke is a little bit of a way you swing the golf club. Most of the guys out here play open-to-close obviously. I've never been a hooker of the golf ball, I've always kind of held on through it and played straight or left-to-right, so probably that fits my style of putting stroke a little bit more. I'm tall with short arms, so I'm bent over and I'm going to swing the club up a little bit more, and that probably equates to my putting stroke.

Q. I noticed you didn't play the Open. Why was that? It looked like you had had three top 20 finishes in the last three tournaments you've played.

LOREN ROBERTS: I'm probably more consistent. I wanted to play the Open dearly because that might be the best golf course in America where they played, but I missed the qualifier. I didn't get through. I had to sit home and watch it. Obviously I had a lot of people tell me, gosh, it was a good thing you weren't there. I would have loved to have been there just to see what I could do there.

Q. Do you still get on the exercise bike in the morning to get everything flowing?

LOREN ROBERTS: A treadmill, yeah.

Q. What did you do this morning?

LOREN ROBERTS: Got on the treadmill.

Q. A half hour?

LOREN ROBERTS: No, I'm not that much of an athlete. 15 minutes maybe.

Q. Does that just loosen everything?

LOREN ROBERTS: Yeah, and then I stretch out.

Q. We've got Jay Haas now 50 still playing the regular Tour and contending and competing and you at 49 and Fred Funk. Do you think Jay might start a trend of guys maybe delaying going to the Champions Tour?

LOREN ROBERTS: Well, he's motivating me a little bit. Jay has just been playing consistently good all the time, and that's something that I really want to try to shoot for. I would love to do that. I would love to do what Jay is doing. I would love to play as long as I can out here and play the Senior majors. That would be my goal.

But that changes to week to week depending on how I feel.

Q. You've had a great run here, as well, at Cog Hill. Is it something in particular about this course, maybe the old style of it, that you saw when you arrived here?

LOREN ROBERTS: I love the style of the golf course. I know this is not a 1930s golf course, but it's that style. It just flows well. It flows through the trees well, the greens are bunkered well. You can visualize your shots well. It's a great golf course.

Q. I'm just curious, how would you assess your season thus far in 11 of 12 cuts? Have you gotten as much out of it as you'd like?

LOREN ROBERTS: I really haven't cared for the way that I've played, especially on the West Coast. You know, I've had little things here and there, been fighting tennis elbow, having back problems and stuff.

You know, I feel pretty good about the way I'm starting to play. Obviously I feel like I could have gotten more out of it. I felt like two weeks ago I should have been right there. Usually when I get there, I don't fall back that much. I felt like I should have done much better, so I was very disappointed at Westchester, but I put that behind me.

Q. Loren, when you miss a major, how much do you motivate yourself to try to play -- I don't know if you're going to play the Open Championship, but it looks like you're in for the PGA. How much do you build this stretch gearing up towards not just playing in those but playing well in them?

LOREN ROBERTS: Definitely I want to be in all the majors, but I realize that at my age it's a little tougher to get in. 36 holes is a little tougher for me in one day for a U.S. Open qualifier.

You know, I'd like to be there, but I'm certainly not anymore gearing my year around that. I'm just gearing my year around the tournaments I like to play and I want to be ready to play, and I want to play well when I do play, and that's really all that I'm thinking about. I will adjust that when it comes to the Senior majors because I want to get on the Champions Tour where I can play those events. Then it'll be different because then I'll be a rookie again.

Q. When you sat down, you kind of were joking that you thought you had 65. I wonder if you could talk about the changes. No. 5 is a par 4 now, and then No. 9. Do you think some of the strategy is out of that hole? It's definitely a three-shot hole is what the players are saying.

LOREN ROBERTS: Obviously with my length, I love it any time they make a par 5 unreachable by everybody. I like that. The next hole is -- well, the 5th hole is, what, 490, 480 or something? I like that when they do that to be honest with you. I just think it makes the golf course tougher and it just takes an eagle away from the guys, and I like that because I don't usually go at a lot of par 5s in two.

Q. What did you hit into 5 today?

LOREN ROBERTS: I hit a 4-iron.

Q. Are you a summer guy? Do you play your best golf May, June, July?

LOREN ROBERTS: I am now, yeah.

Q. What do you mean now?

LOREN ROBERTS: I feel a whole lot looser when it gets above 80 degrees. When I can get the sweater off, I feel pretty good.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: If we could go through your round. You had seven birdies starting on No. 2.

LOREN ROBERTS: A real critical thing happened on 1. I hit a really good 6-iron in there, and it wasn't probably enough club, and it came up about 35 feet short, and I ran that about eight feet by the hole, and I made that one coming back.

To me that was a critical thing on the front nine was to make that come-backer on the first hole because that kind of set the tone. Then I hit it in there probably about nine or ten feet at the next hole and made that one for birdie. Now instead of being 1-over, I'm 1-under par.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: What did you hit on No. 2?.

LOREN ROBERTS: I hit a 6-iron.

Then another key hole was the 4th hole when I drove it in the right rough, chipped out, got it up-and-down from 91 yards for par there, and from then on I didn't really hit a bad shot the rest of the day.

I made a great birdie from about 12 feet behind the hole at No. 6, the par 3 down the hill.

Probably made about a 20-footer from the right of the hole at No. 7.

Then made it for 12 feet underneath the hole for birdie at No. 8, and that was the good run that I had on the front nine.

Q. What did you hit into 6 and how long was it?

LOREN ROBERTS: I hit a 2-iron, one of those cheater 2-irons, one of those Rescue clubs.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: On the backside you had birdies on 14, 15 and 17.

LOREN ROBERTS: I actually missed about a three-and-a-half-footer for birdie at 10 and missed a short one from about eight feet at 11.

I made another 2 at -- what hole was that? 14, yeah. I made another 15-footer for birdie there.

I hit it out of the bunker at 15 and made about a four-footer there for birdie.

I made it from probably 12 feet and birdied the hole at 17.

Then made about a 10-footer from underneath the hole at 18 for par, which after I thought I hit a good chip shot it just kept rolling, and I think that was another key for me because it would have really left a bad taste in my mouth to bogey the last hole.

Q. Did that green seem to be faster than others?

LOREN ROBERTS: It was significantly because I hit what I thought was a good chip because I hit it exactly where I wanted to. It got a little bit low of the hole, but that green was faster than any of the other greens out there today.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Loren Roberts, thank you. Good luck the rest of the week.

End of FastScripts.

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