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October 4, 2002

Loren Roberts


TODD BUDNICK: We have Loren Roberts, 7-under, 135 for the tournament. Also one of the co-leaders heading into the clubhouse, as you said, a rather uneventful day for you but it kept you right up there in the running. Looks like the course is playing a little tougher today.

LOREN ROBERTS: The pins are quite a bit tougher today than they were yesterday, even like the third hole, the pin is in the middle of the green but it's between two humps so it's kind of tough to get it in there close. I played extremely well today tee to green. I think I only missed maybe three greens today. I just had a lot of 15, 20-footers today and didn't convert any of them. That was kind of the story today. I felt like my speed was off a little bit today with the putter. I was short a little bit. It was kind of an uneventful round.

TODD BUDNICK: I guess if you were hitting greens like you were you weren't in the rough that much.

LOREN ROBERTS: I think I only missed one fairway off the tee. I think the 12th hole was the only one. No, I missed the 6th hole, also, but I did make a good up and down on 6 after having to chip it out of the left rough, and I got it up and down from 70 yards for par there. I made a five-footer there for par, but other than that it was just pretty uneventful.

TODD BUDNICK: We'll go ahead and take some questions.

Q. After you win there has to be a little bit of a celebratory period where you're just kind of juiced. How difficult is it, or have you mastered the art of refocusing on the next week?

LOREN ROBERTS: I think I'm pretty well refocused on what I need to do here. I think last week if I would have kind of scratched and clawed my way to the finish it might have been a little different, but I played so good the last week, it was so unstressful really, I mean, I hit the ball so good coming in, I hit every green coming in, made four birdies out of the last six holes. It was pretty uneventful really as far as, you know, stressing myself out. I wasn't having to get it up and down or pitch it out from behind trees or anything; I played really good.

I had a good day at home on Monday and came up here Tuesday, and I feel like I've gotten pretty well refocused. I think I've been playing the game long enough to where I can kind of change gears when I have to and get refocused and get ready to play the next week.

Q. Coming into the season, assuming that you're goal-oriented, I would assume your first goal is to win an event or --

LOREN ROBERTS: My goals at the start, especially now in my career, it's obviously to win an event, but I would like to win multiple and get in THE TOUR Championship. I always have this goal of wanting to be the oldest guy in THE TOUR Championship all the time.

Q. So after your win last week -- you're in pretty good shape for THE TOUR Championship if I remember correctly.

LOREN ROBERTS: I've got to keep playing. I think I'm 26th on the money list. Obviously a good week here would help.

Q. Does your schedule change much after winning last week to try to get yourself in that position to get yourself in THE TOUR Championship?

LOREN ROBERTS: No, my goal was to play last week and play this week and skip two weeks and then play the Buick, heading into THE TOUR Championship, even if I was going to have to play Jackson that would have been my routine, so I'm hoping if I can finish good, keep playing good this weekend, I'll still be able to stick to that schedule and go to Atlanta instead of Jackson.

Q. Is it frustrating in some ways that it took you until September to find the unstressful part of the game?

LOREN ROBERTS: It is a little bit. I went through a period at the end of the summer where I was pretty stressed out about the way I was fill. I got down on myself because I felt like I was striking the ball really well most of the yards. With the exception of -- I played really well tee to green all year and just haven't gotten the putter going like I thought I could get it going. Last week it came through and obviously I made it to the winner's circle. I'm glad it happened later than never.

Q. Is there a flipside to being known as a great putter? I think that's the one thing most golf fans know about you is he's a great putter. When that part of your game is sour; is that serious?

LOREN ROBERTS: Yeah, it tends to weigh on you a little bit more. Any part of the game, if you're long, you're always going to be long; but if you're a good butter you're only as good as how you putted last week. It's such a temporal thing. The key for me is that I have good pace on the ball, and generally I feel like I'm going to make my share if I just keep the ball around the hole all the time. That's all I really try to focus on.

Q. Since you are experienced, was last week and now the beginning of this week, because obviously you're tied for the lead again, is it like riding a bike? Once you've done it once before you know how to do it again?

LOREN ROBERTS: You know, it's pretty hard to turn it on and off like that. If guys could do that out here we'd have guys that would win every week. Of course we have one guy that does win almost every week. The great thing about golf is the field always changes. It's not 100 yards long all the time. It's not a basketball court or a baseball diamond. The field always changes. Some courses fit players' games and some courses don't. You can come into one golf course playing great and play as good as you can play and have a hard time finishing in the Top 10 just because the course doesn't suit you. You have to play to your strengths and see what happens. I think that's why guys play different schedules during the year. I know that's why I play different schedules. Like Vegas next week, okay, it's a $5 million purse, but I haven't been there in years just because the golf course there is so wide open off the tee that doesn't fit my game. I don't feel like I can compete there. On a golf course like this where you have rough and you have to think and hit some placement shots, I think I have a chance, so that's why I come here.

Q. Last week before you came down, the last six holes, that patience and everything that you had at the end of the round, is that something you would have had, do you think, if you hadn't been as experienced as you are now?

LOREN ROBERTS: Well, I don't know. I really did have a lot of patience last week. I think probably because I made some putts earlier in the week on Friday, putted well on Friday and I had a good thought about what I was doing, and I did have some patience. For young players to break through, that's the biggest thing that the young guys learn out here when it comes time to learning how to win is being able to have patience even if you've got five or six holes left and you're a stroke or two behind. You still have to be able to have patience and go out there and stay with your routine. That's what the young guys learn out here when they break through and win.

Q. You said it's a goal of yours to be the oldest one in THE TOUR Championship. You've been the oldest one in THE TOUR Championship a couple times now?

LOREN ROBERTS: I think I might have been in 2000. I think I was the oldest guy. Nick Price was there, and I think I have him by maybe four or five months in age.

Q. How much of a student of putting mechanics are you? Are you one of these people who get into like wrist angles and that kind of stuff, or do you just kind of do feel-good putting?

LOREN ROBERTS: I know a few things that are my traits and I stick to my traits and just work on those things. For me putting -- there's two parts to golf, striking a ball and then there's putting, and I think they're two distinct parts. What works for one doesn't work for the other. My philosophy with putting is always speed control, and that's all I focus on, try to roll the ball up around the hole. I never really focus on trying to make a putt, I just try to roll it up around the hole the right speed. It's like playing catch with somebody or shooting a free throw or something - you don't think about it, you just react to it and try to make the ball go the right distance.

Q. Maybe the ball go 30 feet slightly downhill or whatever?

LOREN ROBERTS: Yeah, you just think where it is going there.

Q. Do you use the same club -- have you used the same putter for many years?

LOREN ROBERTS: This is only the sixth putter I've had in I think it's my 22nd year on Tour, and it's the second putter I've had this year. I don't switch very often. I did switch putters the 1st of September and I've been putting a whole lot better since.

Q. What is it?

LOREN ROBERTS: It's a Taylor Made Rossa putter. I putted with a Rossa earlier in the year. I'm going back and forth with it and I grabbed it one out of the barrel and it's totally different than anything I've putted it.

Q. Was this a barrel at your home?

LOREN ROBERTS: No, it was a barrel out there on the practice putting green.

Q. Where was that?

LOREN ROBERTS: Out here -- no, I was at -- I put it in at the Pennsylvania tournament, the MCI.

Q. Is it more how it feels or how it looks and then it translates to how it feel?

LOREN ROBERTS: Just the way the ball comes off the face, it just comes off the face good.

Q. How did you putt that week?

LOREN ROBERTS: I putted reasonably good. In fact, I should have finished Top 10 and I made some bogeys on Sunday coming in, but I did putt better.

Q. You mentioned patience a little while ago. Is that the thing in your mind which most separates the maybe 150th guy from the 15th guy as far as that goes?

LOREN ROBERTS: There's a lot of good ball-strikers around 130 to 125, 110. There's a lot of good ball-strikers down there. I think what separates it is when you know that you're playing good, you learn how to stay out of your own way and be patient and go out and play. It's purely a maturity factor, I think. Some guys get it sooner than others.

Q. Do you ever think about how different your career would have been if you instead of Els had won at Oakmont, it was a long time ago?

LOREN ROBERTS: I put that out of my mind a long time ago. I could have sat in my den a lot of times and gotten mad at Trey for that ridiculous drop on Sunday.

Q. Didn't he get another one on Monday or something like that? I think he got two that he shouldn't have had?

LOREN ROBERTS: Because they put the stands up there at the 17th green you could drop it out from behind the tree. You know, hey, that's the way it goes. I totally put it out of my mind. It would have been nice to get the win. Hey, I had a six-foot putt to win it on Sunday on the last green anyway.

Q. Where is that putter?

LOREN ROBERTS: Oh, I putted with that one all the way up until the start of this year. I started this year with a Rossa but I putted with it last year.

TODD BUDNICK: Thanks, Loren.

End of FastScripts....

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