June 22, 2000
LOREN ROBERTS: I had a great pairing today and tomorrow. Always a pleasure to play with Nick and John. I played pretty solid. The front nine just had one tough hole. I made a pretty good par save from with twelve feet at No. 7 after I drove it up there behind those trees in the right. I hit a shot over the left-hand bunker and really didn't have much of a shot, any kind of a chance to get it close, made a good 12-footer save par, kind of keep the momentum going. Then from then on I hit the ball really good the rest of the way around. Hit a couple of loose iron shots at 17 and 18, but other than that, I just had really makeable birdie chances all day. So by and large, very solid round for me. So I am very happy to finally get started in this tournament decently.
Q. Looked like you played much better on the back 9 than the front, birdies came on the back side?
LOREN ROBERTS: Yeah. I hit the ball close. Gosh, I had a makeable birdie putt on 10, which I made. I had a very makeable one at 11 and 12 and 13. Then made one from about 18 feet behind the hole at 14. Hit it in there close at 15 from about six feet. Then about 15-footer at 16, wasn't that makeable, but then good up-and-down at 17 and kind of a 2-putt from the front fringe at 18. So I hit the ball really solid; on the back side I had a lot of birdie opportunities.
Q. When you said yesterday you felt like you could win this tournament, do you feel even a little more confident now?
LOREN ROBERTS: Yeah, obviously got to go out and post a good one time; then I will in shape for the weekend. That is kind of the thing that is on my mind. Also having the advantage of playing tomorrow morning after posting a good one this afternoon, I just feel like that has kind of -- I put my self right where I want to be. So if I can go out and shoot 4-, 5-under tomorrow, I should be right there for going into Saturday and that is all I am thinking about is trying to put a good one up tomorrow, so I can be in position Saturday to really move up in there.
Q. How has it been in the past, I mean, last four, five years just haven't finished here very well; is that a part of your game wasn't where you wanted it to be at the time or playing at home --
LOREN ROBERTS: Just sometimes, just as hard as you work on it, you just can't seem to get in the rhythm sometimes. I either haven't been playing that well coming in here or I have played well for two or three weeks leading up to this tournament and usually have come in here maybe a little tired and out of gas a little bit with the heat. You have to be pretty fresh, but after all, having only played one week which was the Open last week, I feel pretty fresh and my game is in pretty good shape right now, ball striking-wise and today I made good putts, so I feel very confident about the rest of the week.
Q. Looked a little easier after Pebble Beach (inaudible)
LOREN ROBERTS: I like golf courses when they play hard like that. Different type of golf. Totally different. Here it is pretty much kind of attack and try to make as many birdies as you can and U.S. Open half the time you are playing away from the flag. So two totally different types of games.
Q. Your reputation is more as a, you know, somebody who does well on the --
LOREN ROBERTS: I am a plotter, yeah.
Q. Yet you look at your record and I mean, you have set some tournament-scoring records out there. Do you feel comfortable in a shootout situation? Comfortable is not the right word but do you feel --
LOREN ROBERTS: With my game, obviously, everybody knows there is no secret, I live and die by the putter. If I catch a week where I am hitting the ball pretty good and my putter gets hot, I have a chance to really go low. So I mean, obviously that is what is happened, the record kind of said that on a few golf courses where I have won, so it is a matter of when my putter does get hot, I can make a lot of putts and if I combine that with some decent ball-striking then I have a pretty good chance.
Q. What temperature is it right now?
LOREN ROBERTS: It is getting there. Just kind of like warm right now.
Q. Course set up a little tougher today than normal for a first round?
LOREN ROBERTS: Yeah, it was. There were some pretty good pins. The pin at 10 and the pin at 1. The pin at 1 today is Sunday -- always been back there on Sunday and it was there today and that is a pretty hard hole anyway and to start out with that pin all the way back there, that is a tough pin. There was a very tough pin at 11. It was back right over there. Tough pin at 16 way over left other side of the bunker. 17 was the middle right, way over there where it was on Sunday when Kite won that year. So they had some pretty tough pins right out of the gate. I think they probably -- you are going to see tougher pins all the way through the week to try to maybe keep some of the scoring down.
Q. Where were the pins at 1 and 10?
LOREN ROBERTS: Pin on 1 was all way back right on that little shelf and 10, it was all way left over there behind the bunker.
Q. What is the lowest you have gone on scores, just playing with--
LOREN ROBERTS: I think I had 63 here one time just out playing with some friends, but the course is totally different then. I was a little tighter starting out today than I normally am wanting to get off to a good start. We had a pretty good crowd starting out the front 9 and you know, I was a little tighter today just because I wanted to get off to a good start. I think I will be a lot looser tomorrow.
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