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June 18, 1994

Loren Roberts


LOREN ROBERTS: How many putts do we have?

LES UNGER: First round 33, second round 26, and today 24.

LOREN ROBERTS: It is getting better.

LES UNGER: What is next?

Q. How long was the putt at 18?

LOREN ROBERTS: 18, probably about, I don't know, 15, 16 feet, something like that.

LES UNGER: Did you have expectations at 3 over par today to come out and shoot something like this.

LOREN ROBERTS: I had absolutely no expectation whatsoever because yesterday -- I have been struggling with my golf swing for the last two weeks. My instructor was here for three days working with me at the driving range. I could not find it. Yesterday I hit it everywhere. I got it up and down from every place yesterday, and I had no expectations today other than coming out and trying to hit more drivers and just trying to kind of go for broke. And I started out hitting the ball really good. Got a little idea on the driving range and hit the ball pretty good the front side. In fact, I hit it real good the front side, best I hit it all week, and made the putts so that kind of got me going.

Q. Were you thinking 63 on the last because --

LOREN ROBERTS: To be honest with you, no. Even after I made the putt at 16, I wasn't even thinking about the record or anything like that. 17 was a legitimate birdie hole and I didn't make that, so I really -- I can honestly I say I did not even think about that.

Q. Can you talk about the course and how it is playing from Thursday now through Saturday; the difference in it, the nuances that you have noticed?

LOREN ROBERTS: Well, when I first got here on Monday I went out and played 9 holes, and I thought, I'd say absolutely no way I could shoot 64 on this golf course. For some reason, I don't know if it is just the players have played it more; they are more used to it now or got it figured out, I don't know if I would say that or not. It just seemed like the golf course is playing easier now than Monday when we got here.

Q. Have you ever played as good a round under these conditions before?

LOREN ROBERTS: I'd have to say it is one of my best. I played good at Augusta this year and the week after I had 62 at Hilton Head. I would say because of the tournament and everything else, this is probably the best round I have had, I would say.

Q. How well have you played in majors in the past?

LOREN ROBERTS: I have kind of struggled, I think. Somebody told me that I had played in every other major since I have been on the Tour. I seem to play in one and then don't qualify the next year, so this is the first time I played in two U.S. Opens in a row. I have played good since the middle of last year. I think I finished 11th at Baltusrol. I played good at Augusta this year, finished fifth, and got it going today. So I played a little bit better at the majors in the last year.

Q. You say the course seemed to play easier now than before. In what respect are the greens slower? Are you more used to it?

LOREN ROBERTS: I just think getting more used to it. It is faster if you can get the ball going down the fairway. I mean, it is really going, the ball is really going. What is the yardage at the 18th hole? It is 452, I mean we've been hitting; I am not a long hitter by any means. I have been hitting a 6-iron out there everyday. Longer hitters are hitting 8-iron, 9-iron to that hole. Just the long holes are playing downhill, so it is hard or fast, and the greens are so good, texturewise, that if you can get a legitimate putt at it, these guys are going to make them.

Q. Do you expect to be near the lead when today is over or might you find yourself way back?

LOREN ROBERTS: It is kind of hard to tell. I mean Ernie Els just blistered the front side. There is some low scores. Watson's playing good. I know I made up some ground today, but I would still be surprised if I was on the first page of the leaders, by the end of the day.

Q. Did the pace of play help you today?

LOREN ROBERTS: I think it did a little bit. I mean, it didn't have to wait on any shots and I was able to get in a rhythm. I think that may have reflect a little bit on the scores that you are seeing today. You get in a rhythm; getting to play in the rhythm; not standing around and waiting.

Q. Could you talk a little bit about your putting? You said you putted real well today.

LOREN ROBERTS: I putted really well, really good last two days. I guess it is just a matter of getting the speed figured out. Not many very flat putts out here. Last two days I have just been visualizing the putts good and I am getting the idea of the speed. The greens are so smooth, if you are stroking the ball good and get the ball rolling, the ball will stay on line. I have yet to see any spike marks on these greens. I think they are perfect.

Q. Can you transport us from San Luis Obisbo to today. What took so long for you to persevere?

LOREN ROBERTS: After I won Bay Hill they asked me that. It wasn't like I was going broke out on the tour. I think I had dubious distinction to being the leading money winner of the guys that had never won tournaments. I wasn't exactly getting poor out there. I just felt like I was improving. Before I ever played professionally, I was a club professional and I never had a head job. I got my class A And I worked in that and I went through the apprentice program for, and I worked at clubs for I think, about six, seven years and I always felt as long as I was getting better, I always felt I was improving, why not keep playing. So it wasn't like I was getting depressed over it.

Q. Just follow-up what is your recollection of Thorny Lea Brockton, the National Assistants Championship?

LOREN ROBERTS: That was the first tournament of any kind of consequence for me that I won. That kind of woke me up and said, hey, maybe you can play a little bit; you ought to try and play.

Q. Nice round. Could you kind of look ahead maybe tomorrow afternoon and if you were in contention in a major championship, what are you going to be thinking about? Do you think you can handle the pressure; what will it be like?

LOREN ROBERTS: Hopefully, I want to get through the front nine and be there so I can find out if I can handle the pressure. I want the opportunity, definitely. I want-- I'd like to hit the ball a little better. Naturally, the last 9 holes of the tournament on Sunday U.S. Open, you want to be hitting the ball solidly because you don't want to be getting the ball up and down like I did yesterday. I will try to hit the ball maybe a little bit better than I did today because you'd like to be able to be on the greens putting for birdies most of the day. Hopefully, I just maybe start hitting the ball just a little bit better and see what happens.

Q. With your straight driving accuracy and your putting, are you surprised you haven't done better at the U.S. Open in the past?

LOREN ROBERTS: I really am because I always figured this is a good tournament for me. I am a patient player. A monotonous player, you might say, methodical. That is the way I can get it done best, and I have always felt bad that I didn't play better at the U.S. Open 'til last year. I think some of that had to do with the fact that I kept missing it every other year, so....

LES UNGER: Also your caddie says this is your 500th tournament; will you confirm that.

LOREN ROBERTS: The caddie that I have now used to caddie for Scott Simpson. This is his 500th tournament.

LES UNGER: Oh his. We got that clear now. Congratulations on that.

End of FastScripts....

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