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July 19, 2019

Tom Lehman

Portrush, County Antrim, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom

Q. Was there emotion at the end?
TOM LEHMAN: There was emotion for sure. You don't really know how you're going to react to the last thing of something. And this one was very sweet and joyful. Tears of joy. So it was...

Q. No inclination to try and come and qualify?
TOM LEHMAN: Listen, I could still win a Senior Open. I told my wife if I could write the perfect script and play one more, I'd win next year so I could play St. Andrews.

Q. The Senior Open next week, if you win that you can play at St. Georges next year.
TOM LEHMAN: Isn't St. Andrews in two years?

Q. Yeah, but Lytham next week --
TOM LEHMAN: That's true. Very true.

Anyway, that would be great.

Q. Is your son with you on the bag?
TOM LEHMAN: Yeah, it is. He's been mistaken for a player everywhere he goes. He's kind of got that look.

It's like, Hey, good luck this week, hope you play well. Go get 'em. Make some birdies. Okay. Right on. Somebody said, Who are you playing with? I'm playing with Fleetwood. He's had some fun with the fact that he looks like a lot of these young guys out here.

He's a good player himself, so he'll be out here maybe one day.

Q. What words were said when you were coming down the fairway there?
TOM LEHMAN: I just said to him how much I loved him. There was nobody in the world I'd rather be walking down the fairway with right here than you. It means a lot to me you're here by my side. This may be my last one, but maybe the next time I'll be caddying for you.

Hopefully that comes true.

Q. Had you been thinking about this for a while, what it was going to be like?
TOM LEHMAN: No. I really expected to play well this week. I've been playing pretty steadily back home. Hitting the ball extremely well and driving it great. So my whole thing this week was I think this is a good course for me. And of course I didn't play that well.

So yeah, it wasn't until about the 16th hole that I started thinking about it. Okay, this is it.

Q. Did it feel any different than you thought it would?
TOM LEHMAN: It was more emotional than I thought it would be. It was more -- I did everything in my power not to start bawling walking down the 18th fairway. I didn't totally succeed but I mostly succeeded.

Q. It would be nice to hole that putt.
TOM LEHMAN: I hit a great putt. I hit it right where I was looking. I misread it. Par for the course this week.

Q. Aside from the obvious joy of lifting the Claret Jug, what was the great Open memory that stands out for you looking back over these years?
TOM LEHMAN: You know, my favourite memory is the year that I won. I had a policeman, a Lancashire police officer who was kind of like my security guy for the week. Back at the time I was ranked No. 2 in the world. I'm pretty certain his name was Kevin Boyles, I still have one of his hats and he has my Dockers hats. We switched hats after the thing was over. Everywhere I went the whole week, whether it be to the driving range or the Media Center, down the fairways, to the parking lot afterwards, he was there, he walked us, and he was the guy for us.

So on 18, as you know back then you hit the second shot on the green and then the crowd runs forward. So there was 40 people deep who we had to kind of fight through. He kind of got in front of me, and he held me with one arm behind his back, and he just started kind of sweeping people out of the way, fighting through the crowd, and pulling me behind him. We got through, and there's the 18th green, and there's the golf ball sitting there.

He puts his arm around me and he says, Aye, Tom, we've been through a lot of shit together, but now you're on your own.

I think of Open memories, that's my favourite one.

Q. You still have his hat?
TOM LEHMAN: I still have his hat, absolutely. All good. Good stuff.

Q. You've played all these other spots. What do you think of this one?
TOM LEHMAN: It's different. It's unique. Very unique golf course. You don't play many links courses with this much fall around the greens, and not falling into the fairway, falling into junk. You miss some of these greens by a foot and you're into the tall grass and -- is it heather?

Q. It's sort of brambly?
TOM LEHMAN: Yeah, brambly heather.

Very unique in that way. You can really magnify your misses by getting the wrong places and catching those slopes.

I think it's one of the most beautiful courses I've ever seen. Picturesque. I think it's a tremendous golf course, I really do. But it's definitely different. It's unique in that way.

Q. Will you continue to come back for the Senior Open?
TOM LEHMAN: Yeah, yeah, for sure.

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