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July 30, 2006

Loren Roberts


STEVEN FRANKLIN: Loren Roberts 2006 Senior British Open Champion Presented by Aberdeen Management. Tell us how it feels.

LOREN ROBERTS: It's still sinking in, but it absolutely feels great. You know, the first hole of the playoff, today was a struggle for me. You know, I just didn't really hit the ball the way I did the first three days. I hung in there on the downwind holes and was able to get it back to even par at the turn going to the 12th tee.

I just drove it poorly today and put myself in some positions I shouldn't be in, and then I hit a couple of bad iron shots at 16. You know, I made it more of a contest than I should have.

But it was tough. The conditions were tough and I battled my swing today. But I never gave up, even in the first playoff hole, you know, I've leaned on my putter for 25 years, and I figured as long as I could get at a look at a par putt, I would have a chance, and I did.

Unfortunately I hate to see the tournament like that. I know I'm disappointed for Eduardo, because it looked as if he had it after the tee shots. But as strong and as long as he is, he'll be here for a long time. So I'm just really thrilled to be able to come out and finally, finally win a major championship.

STEVEN FRANKLIN: And how does it rate in your career?

LOREN ROBERTS: Oh, it's the penultimate achievement for me. I mean, obviously I was able to play the Ryder Cup and some other Presidents Cups and to win on Tour, but I had a chance at the '94 U.S. Open and didn't get it on done. Obviously after I got in my mid 40s, it was left to the Senior (Tour) to get it done. And happy to, of all the majors, to get this one, like I said yesterday, it would be a fulfillment for me to get there, and I happily feel that way.

Q. The struggle today

LOREN ROBERTS: You know, the real thing was, you know, I'm just trying to play, try to hit fairways and hit greens. You know, I hit solid pars the first two holes and the third hole I hit a good tee shot and out of nowhere, I hit a double cross 3 wood there and hit it way left and made a good bogey. It seemed like, you know, the next hole I hit it up to about five feet for birdie is and missed it, and from then on it seemed like I struggled. I drove it perfect at 5 and had a sand wedge there and hit it over the green and made bogey there. It just seemed like I struggled rest of the day there.

And I started fighting my golf swing. I feel like I was just a little bit off on my tee shots. I kept driving the ball in the one area I shouldn't. I struggled. I just tried to hang in there all day. I felt like I had a good opportunity on 17 to make birdie to get the lead and didn't. But it was nice to be able to make that par putt to get in the playoff.

Q. Struggling with your swing and your emotions

LOREN ROBERTS: Yeah, I did, it was somewhat similar. I think the turn back into the wind, because I got it back to even par for the day, and even though I was only one ahead of Eduardo, he was 3 under at that point, I felt that he was coming on obviously. And I felt like if I hit some solid shots coming in, I'll be okay. But we all struggled coming back in. I think that everybody made the turn back in; with the exception of Dick Mast, everybody was struggled coming in. I was just happy to get through it.

I did fight myself a little bit today. When I hit the bad tee shot at 12 and made a bogey there, I fought it a little bit after that.

Q. Inaudible?

LOREN ROBERTS: Yeah, yeah, I was trying to get it there. I was okay after 16. You know, I hit it I was still playing okay to the 14th hole and I let the tee ball go way to the right on me there. And it got into a rut and thought I could play the shot out no problem, but I caught the toe coming through and it hit the face and went way right. I was lucky to get it back on my third shot to where I could play from and made a double.

From there on, I struggled. The double cross, I'm trying to play the left side of the green on 16 and trying to hit a fade up there holding against the air and I just put the double cross on. I just struggled to get the ball to go where I was looking. I tried to turn it a little right to left and it went to the right, and if I tried to go left to right, it seemed like I got on top of it and hit it left. You're right, I did struggle.

STEVEN FRANKLIN: What were your emotions on the playoff hole, stepping on the 18th tee again?

LOREN ROBERTS: Well, the tournament starts all over again. I've got a new lease on life here. Eduardo made a good putt on 18 in regulation from probably about six or seven feet. I was just exactly on the other side of the hole from him and the putt broke a lot more than I thought it would have. So I thought if I played a little more break and I had some good speed to it, and it still went in the right side of the hole. I figured I got away with one there.

You know, to get back and start all over again on 18, and he got up and drew the first number and just placed it down there perfectly. I got up and I hit a pull hook earlier in regulation and got up and hit a big flare off to the right. I think to everybody it looked like it was over at that point.

I figured, I believed in my putter for 25 years, and if I just get a look at par, you never know what might happen. Unfortunately for him, it turned out the way it did.

STEVEN FRANKLIN: What distance was your putt on last?

LOREN ROBERTS: Oh, I don't even know. I'm guessing it was probably a good 12, 13 feet at least.

Q. How far was your shot in?

LOREN ROBERTS: I had 77 yards to the hole.

Q. This win gets you into The Open Championship next year.

LOREN ROBERTS: Well, not growing the rough in like they did in '99, I guess it will be a bonus. I'm kind of looking forward to doing that. I think it's wonderful that you give an exemption for the Senior Open champion into the Open. I think the USGA does that, I think the PGA of America does it for the PGA and hopefully THE PLAYERS Championship for the Tour will do it, too, but I'm looking forward to that.

Q. Did you play the last time at Carnoustie?

LOREN ROBERTS: No, I did not. No. I didn't play.

Q. Does this mean more

LOREN ROBERTS: This does, obviously, because of the history of the game and links golf, you know, the golf fans are just great here. They are knowledgeable. They know what's a good shot and what's a bad shot. I mean, you know, they root for everybody, and to me, this is extra special.

STEVEN FRANKLIN: Congratulations, Loren. Thank you.

End of FastScripts.

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