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May 23, 2007

Loren Roberts


KELLY ELBIN: Loren Roberts, ladies and gentlemen. Joining us at the 68th Senior PGA Championship. Making his second Senior PGA Championship appearance. Tied for fifth last year at Oak Tree Golf Club in Oklahoma. Loren, you've had a few chances to play the Ocean Course, initial impressions on this layout.
LOREN ROBERTS: It was a lot harder today than it was yesterday. Yeah, it's going to be -- it's only my second senior PGA, but I would think that it would definitely be one of the hardest that they have probably had in some time.
If the wind continues to blow, the golf course is going to be very challenging and it's pretty hard to predict, for me, pretty hard to predict any kind of a score that would be good for the wind. So that's it.
KELLY ELBIN: Dramatic difference in wind conditions from yesterday to today?
LOREN ROBERTS: Very dramatic. I think that I'm trying to get my bearings here, but I think this is a east/west island and so I would think that the east wind is what we have today. Probably that would be the toughest, because you would start into the wind and you would finish into the wind.
I would think this would probably be the toughest wind. But hopefully we'll get a different look every day.
KELLY ELBIN: Very good. Questions?

Q. I have this sixth sense that tells me that maybe it's going to be windy this week. How are you as a wind player and how are you, mentally, how does that affect your putting?
LOREN ROBERTS: Well, you know, obviously as far as my putting is concerned, obviously you know that's the best part of my game normally. But I do make adjustments for me personally in the wind when it comes to putting. I change my stroke a little.
So we're going to make some changes depending upon how hard it's blowing. But the holes play so differently on this golf course depending upon what direction the wind is blowing it's really hard to come up with one kind of a game plan that you want to play by. You just have to go just by what you get every day when you get here.
And as far as my ball striking, I'm not a high ball hitter. I've always been a pretty low ball hitter. So I think that this, it could, if it keeps blowing like this, it could be a war of attrition.

Q. How does the different green surfaces affect you as a rather a claimed putter, the paspalum?
LOREN ROBERTS: I like the paspalum. From what I can tell I can't see any grain to it. If there is, it's very, very subtle. I think the greens are holding pretty well considering the small greens sizes that you have. And you have a lot of greens that are very shallow. And in windy conditions, that's tough.
So I think the paspalum works out very well for me. I like it. I think it holds some moisture in a little better and like I said without any grain to it that I can tell, I think they're very, very good surfaces.

Q. The Ocean Course recently was voted the toughest course or one of the toughest courses in America. When it's blowing like this, does it live up to that reputation?
LOREN ROBERTS: Well, without question it's a tough course. I guess some might consider it a U.S. version of a links course, but there's so many forced carries here that it would be hard to really say that it would be some kind of a true links style golf course. And I think any time you have very windy conditions with a lot of forced carries, obviously that's what makes the golf course so hard. There are very few places to where you can really miss the ball. And I think that that's what adds to the toughness of it.

Q. Talk about the significance of this event. This is the oldest Senior Major, it dates back to Augusta National and all that. As a player, how does this fit into your scope of which tournaments are important on the Champions Tour versus say the U.S. Open or whatever.
LOREN ROBERTS: Well, this being our first Major of the year, and the fact that I actually have been a member of the PGA of America longer than I have the PGA TOUR, it's probably, it's pretty important to me.
I've always felt that the PGA of America does a pretty good job too as far as setting up the golf course to where it's tough but fair. So we'll see how things play out tomorrow.

Q. Do you get a sense that's how other players feel about it?
LOREN ROBERTS: Oh, yeah, without question. If you look at -- if you just go back to the '91 Ryder Cup that was here, how many guys in this field played on that team? I think that everyone of them, practically, I think. So right there I think that says it all for how important this tournament is.

Q. As a follow-up to that question, do you prepare differently for a Major Championship either physically or mentally coming in, four day tournament?
LOREN ROBERTS: No, I don't prepare any differently than I would for any other tournament. For me at 51 years of golf, 51 years of age in golf, to me golf is fun. But I still enjoy playing the game and I'm going to prepare the same for no matter what tournament it is.
In a Major Championship, you have to be a little bit sharper though if you're going to contend.

Q. You mentioned being a PGA member. You won the 1979 Assistants Championship. That sort of jump started your career. Any thoughts in particular on what that did and how that helped kind of get your career going?
LOREN ROBERTS: Well, I was playing out of the bag room at San Luis Obispo Country Club. So it made me think, you know, maybe I can play a little bit. I got a chance to -- I actually beat some guys that were pretty good players, I thought. So on a very good golf course. I thought well, you know, let's give it a try. And so that's what I did. And luckily it worked out well for me.

Q. I was just going to ask you, do you remember any highlights of that finish and do you remember what your check was for winning the Assistants?
LOREN ROBERTS: I think it was $3,000 first place. That was huge. Biggest part of the deal was that they paid for your airline ticket and your hotel for the week. That was what I thought was such a heck of a deal. Thanks to Footjoy.

Q. Anything you remember about winning?
LOREN ROBERTS: Yeah, I got on the 18th green in regulation and I had a two shot lead and I told myself I can 3-putt and still win the tournament. And that's exactly what I did.

Q. I read in your bio that you didn't become serious about golf until you were 16. What was it at 16 that got you serious about the sport?
LOREN ROBERTS: I don't know whether I should tell this story or not. But I played baseball when I was in high school. And when I was a sophomore we lost a game to our arch rivals and the coach made us run laps and do calisthenics for two hours after the game and I was so pissed off that I said, I'm switching sports.
So I started playing golf.

Q. At what high school?
LOREN ROBERTS: San Luis Obispo High School in California.

Q. And you lost to who?
LOREN ROBERTS: We lost to Lom Poc.
KELLY ELBIN: Loren Roberts, good career choice, thanks for joining us.
LOREN ROBERTS: All right. Thanks.

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