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July 25, 2007

Loren Roberts


Q. You come in as the defending champion. You've had the opportunity to play this course in the past (2002 Open Championship). Talk a little about the layout and what's out there.
LOREN ROBERTS: What I can tell you is that of all the Open venues there, I think this one is talked up the most amongst the American players as a great venue. It seems like its kind of all out in front of you there. It's probably one of the most revered amongst American players. When I saw what the rotation was starting in 2005 starting at Royal Aberdeen and then Turnberry, I said 'we may be playing a better rotation than the regular Open.

Q. (inaudible)
LOREN ROBERTS: I played Turnberry in '94 and obviously that has been my favourite and a lot of that had to do with where it was and that was the Watson/Nicklaus duel. As an American player I had to say that was one of my favourites. But I would have to say that this (Muirfield) is right up here next to it."

Q. What do you recall about your memories last year and the great head to head you had with Romero?
LOREN ROBERTS: "We turned it into a great head to head on the back nine. It was a tough day with the weather and Eduardo played really well the first nine holes and closed the gap. Then I think neither of us played our best the last eight holes. It was a tough day and I feel very fortunate to come out on top in the playoff. But for me, I would have to say that was the highlight of my golf career. To win there which is a golf course I've always loved with the history there and to be able to win it there was probably the highlight of my golf career.

Q. Seniors and the TOUR?
LOREN ROBERTS: I'd probably say that. You know I never won a major on the regular TOUR. I won eight times but never really won a major championship. I had a couple of chances; any time you're able to win a major championship, yeah. My closest was in '94 when I lost in a playoff with Ernie Els and Colin Montgomerie.

Q. Does it become tougher every year to win with guys like O'Meara and Faldo and some others?
LOREN ROBERTS: Well, just look who is coming out. Obviously it's Wayne Grady and Nick Faldo. You know Faldo's won twice here so he is going to have great memories of here. You have just a smaller window when you move to the Champions Tour because of the age. The Champions Tour is going to get much tougher just simply guys like Nick and Grady and others like Langer, Sluman. A lot of guys are more competitive into their later 40s now on the regular TOUR and think that helps the Champions Tour. I know Sandy (Lyle) wants to play a lot. I know he made the cut last week at Carnoustie and his game is returning to form; he will definitely be dominant out here.

Q. (inaudible)
LOREN ROBERTS: "I think this Tour is very, very competitive. The guys out here like to compete; like to play golf and I think most realize "let's have a little more fun, too'. I know the Champions Tour in America is 'has a little more fun with the spectators and things like that.

Q. Do you still work out regularly?
LOREN ROBERTS: I still work out. I don't have access here but I still do most of the time.

Q. Seve's retirement announcement last week?
LOREN ROBERTS: There was a pretty big buildup in Birmingham to his coming over and playing. He said he had a great, warm reception where everyone was excited about him being there. I just feel bad that he announced that he was retiring, but obviously that's his decision. I think it would be great that some great major champions would play like that. It is tough because he is such a world renowned name. We're sorry he's decided not to play."

Q. (inaudible)
LOREN ROBERTS: I think the guys that come out here and do well are guys that stayed physically capable. You look at Hale Irwin's career. At age 62, he stays in shape, works out all the time and has been lucky to stay physically healthy. You know some guys aren't gifted with a good back all their life. Tom Watson has stayed physically healthy. Everybody has a few things here and there.

Q. Gary Player said last week that he thinks there are people taking drugs on Tour. He didn't name names. It's one thing to say that, but I wonder if you could comment on that?
LOREN ROBERTS: I really don't know where to begin to comment on something like that. I know that it's an issue they are thinking of dealing with, but I wouldn't even know how to comment on that because I'm so far from that.

Q. I'll tell you another awkward question? You like the tradition and everything of Muirfield. Are you happy that there are no women members?
LOREN ROBERTS: You know I would be classified as a traditionalist. The way I look at it I'm a guest here so I'm going to abide by the rules that I'm told to abide by (laughter). That's just me.

Q. Any advice for someone like Sergio who's Achilles' heel seems to be his putting?
LOREN ROBERTS: That's such an individual thing. He putted beautifully the first three days. I wouldn't know where to begin. It's tough for somebody in my position to give somebody like him advice on anything. He has such a great imagination with his short game; great touch and feel with his wedges. I think that is something he'll get straightened out at some point.

Q. (Regarding Nick Faldo.)
LOREN ROBERTS: I think with his record on this golf course he's going to be a threat no question about it. So much of this game is mental and if you feel good about yourself mentally that goes a long way to helping you play well.

Q. What are his fellow pros expecting of him?
LOREN ROBERTS: We expect him to be reasonably competitive; especially here I think he would be instantly competitive. But, what's he doing, 44 weeks of television a year. That's just not the weekend. He's doing four days a week and I think that would tend to limit his practice time a bit.

Q. Getting back to the putting, do you still putt the orthodox way? A lot of players are going to the belly putter. Do you approve of them?
LOREN ROBERTS: No, I've just never really thought about it. I just have never felt the need to go in that direction yet (belly putter). I thought at one point in America that the USGA was possibly thinking about the length of putters but talking about not being able to affix one end of the club to your body. But I don't know if that is a rule that is going to get passed or not but I thought that was being kicked around.

Q. Do you expect the American is starting to get closer together as a team (Ryder Cup)? Jim Furyk made a point of it last week.
LOREN ROBERTS: I'm hoping it does. I was involved last year with Tom Lehman; I was one of his assistants and I think he went way way beyond in trying to get the players together. They came over a month before spending time together. He couldn't do more than he did as far as trying to get the guys together. I think that's the way things are going to be moving now. Obviously you have a different captain every time so we'll see what Paul (Azinger) decides to do. I just know how hard Tom worked for a year and a half to get things ready from writing his speeches to organizing things for the players. I know how hard he worked.

Q. Do you see the possibility of a Senior Ryder Cup?
LOREN ROBERTS: At one time I thought we had a Ryder Cup-format called the Chrysler Cup. It was the U.S. against the rest of the world, including Europe. Then the UBS Cup was after that because I played in that. I think the Champions Tour needs to grow a bit. But I think with Bernhard (Langer) wanting to play and Sandy (Lyle) wanting to play. I don't know how much Nick wants to play, but you get those kinds of Ryder Cup stalwarts to play the Champions Tour more than it would go a long ways to bringing on the support for it.

Q. Do you think the Ryder Cup is still as big a thing in America as it always had been?
LOREN ROBERTS: Yeah, especially now that we've been on the losing end for awhile. Definitely so. The Ryder Cup has such a tradition, I don't see it losing any of its luster at all.

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