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October 7, 2007

Loren Roberts


DAVE SENKO: Loren, congratulations on winning the Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship. You earned a check for 390,000 which is the largest on the Champions Tour in your career.
LOREN ROBERTS: Do we always have to talk about money? (Laughter).
DAVE SENKO: Earned a berth in next year's PLAYERS Championship.
LOREN ROBERTS: Now I am nervous. (Laughing).
DAVE SENKO: And just a couple other side lights. You won a major championship for the third consecutive year, which you're just the fifth player in Champions Tour history to accomplish that.
LOREN ROBERTS: That's nice, thank you.
DAVE SENKO: And it's your third different major championship and you're just one of nine players to do that. And lastly, you've taken over the lead in the Schwab Cup right now.
LOREN ROBERTS: Well, maybe we've at least made it interesting again for the end of the season for the Schwab Cup.
Yeah, really, for me personally I really exorcised some demons today for me. Last year at one point, I think on the front nine or near the end of the front nine, I had a five-shot lead and I ended up finishing third and kind of really making a couple of doubles on the back nine and losing the golf tournament.
So to come here today and start out with a three-shot lead and really get the job done, to me, that goes a long way for me in being able to get over a little bit of a hurdle that I had had from last year.
So this one might be the sweetest for me, it really might be just because of what happened last year and getting near the end of the year and being able to close some ground on Jay. And also to be paired with Tom, I've said before, I absolutely love to play with him. And then to have Fred Funk, probably one of the greatest fan-friendly players out here that we have in his hometown kind of, with me going on to win, and win in convincing fashion, to me really fulfilled a whole bunch of things I felt like I had on my plate to get rid of today.
DAVE SENKO: Do you want to go through, you started off four straight birdies, maybe just take us through that stretch, 2 to 5 and then No. 9.
LOREN ROBERTS: I got off to a great start today. I had to -- Fred made a couple of birdies in the first four holes and I started out on the second hole, hit a 9-iron in there probably about four or five feet and made that for birdie.
Then hit a really good 4-iron in on the third hole, probably about, I don't know, probably about 12 feet right behind the hole and knocked that in for birdie.
Got it up-and-down out of the left-hand bunker on 4 for birdie. Made a good 7-footer for birdie there.
Then hit a great shot in there about five feet on 5 for birdie. So to start off making four birdies in a row on the front nine, that was huge because that separated me from the field a little bit there.
Then making the turn, you know, probably one of the tougher holes today was the ninth hole, and I hit a driver, pretty good drive and I hit a 3-iron up there probably two feet from the hole and made the turn at 5-under, and that was huge, because the back nine, the pins were a little tougher today. They were in tough spots to get the ball close to the hole.
My regrets, I had a three front bogey from the very front edge at 16 and I hate to do that, but other than that, I played solid.
18, seven-shot lead, the only thing I wanted to be sure that didn't happen was the ball didn't go over the fence left. That was really the opening thing I wanted to be sure of. (Chuckling) Obviously when you think that way, you go in the right rough. But it was great to be able to stand up there with a 7-shot lead on 18.

Q. When you go through the front nine in 30, do you play any differently in do you have to sort of force yourself to somewhat play conservatively given your lead, rather than going for the score and going for maybe something special?
LOREN ROBERTS: You know, I have caught myself doing that before, and I realize that probably doesn't work most of the time. And I just kept trying to make birdies, kept trying to put the ball on the fairway, kept trying to put the ball on the greens and make some birdies. The pins were tougher on the back nine and the pins were closer to the edges. The pins on 10, 11, 13 was tough on the front left. They were all pretty much kind of tucked on the back nine today.
I was still trying to make birdies, get the ball on the green and make birdies. Didn't quite turn out that way. But I think I played solid. I didn't really put the ball in any danger.
The only real danger I had the ball was on 13. All three of us drove it in the left bunker and I pitched out and got it up-and-down from 100 yards out of 106 and hit it six or seven feet left of the hole. That was the huge swing-hole there because we all missed the green and I got it up-and-down from 106, and Fred had a very untimely 3-putt for a double there and that kind of was the tournament.

Q. You talked about even going back to the U.S. Open, it bothered you for a little while but you got over it. It sounds like things stay with you, and they have to I guess. Can you talk about how good it does feel to pull it off today?
LOREN ROBERTS: Well, any time you get to that point where you feel like you should win; if you just go ahead and keep playing solid, you should win. And you end up spitting the bit out of your mouth, you know, it's going to hurt you for a while. But I think you have to learn how to get over it. I think all of the really good players have. That's something I want to try to do like all the good and great players.
Like I say I've thought about it from time to time and you can't help but think about it. I had a couple of people asked me about it and remind me of it earlier in the week and yesterday. It is nice to be able to overcome something mentally like that. That's why as I stand here before you today, I think it's probably one of most gratifying things, one of the most gratifying wins I've ever had, because there were some things that I had to exorcise.

Q. With 19 birdies in this tournament, you were great on what a lot of people considered to be tough greens or are tough greens; do you think that was the key to your success this week was consistent putting?
LOREN ROBERTS: Well, I think so, if you want to call it -- I didn't have a 3-putt this week. I used my putter but I was off the green on 16, so technically by the stats, it's not a 3-putt.
You know what, these kind of greens, I love these kind of greens because it's all about feel and it's all about pace and imagination, and that's kind of the way I putt. When I saw this golf course, I said this is going to be a great golf course for me.

Q. How do you think the golf course stacked up as a major championship venue? Obviously for a while looked like you were playing a different game than everybody else, but do you think that it held up as a true test for a major championship?
LOREN ROBERTS: I think so. Today was the first day I caught a couple of lies in the rough where I really couldn't get the ball on the green. I drove it in the rough a few times this week and was pretty much able to get it on the green or on up there right around the green. So I was a little surprised I had a couple of bad lies. If I were to say one thing, maybe the rough a little bit deeper, something like that.
You know, the golf course, I think if they wanted to really take it that extra step, and it's a great golf course, but if they wanted to take that extra step, they could probably speed the greens up and firm the greens up just a little bit if they wanted to. I hope they don't hear me say that, but -- (laughter).

Q. Tom was talking about the fact that you're obviously known so much for your putting but you really in a way won the tournament today with your iron play early. He said sometimes you can tell if a guy is getting by with something but you were just hitting it flush today?
LOREN ROBERTS: Yeah, I really only hit -- first really bad shot I hit was the tee shot at 3 and just tried to sneak it down the left side. I kind of over-hooked it and got in that bunker and that was really the only poor shot. And then obviously the tee shot at 18, I missed way right, but that was sort of on purpose.
Yeah, I hit the ball very solid today. I gave myself a lot of chances. I think I only really missed one green today coming into the 16th hole, and that was an inch off the front edge. 18, really, I consider I missed probably only two greens today. So on this golf course, when I feel I can do that, with my putter, I feel like I've got a real chance.

Q. Have you ever had a 7-shot lead on the 18th hole, last hole a tournament?
LOREN ROBERTS: Yes, I have, matter of fact. I think I had a nine-shot lead on the 18th hole at Milwaukee in 2000.

Q. Do you start feeling like Tiger when you have that kind of lead?
LOREN ROBERTS: No, that doesn't even come up in conversation. (Laughter). You know, I'm not even in the league below his league.
DAVE SENKO: Thanks, Loren.

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