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May 20, 2009

Loren Roberts


KELLY ELBIN: Loren Roberts, ladies and gentlemen, making his fourth consecutive Senior PGA Championship appearance at the 70th Senior PGA Championship at Canterbury Golf Club. Loren's best finish tied for fifth in 2006. You're third on the Money List this year on the Champions Tour, you look like you're playing well coming in, thoughts on your game and the golf course and maybe how it matches up to the way you're playing.
LOREN ROBERTS: Well, I feel like I'm finding a little bit of form here lately, been hitting the ball pretty well. But you're only as good as your putter, you know. It doesn't matter how good you hit it if you're not making any putts.
Very, very, very good golf course here. You got a lot of options as far as what to hit off the tees and the challenge will be to obviously put it in the fairway at the corners. Fairways got a lot of movement to them and a lot of turns. A lot of holes go a lot of different directions.
I think it's a fabulous golf course. You've got to hit all kind of clubs off the tees and then you get to the green and you got to use a lot of imagination. I think that's great. It's just not a blast away golf course, you got to plan every shot and every shot to the green you got to plan so you can keep it under the hole.
KELLY ELBIN: Any holes in particular stand out to you that you like or maybe particularly are challenging?
LOREN ROBERTS: I can think of two on the front nine. I think that the fourth hole, the members play it as a par-5, I think it's 470 yard par-4 for us. Very good hole. It's a good challenging tee shot. And you got a very, very shallow green for somewhat of a longer, maybe mid iron shot if you hit a good tee shot you might be able to get a 7-iron in your hand, but very, very shallow green.
And I'm thinking of that and I'm also thinking of the 8th hole is just really another wonderful hole. We're all kind of guessing on where we think they're going to put the pin on 8, but it might be in the same spot every day. We'll see.
KELLY ELBIN: How about on the back nine?
LOREN ROBERTS: Obviously the finish, 16, 17, and 18 I think that you would, that's a finish that you would find on any Major Championship for the young guys, I think. You're looking at a 616 yard par-5; a 230 yard, 240 yard par-3 with a narrow green sloping green; and then you got 18 where you really got to hit a tough tee shot up there. It's a tight tee shot. And then you got a long or a mid iron into the green. So it's as strong a finish as you'll see in any Major Championship anywhere, I don't care what TOUR you're looking at.
KELLY ELBIN: Open it up for questions on the floor, please.

Q. Putting always comes up when you get asked that question. Is putting an art or a science?
LOREN ROBERTS: I think it's more of an art. The reason I say that is because especially when you get on greens like this I think it's more of an imagination. I think you got to have imagination, obviously you have to have a sense of touch and feel, but I feel on sloping greens like this every putt you play is going to be maximum break, minimum speed. And to me that's an art form.
It's hard to get out here and be scientific about your approach when you got greens like this.

Q. Where do you learn the art? Is something that -- the other follow-up is, are you born with it or can you learn the art of putting?
LOREN ROBERTS: Well I think that it probably goes a little bit with creativity. I think if you got a bit of a mind that's a little bit more creative, I think that it may work for you. I just have a hard time seeing guys putt well week in and week out that are always very regimented and very scientific about it. I just have always felt that it's just kind of something, a little bit something maybe that you are born with a little bit, creativity, not to say you can't become a great putter if you work at it, but I just think, to me putting's all about speed. And to me that's imagination. That's something you can't just get out there and over power with drills.

Q. Do you still let your vision go a little bit out of focus and is that almost a trance like?
LOREN ROBERTS: Yeah. I maybe said a couple off the wall things about what I do in putting, but that's one of the things I do. I, for me, when it comes to putting, I equate it with, you know how you're driving down the freeway and you're not really looking at anything, but you go a little bit out of focus, you're just cruising down there with one hand on the wheel and you don't run into anything, you don't run off the road, but you're not super focused on anything. That's kind of what I like to do with putting.

Q. You've won three of the five Majors. How much of an emphasis are they, how much would you like to make it four years in a row and eventually would you love to have the Senior Slam?
LOREN ROBERTS: Well, I really am enjoying my time on the Champions Tour, Senior Tour, whatever you want to call it. That is one of my goals. Obviously since I've gotten off to a good start and got three of them, obviously I would like to get the other two.
I think that of all of them, this is the only one that I really haven't had a chance to win, so I'd like to put myself in a little better position come Sunday than I have in the past.

Q. You've had a couple great chances at the Senior Open, I'm sure you would like to have both of them, but do you feel bad about either or both or just what?
LOREN ROBERTS: Obviously I feel bad about the one in 2006 at NCR there in Akron, I mean in Dayton. That's the one I feel bad about. I'm sure Greg Norman feels bad about that one too. But we both made some mistakes on the back nine. I made a double there at 11 and that really hurt me. But that's the one I, that bothers me kind of.

Q. I think you were almost 40 before you won on the PGA TOUR.

Q. Were you always kind of a late bloomer and are you still getting better?
LOREN ROBERTS: I would like to think that, but obviously you got a short window here when you get over 50 it's a pretty short window for most guys. Yeah, I'm a late bloomer. I am probably one of the few guys that played a TOUR that actually got my PGA of America card the regular way, by working in the shop and going to business schools and passing the tests. I mean that's something that I was always proud of. That I did it that way.
I got on the TOUR at a little later age and started playing golf a little later than most, but I'm having a great time. I couldn't have asked for anything better.

Q. Does the fact that you traveled that path, that you went to Q-School so many times, that it took you so long to win, does that help keep your edge do you think your hunger?
LOREN ROBERTS: Yeah, I'm a little more focused on playing the game, probably. I never won that Major. So to me I think that fuels you. I had a couple of chances at the Open and the Masters, but I didn't quite get it done and I think maybe that's probably fueled a little bit of the fire for me to want to keep playing.
I would imagine it would be a little tough for somebody to win a couple Majors and had a little different career than I had to maybe stay motivated, but I feel very fortunate to be in the position that I am in now. I could have still been standing behind the counter. That would have been good too, but I just enjoy playing golf all the time.

Q. You mentioned a couple Majors that got away, the one at Oakmont, that one you didn't let get away, didn't you feel that you did everything you could do that day?
LOREN ROBERTS: I don't know, we all shot way over par on Monday, but I put all that past. I've seen guys that have been that close and maybe dwelt on it and kind of stalled. And I just went through a thing where I just went home, I turned the phones off for about three or four day, got over it, and moved on.

Q. What's a good score on this golf course over four days do you think?
LOREN ROBERTS: Wow, my caddie and I were talking about that. A little bit depends on the weather. If we continue to stay warm and dry like it is here the greens are going to get quicker, firmer, and trying to stay under the hole is a premium.
I would probably say if the weather were to stay like this and we weren't having moisture out there, I would probably say 4-under par would be a pretty good score here. For four days.
KELLY ELBIN: You have a difference of 600 yards on the back side to the front side. Is that an unusual situation and is it causing you to approach your game any differently?
LOREN ROBERTS: No, I think most of the guys try to take it one hole at a time. The back nine probably lends itself to being a little bit tougher to make up ground if you have to. I think if you're maybe behind Sunday coming in, you're going to have to get the job done on the front nine to get right up in there in position, because obviously a good tee shot at 16 makes the hole birdieable but you're really looking at a three, four finish on 17 and 18. You would probably sit in the clubhouse and take that for four straight days.

Q. I should know the answer to this, but did you play Crooked Stick in '91 the PGA?
LOREN ROBERTS: Yes, I did. Yeah.

Q. Is that too big a golf course for you or do you feel like?
LOREN ROBERTS: No, I don't think so. I would love to see where they play it from. I don't think it is at all. I think Daly was playing in different fairways than the rest of the crowd that week, but I think that with the new balls, new equipment now, I probably hit it as far if not farther than I was back then.

Q. Kenny Knox was third that week, he's pretty moderate, I guess.

Q. So you'll go there optimistic and ready to roll?
LOREN ROBERTS: Oh, without question. I just remember it being a very, very good golf course, a very fair golf course off the tee, and a golf course that was playable. Of a lot of Pete Dye golf courses I would say that one to me looks like a pretty straight up, straightforward golf course.
KELLY ELBIN: Loren Roberts thank you very much, good luck.
LOREN ROBERTS: Thanks, guys.

End of FastScripts

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