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July 30, 2009

Tom Lehman


Q. (No microphone.)
TOM LEHMAN: I hit a pretty good tee shot. I had a decent lie. I was debating to lay it up with a 6 or 7-iron or to try to get a rescue, try to run it up the gap. I decided to be aggressive and try to run up the gap and then hit a perfect shot that rolled up the green then make a 20-footer or something like that.

Q. It is kind of a tricky hole?
TOM LEHMAN: It was part of the decision making, you know, probably easy to get it close laying it up for a wedge. Loren almost holed it, but he almost holes everything. I'm not sure it was a greet pin for me to get at, going forward made more sense.

Q. Does something like that carry over into tomorrow afternoon? You won't be teeing off till the afternoon.
TOM LEHMAN: I believe in that. I believe that you can -- you can lose your mojo if you do something stupid to finish a round. But you also can, you know, kind of get something to build on, if you do something, you know, really great to finish the round.
It's a lot easier to go practice right now and prepare for tomorrow knowing that I finished the round well, than it would be to have, you know, plugged it in the bunker and made a six.

Q. You only played the one practice round; right?

Q. Was that just picking rest over practice?
TOM LEHMAN: I got here on Tuesday, was planning on playing nine holes. After I chipped and putted for four hours, I hit some wedges and just felt crappy. You know, just didn't feel like I had any energy at all. I thought it would be a waste of time actually to go on the golf course.

Q. A lot of talk about back-to-back-to-back majors. Obviously, you got to play what the schedule says, but, I mean, this isn't ideal I would assume?
TOM LEHMAN: It's not ideal. I played the John Deere before the Open Championship so this is my fourth, you know. So it is, you know, not what you choose to do, but, you know, I was talking to my dad last night and he says, You are just wearing yourself out, you can't do that. I go, Well, what other choice do I have. There is no other choice. You either rate the tournaments and you want to play and you play.
But I think it was smart for me to not play on Tuesday. I feel way better today probably than I would have if I tried to play.

Q. A lot of, you know, Norman, yourself, Sindelar, Loren played well. What is it about this golf course that brings out the best in guys?
TOM LEHMAN: It's not an easy golf course, but it's easy conditions today. You have to put the ball in the right spots, but it definitely pays to drive it well. I mean, if you drive the ball well here, you are probably going to enjoy yourself a lot more.
So I think probably the common factor would be, you know, that everybody who played well has driven the ball on the fairway. And, you know, everybody does it a different way.
You know Loren just was outstanding on the greens and he put it into play, and I'm sure the shark hit it a mile and wasn't a lot of short irons hitting on the Par 5s and 2. So different strokes for different folks.

Q. Same thing that played to your strengths in the U.S. Open play to your strokes in the Senior Open?
TOM LEHMAN: There's no differences. Although the fairways are wider.
I was surprised at the width of the fairway. But they're fast. It's easy to run right the fairway with at least the first cut and then immediate cut.

Q. Loren said he was inspired by what Tom did. Do you think a lot of players feel that, take a lift from what Tom did?
TOM LEHMAN: You know, you can probably take a lot of things, but I think the one thing is for certain is that if you have talent and you stay committed, you can play well for a long time.
I watched Tom play the final 16 holes and sat there with my son and watched every shot. Stewart Sink played great and won but Tom Watson played every bit as well. Even the last hole making bogey, made a great tee shot but just didn't work out for him.
Yeah, it was very inspiring and makes you want to evaluate where you are with your game, and what are you doing, what are you not doing that you should be doing to get better.

Q. (Question about Joey Sindelar.)
TOM LEHMAN: There's a lot of guys that you can say that can't get nicer. I would put Don Pooley in that group and Larry Mize in that group. There's a bunch of other guys -- go right down the list -- who are in that just genuinely nice person category like Sindelar.
The scary thing is that Joey is the second nicest person in the family -- [lost audio].
There's a little bit of both. The longer you hit it, the straighter you have to be. The longer you miss it, the wider it gets. So you have to kind of pick and choose and pay attention to that.

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