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July 31, 2009

Tom Lehman


THE MODERATOR: At 6-under for the Championship, Mr. Tom Lehman.

Q. Well, talk about your round. I know at one point you slipped to 3-under.
TOM LEHMAN: Yeah, I got off to a bit of a rocky start. Buried the first, bogeyed the fourth, bogeyed the second, I guess, so I was plus 1. Didn't bury the par-5 and made a 45-footer on the par 3, No. 6, which that kinda got my round turned around. But I played pretty well.
The course is playing probably just the way they want it. It was quite challenging. The fairways are firm, the greens are firm and fast and the course is set up just about right because the rough isn't -- you know, it's not too deep, you can play out of the rough and manage to get the ball up near the green, so the course is playing very well.

Q. Started to look in the afternoon like the firmness the greens was changing, maybe that wasn't the best time to play today?
TOM LEHMAN: Well, I'm not sure if it is or isn't, I typically play my best golf when the conditions get more that way, so I like these kinds of conditions. It puts a premium on patience and accuracy and attitude and all that kind of stuff. So par becomes a good score. I would rather play it like this rather than really soft greens are you're throwing darts and making a million birdies.

Q. Seemed like a terrific four on 18 after that tee shot and looked like you were between clubs.
TOM LEHMAN: It was 170-something, and I hit a 9-iron and it slipped off the right edge and I made a nice chip and a putt. The rough is hit and miss.
If you get it in a spot like I was, the lie wasn't terrible and you could play with it. But, if you get it on the side of a hill, it's a different story; it's a tough tee shot, a very difficult hole.

Q. Higher scoring on the weekend with more firmness and more challenging pins?
TOM LEHMAN: Yeah, if it stays like this, continues to be breezy and sunny and the greens get more baked, plus the greens are new, I think that plays spew it as well. They don't hold all that well. Simply because of the newness of the greens and you add the firmness now, and it becomes a kind of thing where how far is it going to roll? It's more like playing in Scotland right now. The conditions are bouncy and you can can't on the ball bouncing and judging the bounces in the fairways and the greens. It's a nice set-up, I like it.

Q. Did you play here in '91?

Q. You've never seen this course?
TOM LEHMAN: Not until Wednesday afternoon.

Q. Your impressions?
TOM LEHMAN: I like it. I think it's really quite good. I was expecting a good golf course but I probably was -- it's exceeded my expectations. I really enjoy it.

Q. One hole or anything surprise you, whether it's a certain shot or anything in two days that you go, oh, I guess --
TOM LEHMAN: The thing that surprised me is the width of the fairways. I was surprised at those. They're actually -- I wouldn't say they're runways out there, but they're adequate. It's not the 22-yard wide U.S. Open-type thing that you typically encounter. The fairways are 30, 35 yards wide so there is room to hit it.

Q. (No microphone.)
TOM LEHMAN: Um, how much more difficult? Well, it was a little breezier, so for starters, they moved tees around a bit to mix it up. The greens were firm and they were fast, so it played a shot tougher than yesterday. Shot and a half, maybe.

Q. (No microphone.)
TOM LEHMAN: No, it was back to -- but the wind was helping from the left, so if you could get the right line off the tee it was a driver and a 9-iron or something like that.

Q. When you come to something like that and you have only played one practice round, does that mess up your lines and almost put you at a disadvantage?
TOM LEHMAN: No, I think we did a good job during that one practice round of understanding where the line is and what the carries are and how far is too far left and how far is too far right. So I felt pretty confident that I know what I'm doing out there.

Q. More than your shares of close calls in the Open. Would it for that reason even more be nice to win this one, maybe?
TOM LEHMAN: Just to win, period. But it's a great Championship and it's a great set-up, has a great atmosphere, definitely feels like a significant tournament. It has everything that you want in a golf tournament, in my opinion -- a good field, good course, great bunch of fans, right atmosphere, great city, everything about it is just right.

Q. (No microphone.)
TOM LEHMAN: Well, we'll --

Q. I think she knows what she says.
TOM LEHMAN: She is not talking about you guys, though, because she knows you guys don't report stuff that doesn't happen. She likes you guys.

End of FastScripts

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