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November 1, 2009

Loren Roberts


PHIL STAMBAUGH: Loren, scores of 66, 66 on the weekend propel you to your second Charles Schwab Cup title in three years. You become the fourth player to win two Charles Schwab Cups. This year you took the lead at the Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship week 22, and never relinquished it thereafter.
Congratulations. I know it was a touch-and-go day with Bernhard ,but you got it done. Maybe just a few thoughts about sort of the overall competition, and take us through the day, if you could.
LOREN ROBERTS: Well, you know, overall competition for the whole year, I think the year that I won it in '07 I did the same thing. I took over the lead at Constellation. That's been a great golf tournament for me. I just love the golf course there.
It was nice to get up in the lead and then kind of finish it off. I struggled the last couple weeks coming in here in Texas. At Houston and San Antonio I didn't -- I wasn't hitting the ball that well and really wasn't putting that well.
All I can say really about this week is, for me, there was two tournaments. I played two totally different golf tournaments in one week. The first two days I really didn't hit it very good and I really didn't putt well. You know, obviously I'm 1-under par for two days and just basically out of it.
I just started a whole other tournament on Saturday. Put a lot practice time in Friday afternoon. I went out there and just kind of beat myself up on the range a little bit and just really tried to focus in on what I need to do just to change my rhythm and find a little swing, something that worked. I found a little something probably in the last 30 balls that I hit out there late Friday night.
I'm usually never the last one on the range. That's usually Tom Kite or Bruce Vaughan or someone. They'[re usually the last ones on the range, I'm not. But I was the last one on the range Friday. Like I said, the last 20 or 30 balls I found something and I put it to -- it worked this weekend. It totally changed my outlook and my attitude about things.
Just went out and played as good as I can play. I thought maybe I had to go 5-under a day to give me a shot, and little did I know that I would go two better than that and still just kind of -- still went down to the last couple holes with Bernhard.
For me, really, it was two tournaments in one this week.
PHIL STAMBAUGH: Loren gets $1 million annuity from Charles Schwab for winning the cup. I don't know if they caught it in here, but maybe talk about what you and Tim were talking about there and giving some money to help some good people.
LOREN ROBERTS: Well, yeah. There were three junior players out here yesterday. I actually saw them earlier in the week, but they were out yesterday walking you around. They were with one of the fathers of one of the young men. They were just great, great kids. Just, you know, good positive attitude. They just seemed like they were great kids.
I got to talking to their dad, and I guess they go to school in Sacramento. That particular school district, I think there's nine high schools in the district that they have there. They're cutting boys and girl's golf. Completely dropping it really. You know, they were talking about it, because they don't spend that much money. I think $35,000 covers nine schools' golf for the whole year for them with the budget cuts here in the state.
So I just got to thinking about it. I said, Gosh, it just seems like that might be something that maybe, you know, I could be involved in or have a part in. That's what the Schwab Cup allows us to do. I know all the players that have been involved with the Schwab and won the Schwab over the years have donated their money or become involved with helping things like that.
I think that's one of the great things about the Schwab Cup. It's fun to win it. It's an awesome challenge to play all year long. But it allows us to do some things in communities that maybe we wouldn't even know about. It just kind of hit me yesterday when I was talking to them and talking about what they wanted to do. I just thought, Hey, that might be something -- an area that I could help out. That's what the Schwab Cup allows us to do.
PHIL STAMBAUGH: Loren, before we go to questions, can you run through your six birdies today and tell me if one was more crucial than another along the way.
LOREN ROBERTS: You know, I got off to a fast start yesterday; the same thing today. I mean, I got out and I hit -- I had two tap-ins for birdie. I hit it about five feet of the first hole, and then about three feet of the second hole. So I birdied the first two right out of the gate.
And gosh, I had a look at a about 7-footer at the third hole. I thought, if I knock that it, here we go. Didn't make it, but I got off to a good, fast start. Made a good up-and-down on the 4th hole, which is probably the hardest hole on the golf course, for me, anyway.
Really an after that par I just played solid all day. I think I missed one other green. I missed the 7th green and hit a chip shot that almost went in the hole. I don't know how it stayed out. That was the only other green I missed.
After that, I just hit the ball down the fairway and and on the green and had a lot of looks at birdies. Didn't make any super-long putts, but I hit a lot of close shots for tap-ins for birdies. I was very thrilled about it.
So birdieing the first two out of the gate and then I hit it probably about three feet at 9 for my third birdie on the front nine.
And then probably the longest putt of the day was probably about an eight- or nine-footer at 11 for birdie. Knocked that one in.
Chipped it down there foot and a half at 13 for birdie.
Then, gosh, had a really good look at an eagle putt and lipped it out for eagle at 16 to go 6-under.
Really the only bad shot I hit I was right in between clubs at 17. I knew for me it was probably just a good solid wedge. I don't know if the air was coming in out of the left or what, but I took a little 120 yard 9-iron down there and I kind of pulled it and hit the fringe and kicked long. But I made a good two-putt from about 45 feet, so that was really the only poor shot I hit today really.

Q. Next year you move to Harding Park.

Q. As such a great champion of this event, you must have some emotions about not returning here.
LOREN ROBERTS: Well, I do. Obviously it's a wonderful facility. We absolutely love the golf course. I don't think we play a golf course that's in better condition than this golf course all year long. The greens are absolutely fabulous here. The whole golf course is pristine. It's perfect.
Obviously, you know, wine country, Sonoma, it's beautiful up here. It's a great place to play. They just do a wonderful job for us here. It's gonna be tough to leave.

Q. A few years ago you made some donations to the junior golf in your hometown. Do you know how that's gone and who's benefited from a that?
LOREN ROBERTS: It's been good. You know, we're -- we have a good program in Memphis, a good First Tee program. We're trying to get a facility built. We do have a facility there that we're allowed to use, which the old army depot had little nine-hole golf course with a little clubhouse on it and a driving range. Perfect spot. So they let us come in there and use that for our program.
And we have another driving range situation. We were trying to get a golf course built over at the old Firestone tire plant that was in the New Chicago area of Memphis, which was a really just -- they closed that down and the neighborhood just really went down.
So we have about 98 acres over there. We have a driving range and a portable building over there now. But like everybody else, we're struggling to find money and funds.
But I've been involved with a lot other charities, too, you know, in Memphis. That's what I'm saying. That's what the Schwab Cup allows us to do. It allows us to do some things we normally wouldn't get to do because of the way things are spread out over ten years.

Q. Is there an emotion or sentiment involved with this?
LOREN ROBERTS: Well, it's hard to say sentiment. Me personally, I love golf so much I'll go play anywhere, really. But this is just a great area to come to. Obviously look at the weather situation. I know San Francisco the golf course looks wonderful. I've never played Harding Park. I enjoyed watching it during the Presidents Cup. It looked like a really good golf course and fun to play. A lot of different angles and shots.
But I know how summertime in San Francisco can feel like wintertime, so it could be a little different than, you know, 75 degrees every day up here.

Q. Does this one mean more to you because you were coming in maybe not playing as well as you had hoped to be?
LOREN ROBERTS: Yeah. I was telling Tim Rosaforte on the Golf Channel, I said, I am more nervous playing this golf tournament than I am any of the major championships, just because if you're in contention, you have a chance to win it, this thing is like a tournament that's gone on all year. You just hate to get to the end and have a bad week and blow it, you know. It's like, imagine a tournament stretched out over ten months. You hate to work so hard all year and have an off week and blow the whole thing.
So to me, there's a lot more pressure on this event than really just an individual tournament, whether it be a major or regular event.

Q. On Friday night, were thinking back at to the year here when things did go south? Were you saying, I don't want that to happen again?
LOREN ROBERTS: Yeah, well, I just -- you know, in '06, you were here you know how it came down. I mean, all I gotta do is two-putt the last hole. Unfortunately I left it 45 feet to the left of the hole. So I had a tough two-putt and three-putted and ended up losing. Ut the next year to come back and win was great.
For me, this is -- this might be one of my best accomplishments, I think, in golf, just because I really wasn't playing very good the first part of the year. I mean, I won a tournament, but it was on a golf course that was tough and nobody else had seen it.
So, you know, I wasn't playing that good early in the year. To be able to come back and win it essentially with two thirds of a season, to me, was remarkable for me.

Q. You were talking about waking up every day and you try to get better. Can you talk a little about your motivation in that regard?
LOREN ROBERTS: Yeah, I just love golf so much that I just -- when I'm home on weeks off, I know some guys go home and put them up and that's it. I may be in my workshop filing down a sand wedge or messing with something.
I like to go to the golf course and spend time with the guys there. I go to a golf course, a couple golf courses where I know they got a lot of junior -- I just go sit on the driving range in the summertime and watch the young kids hit balls. Because, Hey, if I can tell a young kid, you need it lay off a little bit more. Your left hand hits it better. You know, that makes me feel good. I just like being around golf.
But I feel like I can still always keep working at getting better.

Q. You already have the new set of clubs?
LOREN ROBERTS: I do. I have a new set of Taylor Mades and I have wedges. Because I like to play golf, the weeks I'm home, I was working on the new equipment. I got it and I've had it and I practice and play with it all the time when I'm home. Hopefully I will be ready.

Q. How is it feeling?
LOREN ROBERTS: I like what I've got. I really do like the new stuff that I've got. I don't think there will be any changes coming in whatsoever for next year.

Q. Is there something about the value of these holes that maybe brings back memories of an earlier time in your life? Because the holes in a lot of ways are very straight.
LOREN ROBERTS: I think those are the toughest holes to drive it on. A hole that goes dead straight is the hardest hole to visualize a good tee shot. Most guys work it one way or the other. Nobody hits a straight ball. You're either gonna draw it in or fade it in.
So a hole that has curve to it allows you to individualize that shot easier. I think the straightaway holes, to me, are the toughest driving holes.
I just like the golf course. Doesn't really remind me of any particular golf course that I remember. It's just such in good shape all the time. That's why we like to play it.

Q. You talk about how much you love to play golf even just sitting on the range. In your own house, do you carry your club with you and just make swings? When you go to bed at night, do you dream of favorite rounds you've had?
LOREN ROBERTS: No, but I have a small library. It's not the size of Crenshaw's, but I have a small library. If I go to a golf course, especially if it's top hundred or it's an old course, if they have a book, I buy it. I like to look at golf holes, and the Golf Channel is on the my house. I'm usually not swinging in the house. My wife would kill me. She has too many antiques.

Q. With the different configurations of golf courses throughout a championship play like that, how easy is it for you to make adjustments to your game when you are trying to visualize whether it's a straightaway or to the left or right? Is it easy for you to do or something that you work on more and more?
LOREN ROBERTS: You know, I think it boils down to what fits your eye and what you feel comfortable on. I feel comfortable on this golf course. I haven't won here, but I've usually always finished in the top 10. So if a golf course -- I think if you asked every player on any tour, some players play better at other golf courses than other players do.
I mean, there's golf courses that I've gone to over my career on the regular tour and here that I can play as good as I can play and I can barely make the cut. There's some golf courses I can go to and play as bad as I can and can't finish out of the top 10.
It's just kind of what fits your eye. If the holes go a certain way and curve a certain way and you like the shape of the bunkers, you feel good, you feel better, so you're more positive and you play better.
So every player has different golf courses that fit their eye.

Q. If someone came to you and said, The next 20 years we're gonna play right here the Schwab Championship, what would you say?
LOREN ROBERTS: Well, I probably only have to worry about it for the next five or six. Maybe, if I really keep playing good. It would be nice to stay here, but I think it'll be nice to go to San Francisco, also.
You're talking about a golf course that's got some history to it. This golf course has some, too, but Harding Park has a lot of history to it. I know Johnny Miller and Kenny Venturi used to so play there. It's got a little pedigree to it. I'm kind of looking forward to seeing it, also.

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