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May 28, 2010

Tom Lehman


KELLY ELBIN: Tom Lehman, 2006 U.S. Ryder Cup team captain joining us midway through the second round of the 71st Senior PGA Championship. Tom is in with a 1-under par 71, 139 total, 5-under par. Tom, you're two strokes out of the lead at this point. I would imagine you're feeling pretty good about your game and your status right now.
TOM LEHMAN: Yeah, I do. I had a really great pairing. I played with Nick Price and he always plays well. And I like the way he swings, the way he flights the ball. Then we played with a real nice Doug Perry, from Fort Collins.
And so we had a good day, good two days on the golf course. It was an enjoyable two days of golf.
My game, it was solid. I the ball really well yesterday, not quite as well today, but my irons probably were better today than yesterday. So all in all I'm very pleased.
KELLY ELBIN: You had a little issue with your knee at the end of the round yesterday, how did it hold up today?
TOM LEHMAN: It's fine. It just gets sore. I got a lousy knee. And it's never going to get any better. So it's just, by the end of the day typically it's somewhat swollen and somewhat sore.
KELLY ELBIN: Open it up for questions for Tom Lehman, please.

Q. Wind laid down a little bit today, it seemed like, a little bit warmer. Did you find scoring conditions a little easier, offset by pin placements? How is the course changed between yesterday and today?
TOM LEHMAN: It was a unique, interesting day. We started the round, the wind was blowing pretty good. It wasn't blowing as hard as yesterday afternoon, but it was blowing significantly to influence play to start the day. But it was from a little bit different direction. So it kind of made some of those longer par-4s not so long.
Then we made the turn going from the back to the front nine, it felt like the wind started to die and maybe even switched a bit more from the west. And so we actually played, numbers 4 and 5 I hit driver, wedge to 4 and hit driver, 7-iron to 5.
Then the wind switched again to the normal southeast wind on the 6th tee. So we had a course coming downwind from 6 on in again. So I felt like we, I felt we got a big break with the weather. It still wasn't easy, but it wasn't as tough as yesterday.

Q. Did you have any sense of how difficult the course was playing yesterday afternoon considering how well you were playing? Did you have any idea?
TOM LEHMAN: Yeah, obviously you always know how tough it is. I started the day off, bogeyed the first hole and I chipped in for par on 2. The wind was howling and I just felt like this was just going to be a really tough day.
But if you hit the ball solid in the wind, keep it in play, and make a few putts, you still can score, squeeze a score out of it. So I've always found that when the wind blows and you get into that right rhythm you can score. But it's very difficult to get there and it is way easier to shoot 73 or 74 or 75.

Q. On the PGA TOUR the players obsess about the Major Championships. On this TOUR is it just as important or does each week feel the same? Can you assess how, where this tournament fits into the schedule?
TOM LEHMAN: Majors are Majors. I don't think that the Champions Tour is any different. I think you look at the Majors as being a Major. It's a bit unique, it's a pro-am at a Major. That's one thing that I haven't gotten used to is playing a pro-am at a Major. But it, still, it's, the courses are set up differently, I think. The infrastructure is all there. NBC is here doing their thing. So it feels like a Major.
KELLY ELBIN: Number 5 is not a necessarily a birdie hole, but you birdied it both days. Long hole. Tell us for today and yesterday what club you hit into each day and the length of putts.
TOM LEHMAN: Yesterday it was a driver and a 4-iron and I probably had about a 10 foot putt. Today it was a driver and a 7-iron and about a 25-footer.
KELLY ELBIN: How about the rest of your length of putts on the rest of your birdies today. Starting on number 8, I guess.
TOM LEHMAN: Well we started on the back nine. The 12th hole was the first birdie. It was about a 60-footer. I hit a driver and a 5-iron, about 60 feet past the hole, and made it. Which was nice after bogeying the first two holes.
Then the next birdie came on the 5th. Driver, 7-iron and about a 25 foot putt.
8th hole, I laid up with a 4-iron off the tee, I hit a sand wedge, actually a lob wedge from a hundred yards to about six feet and made that putt. Maybe five feet.
Then the 9th. A good drive and an 8-iron, about a 15-footer.
Are we going to talk about basketball at all? Talk about the Suns/Lakers? We can talk about that too. Did you watch that game? I can't believe it. I'm still angry.

Q. You got to box out.
TOM LEHMAN: I guess.
KELLY ELBIN: Ron Artest will not be joining us, ladies and gentlemen.

Q. I saw you play an inventive shot out of the back bunker on number 8 yesterday, the short 4. Up against that slope. Bring it down. Could you talk about the two short par-4s here and what they present to you, how you go about taking what they offer.
TOM LEHMAN: To me it's all about where the pin is. I really like both the short holes. The 8th hole is quite bit trickier than the 14th.
The green is really severe on 8. So yesterday I hit driver, thinking because the pin was in the back center and if I hit it in any bunker I probably could have a good chance of getting it up-and-down. But I hit it over the green. So I had to hit it kind of off to the right and use the slope. So that one there to me is a real tricky hole. Today I decided the only way to get it close was to lay up and hit a wedge.
The 14th hole, again, depends on where the pin is. I think where the pin is located dictates what you hit off the tee. That's pretty much the way it works.
KELLY ELBIN: For the record Tom is a combined 1-under par on those two holes the first two day. Tom Lehman in at minus five. Tom, thank you.
TOM LEHMAN: Thank you.

End of FastScripts

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