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July 21, 2010

Loren Roberts


MICHAEL GIBBONS: Loren, welcome to The Senior Open Championship Presented by MasterCard.
MICHAEL GIBBONS: Obviously a very different venue to defend your title but give us a flavour of what you're looking forward to this week.
LOREN ROBERTS: A very, very different venue, a very much harder venue. Yeah, I mean, this is, to me, I haven't played all of the courses in The Open rotation, but of the ones that I have played, this one is obviously by far and away the toughest, the most exacting, the longest, and just because we are 50, I don't think it will have any pity on us, either.
MICHAEL GIBBONS: Have you played the course? It's in very good shape, isn't it.
LOREN ROBERTS: It's magnificent. It's beautiful. I've never seen greens so green here. Fairways are perfect. I mean, the golf course couldn't be in better shape.
MICHAEL GIBBONS: Just a quick word to your form, you've been in pretty good form on the Champions Tour, with a win and top 5s recently.
LOREN ROBERTS: Yeah, the last month and a half or so I've been playing pretty good. The game starting to round into shape a little bit and I'm hoping to make a good defence here.
Totally different golf course than obviously what we played last year and we haven't played nearly anything as tough this year. So we are looking at, I would think, if we have some weather, if it rains and blows a little bit, I would think even par would be a pretty dog-gone good score.
MICHAEL GIBBONS: I agree. (Laughter).

Q. Would you talk us through how 16 and in, what clubs you would be hitting in, just conditions today to give us an idea?
LOREN ROBERTS: The conditions today, I think where the pin was, I hit 231 to the flag, so obviously into the wind, so I'm hitting a 3-wood there, and just trying to get it up on the shelf or get it somewhere close to pin-high there. Anywhere on that green, I don't care where the pin is, anywhere on the green is a pretty good shot. That's all you're looking to do is get it on the green. Obviously the miss is left there, because you can putt it up the slope and make a three.
17, if we have this wind condition, downwind becomes a much tougher tee shot, because you have the run-out on the left side obviously is so much closer. It will be a little bit tough picking a club off the tee. I've been hitting 3-wood the last couple of days, but that's because the wind has been kind of left-to-right and holding the ball off of the burn over there. So today downwind makes it much tougher. You probably would be hitting some sort of a rescue club and the longer hitters may be hitting a 3-iron off the tee. Obviously you get no break because you have to leave it so far back, you've got a tougher shot in there. Downwind, that green runs away from you from the left side. So just a tough hole.
And then obviously, what can you say about 18? Today, if we play the tee back where they have it set up, I know that I would probably struggle to get it to the green. It would be a driver, 3-wood today, very seriously probably think about -- forgetting about what par is on the hole, you play it as a three-shot hole, but hope you get it up-and-down. That would probably be my strategy the last three holes with this wind direction.

Q. Are you surprised the course has been set up so long?
LOREN ROBERTS: I'm really not surprised. You know, last year, Sunningdale was a great golf course, probably the most beautiful bunkering I've seen on a golf course, a Heath land golf course, totally different style.
This year, I'm not surprised we are playing a different style of golf course, and a tougher golf course, I really am not. You know, you've got more guys coming out here that are stronger players. I'm just going to throw a name out for you, Barry Lane. Now, you know he's just turned 50, but he still is active on the regular tour in Europe. You have guys, Mark Calcavecchia, guys that still hit the ball out there and can play with the young guys.
So I'm not surprised at all that they are playing this golf course with a little more length, and I would expect to probably see that over the next few years.

Q. Did you play '99?
LOREN ROBERTS: I did not play '99. I heard about it. I watched it, believe me.

Q. '07?
LOREN ROBERTS: Played '07, yes, and obviously the rough had backed off quite a bit from what it was in '99.

Q. Tom Watson suggested that one of the guys on the over-50 circuit could win a major -- one of the regular majors; what's your thought on that?
LOREN ROBERTS: I would have thought, you know, last week at St. Andrews, I thought, well, that could be a possibility. But then watching it on the weekend and watching where Oosthuizen was driving the golf ball, and then myself, having played there, obviously I don't probably hit it as far as Watson does, and watching where those guys were driving it, from the new tees there, I couldn't get it to the left side on some of those holes where those guys were playing to.
With the new tees at St. Andrews, for me personally, I don't know that I could go along with that. Now, obviously Tom, having contended last year, you know, I still think he won the tournament (smiling). It would depend on the venue, but I would say playing a golf course like this -- when is the Open Championship coming back here again? I mean, it would be a tough stretch I think.
They said that about Pebble Beach, I know there were several guys in the over-50 group that tried to qualify to play there, because the talk was, well, Pebble Beach doesn't have all that much length, but we saw how tough the golf course was.

Q. Just in a few words, just to go back to 16, 17 and 18, in a few words how would you sum that stretch of holes up?
LOREN ROBERTS: It's the toughest finishing stretch in golf. But I would have to add 15 in there with it. I always add 15 in there with it, because that's such a tough tee shot, and then, you know, obviously it's somewhat of a boring second shot and a good length hole.
MICHAEL GIBBONS: Loren, thanks for joining us. Good luck with your defence.

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