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November 5, 2010

Tom Lehman


THE MODERATOR: Well, Tom, thanks for joining us, 68 today 3-under, and you're 8-under. Maybe just a quick synopsis of your day and we'll get some questions.
TOM LEHMAN: Well, I played very well, tee to green. I hit it very solidly, hit a lot of fairways, a lot of greens. Rolled the ball beautifully.
It seemed to me the greens were just a little slower today. Maybe it's just me. I had a hard time getting the right pace on my putts. They were just a little bit on the shy side all day long, so I barely missed a lot of putts, but it is what it is and I played well and I'm very pleased with the way I'm competing right now.
THE MODERATOR: Birdies, 7, 9 and 10.
TOM LEHMAN: Uh-huh. Yeah. 7 was a short hole. It was a 3-wood and a lob wedge. And I hit a terrible shot and made about a 15-foot putt.
The ninth hole, the par-5, I hit a really good drive, but I was kind of in between with my rescue and my 3-wood. You got a bit of a gap there, and I hit a hit a 3-wood, kind of a lousy shot there again, a mediocre chip and about a 15-foot putt.
And then I drove it in the bunker on 10, nice 5-iron out, beautiful sand wedge to about three feet and then tapped in there for birdie. And that was it for the day. No bogeys. I think anytime you play a round of golf with no bogeys you have to feel good about it.
THE MODERATOR: (Indiscernible).
TOM LEHMAN: You know, I missed the green on 12 and chipped to about five feet and made that. Other than that, it was a pretty uneventful round of golf.

Q. Speaking of the rain three weeks ago, you were playing down at the Frys on the regular TOUR and then you come up here and you play the Champions Tour. It is it much difference? Do you have to make adjustments going from one tour to the other, because I know the courses are set up a little more difficult on the regular TOUR.
TOM LEHMAN: Longer. I wouldn't necessarily say more difficult as much as just longer. I need to find a driver that goes an extra 20 when I go out there and plays with those guys. I haven't found it. So if you know how I can accomplish that, let me know.
The TOUR, they may have a little more rough, but it's more of a power game out there, as you know. And there are so many holes that are 500 yards on the par-4s, that's the big difference. The guys out here still can compete I think very well, and it's been proven over the last five or six years that you play a course that's 7,000 yards, these guys out here can compete.
THE MODERATOR: (Indiscernible).
TOM LEHMAN: Tom Watson.
THE MODERATOR: Do the guys when you go on that regular tour, when you go on the TOUR, do the younger guys look at you like who is this old guy?
TOM LEHMAN: Like what are you doing here? You know what, I would -- that's a really good question. I would have to believe that there's an element of guys out there who when they see us come around go like, hey, good to see you. You know, because they know that we can still play and still compete, and I'm sure there's an element of those guys out there who look and say this guy's taking up a spot, you know. And there's young guys trying to keep their card and what's this old fart out here taking up a spot. And I can understand that mindset.
My perspective is I feel like I've earned the right to play where I want to play, but I am aware, though, of that. I'm aware that there are kids who are trying to make it. But at the end of the day if they play 26 tournaments and they don't make it, they can't blame you for taking up a spot at the Frys. So too bad.
THE MODERATOR: Beyond that, strategic elements and the power how is the vibe different out here? You said you just played there a few weeks ago. When you're out here competing against Fred and these guys you've known a while, how is the feel different for you when you're making your way around the course.
TOM LEHMAN: I think there's more camaraderie off the course. I think there's more camaraderie on the course. You know, you can get some rounds of golf with some kids you don't know that can be somewhat quiet.
You know, but the TOUR, there's nothing I could say bad about the PGA TOUR. I'm a huge fan of the TOUR. I'm a huge fan of the players out there. I'm really impressed by the quality of the play.
It's a very competitive environment. I think that more than anything is the difference. It's more overtly competitive. This Tour is very competitive, but in a real chummy kind of way, you know, so it's a different attitude, but still, the guys out here practice hard, play hard. They want to win and they're very competitive.
THE MODERATOR: As kind of a follow-up to that, how much did you and Fred talk today? I mean he's obviously very easy guy to get along with until 18, I'm sure he was in a good mood.
TOM LEHMAN: When you play with Fred, you talk about everything. He's so fun to play with and I played with David Frost yesterday, same way. Great guy to play with.
But Fred will do stuff like this one hole he hit about a 45-footer, and he's watching it, watching it, watching it, and it didn't break the way he thought, so he kind of ended up bent over looking upside down at the putt kind of like a cartoon character.
That's what I like about playing with him. He makes me laugh. I laugh out loud ten times today kind of belly laughing because of the stuff that he would do or say. That makes golf fun. Golf is supposed to be fun. Golf even in competition is supposed to be fun, and he helps make it fun.
THE MODERATOR: Tom, last week on the Championships Tour Larry Nelson came close to breaking a long-held record for oldest winner. On the regular tour Sneads had the record since 1965 at 52 years and some months. I mean you're still playing out there. Some other guys are too. Do you think that record is going to fall some day that some guy 53 years old or older can win out there?
TOM LEHMAN: I think they can. I shouldn't -- I know they can. It's just a matter, will they. I think with the right golf course, you know, with the right mindset, you know, and the putter gets moving, I think there's a handful of guys who could still do that.
I think Corey Pavin could still win out there. I think Fred could still win out there. Kenny Perry just turned 50. He obviously could. I think I can. Who knows? Tom Watson almost did. So I really do think that on the right course on the right conditions there's players in their 50s who are going to win tournaments, but those courses are getting further and further between. They're kind of disappearing, and it's hard to compete with that power game.

Q. It's almost like while players in their 50s are in better shape now generally than they used to be decades ago and the equipment helps, the courses and the length of the courses is sort of counterbalancing the talent?
TOM LEHMAN: You know, the -- you know, part of the game is hitting the ball far, you know, so more power to a guy who can hit the ball 320. I spent the week at the Ryder Cup and spent a lot of time walking with Dustin Johnson. He's carrying his driver 329 in the air. To me that's a driver and a sand wedge.
And that's talent. That's talent. That's not luck. It's talent. He hits it straight. He hits it far. So that guy is better at that than anybody out here, and he's more talented at doing that in playing golf than anybody. But you put him at a course that's 7100, it's a different story than your experience and shot making can equal things out.
But there's very few championship courses anymore that you get that. So that's why I'm so impressed, though, by the talent of those guys because to be able to hit a ball that far, I've got the same equipment. I can't hit it that far. So to hit it that far with the driver and not just that, the irons. They take out a 7-iron, it's what, do you think, Bones? This is Phil talking. 203. Is it a stock 6-iron or is it a big 7? It's like, come on. For me I've gotta be able to smoke that 4-iron. So the talent to be able to do that is pretty amazing. That's why I take my hat off to those guys out there.

Q. Tom, you played, as I mentioned. Rocco, holes four shots.
TOM LEHMAN: How about that?

Q. Do golfers talk about that, they say, "wow"?

Q. What do you guys say? You say it's his week or how did he do it or what was the conversation after the fourth one and he wins the tournament by one?
TOM LEHMAN: They say "wow." You gotta be kidding me. You know, I mean everybody looks around at each other and say have you ever seen anybody hole four shots in the fairway in one tournament? I mean I haven't holed four shots in the fairway in ten years. I'm serious. To do it, to hole four shots in one week, the odd odds of that are so off the charts that it's almost incompressible. So is it your week to win, I guess it must be. But more power to him. He hit some great shots. You have to do other things right, not just hole, shot to win like that, but it certainly helps.

Q. One every day.
TOM LEHMAN: Just one every day. It's like that multi-vitamin thing, just one a day.

End of FastScripts

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