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November 12, 2010

Tom Lehman


Q. Where do you stand on how much you want to play the PGA TOUR? I mean I know you're way outside the Top 125 at the moment, but I take it that was one of your thoughts coming here, probably, to try to move up. The whole juggling, how are you at this point?
TOM LEHMAN: No. I'm pretty committed to the Champions Tour next year. I'll play a few out here, but I'm going to play the majority of my time out there.

Q. Is it just time or --
TOM LEHMAN: No. There's a bunch of factors that go into it. You know, it's a long answer, you know, but at the end of the day, you know, there's -- you know, I feel a bit of a responsibility to support that Tour. I enjoy it out there. I really like the guys out there. The competition is good.
You know, the window, I think, out there to really be successful is, you know, guys in their early to mid 50s, so I think this is a good time to be playing out there.
I really do think that at the end of the day you have to be committed one way or the other. I've played two years where I've kind of split my time, and I've played well, but you know, I think I need to be kind of all in or not.

Q. Has there been a lure of, you know, wanting to still compete against the best in the world? Is that what's kept you on this side of the fence the last couple years?
TOM LEHMAN: Yeah. I feel like I can compete. You know, I feel like my game is still good enough. So it's tough to give it up. I enjoy it, but it's -- you know, there's a time when it's all about trying to make the Top 30 or the Top 10 or No. 1 or Ryder Cup teams, and I'm not at that point. So when I play out here, it's simply because I enjoy it.
And you know, it's a nice place to be. So the seven or eight events that I played this year were all great tournaments and I enjoyed playing.

Q. A couple of your peers like Pernice and Michael Allen, you know, they're more of the mindset they really want to try to stay out here. They're trying to stay exempt. Is that -- are you good with that, I mean the fact that you can kind of understand where they're coming from?
TOM LEHMAN: Oh, absolutely. I have no problem with that whatsoever. I mean it's -- that's the same mindset that I had for a long time, and you know, I just -- you know, it's really fun out here. I mean it's really an enjoyable place to play golf. It's such a big -- every week is a big week, a big event. And it's hard to give that up.
So you know, if I was 100 percent healthy, maybe I would think differently as well, but I've got my aches and pains and issues, and so I'm playing with nearly on one leg. I have been for a while. So it would be tough for me to feel like I can get out here and compete at the highest level physically.

Q. Do you know how you'll start your year next year, what you'll do? Are you going to start with the Senior Tournament of Champions or will you play in -- you could play Sony; right?
TOM LEHMAN: I'm trying to get into the Sony. I'd love to be able to play the Sony. It would be nice to play that week and then Hualalai. And then probably the next one would be the Phoenix Open. Those are the ones that I want to play, I'd like to play. And then see where it goes from there, but mostly Champions.

Q. Do you need to use sponsor exemptions given where you are right now?
TOM LEHMAN: Yeah. Yeah. I've written a couple -- made a few phone calls. You know, I don't know how it all works. I don't.

Q. It's nothing you've never had to worry about; right? A long time ago.
TOM LEHMAN: Yeah. You know, the amount of -- you know, part of the factor for me is age of kids. You know, and kids at home, you know, second-grader and a ninth-grader, and my son being in high school, you know, to chase it out here, I mean that would be a full commitment, 25 weeks, you know. That's a lot of time away from home.
And you know, you get to a point where what are you willing to accept and give up. And that's probably the biggest issue with me is I'm not willing to accept and give up missing that much time.

Q. I don't know if you know at this point, you are the low scorer of the Champions.
TOM LEHMAN: The old fart.

Q. I was going to say the lowest Champions Tour player. How does that make you feel putting into context with the guys that are out here with you, and does that maybe change your opinion on your approach at all? I know you kind of addressed that earlier.
TOM LEHMAN: No. I've been the lowest old fart a few times out here. You know, I finished 14th at the British Open, and that's the kind of week that makes me think twice, you know, knowing that, hey, I just finished 14th in the Open and left a lot of shots on the golf course. You know, what should I do about that, you know. But at the end of the day I'm happy with where I'm at.

Q. And how is having four rounds this weekend? Schwab was four rounds, but obviously normally doing three, how do you think you'll hold up once Sunday comes around?
TOM LEHMAN: You know, we've played plenty of four-round events. Most of my tournaments this year have been four-round events, so I prefer four.

Q. Great. Best of luck.

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