home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


April 14, 2011

Tom Lehman


PHIL STAMBAUGH: Tom, you have two wins in your last three starts, winning to the Alliance Championship in the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic. You're No. 1 on the Money List and No. 1 in the Charles Schwab Cup race right now.
Haven't had a round out of the 60s. Just talk your early success on the Champions Tour and the 2011 Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am.
TOM LEHMAN: You would have to bring up the rounds in the 60s. That's always the kiss of death. They talked about that at the PLAYERS Championship when I had that streak of no golf balls in the water for like 22 years or something like that. The next year I hit it in the water, so I try to avoid those kind of comments about no rounds out of the 60s so far this year.
But anyway, my game has been good. It's a great field here this week, a really, really strong bunch guys. The golf course is difficult. I find this course to be very unforgiving of poor iron play especially.
You start missing greens, and it's difficult to get it up and down. I think it's definitely the kind of place that favors a guy this puts a ball in play and is really on with his iron game for the week.
PHIL STAMBAUGH: Please wait for the microphone here. Raise your hands for questions.

Q. Are you playing some of the best golf you have played in a while?
TOM LEHMAN: You know, I feel really good about the way I've been playing the last three or four years. Last year I thought I played extremely well. Just didn't quite get the results. It was one of those stretches of tournaments where I feel like I played extremely well, just a little bit here and there -- not getting up and down on par-5s or whatever -- and just not getting the results that I felt like I should be getting.
So far this year those little things are going my way. Not playing much differently, just there's enough of the things I'm doing right in the scoring zone to make a difference.

Q. Tom, you're playing Congressional?
TOM LEHMAN: I've got to qualify. So I'm going to try.

Q. Okay. Do you expect that the setup will be a little bit different than it was in '97? Related to that, do you think the trend, sort of the changing of the setups of the U.S. Open that's been evolving over the last decade or so mostly under Mike Davis, do you think that's a good thing?
TOM LEHMAN: Sure, it'll be different, you know, because in the '90s, you know, it was vintage U.S. Open. You either put it in the fairway or it was hacking out of the eight-inch rough. So there's a serious premium on driving the ball.
A lot of guys like the way it's set up now. They feel like giving you a chance out of the rough is better. And I don't necessarily disagree with it. It does present its own set of challenges. I personally prefer the thick rough and the emphasis on the driving.
I mean, there's almost no tournaments on the circuit throughout the year that puts that kind of a premium on driving the ball. So it's kind of nice, in my opinion, to have one that does.
Still, I mean, look at the scores. Even par wins. So whether we played in the era of eight-inch rough or in the era of graduated rough, even par is still a good score.
Just seems like you have to get the course a little more crazy with the graduated rough to keep the score at par. Gets a little bit wild and wooley out there.

Q. Forgive me for not knowing this off the top of my head, but do you usually try to qualify for the U.S. Open? I don't know when your exemption ran out.
TOM LEHMAN: I'm not exempt. I've qualified the last two years.

Q. Yeah. So that's just something that you put on your schedule regardless, it's not because it's a Congressional year or anything?
TOM LEHMAN: No, the U.S. Open is a great, great championship. That's the reason.

Q. Tom, where do come down now that you've been through it in terms of how important age is to ability? In other words, you know, you guys are just as good if certain types -- if you maintain your legs. At an older age, where are the limits? Are there limits? Do you actually gain something as you get older in terms of being better?
TOM LEHMAN: Yeah, I think if you keep working at your game - and when I'm talking about working, I'm talking about really being committed to it and focused on it at 50 like you were when you were 20 - I think you can stay extremely competitive.
The only difference is there is a length issue. I feel like I'm long enough. In comparison to a lot of other guys on the tour, I'm not even in the same universe. There are some courses -- I'll give you an example -- two of the majors we played recently, the one at Bethpage and the PGA last yeah, Whistling Straights. I mean, I had no chance. Zero. I was wearing out my rescue and 3-wood and long irons.
Just getting on the green and making a par I was thrilled a lot of the time. That's where the real difference comes, is if the course is set up that long or if it gets wet like it got at Bethpage, because I need some roll.
But you give me a course that's reasonable, you know. And probably a lot older guys, I think they're very competitive. I think the only reason why some of the older guys do well -- for instance Couples last week was in the hunt through a couple rounds.
I mean, he doesn't have as many chances. He's not out there full-time. When you play infrequently and get in that position, it's a little more difficult.
I think if you were doing it every week, I think you would see guys in their 50s winning.

Q. Did you find yourself wishing you were there over the weekend at Augusta, especially on Sunday?
TOM LEHMAN: I just liked the way the course seemed to be set up. You know, watching it on television, it seems like, again, they've gotten the course to where it's fun again. I mean, Augusta really lost the fun factor for a while there.
Now it's back where guys can shoot that low round on the back nine on Sunday if they need to. So it's a function of greens that are receptive and not, you know, 17 on the stimpmeter.
It looked to me like a lot of fun, and, yeah, I wish I was playing.

Q. I know Jim Thorpe isn't exactly a contemporary of yours, but he is back; he was here a little bit earlier. Are you glad to see him back? Have you bumped into him or said anything to him?
TOM LEHMAN: I haven't seen him, but absolutely thrilled that he's back. I'm not real, real, real informed about what all his issues might have been. I think that's kind of none of my business.
But any time you see somebody kind of go through a real tough spell -- no matter what it is, health or something like he went through or whatever -- then to come back, that to me is always -- it's kind of what this country is all about, what humanity is all about. Getting yourself up off the ground and moving forward again. I'm thrilled that he's out here.
PHIL STAMBAUGH: Tom, thank you very much. Good luck this week.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297