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August 25, 2011

Tom Lehman


PHIL STAMBAUGH: We're joined this afternoon by Tom Lehman making his first appearance in the Boeing Classic. Tom, you come into this week after a top 5 finish last week at the Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship. You are our Charles Schwab Cup leader at the moment. A few thoughts about coming to Seattle for this event.
TOM LEHMAN: Yeah, great to be here. It's 116 and somewhat humid in Phoenix, so this for a number of reasons is a really nice breath of fresh air. Beautiful weather, great golf course, great golf fans here, and another great tournament. So I'm very, very happy to be here.
PHIL STAMBAUGH: Maybe a comment or two about your game coming into this week. Have you played much golf up here in Seattle?
TOM LEHMAN: You know, I've played a little bit. I've played Sahalee two or three times now for PGA Championships or U.S. Senior Opens or the World Golf Championship event, so I've played some events up here. Haven't spent a great deal of time, though, in the area, but I sure love it. It's beautiful.
My game is good. I finished second in Minneapolis and fourth last week, so I feel like my game is solid and real close to being excellent. I have high expectations for a good week this week.

Q. How does the course suit your game?
TOM LEHMAN: How does it suit my game?

Q. Yeah.
TOM LEHMAN: Well, right now it suits it really well. The greens are firm, and I think any time the greens get firm, it's to my liking. Off the tee it appeals to me. It looks comfortable. Greens are somewhat difficult and somewhat quick. So you know, all in all, I like it. I think it suits me well.

Q. As the former captain of a major team, can you identify with Fred, what he's going through coming up to the Presidents Cup? I think he said today that he's going to put Woods on the team even though he's not quite the Tiger that we know. Is it a difficult putting together a team?
TOM LEHMAN: Yeah, I don't know exactly how they pick The Presidents Cup team anymore in relation to the Ryder Cup, so I don't know what all the rules and regs are and who's on and who's not on. I haven't really paid a lot of attention.
But in terms of picking Tiger, I mean, everybody has an opinion, and if that's his, God bless him.

Q. What's the key to winning here?
TOM LEHMAN: You know, I don't know. Not having played here before, I don't really understand how guys score on the course. I mean, I don't know what are the key holes, until you actually start playing them in competition. Par-3s seem to be probably as a group more difficult than the par-5s or the par-4s. The par-5s seem to be holes that you can really score on if you hit good tee shots, and the par-4s seem to have a nice blend of short and long holes.
To me I think maybe you're right, the par-3s as a group are maybe more difficult than the others. But from my experience just in one round, it's a combination of tough holes and easy holes, great opportunities and holes where you're happy just to make a par. If you can play those difficult holes well and then just kind of play steady the rest of the way, you're probably going to do okay.

Q. What's the difference between this Tour and the other Tour?
TOM LEHMAN: Well, the depth of the field on the PGA TOUR is the best of any Tour in the world. You know, it's better than the European Tour, it's better than any of the Asian Tours or Australian or whatever, better than the Champions Tour, just because there's 156 guys every week who are so talented. The depth is just amazing.
This Tour is very, very competitive. It's incredibly competitive, especially at the very top. The players are exceptionally talented players and can still play extremely well. But there's only, what, 86 guys in our field; is that right?
PHIL STAMBAUGH: We have 80 this week.
TOM LEHMAN: So 80 guys in a field versus 156 to me says it all. The depth of the field is unparalleled on the PGA TOUR.

Q. Is it harder to play in a situation where everybody is rooting for somebody other than yourself?
TOM LEHMAN: I don't know. They root for Fred everywhere. It's almost like every tournament is a home tournament for him, so no different in Seattle than it would be in Phoenix quite frankly. He's always been a very popular player.
I don't know that that's really an issue, and quite frankly there's the element of guys who compete who take that as a challenge.
PHIL STAMBAUGH: Good luck this week.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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