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May 26, 2005

Tom Lehman


JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Tom, thanks for joining us for a few minutes in the media tent at the FedEx/St. Jude Classic.

You had an opportunity to play this morning. You had [an|and] opportunity to play this morning in the Pro/Am. I know it is a fun week for you here in Memphis with Lauren being your assistant. Why don't you talk about the whole golf course today , the changes, and a little bit about Lauren.

TOM LEHMAN: I will start with the golf course. I think the golf course is very good. I have always liked this golf course even before the changes. I think the changes they made for the most part are better. It is longer, it is hopefully, I think they are trying to make it more difficult. Whether it will work or not, is yet to be seen.

The greens I think are the shining star of this golf course. The greens are phenomenal. I think everyone likes the greens.

As far as Lauren goes, we go back. I have known him for 23 years since 1982. We have been close friends ever since. He was probably my best friend on the Tour. So we have a lot of history. His wife introduced me to my wife on a blind date. I spent a lot of time sleeping on his couch on those early years of knowing my wife.

We did a lot of practicing together. We had the same coach for a while. I think in terms of being an assistant captain, it was a natural selection for me.

JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Questions, please?

Q. (Inaudible)?

TOM LEHMAN: I don't want there to be any doubt about what is going on for the next year and a half. You know, I want the players, the guys who are going to be on the team, the guys trying to make the team to know exactly what is going on, exactly what is happening, who the players are, who the assistants are, how it will work, what our purpose is, what our goals are. To me the earlier you can get everything in place, the better off you are going to be.

Q. (Inaudible)?

TOM LEHMAN: No. 10 is definitely more difficult. I was hoping they would change the hole to make it better. They actually made it worse, I think. There are two changes I don't like, and that is one of them. They lengthened the tees, and they brought a bunch of high grass in on the left. There's not much room to hit it off the tee.

Q. You don't like that?

TOM LEHMAN: No, not at all. Before you had a chance to go up by the tree and hit it left, or hitting it down the middle and laying up short. So you had a couple of options. Now it is back there where you have to hit a driver. You are hitting right at the bunker. You can't carry the trees. There is a high rough left. I think you made a difficult hole even worse. I don't care for that one. That will be the toughest hole on the golf course, I think.

The rest of the course I like a lot. For example the changes they made on No. 6, they are subtle. I think they are good. They added a few trees on the left. They brought the green further down the fairway. It is a peninsula. It slopes off on the sides. They created some better pins on the front. That is very good. There are a lot of holes like that, just more subtle than anything. Different angles off the tee shots. It is all good.

The length won't be a huge factor, with the exception of any time you turn a par 5 into a par 4, it changes the length a bit. It went from being a very easy par 5 to now being a very difficult par 4.

Q. (Inaudible).

TOM LEHMAN: It will be over 4. They shrunk the green. The green is smaller than it used to be. It may be easier. The tee shot is still a bit vague. You really have to work it to the right, you are going to miss that green two out of four days unless you just hit four great drives. Be a lot of chipping and putting on that green.

Q. You said you really like the greens?

TOM LEHMAN: The greens are great, they are consistent. They are true. They are champion Bermuda greens, so there is a little bit of grain in them. That does affect the putt some. They are smooth. They are firm, so the ball is taking a nice bounce. It puts the importance on being in the right position off the tee shot. It is hard to hole the greens if you have a bad lie in the rough.

Q. What would be your best guess (inaudible)?

TOM LEHMAN: It is so hard to say. It all depends on the wind. The conditions that produce high scores are firm fairways and firm greens. Scores will go up. If the wind blows the scores will go up; if the wind doesn't blow they will stay about the same.

Q. We talked to Kenny Perry yesterday. He mentioned that he is trying to make the team?

TOM LEHMAN: You were there?

Q. What is it about it him that he was able to do the last three or four years that has taken him from (inaudible)?

TOM LEHMAN: You have to ask him that. I would like to know the answer to that.

He has always been a very, very good player. I think if you go back and look at his record over the past 15 years, I think you will find that while he wasn't making Ryder Cup teams, or Presidents Cup teams, I think he finished 11th, 12th, 13th a lot. He's always finished Top 15. He has always been a very good player. From the outside looking in, it looks like he has been putting better. If I had to pick one thing that I see, I see his stroke having really improved. Making a lot more putts. He obviously has the mental toughness to deal with the pressure. He knows how to win. Those are all great things. He is exactly the kind of guy I would like to have on that team in Ireland in 2006.

Q. (Inaudible)?

TOM LEHMAN: You know, it is a lot. It is a very healthy competition as well. A lot of times people who are close friends can also have friendly but intense competitions. I always felt like Lauren and I were very competitive with each other. We helped each other improve. I think it is not surprising that we both seem to play better and better at the same times. As I play better, he would play better. As he played better, I would play better. That is how friends help each other become better. I think that certainly was going to be the case with him and I.

Q. Do you remember when he told you he was moving to Memphis, Tennessee?

TOM LEHMAN: I remember very clearly. I mean, I think my eyebrows raised a little bit; my wife's more than me. We live in San Brisbo (ph), California which is a great little town on the central coast. My wife was going to college there when I met her. That is how it all worked for us. I spent a lot of time there visiting with Melissa and staying with Lauren. It is a great little town.

So when he moved here you have got to say "what? You are going to where?" But it made a lot of sense. Memphis is a great town. There is some great, great people here. They obviously have close friends here. It is very central. You can get home easily.

Where he was living, San Brisbo is really tough to travel out of. I think that is the biggest reason they moved. Plus he was telling me, "I am sick and tired of California being a welfare state. I have to get out of there." Lauren can be very you know Lauren, he is unique. He has got some strong opinions.

JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Are you all set?

Q. (Inaudible)?

TOM LEHMAN: I have spent a lot of time talking to a lot of people. I think there is I think that would be the goal. I think what David Toms did is exactly what guys need to do. And the fact that Tiger called him back is a real positive thing.


End of FastScripts.

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