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January 21, 2005

Tom Lehman


MODERATOR: We've only got time for about five, ten minutes, so if we can keep it short we'd appreciate it.

Tom, nice playing, 62, 67, a round of 129, 15-under par, by the way, that ties the 36-hole tournament record, 129 set by Lenny Clements in 1966.

TOM LEHMAN: That can't be right, '66. Maybe 1986.

MODERATOR: Lenny Clements. I read that wrong.

Tom, just talk about your round today on the south course a little bit.

TOM LEHMAN: Well, I putted very well. I didn't hit the ball all that well, it was streaky, at best. I got away with a couple of bad swings and hit it in some spots in the rough where the gallery had walked, so I was able to play it out of the rough at times. I made by my share of bogeys, I made eight birdies. So when I hit it close I took advantage of it.

I felt the fog delay actually worked in my favor. I was struggling a bit with my swing, and thought the break actually helped me out. I went to the range and hit balls for an hour and a half, and felt like I kind of got back on rhythm again.

Q. (Inaudible.)

TOM LEHMAN: Well, again, it goes simply to the idea of not thinking about the results and just trying to stay in the moment. At times it seems easy to do that, and at times it's very difficult to do that. The times I can think about are the what-ifs, but over the last couple rounds in the last couple of months I've been able to think more about just playing the shots. I think that's when your good golf always comes is when you're not thinking about the results, you're just thinking about executing.

Q. (Inaudible.)

TOM LEHMAN: It was probably a C compared to 1992. That was an A-plus fog that day in '92. So this was a very mediocre fog.

Q. (Inaudible.)

TOM LEHMAN: Two more days of it. It was good, I think, to get a good score on it without playing my very, very best. Playing your best doesn't always mean you're hitting your best. Sometimes playing your best golf is when you aren't playing your best, so to speak. When you're struggling with your game a bit, maybe, driving a little bit crooked, but mentally you're in the ballgame and making a lot of putts, and sometimes the best things happen when you feel a little bit off.

Q. It's obviously a good break that you're done today.

TOM LEHMAN: I was really hoping that we weren't going to have to wait it out and come back in the morning, that would be difficult to come in at 7:30, play two holes and have a four hour break and play again. It's nice to be able to kind of go, tomorrow's round is like a normal round.

Q. (Inaudible.)

TOM LEHMAN: I think I made 19 birdies in 36 holes. That's without question a personal best for me.

Q. (Inaudible.)

TOM LEHMAN: Oh, yeah. That long putter that I'm using is when I get in the right rhythm with that long putter I make a lot of putts. If it gets a little out of rhythm, it's like anything else. But when it gets just right and the thing is swinging like a pendulum with good tempo, the ball gets on line a lot and so if I'm reading the greens halfway decently I'm making a lot of putts. Over the past few days, the greens are easy to read. When you see the ball going in the hole you gain confidence, and the stroke comes smoother. That's the way it goes with putting.

Q. (Inaudible.)

TOM LEHMAN: I'm not sure if it is good or bad. Like I say, it just kind of is. The course, North Course is what it is, and you can score on it, you can take advantage of it and -- but you still have to make the putts. You still have to knock that ball in the hole. And a lot of times on that golf course you feel like you play well and you only shoot two or three under, because the ball isn't going in the hole. But actually I think it kind of makes it interesting, having the potential to go real low. There's not that many courses on Tour anymore where you feel like you have a good chance of taking it real deep.

Q. Did you play the South Course differently?

TOM LEHMAN: Well, I had three holes in a row today where I had over 60 feet every putt, 66 feet, 62 feet, 70 feet, whatever. It doesn't really matter being out of position. I got a couple of iron shots from the rough and a par-5 I just knocked it on the front edge in 2, so I had about a 65-footer. But the greens are smooth enough I think so you can actually feel like you have a chance of 2-putting. If they were the poa annua greens that you have on the North Course those 70 foot putts would be a lot more difficult.

Q. (Inaudible.)

TOM LEHMAN: I think that's the whole challenge. That's the challenge, that's everything. It's a battle within yourself. I think that's the essence of golf is how well you fight that battle on the inside.

Q. (Inaudible.)

TOM LEHMAN: Oh, be quiet (laughter.)

Q. (Inaudible.)

TOM LEHMAN: Give me a year for that. Yes, I have -- if I had another good caddy I'd be in business.

Q. (Inaudible.)


Q. (Inaudible.)

TOM LEHMAN: I'm not going to comment on that, but I feel like my game is solid and I'm fit and I'm strong, and somewhat sane, still, so I think I have good golf yet.

Q. (Inaudible.)

TOM LEHMAN: I've got two years to figure all that out. There's plenty of weeks off to do that.

MODERATOR: Let's go over the score card real quick, starting on 10, birdie the 11.

TOM LEHMAN: 5-iron to about 15 feet.

3-putted 12 from about 70 feet.

2-putted the par-5 from about 65 feet for birdie.

Then pars all the way until 1. I had a 6-iron to about 12 feet and made birdie.

Pitching wedge from the right bunker to about 12 feet on 2.

Knocked it in the bunker on 3 and made bogey.

Drove in the right rough on 5 and made a bogey.

And then hit a 3-wood about pin-high left on the par-5, 6 and chipped up to about a foot and a half.

5-iron from 190 on the next hole to about 15 feet and made that.

7-iron on No. 8 to about five feet and made that.

And then drove it in the right rough and pitched out and hit an 8-iron to about 15 feet on the last hole and made that.

MODERATOR: Where were you when the fog delay came?

TOM LEHMAN: I was just -- I was putting on 7. I putted out and then walked in.

End of FastScripts.

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