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


January 20, 2005

Tom Lehman


JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Thank you, Tom, for joining us. Great start to the week, and obviously you've been playing great. You ended the year well last year and you played well last week.

TOM LEHMAN: I'm very pleased with the way I'm playing. I'm doing a lot of the things right that you need to do right out here. I'm driving it long and I'm driving it in the fairway quite a bit and rolling the ball fairly well and making some putts. I got the North Course today, which is quite a bit easier than the South, so it's quite a bit easier to get a good score on that course.

Q. Inaudible?

TOM LEHMAN: You know what, it was really in a good flow out there. It would have been nice to hit the first tee on the South and keep playing. It's one of those rounds where you're so in the moment and enjoying each shot, you don't realize -- I birdied the last six holes in a row and I had no idea. I had no idea I birdied the last 12, just playing the course, playing the game and there you had 62.

Q. Is there any more pressure --

TOM LEHMAN: I think it's the North Course. I think there's more pressure over there. It's easy to get very impatient on the North Course, if things are not going your way and the ball is not dropping. It's really easy to get frustrated and impatient and then make a mistake and end up shooting, you know, 71 or 70 or something like that or 72, I remember shooting 72 out there one year where I felt like I played really well. It's a kick in the teeth to do that.

The North Course, you've got to get -- but the South Course, though, if you play well you can score. The guys who played well today were shooting 4-under, 5-under, 3-under whatever it might be, and it's definitely a lot tougher but you can get that course.

Q. Inaudible?

TOM LEHMAN: Probably, probably not 10-under, but I put it in the fairway so often, I hit it real straight. So which I think on the South Course is probably the biggest key is off the tee, you've got to put it in play. The rough is real high, and if you don't put it in the fairway, it's hard to get it on the green.

Q. Inaudible?

TOM LEHMAN: I've been focused since last August or early September. Just kind of clicked, you know, the things I've been working on with my short game. Especially just starting clicking where I was missing greens and getting up-and-down regularly, as opposed to making bogeys, and that's really the thing is everybody is going to miss greens and make a mistake; that when you can save yourself, make a putt for par, it keeps the momentum going. You just feel so much better about your game. That's what all the great players have done; they have always recovered well from their mistakes.

Q. Inaudible?

TOM LEHMAN: Quite frankly, watching Tiger chip. I think he's got the greatest short game out here. Just watching him chip, trying to understand from just watching what his technique is and then working on that. And I realized in layman's terms, the arc of my club was going way too much to right field as I was chipping and had a lot of flip, and so trying to get more of the blade open and getting the thing going more down the line improved my chipping a lot.

Q. Where were you watching?

TOM LEHMAN: He's always on TV. (Laughter.)

Q. Inaudible?

TOM LEHMAN: No, it doesn't. But I guess I'm pretty much at peace with my game, and I've got a great family, great life. So I really feel like I'm kind of hitting on the same things that I used to hit on when I was playing my best. The same things, patience and ball control, put it in play, put it in the right spot on the green and don't make too many mistakes, make a few putts. And some days you make more than others, but I feel like I'm in the same place as I was when I was playing my best.

Q. Inaudible?

TOM LEHMAN: Get frustrated and making a lot of mistakes around the greens. I mentioned the chipping, one of the biggest things, the chipping and the putting, not knowing which, long or short but never hitting a chip that was just up there for a lean, always leaving myself a 6- or 8-foot putt where you had to grind on it and then missing a lot of those.

So I'd have a good round going, and I would just miss it off the edge and chip it up five feet and miss it. It's just deflating, the round. So not so much a matter of terrible golf as it is just not saving yourself when you hit a bad one.

Q. Inaudible?

TOM LEHMAN: To me, it's a goal, a dream, I'd like to be able to play well to be on the team. It would be a unique situation. People have always talked about that. Tom Kite could have been on the team when he was a captain. It's a long way off and it's two years, and I haven't won a tournament since 2000. It's not like this is a -- it would be an upset if I made the team at this point. But if my game keeps progressing, you never know. That would be something that would be very cool for me.

Q. Inaudible?

TOM LEHMAN: Me? Yeah, playing captain. I've got two great assistants, Loren and Corey are both extremely competitive, and both I would consider them to be the overachiever-type guys, who never quits, gets the job done and just grinds you into the ground. Those are the kind of guys they are, and if I happen to make the team, which I would have no problem sharing the duties with those guys.

Q. You would give up --

TOM LEHMAN: Unless the PGA of America said no, and no means no, but I don't think they would. I think they realize that, you know, the group we have put together as captain, assistant captains are very committed very passionate and very comparable. I think they feel it would be in good hands.

Q. Inaudible?

TOM LEHMAN: You only get a chance to be a captain once, you know, I mean, that's the thrill of a lifetime.

Q. Inaudible?

TOM LEHMAN: Yeah, Canadian Open. I shot 2-over the first round and with the short putter was very frustrated and went to the long putter, and the next couple of days played fairly steady and shot 64 on Sunday and ended up finishing fourth.

From that moment on, it just seemed like all these little things I'd been working on around the greens, my chipping, change drivers to the R7, all kind of little things, just making changes and it just kind of clicked.

Q. Inaudible?

TOM LEHMAN: I have. I used it for a while, just for a number of reasons I decided to give the short putter another chance. And spent a lot of time working with a couple of putting instructors who really have a lot of knowledge and know exactly what they are talking about, and everything they told me was totally true. I just could not get off the putting green. Just left it on the putting green, and could not get it on the course; so I had to do something different.

I think for about a year, I think probably half of 2003 and almost three quarters of 2004 probably.

Q. Inaudible?

TOM LEHMAN: I shot a 60 a year ago at my home club with two 3-putts. That was pretty good.

Q. Where is that?

TOM LEHMAN: DC Ranch in Scottsdale. I drove a par 4, but had a real long putt and 3-putted. Then I knocked it on a par 5 on the front nine and had about a 90-footer and 3-putted that. But everything else basically went in.

In a tournament, I think I shot a 62 in Vegas a few years ago, 62-63, I think the first two days.

Q. Inaudible?

TOM LEHMAN: Only time I play for casual is with my buddies at home. Yeah, it's been a while. It has been a while.

Q. Inaudible?

TOM LEHMAN: Top of my head I can't think of one. This one is pretty severe. It's got to be a four -- at least four shot's difference, maybe five.

Q. Inaudible?

TOM LEHMAN: I think it just is, is kind of the way I look at it. It's not good; it's not bad. It just is. You've got to play them both and you'd better play well.

Q. Inaudible?

TOM LEHMAN: I spent three years being very frustrated just not being able to close a round out. So I guess you wonder, yeah -- winning seemed like impossible, and just being a Top-30 player seemed like a century ago. So it definitely seemed like a long way away.

Q. Inaudible?

TOM LEHMAN: Very much higher. I kind of felt like last year gave me a big boost, a big bunch of air in my sails. It gave me the belief that I could win again.

JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Let's get your birdies real quick, starting with the par 5.

TOM LEHMAN: First hole, I birdied 1. I hit a 6-iron and made a birdie, from a foot and a half.

4, good drive and a wedge to about six or eight feet.

Bogeyed the next hole. Knocked it over the green.

Birdied 7. Hit a wedge to about three inches.

Birdied the ninth with a chip shot to about three feet.

Birdied 11 with a 7-iron to about 12 feet.

And then 13, made about a 30-footer after a good 6-iron.

14, the par 5, 2-putted from 50 feet.

The next hole, I hit a sand wedge to about eight feet.

The next hole, a sand wedge to about ten feet.

17, a 6-iron to about four feet, and then a lob-wedge to about eight feet on the last.

JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Thank you, Tom, for joining us.

End of FastScripts.

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