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 19, 1997

Tom Lehman


WES SEELEY: 66, 73, 67, 206, 7-under par for Tom Lehman who is two off the lead at this point. How did it go today?

TOM LEHMAN: Well, it went pretty well. I got off to a really good start. Birdied six holes in the front, made two bogeys, but played 4-under par the front 9. The back nine I thought was playing very difficult. So it was nice to have a good start going into the back 9.

WES SEELEY: Take us through all those birdies.

TOM LEHMAN: Birdied the first hole, good wedge into about ten feet from the hole. The second green-side bunker, hit good bunker shot about a foot. Bogeyed the next. Missed the green, didn't get up-and-down.

WES SEELEY: How long was that?

TOM LEHMAN: I missed about an 8-footer. The par 5, No. 5, I hit a good chip from just off the edge to about five feet and made that. And the next hole hit a good 8-iron 159 to the pin and just about 15 feet above the hole, made a good putt there. Next hole hit a 6-iron just to the right back fringe and made about a 30-footer. Then 3-putted the next from off the right fringe from, I mean, no more than 30 feet away, which was a big disappointment. Hit a nice sand wedge into about six feet number 9, made that for birdie, turned 4-under. And then, again, 3-putted just off the fringe on the 12th hole for bogey. It was 25 feet; hit a good wedge; spun back off the green and 3-putted. But then made about 40-footer on 14, it is the par 3, for birdie. So, you know, who can figure?

WES SEELEY: What club in there?

TOM LEHMAN: 9-iron. Then made a really good par on number 15. I think if I was a cat, I probably would have lost one of my lives down there. I was lucky. Hit a bad drive into the right trees and just chipped out with a 9-iron. Hit a sand wedge down the fairway, another sand wedge on the green, then made the putt for a par, which was, I thought, a huge momentum keeper for me. That was better than a birdie. Like I say, I could have used up one of my lives - but with a little bit of good fortune - then made good pars on the last 3. So, pretty steady round.

WES SEELEY: Questions.

Q. I saw the BlockBuster blimp battling incredible wind out there. Was it as bad on the ground as it was up there?

TOM LEHMAN: It was pretty tough. The greens have gotten truly baked out, and, I mean, they are as fast as I have ever seen them here. And, mostly because of the wind blowing is baking them out. But, once you get out to -- first of all, it swirls so much in the trees, you never know what is going on. Then once you get out into the open areas, number 16, 17, 18, it about blows you over. And, I know the last hole I had a 12-foot, 15-foot putt from right from back of the hole. That is normally a right edge putt. I played it about 5 inches out and the wind blew it four inches left of the hole. That is how much it was blowing.

Q. Is it worst than you have ever seen it?

TOM LEHMAN: I have only played here since '92. Seems like every year I have played here in the past, the weather has been good. This year, the weather is -- I mean, it is still good, it is beautiful. But the breeze is making things a lot more difficult.

Q. Tom, Ken Venturi has said, I guess a lot others have, that the Masters tournament starts on the 10th on Sunday. Is there a particular place that this tournament starts on Sunday?

TOM LEHMAN: First tee. (Audience laughter.) You can't afford to let up anywhere on this course. It is too -- if you drive it in play, you are -- go ahead and get aggressive. But, if you don't get the ball there, play off the tee, you can't. And the first hole is one of tightest driving holes on the golf course. So, from the very beginning you have got to be on top of your game. You can lose the tournament in a hurry on the first 9.

Q. When the wind picks up, do you have a little more respect starting with 13 than the earlier holes or is there no difference starting at 13?

TOM LEHMAN: Well, no. You take them one at a time and everyone presents a challenge. There is no easy hole out there. No. 2 is playing relatively easy because it is from a straight downwind. But, you know, the wind makes some holes easier. Number 14, the par 3 is only a 9-iron today. Rather hit a 9-iron into that hole than a 5-iron if the wind were in your face. So the wind helps you sometimes, and it makes it tougher sometimes.

Q. Does it ever help you on 17?

TOM LEHMAN: Well, as long as -- I think as long as the wind is straight into your face, you know, it is a golf shot that you can deal with. But the problem, I think, is on days like yesterday when it is quartering, coming a little bit in your face and right-to-left or in your face and left-to-right, because that green is so skinny, it makes it very difficult to, you know, get the ball on the green. Today, it was right at you. If you just got the ball going on line, you can hit a good shot.

Q. Where do you make up a couple of holes tomorrow, a couple of strokes, rather; are there certain holes that you think are birdieable?

TOM LEHMAN: I think the final round is -- I think, you know, if you can go out and not make any bogeys, you don't have to make a whole bunch of birdies. But if you don't make any bogeys, you are going to do pretty good. So, I think my game plan, really the way it is always is on Sunday, actually, any day, is to try to not make bogeys and try to take advantage of the birdie holes when you get there. You think of the obvious ones, No. 2 and No. 5, and some of the par 4s that play a little bit easier. You can -- hitting short irons, you can get it in there and make a birdie, possibly. But, you know, you just want -- you want to make sure that you take your 4 and make a birdie here and there, and on days like today, and then just get out of town.

Q. One par on the front, was that kind of a wild 9 there?

TOM LEHMAN: Not really. I was making so many birdies because I was really playing well. And I hit one bad shot, really, the whole time. That was the second shot to 3, missed the green. But other than that, it was really steady golf. The one bogey was a 3-putt off the edge, and, you know -- so played, really, pretty well that day out there today.

Q. When the wind is right in your face -- I mean, for us amateurs, we are going at it, a 2-club win 3-club win; absolute total guess. You are all obviously better at that. But, can you stand in the wind and tell --

TOM LEHMAN: How long it is?

Q. Yes, clubwise.

TOM LEHMAN: Yeah. It is amazing how your mind can work. It is the best computer out there. To figure the wind is blowing this hard, you know, I got a flier lie, there is all the different factors; then pull a club and actually hit on the green is pretty amazing thing.

Q. It is.

TOM LEHMAN: But you get to know how you hit the shots all depends on trajectory how high you are going to hit it; how low you are going to hit it. You know, wind like today in the 17th hole, it was playing 172 or 175 or something like that, I hit a 5-iron. Normally, be a 6-iron. But, I know that because I can keep the ball down, I can hit that 5-iron and it landed 20 yards or 30 feet short of the hole; let it scoot on up. I pushed it, but you learn.

Q. You said you came here really determined pretty focused. Have you maintained that mindset and, I mean, it hasn't waned; has it continued to stay?

TOM LEHMAN: No, I think it is still there. Yeah. I am usually pretty focused. I am usually pretty motivated. Just seems that the first part this year has been kind of a struggle for me. The last -- really the last couple of tournaments that I played, The Masters and TPC were really kind of tournaments where you just, you know, feel like man, you just get -- just got bombed, just get drilled so badly that you better start doing something, you know, to start playing some better golf. Actually, 5-under, or whatever it was, TPC and Elk shot what, 17? I am not sure what I shot, 8-under maybe. But, I just got killed. Same thing at Augusta.

Q. I know you always try real hard, but is it a thing -- are you thinking better this week? Are you feeling better mentally?

TOM LEHMAN: I feel like I am more focused this week than I have been for a while. I can't explain why, why your mind starts to wander at times, but there has been times this year where I will just have hit a shot, what was I thinking; I wasn't even thinking about that golf shot. And which is unusual for me. I am usually right there all the time. This week has been more like me. I have been more, you know, tuned in than I have in a while.

Q. Have you thought much about the possibility of the top ranking No. 1? Is that in your mind when you are playing?

TOM LEHMAN: No. You just obviously -- that would be a really, you know, feather in your cap. It is something that I have -- that has been one of my goals for the last few years is to try to get the No. 1 spot and, you know, it is within my reach. But, if it is not this week I, know that I am going to have some good weeks ahead and, you know, so this isn't the runaway chance I am going to have.

Q. You probably hit the ball significantly higher than Nick. How much of a disadvantage is that here and maybe tomorrow if the wind is this strong?

TOM LEHMAN: You know, I hit the ball about the same trajectory, really hit it pretty low; which, I think, is good. I don't like getting the ball up in the air when it is windy.

WES SEELEY: Will that do it? I think it will.

TOM LEHMAN: Thank you.

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