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March 28, 1997

Tom Lehman


WES SEELEY: Tom Lehman, 67, 71, 138. Repeat what you just said. It will be the lead quote for everyone.

TOM LEHMAN: I said that the rough was tough, but the wind was tougher.

WES SEELEY: Take us through the round.

TOM LEHMAN: It was up-and-down round as usually they are on days like today. Bogeyed the first. Birdied the third. 9-iron about 3 feet. Drove it in the rough and bogeyed the 4th. Made some good saves. Then hit sand wedge on No. 9 about 4 feet away, made that for birdie, get back to even par. Then drove it through the fairway on the 10th hole into the rough, made bogey. Then hit it about 2 feet on 13 with 7-iron for birdie. Then missed the green with a wedge on 15. And, then birdied 16 and 17. So, that was kind of a roller coaster.

WES SEELEY: Tell us about 16 and 17.

TOM LEHMAN: 16, hit a good drive and had about 240 to the pin. Basically wanted to just lay-it-up, and my caddie talked me into going for it with a 3-wood, so I did. I am not sure if that was the wisest decision I made all day, but it worked out pretty good. I hit a really good shot just about the left edge of the green; nice little chip shot about three feet so, I guess he saved me a shot there for sure. 17, playing straight downwind, which made it real easy. 144, hit pitching wedge about 6 feet from the hole and made that for birdie.

Q. Seemed considerably easier this morning than it was this afternoon. The wind seemed like --

TOM LEHMAN: That would be my guess. I don't know what it was like this morning. But, from watching it on TV, it looked like it was pretty tame, but that is golf. I think when you play throughout the course of the year, you are going to have some weeks where the wind kind of nails you in the afternoon. Going to have some weeks when you get the breaks. You've just got to fly through it.

Q. Did I hear you say that you were taking Minnesota and giving points?

TOM LEHMAN: That is how confident I am with my Gophers. I know they are 6-point underdogs, but that is how much I believe they are going to win.

Q. Is there any kind of locker room talk with the Kentucky guys, I mean, what is the trash-talk like in the locker room?

TOM LEHMAN: Tim Herron and I are the only Minnesotans out here, so we are severe -- we are just getting overtrashed - let me put it that way. But, everybody likes all the big teams, the Kentuckies and North Carolinas, and Minnesota basically they are saying, "Oh, yeah, they are a good team, but they are going down." And I'm not a basketball expert, by any means, but I know a good team when I see one. I know a bunch of guys who play hard and play great defense. That is why I think they have a chance.

Q. Have you gone to any of their games?

TOM LEHMAN: One this year. I've seen them play on TV a bunch of times. And the thing about basketball is -- football is the same -- which if you have a team that plays good defense, you have a chance to win, whoever you play. That is why I like Minnesota, they play great defense.

Q. Did you play good defense today?

TOM LEHMAN: I did. I mean, golf is the same way. You get on a course like this, on conditions like this, and sometimes the best offense is a good defense. You just put it in the middle of green and you take your par and you are just happy with making a par on every hole. Occasionally, you get it in there close and you make birdie, you feel really good about that. It is usually only when you start really trying to make things happen on this kind of a course, this kind of a breeze; then you hit it in the wrong spot. You are thinking, oh, why did I hit it over there and it is a bogey; you get on a roll making bogey after bogey. Pretty soon you are shooting 76.

Q. Would you have been as easy to have defense be your offense, say, two years ago in this situation?

TOM LEHMAN: Two years ago, probably. But, before then, that was really where I always made my big mistakes through the years in golf was I tended to get way too aggressive, way too impatient and didn't really realize a yellow-light situation when I had one. And, I think I have gotten better and better with that, realizing that, you know, okay, par is not a bad score here even if it is just a pitching wedge in your hands. Example is the 11th hole, the par 5, with the pin way back, left, and the wind is ripping in your face left-to-right, and you have got a sidehill lie when you lay-it-up, you are not going to get that shot close very often. There is really no reason to try too squeeze it in there. Knock it in there 20 feet, 2-putt and get out-of-town. You haven't hurt yourself.

Q. How hard was the wind blowing?

TOM LEHMAN: I don't know if it was 20 or -- it was -- it was mostly crosswinds. There were a few holes where it was in your face or straight down, but there are so many crosswinds out here and with the trees, the wind just swirls around, you can never really tell what it is doing. And, so I mean, I know I was a club off a lot today. I had 137 to the pin on number 6. I thought I was into the wind and I hit it, a little punch 8-iron, it carried 155 over the green. So, you think you hit a good shot and woops, you know, tough par.

Q. You got any big bets out there?

TOM LEHMAN: I am in a good position. I am betting with the money that I have already won, so I am betting other guys' money right now. Nobody liked Minnesota and so I am -- I have cashed in pretty good to this point so all the cash I have made is going which isn't very much mind you, I only had like 40 bets, 20 bucks a piece. But, you know, I am letting it ride.

Q. You get the 6?

TOM LEHMAN: No, no, I told them I am putting my money with my mouth is and I am going to take it straight up.

Q. You did you get most of that money off of Wake Forest?

TOM LEHMAN: It was all caddies if you can believe that. Because the caddies are the experts. They all know the basketball, so they say, more than anybody. So, you know, most of the bets were Minnesota is not going to make it past the second rounds. I am like, well, I will take that bet. 27 and 3 going in the tournament it is like they didn't get that way by playing sissy basketball, you know, so that is like a no-brainer.

WES SEELEY: Anything else?

End of FastScripts....

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