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March 27, 1997

Tom Lehman


WES SEELEY: Tom Lehman, also at 67, 5-under par. Tell us about how your day transpired.

TOM LEHMAN: Well, first of all, the weather is just absolutely perfect, and you can really take advantage of the good conditions if you hit in the fairway. And, I drove the ball very well. But, on top of that, I putted the ball extremely well also. I hit a lot of bad iron shots and missed a lot of greens, which is unusual for me. But, I got it up-and-down most of the time, and, you know, made seven birdies and one double.

WES SEELEY: Take us through.

TOM LEHMAN: Started on the 10th hole, hit pitching wedge or an iron -- I think 9-iron -- about 12 feet, made the putt for birdie. Par 5, 11 just in the great side bunker, came out about 10 feet. Made that. Made double on the 12th. Hit a bad drive, bad second, bad third, bad fourth, bad fifth and tapped it in for a bad sixth. Then birdied the 17th, 9-iron about 10 feet from the hole. Birdied No. 2. Knocked it on 2 with a 1-iron, and 2-putted. I birdied 1 also. Hit a good drive and pitching wedge about 8 feet. Then the next birdie, I guess, was No. 6. I made about a 40-footer there. And then --

WES SEELEY: What did you hit in there?

TOM LEHMAN: 8-iron. Then, the 8th hole, hit good 3-iron, maybe about 18 feet from the hole, and made that putt.


Q. Tom, how would you compare today's round with how you have been playing?

TOM LEHMAN: I really haven't been playing all that great. And, I putted better today, which was really the big improvement. I have been working pretty hard on my putting. I have been stroking the ball well the last few days, and made some putts today. So, the strongest part of my game generally is my iron game, and today it was the worst part of my game. So, hopefully, I can get that straightened out and keep on putting well.

Q. You shot a real good score, yet?

TOM LEHMAN: Yeah, I did. I just -- I hit enough good shots. I hit -- I either hit a really good shot or I hit a really bad shot, and that is -- that is unlike me to do things like that. Usually, my bad shots aren't all that bad, but today, I hit some really lousy ones. That is the way I have been playing for the last few weeks, so I need to kind of iron that out.

Q. What do you attribute that to?

TOM LEHMAN: I wish I knew. In fact, I will pay if you can come up and give me a lesson and tell me what it is.

Q. What does Flick think it is?

TOM LEHMAN: Usually it is -- with me, it has to do with posture and ball position. I tend to hit the ball too far forward in the stance and get a little slouchy and hit it a little crooked. It is funny, because I drove the ball as straight as a string. I think I had hit every fairway, but one, or two, maybe, and so then it doesn't make sense that you can't hit a 7-iron straight.

Q. Is this a good course for you?

TOM LEHMAN: It is. It is. I have had -- I think the last five years, I think I have been anywhere from 8th to 13th about every year. I think I missed the cut one year. That is one of the exceptions. But, I have played reasonably well here. Never played great, but I do like the golf course?

Q. Are you thinking about Augusta at this time or is that something that comes later?

TOM LEHMAN: Well, I think always in the back of your mind, you are thinking about doing things as you practice that would make you -- prepare you; allow you to be peaking at that time of the year. But, seriously, you are thinking about just today. When I am out on the golf course, I am thinking about just today and if I am out practicing putting, maybe I will be thinking about working at my speed knowing that the greens are going to be really fast for the next few weeks. So, you are thinking ahead in some ways. But, that is kind of back there in the back of your mind.

Q. Anything about this course that helps you prepare for Augusta?

TOM LEHMAN: Helps you prepare? Well, they are so different. They are really different kinds of golf courses. Only things that are similar are some of the greens, I guess, some of the greens with some of the slopes, it requires pretty good touch. So, that is what I have spent most of my time this week, in my practice, just chipping and putting.

Q. Other than the five bad shots, what happened on 12?

TOM LEHMAN: Well, I started out by hitting the wrong club off the tee little bit into the wind and I chose to hit a 1-iron. I should have hit a driver. So, I hit it short and crooked off the tee in the edge of the bunker. And, then I was up against the lip and left it in the bunker about 30 yards short of green. And, I left that one short of the green again and chipped up and 2-putted. So, it was just kind of -- the bad tee shots set up the bad hole. I never had a chance to go at a shot from the second shot on. I was just behind the 8-ball the whole time.

Q. What is your schedule like for the next seven, eight weeks, do you know?

TOM LEHMAN: Well, obviously, Augusta, MCI. And, then from that point on, it is up in there the air, honestly. I had planned on playing Greensboro, but now I've decided against it. Now it will be either Houston or Atlanta or Byron Nelson then I think play Colonial through the U.S. Open.

WES SEELEY: Will that do it?

Q. What is this season been like in view of the great year that you had last year? Is it more difficult to play after that experience?

TOM LEHMAN: Well, this season actually started out very similar to the way last year did. In terms of just, I think, I missed a few opportunities and haven't really played my best. And, in the last year, I really started to click into gear the beginning of June. And, so I feel a little impatient, in all honesty, that I am not playing a little bit better. But, I am realizing that I am human. And, I am going to have some bad weeks now and then. I don't miss very many cuts. So missing a cut last week is not going to shake me up too much. But, it would be nice, though, to kind of get back in the groove that I was in last year where everything seemed so easy.

End of FastScripts....

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