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July 15, 2012

Tom Lehman


THE MODERATOR:  Ladies and gentlemen, we're pleased to have Tom Lehman with us in the Media Center.  Tom shot 2 under today, ending up 8 under for the championship, another top ten.
Tom, you had a clean card today.  You made a charge at the end, just a great week overall.
TOM LEHMAN:  Yeah, it was a good week.  I think I should start by congratulating Roger.  What a brilliant performance, to shoot 66 on what was a very difficult day.  It was no bargain out there with the wind and the way the greens were really firming up and baked up.
The course was set up beautifully.  I think the USGA did a tremendous job of letting the greens be at just the right speed.  Any faster, and it would have been silly.  But they were just right.  Just right.  My hat goes off to the course setup.
As far as my game goes, I played well.  I played liberally.  I played hard.  I didn't maybe hit it as close as I need to.  I missed some greens.  Hit some shots that ended up going a bit long coming in.
That's kind of what you get in a tournament like this.  It doesn't always turn out the way you want it to.  You've got to be satisfied with just your best effort.

Q.  Tom, can you put in perspective what Roger has done these past, what, six, seven weeks?
TOM LEHMAN:  He's won twice in majors.  Well, it's been done.  I remember a couple years ago Bernhard won back to back the Senior British Open and the Senior U.S. Open.  It's not like it hasn't been done before, but it's incredibly difficult to do it.
And so to win the PGA and then to win this week, it takes a huge effort.  It takes a lot of good stuff.  For him, he's going to play a whole bunch of majors next year.  The U.S. Open, the PGA Championship, and the five out here.  Who knows, maybe he'll win the Senior British Open, and he'll play eight majors next year.  That could be the greatest schedule of all time.

Q.  The putt on 18‑‑ I'm sure you knew this.  Did you know the situation behind you, that Roger was way up the fairway?  So you got to be thinking that you make that and you've got a chance in the playoff?
TOM LEHMAN:  Really a tough putt, though.  It broke about ten feet up and over the hill and breaking left.  It's all about just getting the speed perfect.  I hit a good putt, just a hair shy on the speed.
I was happy with the putt.  It was a really tough putt.  I was disappointed with the fact that a second shot went past the hole.  I didn't think there was any way to hit that club that I hit past the hole.  I was a bit surprised at that.  I thought I was going to have about a 12, 15‑footer straight up the hill from the right side.  Ended up being 25 feet up and over a hump, 10 feet of break.

Q.  Tom, when a guy like Bernhard comes out here and wins senior majors, or yourself or Corey, guys who have won a lot of tournaments and majors, from your perspective, somebody like Roger who really hasn't won a lot‑‑ once on the European Tour over the years, and he comes out here.  I guess that's what I was getting at is.  How different is that?
TOM LEHMAN:  I don't know his record that well, so I guess I apologize for maybe not understanding.
I've competed with him at times over in Europe, and I've always been impressed with his game.  So I guess my perspective is I'm not surprised.  I'm not surprised that he's winning because.  He looks and he plays like he's capable of winning all the time.
To me, I'm continually impressed by the scores that are shot out here on this Tour with the pressure on and tough conditions.  Like it was definite U.S. Open conditions.  Granted, the course wasn't as long as maybe the other U.S. Open might be, lacking about the 300 yards but it was still firm fairways and greens, and the wind, and guys going up and shooting 66 and 68 with the pressure on them.
I think it's just a real testimony to their determination and their fortitude, course management, experience and guts.  I really, really hand it to them, a lot of guts.
THE MODERATOR:  Tom, you head over to the open now.  What do you take from this championship in preparation for the British?
TOM LEHMAN:  I need to start hitting it a little more solidly, more consistently.  I was still enough off this week to be just trying to get the ball on the green a lot, just trying to get the fairway a lot versus really dialling in and trying to knock the pin.
I need to get this last little bit of fine tuning for next week.
THE MODERATOR:  Congratulations on a great championship.
TOM LEHMAN:  Thank you.  I would echo Fred's words about the course and the city and the hospitality.  It's been A‑plus.  Thank you.

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