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July 11, 2013

Tom Lehman


THE MODERATOR:テつ Ladies and gentlemen, we'd like to welcome Tom Lehman into the interview room.テつ Tom, 67 today, very nice round.テつ Usually like to go through the birdies.テつ Let's start with the last one, birdie on 18.テつ Just take us through that.
TOM LEHMAN:テつ A decent drive into a divot.テつ Decent decent second shot from the divot to just the very edge of the rough, pin high to the right.テつ 8 iron just a little chip and run down the hill into the hole.テつ Good way to finish.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Really good way to finish.テつ You started well too.テつ You birdied the 2nd hole?
TOM LEHMAN:テつ Yeah.テつ Well, good drive.テつ Good rescue into the right green side bunker, and a good bunker shot to about three inches, just a tap‑in.
THE MODERATOR:テつ And the 11th?
TOM LEHMAN:テつ 11th, 8 iron, good drive, three feet, pin high there.テつ Made a good putt.
TOM LEHMAN:テつ Hit an 8 iron for a third shot to about five feet and made that.
THE MODERATOR:テつ You've had some success in the USGA Championships in the past, and you finished tied for second last year here at the Senior Open.テつ What is it about your game that gives you this sort of success in these USGA Championships?
TOM LEHMAN:テつ I think it requires patience, and it requires a steady style of play where a guy that hits a lot of fairways, a lot of greens has an advantage in this kind of very, very difficult and penal setup, where missing shots really is going to cost you.
I think my game is not flashy, but it's steady.テつ I hit it pretty straight.テつ I'm not a very impatient person.テつ I think that worked to my favor.
THE MODERATOR:テつ You do lead the Champions Tour this year in greens in regulation.テつ So continuing that this week.テつ Let's open it up.

Q.テつ Rate that chip on a 1 to 10 scale for difficulty.
TOM LEHMAN:テつ You know, I would say about a two or a three.テつ It was downhill, which you just kind of get it going, it's going to get to the hole.テつ The big thing was the lie.テつ The lie was a little bit squirrely.テつ The grass was growing against the ball so it's easy to kind of not catch it cleanly.
I took less loft and kind of just hit it a little bit thin, just kind of thinned it out of there.テつ Once it gets out of the green, it's going to get down there.テつ It wasn't that difficult.

Q.テつ The bogey on 8, what happened there?
TOM LEHMAN:テつ Well, it was playing tough.テつ You play all the way back, obviously, 485 uphill against the wind, and hit a driver and a rescue just short.テつ Hit a pretty good pitch to about six or seven feet and then missed it.テつ So your basic bogey.

Q.テつ 67, about what you should have shot today given your play?
TOM LEHMAN:テつ You know, I missed a few putts, but I don't think I could have shot a lot higher.テつ I hit a lot of fairways, hit a lot of greens, but I made a few putts to save par, which was nice.テつ It was about right.

Q.テつ Just a couple things.テつ What do you estimate the distance on that chip‑in at?
TOM LEHMAN:テつ It was only about, I'm going to guess, 45 feet.

Q.テつ And the other thing, how would you describe the condition of the greens as the afternoon went on?
TOM LEHMAN:テつ Well, they were suffering.テつ The greens were suffering.テつ The heat and the constant heat over the last week or two, I'm sure, is really taking a toll.テつ Getting a little bit choppy, getting firmer.
And there's differing kinds of grass.テつ That's probably the biggest thing.テつ There's different kinds of grass on the green.テつ It's not 100 percent pure, one strain of grass.テつ So the heat affects them each differently, which is why you see that spotty stuff.テつ That kind of makes the putts really not quite as true as you would hope for.

Q.テつ Tom, can you talk about how much of an advantage, if it served you well at all, in playing this course in advance of this championship?
TOM LEHMAN:テつ Well, I think it was a big advantage with the heat that we had on Tuesday because I didn't play at all on Tuesday.テつ I didn't play on Tuesday because I'd been here before, and I didn't feel like there's any need to go wear myself out in that intense heat walking up and down these fairways if I didn't have to.
So we kind of‑‑ actually, we got out of town and went and played some golf at the Prairie Club and had a great day on Tuesday and then came back and practiced Wednesday afternoon.テつ So it was a really good way to spend our time, and it was nice to avoid that heat because I feel probably a lot fresher today than some other guys might.

Q.テつ Did O'Meara's play help you today?
TOM LEHMAN:テつ His game always helps me.テつ I love watching him swing the club.テつ He's got a beautiful rhythm.テつ He flights the ball almost perfectly, just the flight of his ball is so nice to watch.テつ So it's always good for me when I watch him play to just kind of get that feel for his rhythm, and it hopefully helps me a little bit as well.
So he's a great player.テつ He's always been a great player, and he played really well today.テつ He played very well.

Q.テつ Tom, last night you received an award from Boys Town, the Father Flanagan award.テつ Since there's some Nebraska media here in the audience today, can you tell us what that meant to you?
TOM LEHMAN:テつ Well, first of all, it was extremely flattering.テつ But when you look at the list of people they've given it to, people like Mother Teresa and Laura Bush, you know what, I'm not sure what they're doing giving it to me when you have those kinds of folks who truly deserve it.
But it was very nice.テつ I'm very involved in my community with inner city kids, at‑risk kids, which is right up the alley of what Boys Town does.テつ So there's a very strong link there between what my passion is and what they do here and what they've done here.テつ So it was quite nice.テつ It was a very nice evening, and I'm very, very humbled by it.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Any other questions for Tom?

Q.テつ Tom, you hear the word in sports, parity, and I know you're a sports fan.テつ But when you see this group of golfers atop the leaderboard, what comes to your mind when you hear the word parity and golf?
TOM LEHMAN:テつ Parity?テつ I think golf is‑‑ golf is a lot like slalom racing and skiing.テつ Just a little bit separates you by a lot.テつ I mean, you can be 5/100 of a second slower and you finish fourth because they're that good sometimes and that close in terms of skill.
So I think in one round it is that way in golf as well.テつ In one round, 18 holes, it's like a sprint.テつ So you can get a lot of stuff going on in one round of golf where a lot of guys are up there bunched up tight.テつ But over the course of four rounds, which is more like a marathon, things really do spread out.
So the guys who are playing the best this week are going to be at the top this week.テつ And the guys who aren't, you're not going to see them near the lead.テつ It's that kind of a golf course.テつ I think over the course of a period of time, you can get a lot of guys really tight and battling, but the field will thin out.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Anything else for Tom?テつ Very good.テつ Part of a seven‑way tie for first place, 67.
TOM LEHMAN:テつ Eight‑way.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Eight‑way now.テつ Good luck tomorrow.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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