What they said: Tom Lehman

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April 01, 2011
PGA TOUR staff

MORE INTERVIEWS: Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic transcript archive

DAVE SENKO: Thanks for joining us, 5-under 67 today. Looks like five birdies and no bogeys. Maybe just talk about your day.

TOM LEHMAN: Well, first of all I had a great pairing. We talked about pairings yesterday a little bit, and to have a pairing like I had with Nick and with John, I thought was a great way to start the tournament. They are such great players, and inspirational players. Anyway, it was good to be with those guys.

I played well and drove the ball extremely well and I think that really was the key and maybe the key to the golf course is driving the ball in play. I kept the ball in the fairway. I had a lot of good looks at the pins, and you know, managed to get it in there where I could make birdie five times. All in all, it was a very good day and really happy with it and always pleased to make no bogeys.

DAVE SENKO: Birdies started at 6.

TOM LEHMAN: Par 5 hit a really good tee shot and rescue club and made about a 45- or 50-foot putt for eagle and 2-putted.

Next birdie came as 12, the short par 4. I hit a good tee shot, lob-wedge to about 18 feet and made the putt.

Next hole, the par five, hit a good tee shot and then 3-wood just right of the green and a really nice pitch to maybe six feet and made that.

15, I hit a really good tee shot and laid up with a 3-iron, had 81 yards and hit a lob-wedge again to eight feet.

The last hole, I hit a beautiful tee shot, kind of an ugly second shot, but that hole, you can kind of get away with that because everything feeds to the back of the green. So kind of fed it back to the back left corner of the green and I made about a 20-footer.

Q. So one of the keys would be not making mistakes; when did you feel you had that hot putting hand??

TOM LEHMAN: I wouldn't say that it was such a hot putting round. I putted well today and I felt good with the putter. But I think as I said, I think the key for me today was the way I drove the ball. I drove the ball beautifully, and put it in the fairway nearly every hole and you know, pretty long, as well.

So I had a lot of really good iron shots, shorter, 9-irons, 8-irons, 7-irons, not many wedges to those greens and I was able to get it in there where I could make a putt or two. So I think that was the key for me today was just putting the ball in the fairway.

Q. Not having spent a lot of time on the course and having played that well tee-to-green especially, do you feel good about that and how that sets you up the rest of the way??

TOM LEHMAN: Yeah, I do. I'm always thrilled when I play a round without a bogey, whether I'm playing at home or playing out here; you're doing a lot right when you do that.

So today was one of those days where I wouldn't say it was easy, because it wasn't, but it wasn't a lot of stress. I hit mostly good shots.

The only hole where I actually had a bit of anxiety was the third hole the par 3. I hit a 4-iron and hit it really nicely and a big gust of wind came up on the bank between the water and the green, and it actually stayed on the bank which was lucky. Chipped it to about a foot and made a par.

Other than that, it was one of those rounds where the longest par putt I had to make was probably about five feet. Just seemed the round had a good flow to it.

Q. Because the bunkers are so penal, the fairway bunkers, again, how important was the good driving day and just being in play??

TOM LEHMAN: That's it. It's not easy to hit every tee shot where you're looking. So the days that you do, you have to really pat yourself on the back. Again, going back to guys that you play with, I played with two guys who drive it great. Nick has always been a good driver, and John is a great driver of the golf ball. You kind of start feeding off your playing partners when you keep on consistently seeing good-looking shot after good looking shot. It was an inspirational group and it was good for me to be with them.

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