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November 5 2011

9:53 PM

Roberts shoots low round of the week

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Chris Condon/PGA TOUR
Loren Roberts, by his own admission, is a surprise contender this week at TPC Harding Park.

By John Schwarb, PGATOUR.COM

SAN FRANCISCO – Loren Roberts came to TPC Harding Park and the season finale more or less just to put a period on the season and move on. For the two-time Schwab Cup winner and 12-time event winner, there was just nothing cooking this year.

But after a 65 Saturday at the Charles Schwab Cup Championship, putting him at 5 under for the tournament and three off the lead, he still has something to play for in 2011.

Roberts’ round was the lowest of the week, and his lowest round on the Champions Tour since June at the Greater Hickory Classic at Rock Barn, where he shot 67-67-65 to finish tied for fifth. He hasn’t finished in the top 15 since. He’s 23rd in the points race.

His work at TPC Harding Park earlier in the week, however, starting to flick a switch. Instructor Jim Suttie made some observations about taking some of the hand action out of his swing, and in a practice round Mark Wiebe gave him a tip on his body turn.

“Today I was probably in the best rhythm I’ve been playing in several months. I feel like I’m finally going in the right direction,” Roberts said. “Obviously, that doesn’t guarantee you’re going to play well. But for me to play well, I made some putts.”

Roberts made a 20-footer on the first hole for birdie and credited a 10-foot par save on the par-4 12th as a putt that kept his momentum going.

Going into the final round, he’ll have a shot at winning the season finale for the first time. More importantly, he’s got bounce in his step for 2012.

“To be honest, I’m looking to finish the year and to get ready to start for next year,” Roberts said. “Right now, I’m fired up for next year. I’m 56 now, and I really want to see if I can make one more run.”

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