What they said: Tom Lehman

August 16, 2012
PGA TOUR staff

Dick's Sporting Goods Open: Transcript archive

MODERATOR: We welcome Tom Lehman to the interview room this afternoon.

Tom, you played here last year and tied for 15th. You come in this year's event leading the Charles Schwab Cup and you've had a good year but not probably a great year. You got a chance really the last six events to put it together. Just talk about your year and coming back to Endicott for this event.

TOM LEHMAN: Yeah, thanks, Phil. Yeah, the year did start out slow, but I would say that the first few months were very, very poor. Since about the end of April, middle of April, I've been playing extremely well. I think I've been playing very good golf, every bit as well as last year, over the last three or four months. I'm pretty pleased with that. I had some ground to make up early with the majors and playing well in the majors, kind of got myself in a good spot.

MODERATOR: We'll just go to questions. Wait for the mic and raise your hand.

Q. How does this golf course suit your game and why??

TOM LEHMAN: I think I was asked the same question last year and hopefully I'll answer the same way. It's a good driver's course. I haven't played here all that much, but I've played here enough to know that you've got to hit it pretty straight, and if you do hit it straight, you can set yourself up to get some opportunities on the par 5s, on the shorter par 4s. So I think you've got to drive the ball in the fairway, for starters. Like anywhere else, you need to putt well.

So when I think about how it suits my game, typically I drive the ball well, and the weeks where my putting is a little bit better than normal are the weeks where I really have a good chance. I feel the same way this week, the same strategy as always, try to put the ball in play off the tee and try to make a few putts.

Q. Any comments on the course? Obviously they had a flood last year.

TOM LEHMAN: You know, I haven't played it yet, so I'll have more of an idea after I play today, but I've heard it's in really good shape. I've heard that it's made an amazing recovery, that the weather has been very conducive to growing grass this summer. After all the problems with the flooding, the course is quite good, so I'm looking forward to seeing it.

Q. I'm doing a piece on what Joey's like for the guys on Tour. Can you kind of explain, this being his home tournament, what Joey Sindelar is like to you guys out there, maybe any funny stories you can reminisce about him??

TOM LEHMAN: Well, he broke my heart in college by winning the Big 10 Championship at the University of Minnesota course, my home course, so I've never forgiven him for that, but I do like him. He's a very, very likeable person, very big hearted, kind hearted, outgoing, very friendly. I think he's easily one of the most popular guys out here. Great ball striker, always hits it real far, real solid. I think playing here � � to me, playing a home game is � � it can go either way. I think there's some years when you play before your family and friends where it energizes you and you feel like the game is easy and you can't wait to play. Other years, you feel the pressure and you can't seem to quite get it going because you're maybe trying too hard. I find that in Phoenix when I play at home there, Minnesota when I go back up there to play. It just kind of seems like what kind of frame of mind am I in that week, am I embracing it or is it giving added pressure, and my play typically reflects that.

Q. I guess for you guys, top 60 being here minus Freddy, just talk about the field and what it's going to take to have a victory here this weekend.

TOM LEHMAN: Well, I think it typically takes pretty low scores, and there's always somebody who seems to go pretty low. I'm not sure what John Huston shot last year, but I know it was pretty low.

MODERATOR: 15� under, I think, 16.

TOM LEHMAN: I think Loren has won here before with 16� , 17� under, whatever it might be. The scores seem to kind of get spread out a little bit, you know, some way. Someone always seems to take it real deep and then everybody's trying to chase. I'm sure the same thing this year. Not having Fred here hurts, he's such a big draw, he's good for our Tour, he's a fan favorite. But having so many other great players here, I think it will be a great championship.