News & Updates
An Interview with 2012 Champions Loren Roberts
Newport Beach Country Club
Newport Beach, CA
March 17, 2012
Final round quotes:
INTERVIEW OF LOREN ROBERTS
DAVE SENKO: Loren, congratulations. Your 13th win on the Champion's Tour and you move into a tie for 20th place with Jim Thorpe, on the all time win list. You get 263 Charles Schwab Cup points as well as $262,500 I believe. Your first win since Dick's Sporting Goods Open in 2010. With that, maybe just talk about your day. It got interesting toward the end but you made the putt when you had to at 18.
LOREN ROBERTS: I did make it interesting. I got off to a really good start. The start you could have dreamed about today.
I birdied the first hole and made it on the right fringe from about 12, 13 feet from birdie in the first. And then I made a 20‑footer at the second hole for birdie there, to get to 2‑under thru 2.
And off and running, and the next thing you know I'm looking at a 30‑footer for par at 3. After hitting it left on my lay‑up shot, I make a 30‑footer. That's huge. I hit a good 6‑iron at 4. Make about an 18‑footer for birdie there. I'm really going for the first 4 holes. That's the kind of start you are looking for, three out of the first four, especially on a windy. Then I made a bogey. I drove a good tee shot up the left side and had to hit a low punch and made a bogey at 7.
Probably the real key to the round, the tenth hole, I hit a bad tee shot on the right. I didn't have very much on the second shot, I was standing on my head trying to hit it off the hill to the right of the green. Then, I got it up and down and with a six‑footer for par. That got me going because I birdied 11. And I hit a good shot in there probably five feet behind the hole. On 13, I really hit a good 5‑iron in there two feet right of the hole, made a birdie there to get to 10‑under. I hit a really good shot there at 13 to get to 10‑under. All I know is, okay, a good solid par at 14, birdie the two par‑5s and you got this thing.
And sure enough I hit it in the right bunker, caught it a little thin going out of the bunker and ended up making bogey there at 14.
Then I don't make a birdie at 15. I let everybody back in the game. I just really got out of rhythm. It took a while to play today and it was cold, and I just started getting a little out of rhythm and missed the green to the right at 16. And got lucky, hit the pin on my little chip, and missed a 2 and a half‑footer for par. And then I made another bogey at 17. I missed in just on the right fringe. I had an easy little chip and that I didn't hit that good and missed the putt. All of a sudden I go to 18 with a one‑shot lead. I knew it was a downwind par‑5, but still I hit a good tee shot there and was able to get it up there. I hit my second shot right up there on the front edge and pitched it up there to about five feet in front of the hole and made it for birdie to close it out.
It was a tough day. It was really blowing hard. And really most of the holes, with the exception of 17, were all cross wind holes.
You either play right‑to‑left or left‑to‑right. That's murder for me. I'm a left‑to‑right player. And you get on those left to right holes on a narrow golf course with trees likes this, and it's really hard for me to keep the ball in the fairway. It's always bleeding right on me. It was a tough day.
And then I got it to the house. I was really happy to birdie 18. I told my caddy coming off of 17 ‑‑ he asked me, if I knew where we stood? I said let me know, I think we got a one‑shot lead. And he said, yes, Tom Kite is in the house at 6 under. Calc hit a great shot up on the green, if he holes that he'd get to 7. Once he missed that eagle putt, and I was five feet out of the hole, I knew it was my tournament. But it was nice to knock it in and win by 2. That feels a whole lot better birdieing the last hole and winning by 2 instead of just dribbling it up there. It was really a tough day, and I am just happy I was able to finish it off.
DAVE SENKO: How far was your putt on 17?
LOREN ROBERTS: I probably had a six‑footer for par there. On 1, I had 13‑footer from just off the right fringe there. And then I had a 20‑footer from pin‑high right at 2.
DAVE SENKO: Who is your caddy now?
LOREN ROBERTS: Van Silver. This is our first year together. He never worked for me until this year.
DAVE SENKO: Who he had been with before?
LOREN ROBERTS: He had been with Larry Mize and Fred Funk. And Mike Reid, he worked for him for a while.
Q. It's kind of ironic, someone who is known for their putting kind of stumbled on 16 and 17, were those just bad putts or circumstances?
LOREN ROBERTS: No, I saw Calc putt was on the same line as I was, and he hit a putt that really broke hard to the right. He ended up 3‑putting which I think probably cost him the tournament right there. So I'm thinking this putt, I'm just going to ease it down there, it's got to go left‑to‑right. I just lipped it out on the left side. I probably gave it too much break. The only poor putt I hit was the one I left short to the 12 hole today. But I hit all of the other putts pretty good. Believe me, I made my share earlier on the front 9 today. Through the tenth hole I really made some good putts. You are going to miss a couple. I made a good one at 18. I made a good one at 10 and 11. You are going to miss a few, especially when it's windy. Believe it or not it's blowing hard enough you have to figure the wind in your putts, too. That's just one extra thing to think about, it makes it a little tougher.
Q. It's been about 34 events since you've won, was there any doubt in your mind that you're never going to win again, or you weren't winning as much as you thought you might?
LOREN ROBERTS: I got to tell you, obviously, I'm passed the cutoff date around 55. I'm 56 out here. I was a little worried about it. I had a couple of chances last year. But really didn't play good enough to really warrant a win last year. This really was huge for me today. And I think probably I got a little bit lucky having the weather scenario we had today because that kind of played into my hand. You are going to have make some putts for pars on a tough day like today. If we would have had a hot, sunny day, Freddie and Calc would have been busted all of the par‑5s up. I think the weather conditions kind of worked in my favor a little bit today.
Q. Does this give you confidence now as far as winning down the road?
LOREN ROBERTS: Oh, yes, I think so. I've got some things to work on my golf swing. We all do. We are never happy with how we play. I got everything out of my round today that I could have got. It was nice to do it on the last round on Sunday.
Q. After 17, did you and Calc say anything to Couples before he finished?
LOREN ROBERTS: As in?
LOREN ROBERTS: No.
Q. Wait until the 18th, good round, did you leave him alone?
LOREN ROBERTS: Yes, Calc was still in it. He had a putt for eagle. You don't know what Freddie is going to do. He could hole it. He was 5‑under going up 18. No, that's right. He had a 4 putt. I even forgot about that. Can you believe that?
Q. After he four putted?
LOREN ROBERTS: That was tough. He knew that he had to make that to have a chance. I think that he was 4‑under?
LOREN ROBERTS: 5‑under. And he had a birdie putt. He knew that he had to make that to get to 6 to have a chance. So he gave it a run and it didn't go in. But that hole is probably one of the hardest holes. I don't care what TOUR you play, when you got wind and that shelf back there ‑‑ there is a lot of quick breaks. That is a hard pin placement on a hard green. I don't care if I'm six feet there, I'm lagging it because you just don't want to be looking at a 2 and a half feet comebacker on that green.
Q. You may not know it but the group before you Langer ‑‑
LOREN ROBERTS: I watched it if from the tee. I think he was 7‑under at the time, too, wasn't it? And he made a double bogey.
Q. Loren, can you talk more about your front, what were your thoughts?
LOREN ROBERTS: My thought was just to stay in tempo. Just to stay with this rhythm. Try to hit fairway and greens. Stay in rhythm. The only blip I had was 7th hole. I kept good rhythm all the way through 10, 11, 12 and 13. All of a sudden, I don't know, we kind of hit a snag there, and we stood around a little bit and I just kind of got out of rhythm. That's what you have to did to win on Sunday is kind of stay within your rhythm and stay focused on what you are doing, and I felt I was very good at that this week for the first time in quite a while, in 35 events.
LOREN ROBERTS: I really stayed in rhythm for 34 events.
Q. How you would you describe your attitude throughout these past 34 events?
LOREN ROBERTS: You know, last year I was getting a little hacked off at my game. I wasn't happy with where I was hitting. I was trying to force it a little bit. You know my whole game is putting. I hit it good enough, but I've got to putt. I was struggling with the putter last year to be honest with you. I made a big change last week at home when I was messing around with it and looked at some old films, and I saw that my shaft position at impact, before when I was putting good, I had a little bit more shaft lean. And now, my shaft at impact was straight up and down, almost a little bit leaning back a little bit which has been causing me to hook my putts a little bit and lift them off the surface.
Obviously poa annua greens, which I grew up on, you have to really hit putts solid to keep them on line. So I had to get my hands a little bit more ahead of the ball at impact, just a little shaft lean at the bottom because you want to hit down through it, and I really rolled some putts on these greens good today. They rolled and they went right where I was looking and that won the tournament for me today.
Q. Where did you watch those films?
LOREN ROBERTS: Last week when I was at home.
Q. Up until 2010 or right after 2010, were you pretty satisfied with your career at that point? I know you weren't last year.
LOREN ROBERTS: Oh, yes.
Q. 12 wins?
LOREN ROBERTS: Yes, a couple of Schwab Cups, and being right there. I've been very satisfied. Obviously I have to be satisfied with my golf career. I had 8 wins on the PGA TOUR and now I got 13 out here. I'm very, very satisfied. Obviously the only thing that I've every regretted was I didn't win The Open when I had the chance in the playoff with Ernie Els. I think if I would have gotten that Open, I would have probably ridden off in the sunset and not worry about it. But there is still something in me that really pushes me because of that.
Q. It's nice to have one regret in an entire career?
LOREN ROBERTS: No, I'm really happy with my career. I just enjoy playing golf. I was a club pro for five years before I ever got on the TOUR. Guys don't do that anymore. I am proud of that, and I just love being around golf.
Q. Did you have to take the wind in account for the putts?
LOREN ROBERTS: Yes, you do, you have to play some wind. Especially when it's gusting like it is today. You have very few straight putts on this golf course.
‑ ‑ ‑ ‑ ‑ ‑