<" />
Roberts Looking To Repeat Winning &lsquo;Mistake&rsquo


By Phillip Howley
July 27, 2009
Before the rain hit Wednesday, Loren Roberts got in one last practice round. (John Mummert/USGA)

Carmel, Ind. - We all make mistakes and Loren Roberts readily admits to the error he made last week at Sunningdale Golf Club in Berkshire, England.

"I kind of screwed up," said Roberts, with a wry smile. "I won the Senior British, and that gets me in the regular British next year. So I've got to retract the statement."

The statement Roberts alludes to came at the recent U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee, in which he competed. As he was on his way to a tie for 24th in his third PGA Tour appearance of the season, the 54-year old Roberts told reporters he was finished playing regular tour events.

Scratch that. He will be playing in at least one more regular tour event. A victory in the Senior British comes with an exemption into the following year's regular British Open, which will be played on the Old Course at St. Andrews in 2010. Of course, Roberts will accept the gratuity.

"It would be an insult not to," said Roberts who has eight PGA Tour titles and 10 Champions Tour wins. "How could you not look forward to going back to the Old Course. I mean, that's kind of where it is for all us golfers, as you know."

Maybe Roberts will screw up again at Crooked Stick. Likewise, a victory in the U.S. Senior Open comes with an automatic invite to the next U.S. Open. After a soggy week at Bethpage Black last month, the USGA's crown jewel event will be played at Pebble Beach in 2010 - another one that would be tough to turn down.

But Roberts must deal with considerable culture shock this week, not to mention some jet lag. Sunningdale and Crooked Stick golf clubs are about as comparable to the Tom and Jerry cartoon characters. They are two entirely different species.

"Obviously, the rough is a big difference, and just the whole style of the golf course," said Roberts, who now has two Senior British Open titles (2006 and '09) to his name. "Obviously, there's a lot more water and we're playing a lot more length (here), too. It played hard and fast today. We'll see what the rain does to it over this evening and tomorrow a little bit.

"It's probably the strongest course that I've seen for the Senior U.S. Open, in the five that I've played, as far as length, difficulty of shots and difficulty of greens."

On the other hand, the "Boss of the Moss" might be on a roll, so to speak. After finding his putting stroke in Milwaukee, Roberts packed it up and carried it overseas to Berkshire. "Obviously, you guys know for me, I'm usually not going to beat anybody with my ball-striking," he said. "I'm going to do it with the putter. I got my putter going and that really helped me last week."

Roberts, who also won the ACE Group Classic earlier this season, shot four rounds in the 60s and averaged 28.5 putts per round at Sunningdale. Earlier this year, knowing the two Opens would be played on consecutive weeks, he did something he doesn't normally do. He visited Crooked Stick ahead of time and played a couple of practice rounds.

Roberts played relatively well in the 1991 PGA Championship at Crooked Stick, tying for 27th. He wanted to get re-acquainted with the layout. "This is a big golf course," Roberts said, "and I knew this course – remembered it from 1991 – as being, 'tricky' is probably not the word, but there's just a lot to see.

"The greens have a lot of slopes and you have to really pay attention to little intricacies of this golf course, because there are a lot them. It was very helpful for me to come up and spend two days up here looking at the golf course."

Whether it translates into back-to-back major wins for Roberts, whether he will need to expand a PGA Tour schedule he was done with for 2010 is anyone's guess. But with the Senior British already in his holster, Roberts won't be fretting it.

"I feel pretty good to, to be honest with you," said Roberts, referring to the quick, cross-continental turnover. "Somebody asked me that on the golf course today and kind of tongue in cheek I said, 'Any day on the golf course is a pretty good day. I don't care where you're at.' "

Make no mistake about it.

Phillip Howley is a freelance writer whose work has appeared previously on www.ussenioropen.com.

Follow the USGA
Become a Facebook Fan of the USGAFollow us on Twitter @usopengolf
 
Partner Links
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image
Chevron
   

The USGA and Chevron have committed to using the game of golf to encourage students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines. This commitment has led to the creation of extensive golf-focused STEM teaching tools, and has resulted in charitable contributions to support golf-related programs through Eagles for Education™

At U.S. Open Championships the Chevron STEM ZONE™ is an interactive experience highlighting the science and math behind the game of golf through a variety of hands-on exhibits and experiments.

The partnership has also produced educational materials such as the Science of Golf video series and a nationally-distributed newspaper insert which are provided to teachers as tools to enhance existing curriculum in schools. These lessons teach the science behind the USGA’s equipment testing, handicapping, and agronomy efforts.

For more interactive experiences featuring golf-focused STEM lessons, visit the partnership homepage.


Chevron image
Rolex
   

Rolex has been a longtime supporter of the USGA and salutes the sportsmanship and great traditions unique to the game. This support includes the Rules of Golf where Rolex has partnered with the USGA to ensure golfers understand and appreciate the game.

As the official timekeeper of the USGA and its championships, they also provide clocks throughout host sites for spectator convenience.

For more information on Rolex and their celebration of the game, visit the Rolex and Golf homepage.



Rolex image
IBM
   

IBM has partnered with the USGA to bring the same technology, expertise, and innovation it provides to businesses all over the world to the USGA and golf's national championship.

IBM provides the information technology to develop and host the U.S. Open’s official website, www.usopen.com, as well as the mobile apps and scoring systems for the three U.S. Open championships. These real-time technology solutions provide an enhanced experience for fans following the championship onsite and online.

For more information on IBM and the technology that powers the U.S. Open and businesses worldwide, visit http://www.usopen.com/IBM

AmEx image
Lexus
   

Lexus is committed to partnering with the USGA to deliver a best-in-class experience for the world’s best golfers by providing a fleet of courtesy luxury vehicles for all USGA Championships.

At each U.S. Open, Women’s Open and Senior Open, Lexus provides spectators with access to unique experiences ranging from the opportunity to have a picture taken with both the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open trophies to autograph signings with legendary Lexus Golf Ambassadors in the Lexus Performance Drive Pavilion.

For more information on Lexus, visit http://www.lexus.com/

AmEx image
American Express
   

Together, American Express and the USGA have been providing world-class service to golf fans since 2006. By creating interactive U.S. Open experiences both onsite and online, American Express enhances the USGA’s effort to make the game more accessible and enjoyable for fans.

For more information on American Express visit www.americanexpress.com/entertainment


AmEx image