Former champ Romero talking smack

By Associated PressAugust 13, 2008, 4:00 pm
2006 Jeld-Wen TraditionSUNRIVER, Ore. ' Eduardo Romero has a definite opinion about the favorite this week in the JELD-WEN Tradition.
Youll have to play pretty well to beat me, the 2006 champion said. My game is unbelievable right now. Im pretty surprised by myself.
Romero, set to open play on the Crosswater Course, is coming off a victory two weeks ago in the U.S. Senior Open, and also won the Dicks Sporting Goods Open in July.
This tour is my tour now, said Romero, who played most of his career on the European circuit. This is my house.
A switch to belly putter has helped the 54-year-old Argentine move into third place in the Charles Schwab Cup race behind Bernhard Langer and Jay Haas.
Eduardo has jumped into the mix for Charles Schwab Cup and Player of the Year with the way he has played, Haas said.
The 7,533-yard Crosswater Course is the longest setup on the Champions Tour. That could favor Romero, second in driving distance on the tour at 295.8 yards.
But Langer, who has two wins and 11 top-10 finishes this year, said he doesnt take a back seat to Romero or anyone else.
Im a very driven person, the German star said. I have no problems with competition. Whoever has won a tournament ' and most of us have, thats why they call it the Champions Tour ' wants to win again. We want to win tournaments and have that adrenaline coursing through our bodies.
Langer said 40 or 50 players have a legitimate shot to win the tournament, and the $390,000 and 780 Schwab Cup points that come with it.
Mark McNulty, a third-place finisher at the U.S. Senior Open, is the defending champion. McNulty put the Crosswater layout to the test last year, carding a 16-under 272 to beat David Edwards by five strokes.
I was surprised that 16 under was the winning score last year, said Haas, who won the Senior PGA at Oak Hill but has lost time this year to a leg injury, his daughters wedding and a death in the family. When I looked at it I didnt see it here. Mark obviously played unbelievable golf and blew everybody away.
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