Roberts Eyes JELD-WEN Throne Room


2006 Jeld-Wen TraditionWith the 2006 Champions Tour season in its latter stages, Loren Roberts maintains his lead on the money race by approximately $250,000. This week the men play their final major, the JELD-WEN Tradition, near Portland, Ore., and Roberts hopes to build on that advantage over Jay Haas.
Roberts has erected his lead largely on the strength of exceptional putting. He stands No. 1 on the tour, as a matter of fact, continuing a trend that began when he was on the regular tour.
I just feel fortunate that I can do one part of the game (putting) pretty well, he said.
I think guys who do well ' on either of the tours ' are guys who do one thing pretty well. I feel fortunate that Ive had a pretty good putter for a lot of years. You know, an old adage is that if youre going to play a match against another twosome, youre going to pick a partner every time who maybe isnt the best ball-striker, but is a good putter.
Roberts shugs when he tries to explain his method of rolling the ball. The way I do it (putting) is simply the way I do it, and its the way Ive been doing it for 25 years, he says.
Obviously, I think vision plays a part in it. And Ive been real lucky in that I have very good eyesight, as opposed to some of the guys who have struggled a little bit. I still have 20-20 eyesight. I think youre visual capability plays a very big part in it.
Obviously, though, technique plays a part in it. And the ability to judge distances and putt the ball close to a target are critical.
My whole key has been speed control, said Roberts, and I feel that if you just focus on that aspect, you are never going to really putt badly. If you get on a green - no matter where you are ' and you dont two-putt, youre going to save a couple of shots a round.
If you can just make one long a round, make a 10-footer once or twice, you can shoot 4-under-par. If you have proper speed control, youre never very far off.
Roberts realizes that his time of making the big money on the Champions Tour is short. His physical abilities will wane, naturally, and there are a host of good players who will enter the tour shortly ' Nick Price, Mark OMeara, Nick Faldo, Scott Hoch, Jeff Sluman, John Cook, Sandy Lyle, Hal Sutton, Bernhard Langer, Larry Mize and Steve Jones, to name just a few.
The next 2 or 3 years are my big focus out here, Roberts says, to try to win those major championships.
And the JELD-WEN Tradition has caught his attention. Im excited about the courses were playing this year. Im really excited.
Roberts was not a big star in college at Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo, did not become a professional golfer immediately after graduation. In fact, he spent time making sandwiches and selling golf shirts as an assistant pro back in Northern California before he finally ventured out into the play-for-pay world. And ' he says he is glad he did it that way.
Lots of people who have been playing tournament golf since they were 20, he said, they are kind of burned out by now. I was totally different ' I was a club pro for five years and an assistant for a couple of years before I got on and did anything out here. So, I would consider myself a late starter.
Obviously, I would consider that I dont have a pedigree, compared to most of these guys.
What he does have is an extremely successful pro golf career. And, his first season as a Champions Tour ace is coming to an end on a very high note.
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - JELD-WEN Tradition
  • Golf Channel Airtimes