The Boss Hopes to Roll in Seniors

By George WhiteMay 24, 2006, 4:00 pm
2006 Senior PGA ChampionshipEDMOND, Okla. -- For a long time this winter, Loren Roberts had an entirely different reputation from the one which had followed him for years on the PGA TOUR.
 
He opened the 2006 season with a rush, winning his first three events on the Champions Tour. All but forgotten was the rep of Roberts the putting wizard. He was rapidly becoming known, simply, as the best player on the senior circuit.
 
Loren Roberts won his first three events on the Champions Tour this season.
Thursday, as the Champions Tour begins its first major ' the Senior PGA Championship ' Roberts the Master Putter will be in the lineup once again. He hasnt quite been as hot as he was at the beginning of the season. But he is still that guy known as The Boss of the Moss.
 
The nickname, he recalls, was one hung on him at the 1994 U.S. Open ' one which he got into a playoff before finally losing ' by one David Ogrin. Roberts came into the locker room after firing a 65. He was talking to a couple of reporters when Ogrin, who used to play the PGA Tour, sauntered past.
 
He (Ogrin) used that term, Boss of the Moss, to describe me, and the next day it was in the papers. And it stuck all those years, said Roberts.
 
I dont mind the nickname. If youve got to be known as something ' and out here you tend to get nicknames a lot ' its about as good a name as you can get. If Im going to be known for something, I guess that (the putting) is as good as anything.
 
Since that opening three-tournament rush this year, Roberts has cooled off somewhat. He has played eight events on the Champions Tour over-all, and while he hasnt won again, he hasnt finished out of the top 10 yet. In his last outing, the Boeing Championship two weeks ago, he finished tied for third.
 
And, as befits his talents, he is the top-ranked putter on the Champions Tour.
 
I just feel fortunate that I can do one part of the game pretty well (putting), said Roberts, who is still ranked No. 1 on the Champions money ranking. 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 probably picked up his putting skills when he was in his 20s and an assistant pro in a small California town. After the morning rush, he had nothing to do except make sandwiches for golfers making the nine-hole turn ' and putt. After many long, long hours of rolling the ball, he became quite proficient at it.
 
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 said. 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 your visual capability plays a very big part in it.
 
My whole key has been speed control, and I just 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.
 
In fact, Roberts says that has been the secret to his successful career ' keep the ball in play, manage to hit most of the greens, and then sneak in a long putt or two during a typical round.
 
If you can just make one long one a round, and make a 10-footer once or twice, you can shoot 4-under-par, he said. If you have proper speed control, youre never very far off.
 
Roberts, in his second season on the Champions Tour after coming in at mid-season last year, has played three times on the regular tour this year and made the cut twice. And yet, he said, the Champions Tour has become his main focus. Unlike a few others, the regular tour is just a diversion. He is still quite excited about this experience which is still quite new to him.
 
Its exciting to be out here, he said, because everything is new, I dont know what to expect. Youre kind of excited about seeing the golf courses, seeing the challenges and the like.
 
And, Ive enjoyed seeing guys that I really havent seen the last 5, 6, 8, 10 years. The community out here, the players, seems to be much tighter out here than the other tour.
 
And besides, this thing about Champions Tour majors has become a really big challenge. Give him the senior majors, give him a win in the Senior PGA Championship this week, and he will gladly give up the moniker Boss of the Moss.
 
The next two or three years are my big focus out here, to try to win those major championships, he said. Im excited about the courses were playing this year. Im really excited.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Sr. PGA Championship
  • TV Airtimes
  • Getty Images

    McIlroy 'committed to everything ... ran out of holes'

    By Jay CoffinJuly 22, 2018, 7:08 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy summed it up: “I don’t really feel like it’s a defeat. I feel like it’s a good week.”

    McIlroy, in search of his fifth major, tied for the lead at The Open late on Sunday at Carnoustie when he made eagle on the par-5 14th hole. An hour later, he had made five consecutive pars to close out a 1-under 70 and tie for second place with Justin Rose, Kevin Kisner and Xander Schauffele.

    That group ended two shots behind winner Francesco Molinari. McIlroy thought it was realistic to squeeze one more shot out of his round, but he never though it was possible to squeeze out two.

    “I committed to everything,” he said. “I hit the shots when I needed to. I made good swings on 17 and on 18. I just ran out of holes.”


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    McIlroy hasn’t played poorly this year, but this hasn't been a year that would rank as a total success. He took the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March and collected a second-place finish at the BMW PGA Championship. He had a legitimate chance to win the Masters before a terrible Sunday round, and then missed the cut at the U.S. Open last month at Shinnecock Hills.

    Sunday at Carnoustie, McIlroy bogeyed two of his first five holes and quickly became an afterthought. When others faltered, McIlroy birdies Nos. 9 and 11, then eagled 14 to vault back into the picture.

    “I’m happy with how I played,” he said. “I didn’t get off to a great start, but I hung in there, and I battled back.

    “So I’ll look back at this week and be very encouraged about what I’ve done and the golf that I played. I feel like that will stand me in good stead for what’s coming up.”

    McIlroy is scheduled to play the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in two weeks, followed by the PGA Championship and the FedExCup Playoffs.

    Getty Images

    Edoardo, other pros congratulate Francesco on Twitter

    By Grill Room TeamJuly 22, 2018, 6:54 pm

    Francesco Molinari played a bogey-free weekend at Carnoustie to claim Italy's first claret jug.

    His rock-solid performance in the final round earned him his share of social media plaudits.

    Here's a collection of Twitter hat-tips, and we start off with Frankie's brother, Dodo.

    Getty Images

    Woods: Fan who yelled had 'tipped back a few'

    By Jay CoffinJuly 22, 2018, 6:37 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Tiger Woods stood on the 18th tee and thought he needed birdie to have a chance to win The Open. He pulled driver out of his bag, a sign he wanted to boot the ball as far down the fairway as possible.

    Woods took a mighty swat and - right in the middle of his downswing - someone yelled. Woods flinched.

    Luckily his ball still found a decent spot just off the right of the fairway.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    “I’ve had things like that happen a lot in my career with people who just tried to time it,” Woods said Sunday at Carnoustie after shooting 71 to tie for sixth place. “They tipped back a few, and it’s late in the day.

    “Unfortunately, that’s part of what we have to deal with in today’s game. People are trying to yell out things to try to be on TV or be in social media or whatever it may be. That was too close to the game of play.”

    Woods hit his approach to 6 feet and missed the birdie putt. He tapped in for par to shoot even par and finish 5 under for the week, in a tie for sixth.

    Getty Images

    Pros melt down on Twitter as they watch Tiger

    By Grill Room TeamJuly 22, 2018, 6:30 pm

    Tiger Woods mounted a final-round charge and, for a little while, took the outright lead at Carnoustie on Sunday.

    His fellow pros were watching and tweeting like your average fans.

    We compiled some of their missives below:

    Woods would go on to finish in a tie for sixth at 5 under par for the week.