First start could lead Roberts to a second straight major
Though he's making his Senior PGA Championship debut this week, Loren Roberts tees off believing he can win his second senior major in a row. After a winter season honing his game, the "Boss of the Moss" is playing better than ever.
EDMOND, Okla. (AP) -- Loren Roberts had never played this well before.
After an offseason of honing his game, the "Boss of the Moss" went out this year and won his first three starts on the Champions Tour.
Making his Senior PGA Championship debut this week, Roberts has a chance at another streak -- two straight majors.
"The goal is to win major championships out here," Roberts said Wednesday. "Obviously, I didn't get that job done on the regular tour after 23 or 24 years, so I would like to get it done out here.
"You have a much shorter window out here to do that, so you want to make all these weeks count."
The 50-year-old Roberts comes in as the Champions Tour leader in scoring average, greens in regulation and putting average, the category that earned him his nickname. He's also tops on the money list and has the most wins this season.
"I hit the ball extremely well for about a six- or seven-week period there," Roberts said. "In fact, I've spent the last three months trying to get back to that level. I haven't quite got there."
But he has been close. In 14 career Champions Tour starts, Roberts has never finished lower than 11th. After setting a tour record with his consecutive wins to start the season, he has placed fifth, seventh, 10th, sixth and third.
On Wednesday, he spent the first nine holes of his practice round at Oak Tree Golf Club tinkering with a couple of drivers. He missed the fairway twice -- on No. 6 and No. 9 -- and both of his ensuing chip shots ended up in greenside bunkers.
"You have to be able to pick the lines here," said Roberts, who didn't play in the 1988 PGA Championship at Oak Tree. "Wind direction is going to determine what line you can take. You got a lot of trees that you kind of have to play off the trees a little bit. You may have to start a shot down a tree line to get it to end up where you want it to be. So you really have to control your golf ball on this golf course.
"I'm just still trying to learn exactly where I want to put it. But I think I've pretty much got an idea of what I want to do."
Roberts came close to winning the first two majors he played on the senior tour. He finished fifth at the Senior British Open last year in his first Champions Tour start. A week later, he tied for second at the U.S. Senior Open, finishing one stroke behind Allen Doyle after sharing the lead after the third round.
He made up for that by winning a playoff against Dana Quigley to claim victory in the tour's fifth major, the Jeld-Wen Tradition.
"His game has blossomed the last 10 years," said Jay Haas, who was the Senior PGA Championship runner-up in 2004 before missing the cut at last year's event. "And he's built for this type of golf too. He's not the longest hitter but very rarely strays off the fairway, and he's a wonderful putter. ... I think that to a man everyone recognizes Loren as probably one of our best putters out here, one of the top two or three putters out here."
Roberts said he thought that "par will be a very good score" on Oak Tree's 7,102-yard layout.
"This isn't the kind of tournament you go out looking to shoot 62," Roberts said. "I mean, it would be nice, but you're looking to make a lot of pars."