Roberts reflects on Oakmont, Round 1 play in Senior Players championship at Fox Chapel
TribLIVE Sports Videos
A little more than 20 years ago, Loren Roberts had one of his most bittersweet weekends as a professional golfer.
Roberts, now 59, and his sweet putting stroke were right in the mix to win the 1994 U.S. Open at Oakmont Country Club.
With just one PGA Tour victory under his belt — the 1994 Nestle Invitational — Roberts battled to the end with Ernie Els and Colin Montgomerie. Even an 18-hole Monday playoff wasn't enough, with Els and Roberts needing two additional sudden-death holes before Els claimed his first of four major trophies.
That day, Roberts almost could taste his first major victory in wound up in second place, or what remains his best finish in a major championship.
Back in western Pennsylvania on Thursday for the first round of the Senior Players Championship at Fox Chapel Golf Club, Roberts was quickly shaping up to be a major disappointment.
A drive down the middle of the fairway on No. 1 was negated by a three-putt bogey from within 20 feet. A hole later, the man nicknamed the “Boss of the Moss” uncharacteristically struggled on the green, three-putting again on No. 2 to save par.
“The start I got off to, I could've just cashed in,” Roberts said. “You know, putting is kind of my deal, so when I consider that start, I consider it 2-over.”
Instead, Roberts settled down, and the shots fell favorably. He birdied Nos. 5, 6 and 18 and didn't bogey again to finish with a 2-under-par 68 and stay within four shots of the Senior Players lead.
He also had the best day among 1994 U.S. Open playoff participants. Montgomerie jumped out to a 5-under front nine, but he bogeyed four of his final six holes to finish a shot back of Roberts.
Looking back on his star-crossed weekend at Oakmont, Roberts said his memories are positive, though much has changed in 20 years.
“(Oakmont club pro) Bob Ford's always nice to me and lets me come over and have dinner and walk around in the locker room,” he said. “But I've gone over and gone around the golf course. It's a much, much harder golf course now.”
And despite two Schwab Cups — earned in 2007 and 2009 — and four Champions Tour major championships to his credit since he joined in 2005, it has been a trying year for Roberts.
He ranks 48th on the 2014 Champions Tour money list and has finished in the top 10 just once in 12 starts.
But given his past in western Pennsylvania, Roberts remains optimistic he can stay in the hunt at Fox Chapel.
“I'm going to have to dial in a low one in the next couple days, that's for sure,” he said. “It's a work in progress. I'm only 59 and I'm a work in progress.”
Andrew Erickson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- 4-year-old transplant recipient Angelo Giorno dies, hospital says
- Young guns lead way into pivotal Pirates-Cardinals series
- Experts warn Kane’s Haiti trip might jeopardize any case from 2014 wiretap
- With most starters resting, Steelers turn in lackluster loss at Heinz
- McKeesport police investigating overnight shooting
- Steelers laud decision, praise Brady for taking on Goodell
- Judge will not recuse himself from Scaife case
- Vick supporters, opponents demonstrate before Steelers’ game, but coexist
- Liriano struggles as Brewers complete sweep of Pirates
- Steelers notebook: Thomas, Moats only starting defensive players to see action vs. Panthers
- EPA, methane & health