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October 26, 2011

David Toms

CHRIS REIMER: We want to welcome 13-time PGA Tour winner David Toms here, who's going to be one of the members of the United States Presidents Cup team as we prepare to head down to Royal Melbourne for a trip back to Australia for the first time since 1998. David, I know you've talked a little bit about it, but if you could just talk about your excitement about joining The Presidents Cup team again this year and also heading down to Australia, where you've been a couple times but haven't been in quite a while.
DAVID TOMS: Well, first of all, I would just like to say that I'm excited about the Presidents Cup. It's a wonderful event. I know the Australian golf fans are excited about it, and rightfully so. I'm looking forward to playing at Royal Melbourne, which I hear nothing but wonderful things about. I haven't played it. I have been to that part of the world to play golf, but I haven't played the golf course.
So looking forward to getting over there a week before and playing the Australian Open, and then getting down to Melbourne and preparing for The Presidents Cup.
I know my teammates are excited. I know Fred Couples, my captain, is having a lot of communication with his players, and I know that he's looking forward to it. And all of us want to go down there and play well. It's going to be tough. I know the international team has got a lot of great players, a lot of very successful players as well as some Australian players that probably have some local course knowledge and the fans behind them.
I know it'll be a tough place for us to play. I know we didn't play too well the last time we were there, but we have a lot of young players that I'm sure will be hungry to get their first Presidents Cup victory, and I know they're excited about it. And I am, as well. With that, I just look forward to the event.

Q. Just wondering, how do you pros put aside your naturally competitive nature and come together and combine as a team in such an event as The Presidents Cup?
DAVID TOMS: Well, I think, first of all, that the players look forward to it. It's a nice change of pace from what we do on a weekly basis. You have a lot of fun activities that take place behind the scenes. You get to spend some time with players that you might not hang out with very often, and also there's spouses or girlfriends and you just have a good time. I know the players look forward to it. It's a little bit different seeing as you'll have a partner for most of the event, and normally you're just playing individual type golf. If you can find somebody that you gel with as far as a partner, you might create a friendship or a relationship that lasts a lifetime that you might not otherwise have just playing golf against them every week.
I think certainly it is a little bit different than what we do, but I think if you ask player to player, I think it's something that they really look forward to. Any time you can represent your country, as well, it's quite an opportunity to do that, and not many people get to.
If you look back, how many guys play pro golf or play the PGA Tour, whatever Tour they play. It's a very small elite group that ever get to be part of an event like this. I think it's something everyone gets excited about.

Q. With four young players' first-time Presidents Cup, this season a lot of young players stepping to the fore, particularly Webb Simpson, as a veteran, can you see that there's any sort of distinguishing characteristics or anything that sets aside a new generation of players on the Tour from the time you came out of college?
DAVID TOMS: Well, I think, first of all, the game has changed a little bit. Obviously power is a big part of our game now, so most of the young guys that you see that are successful can hit the ball a long way. But at the same time their short games are right there on par with the best in the game, so quite a lethal combination with power and touch. A lot of that, we didn't have that when I first got on Tour. You had your long players and you had your guys that were known to have great short games, but now it seems they're able to put both things together, which is very tough to beat.
I'd also say that they come out and are very confident, very seasoned, whether it was college golf or Nationwide Tour golf or just junior golf that they played on a high level. It seems like they're confident players that have been around the block, so to speak, and that are ready to play great.
You know, it's still hard to win tournaments, but to play great on a weekly basis, there's a lot of young guys doing that. It is quite different. There seems to be a lot more young players that are playing great than, say, 10 or 15 years ago. To me they're just ready. You know, they're ready to play great. They're not scared to play great golf. They're able to handle the media. They're just well-trained and a lot of fun to watch.

Q. Can you give us a bit of background on your playing experience in Australia, Melbourne particularly, and sort of what your expectations are?
DAVID TOMS: I played in Australia in the winter of '92 before my rookie year. I played a tournament at Sanctuary Cove, and then I played one at Palmetto's, and then I played out at the Vines Classic. So that was my first experience. Then I went back and played the Match Play event there at Metropolitan years later.
You know, I know it's a country that's turned out a lot of great golfers along the way, a lot of great champions that have played well all over the world, and I know that part of Melbourne has a lot of wonderful golf courses, and I know that Royal Melbourne -- I haven't played it, but I know that it's supposed to be a great golf course. I look forward to getting over there and seeing it firsthand and getting to play a big event like The Presidents Cup on a golf course that people just rave about.

Q. Could you just tell us some of your favorite Presidents Cup memories. And also, from your perspective, a reason why the United States has tended to dominate the event.
DAVID TOMS: Well, as far as memories go, I would say I remember Chris DiMarco making the putt there at Robert Trent Jones to secure The Presidents Cup as part of that team. And I remember I was actually down in the first fairway watching a playoff, one of the other players. And I remember running down the fairway with Tiger trying to get there to the green on 18. And then obviously the event that we had over in South Africa which resulted in a tie, and just the playoff between Tiger and Ernie was a point in golf that I will never forget. People just didn't realize how dark it was.
And then to be a part of the event in Canada, you know, where the people were just so excited about the event, and to be paired with Woody Austin when he fell in the water, that was pretty funny. He was my teammate and he blamed it on me because I was in the water, as well. That's why he had to play his ball out of the water. That was a neat experience.
You know, as far as how well the Americans have done, I think first off, most of the events have been played in the United States, so that certainly helps. And then we've had players that maybe have played on teams, not only The Presidents Cup team but the Ryder Cup team, so they've been able to play on teams together. A lot of the players have been on the same team, so you have that experience together where they might play well alternate shot and they know what works well, so they can carry it over from team to team. You know, you get to know each other's wives and just a lot of great American players through the years. Seems like the rest of the world is catching up with some really good players, and I know this year the international team is going to be very, very difficult to beat, players from all over the world that have not only played well in their part of the world but have played well on our Tour, as well. They'll be a tough opponent, that's for sure.

Q. Just on team selection, a couple of the International Team members have made some comments about Tiger Woods being picked ahead of the likes of Keegan Bradley, who's a major winner this year. What are your thoughts on that? And has there been any talk amongst the U.S. Team members about Tiger's selection?
DAVID TOMS: You know, I think the best way to approach that is to say that when Tiger is playing well and he's healthy, he's the best player in the world, and I think everyone in golf knows that. You know, so if he's working on his game and he feels healthy, I think he's a great addition to the team.
I think someone has -- anytime that there's a captain's pick involved, there's going to be a deserving player that gets left off because you can't pick everybody. I guess really the only way to do it would just be to take the 12 and just make it -- the top 12 guys make the team, no captain's picks, and that's the easy way out.
But I think obviously something that Fred thought long and hard about. He's talked to Tiger quite a bit about it, and I still think that Tiger in a match play format is very, very difficult to beat. And I'm not sure as an opponent you'd want to play him. So I think it's a great pick.
And then obviously the way Bill Haas played at the end of the year, that was a great pick, as well, and I think they'll both go over there and play well in the event.
CHRIS REIMER: David, we want to thank you for taking the time to join us.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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