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June 4, 2005

David Toms


JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Thank you, David, for joining us here in the media center at The Memorial Tournament, another great round here on the weekend, 30 on the front nine, little eagle two eagles today with an eagle on the back side. Why don't you just talk about today's round and playing well on the weekend.

DAVID TOMS: I felt great the first two days and didn't get much out of my rounds, finishing with a double yesterday. So I felt good on the golf course. I went out there today and birdied the 1st hole right out of the box, and then the hole in 1 on No. 4 was a good shot but it was a little bit lucky that it one hopped and hit the stick and went in. I thought maybe this is going to be the day. I gave myself a lot of opportunities all day long, and when I did get in trouble, I laid it up on 11 and got it up and down for par and made a nice par save on 16 after a bad first putt from 15 feet.

I had a lot of opportunities out there for birdie today that I didn't make, some short ones, but overall I was very pleased with the day I had.

Q. You had some personal issues going with your agent and everything. Were you surprised you were able to put that behind you that quickly and go through this kind of a streak?

DAVID TOMS: I've always said that good golf cures a lot of things, and it's helped me cure that for now. You know, it's certainly not going away, but I've played well the last three weeks, and that's kind of it's in the back of my mind now instead of the front of my mind I guess you could say. I don't know how the brain actually works, but it's not right there and I'm not thinking about it all the time.

Q. Could you describe the hole in one, just the reaction of the people?

DAVID TOMS: It was a strange reaction from the crowd because it happened so fast. It went in, like I said, it hit the green and then hit the pin and went in. It just happened so fast, and their reaction was they didn't even know at first, did it go in, and then they realized this did, and then I did obviously realize that it went in. It was kind of a lucky thing. Hole in ones are usually like that. Sometimes you can hit the greatest shot and it doesn't go in. But it never left the stick, it was going pretty hard when it went in.

Q. The gallery is probably asking how their brain works.

Have you had a hole in one competitively since the PGA?

DAVID TOMS: Competitively, you know, I have no idea. Somebody asked me today how many you've had. I said, "I don't know, a bunch." It's one of those things that I don't keep up with that. I've actually made that club, I hit a 5 iron today, and I made one in the practice round with the same club three weeks ago, so I've had two with that club in a three week span. Nobody saw that one that day. I think Jeff Rude, he was walking around with it, he didn't even see it, he went and got some water, no marshals, no people, just my caddie and me.

Q. Pretty sure in the third round in Atlanta you had one.

DAVID TOMS: Yeah, he asked me since that one.

Q. What was a better shot, No. 4 or No. 18 with the 6 iron?

DAVID TOMS: Well, 4, but the one I hit on 18 was a great shot. I hit a good shot and I didn't break my club, so it made it a great shot. I thought I had a chance for my 6 iron to break there, and actually I think that lightning rod had a piece of plastic, but I think it kept my club from breaking. My club glanced off it.

Q. Did it sting your hands?

DAVID TOMS: A little bit, but it's just one of those things. Any time that you stop momentum of a swing going that fast, it's not going to feel too good, but I got away with par.

Q. You obviously haven't played around here a lot in the past. Did you get any tips from Nicklaus the first two days on where to go, where not to go?

DAVID TOMS: I remember a couple of different greens where I would come up short, a foot short where I thought I'd hit a good putt or something like that, and he would say "it's slow from there," or "it's fast." I remember the 2nd hole the first day I ran it ten feet by on my first putt, said something about it being quick from that side of the green.

Then I had one on 16 I believe and I was putting back towards the tee, actually yesterday, from just over the green. I left it about six inches short and he said something about it being slow going that way. Those things are kind of in the back of your mind. You figure he knows what he's talking about, so I listen to him.

Q. Speaking of 16, are you going to have to wear earplugs tomorrow when you play that green?

DAVID TOMS: I think those guys sometimes with the things in their ears, they don't know how loud they're talking. It wasn't like it happened on the back stroke. I heard them the whole time and it was my fault for not backing off. I wasn't mad, I just wanted to let them know so they weren't doing it for the next group.

Q. Not playing here, is there any way that could benefit you in terms of the enthusiasm you brought in here because it's a new course?

DAVID TOMS: I was definitely excited to be here, no doubt. If I'd have played here the last six years in a row, would I have been really ready to come and play or looking forward to it? I don't know if I would have, but this year I was. I usually play the same tournaments every single year. You can look at my record and it's always the same ones so you know what to expect. When you have that little bit of an unknown, it's helped me to be excited about playing golf here this year.

Q. Scott said the 3 iron from 216 yards was pretty good, too. Where do you put that in the list of your good shots today between the hole in one and the one at 18?

DAVID TOMS: It was a great shot, but I had a perfect yardage and I was on an upslope so it helped me get the ball up in the air with a 3 iron, and it hit just short of the green where it needed to. If I would have carried it on the green it would have gone on by like Rory's ball was and left it under the hole so I had an easy putt. It was one of the better shots of the day for sure.

Q. It seemed the word "bogey" was not in the dictionary out there today. Is there any reason it was playing was it easier than the past two days?

DAVID TOMS: You know, I think you're watching the guys that have obviously made the cut and they're the ones playing the best if you're looking towards the last groups and everything. You know, when you're playing well and you're in control, there's plenty of room off the tee if you're hitting good shots, and the course is with the roll that we're getting in the fairways it's not playing quite as long as it normally does here. If you're careful with your club selection and you get the ball pin high, you know, you're going to see a lot of birdies on this golf course. If the conditions stay like this tomorrow, you'll see it again.

Q. Given the surgery a year ago, when you face a shot that you do on 18, is there any tentativeness that you basically have no choice but to hit something after you hit it?

DAVID TOMS: Sure, but what were my options, take an unplayable and drop it out in the fairway? Scottie tried to get me to punch something up the fairway, and I was like, "I think I can hit this shot as long as I don't have it on my back swing." Felt like if I could hit it the key usually is to hit it and roll the toe of the club and let the toe run into the tree if you're up against the tree because it'll go into the tree, instead of hitting the shaft of the club. I tried that but it didn't quite work.

Q. Is the club okay?

DAVID TOMS: I think so. We're going to check the loft and lie but I think so.

Q. What were you hoping?

DAVID TOMS: I was trying to get it right where it was, either there or in the front bunker. I only had 160 something yards to the front. I had a pretty good lie being in that spot. If I would have had the same lie and there was no tree there I would have felt like I could hit it right up by the hole. I was kind of worried about grounding my club when I was chipping. There was a little bitty shelf right there where it stayed.

Q. You didn't schedule this tournament. Was there a reason, cold weather, the rain? Are you a hot weather player, or usually there's a reason why it's not scheduled?

DAVID TOMS: I usually play the Byron Nelson, and that would have been six in a row through Memphis if I would have played the Nelson. I was torn between the two tournaments to be totally honest with you. I didn't commit to the Nelson, I was still thinking about playing until the last minute. I didn't commit there, so when I didn't commit there within a couple of days, I committed to this event.

Q. Just following up, in the past years, same thing, just the Nelson?

DAVID TOMS: Same thing. If you look at the way the schedule is, almost every year I play five or six in a row before this event, and then with the U.S. Open coming up, pretty close after this, just it's always been was this going to be the seventh tournament in a row or what. That's just the way it's been. I think they understand that. I talked to Jack and Barbara about it. She said, "we understand that if you don't play here it's not because you don't like the event." When it's our work and it's our job, we kind of feel like where it's going to be best for us to do our job well.

Q. When you come out, do you take notice that guys like Furyk are tearing it up and a bunch of guys early this morning?

DAVID TOMS: I was on the putting green. I watched him putt out on 18. I knew it was out there but at the same time he didn't kind of space it all day; he really tore up the back nine. I figured I mean, he's a great player and it didn't surprise me.

Q. But it gets your mind into that mindset?

DAVID TOMS: Sure. It gets your mind that it's obviously there if you can play well instead of everybody shooting even par, 1 under, 2 under, over, you kind of know that it's there. You've just got to go out and do it.

Q. Were you aware of how ill Sabbatini was?

DAVID TOMS: Yeah, he told me on the first tee today that he was hoping I didn't have to play the back nine by myself. I knew he didn't feel well. It got pretty bad out there. It was tough for him. But it's funny, he was on 15 over in the woods throwing up and then he came back in and hit a 3 iron right at the flag and made eagle. I was impressed with that.

Q. You were almost amazed he finished?

DAVID TOMS: Yeah, he looked bad, and then it being a hot day where it was tough anyway, even if you felt great. I was impressed, but he hung in there all day long and fought hard.

Q. I wanted to see if you could talk about tomorrow. You went through a lot of work today with a 64 to now take the lead, and yet the leaderboard looks about the same as it did at the start of the day with just some name changes.

DAVID TOMS: I put myself in position today, that's really all I did, and I'm going to have to go out there if we're talking the same conditions, it's going to have to be a good round tomorrow. You're not going to be able to make pars and hope it's good enough. There's too many guys that can do what I did today. I look forward to it. Sometimes it's tough to follow up a low round with another one, but if I can just go out and play solid and give myself opportunities, you never know with the putter. If my putter gets going, sometimes I can make a lot of them. So that's what I'm going to try to do tomorrow.

Q. Does the frame of mind change at all from a week ago Sunday when you're just so far behind Justin?

DAVID TOMS: I don't think so because knowing it's going to have to be a good round, there's so many people in there with a chance. You know, last weekend it was a windy day and I just wanted to go out and play well and I wanted to beat everybody else really I wanted to beat everybody else but Justin because I didn't feel like I had a chance. My mind was set was to try to get away from the other guys, just play well enough to beat them, and there I was at the end with a chance.

Tomorrow I'll just go out and play the golf course. I've played well every day so far, I just didn't get much out of it the first couple of days, and today I did, and maybe tomorrow I'll do the same.

JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Can we go through your round and we'll finish up.

DAVID TOMS: Yes. I hit a 7 iron to about 25 feet on No. 1, made a nice putt.

4, I hit a 5 iron, made hole in one.

5, got up and down out of the back bunker for birdie, was just over the green in two.

6, I hit a pitching wedge to about five feet.

9, I hit an 8 iron to about five or six feet there.

15, I hit a 3 iron to 12 to 15 feet underneath the hole there and made a nice putt.

Q. How far was the 3 iron?

DAVID TOMS: How far was the shot? I had 216.

Q. How did you hit the ball in the water on 11?

DAVID TOMS: Well, I was just into the deep rough. I mean, literally an inch into the deep rough. If I would have been in the first cut I could have gone for the green, no problem. Usually when you come down and you hit the deep rough it'll shut your club. It did yesterday. I had the same shot, and I barely hit the fairway on the left hand side. I was trying to get it up there far enough to have a wedge in and it surprised me, it came out right. I was aimed down the right side thinking it was going to shut the face, and it came out right. It was an awful shot, but it surprised me. It wasn't because I wasn't ready and I didn't have a shot planned. I had the perfect club that I thought was going to put me in position where I could make birdie, and it just came out weird. I don't know what happened.

Q. And then how important was that up and down in terms of keeping you

DAVID TOMS: Oh, it was big, but I got to a point where I had 114 yards, which is a perfect smooth pitching wedge so I didn't have to worry about spinning it back in the water, so I just had to hit the shot. It couldn't have been a better yardage for me to drop and hit. I didn't have to worry about landing way by and spinning it down and stopping it. That putt I made for par there was probably as big as anything that happened today, to be able to keep the round going.

Q. How long was the putt at 16? You said 10 to 12 feet, but how far was the first one?

DAVID TOMS: I had about an 80 foot putt, ran it 12 feet by, made it for par.

JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Thank you, David.

End of FastScripts.

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