home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


March 2, 2005

David Toms


JOAN vT ALEXANDER: David, thank you for joining us for a few minutes and once again congratulations on your victory last week, the Accenture Match-Play. I know that was a long week and I'm sure you're still battling back from it.

Why don't you talk about that victory and winning a World Golf Championship event and what it meant to you.

DAVID TOMS: Let's see. Well, I mean first of all, it's a big tournament. Obviously it was a big purse, so that helps. I think, you know, it's a golf course that there's a lot of history there with the TOUR, playing the Tournament of Champions and now a World Golf Championship. There's a lot of guys that have played there and a lot of guys that have gone before me and won tournaments there.

It's nice to win at a historic place like that and against a great field. I can obviously take a lot away from it confidence-wise and continue to try to build on the best start I've ever had for a PGA TOUR season.

Q. Last year at about this time you were still walking around showing everybody the scar, you showed it to me and a couple of the other ones, how much did that slow you down last year, and what did you do sort of in your hour-long off-season to ramp it up and start so well this year?

DAVID TOMS: I think that obviously it affected me at this time last year probably for the first three or four months of the season. Even though I was physically okay to practice and do all that, I didn't have the strength that I needed to to play great. In fact, here at Doral I actually had a chance to win going to the back nine. Probably got ahead of myself and thought about it too much, you know, what were people going to say to be able to win right after coming back from surgery and how was I going to react to it and all that. I didn't get it done and it kind of set me back for the next few months.

As far as what I did in the off-season, I took seven weeks off and didn't really play much golf, didn't play any tournaments at all, so I came out this year fresh and ready to go. I was excited to start at the Mercedes, had a good couple of weeks in Hawaii and just have been building on each week and playing better each week.

Q. Is there any different level of satisfaction or just a feeling of winning The Match Play than a standard stroke-play event, because it is so different?

DAVID TOMS: You know, it's a tournament that Tiger's obviously dominated in the past and maybe I was lucky that he got beat out early or whatever, but, you know, obviously it's a different format and what I can take away from it is that I played good every match. It wasn't like I dogged it one day and somebody just played worse or whatever. I played solid golf every day. It was a lot like a stroke-play event where you have to play good every day to win. That's what I was able to do.

Q. When you go from winning one tournament and go to the next week, my question is how do you take as well as you were swinging last week and make it translate to Thursday with all of the travel and all of that?

DAVID TOMS: I think it's really all about just being focused when it's time to play tomorrow morning. You know, today it will be probably kind of crazy. It's a Pro-Am day and I'm out there trying to get used to a golf course here, where it's the first time I've ever seen these greens overseeded before. So it will be different. It's cooler here than I remember it being. It's colder here than it was in San Diego, as far as with the wind blowing and everything. It will be just getting used to the place today.

So tomorrow morning I play very early so I have to make sure that I get up with plenty of time to be focussed and ready to play. There's no reason why I can't go out and play great again.

Q. They announced today that the European Tour picked their Ryder Cup Captain, I don't know if you heard this outside or not, so split the difference they are going to let Woosie do it first and then let Faldo do it in 2008 which struck me as an interesting compromise. Do you have any thoughts on those guys since you have been on the last three teams?

DAVID TOMS: You have a situation there where you have two guys that are obviously deserving and have experience and played on those teams. Maybe you have a guy like Faldo who might still be really wanting to dedicate himself to playing great and trying to play on the next team rather than being a captain. I'm sure that's probably what it's all about. I'm sure they talked to him about it and see what his goals were for the next couple of years.

The way I understand it is when you decide that you're going to be a captain or you get picked, it's really hard to do anything else. It's almost a full-time job even though you're only -- you're really only responsible for one week. It's a two-year process.

Q. Can you weigh in on your opinions of the idea of incentives for players to come to tournaments? There's a lot of talk this week that the Ford guys did a corporate outing Monday and there was the 84 Lumber last year, is that a wave of the future?

DAVID TOMS: I think it's a thing that we as a tour need to be careful with the tournaments as far as not to let that get out of hand. I mean, I think little small things whether it's player appearances or -- I know there's some concern there on behalf of the TOUR because we don't want to get into a situation where people are just doing little weekly deals to get players to come. I don't think that's right. That's never what we've been about. I think our purses are big enough, I think our tournaments are good enough where we don't need to be doing that. And you know, I understand what the tournaments are trying to do, sure. They want the best field possible and do whatever they can reasonable to get it done, but I think it's an area where we need to get a handle on it for sure.

Q. With as many Top-10, Top-12 players in this field, does that make this feel like any more than a regular PGA TOUR, not a major obviously but a World Golf Championships or something like that?

DAVID TOMS: Well, I think it puts the Doral tournament and the Ford Championship right back to a level where it once was. You know, I remember my rookie year on TOUR, if it weren't for a top finish that I had in Tucson that year, I wouldn't even have got in this tournament. I think maybe only one or two guys from the TOUR school got in. That's the way it used to be is everybody played here and everybody always made a big deal where it was the Greg Norman, starts of Nick Price's season, all of the big-name players that live down in Florida kind of started their year here. Maybe it has that feel again, and rightfully.

So it's a great golf course and Ford is a wonderful sponsor. So they deserve to have a good tournament and they got it this week.

Q. Did you ever go head-to-head with Chris when you were in the SEC? And I know you're a year and a half older maybe.

DAVID TOMS: Yes, but we've played, how many times? We've played the same tournaments all the time. I don't know if I can remember a situation where we were just going head-to-head. I think probably the closest to that was one year at the Mercedes Championships. I remember the year I lost to Sergio in the playoff, I played with Chris the last day in the last group, and that was probably, you know, as far as I can remember, the closest to what we were doing this past weekend.

Q. I assume you'll be amongst them; who would be your Top-5 of most passionate college alumni sports fans out here?

DAVID TOMS: Oh, boy, let's see, you know, obviously DiMarco is about Florida. You know, just to come to think of it, it depends on what sport it might be. You've got like Steve Flesch, he's a big Kentucky basketball fan. I don't think he wants to claim their football team but he's a big basketball fan. You have some of the Ohio State guys like Chris Smith, he's a big Ohio State guy. You know, obviously Davis Love is a big supporter of North Carolina, especially of their basketball programs. You just kind of have to put those in categories as far as what you're talking about.

I try not to be too obnoxious with my passion for LSU, but it's something that, it's a hobby of mine. You would list it on hobbies. I'm just a fan like everybody else. I get on the chat rooms and all that stuff. Nick Saban told me one time, he said the Internet is the worst thing to ever happen to college football, and it's true because people get on there and start rumors and this, that and the other.

To answer your question, I don't know. I can't really come up with a Top-5 without really sitting down and really thinking about it.

Q. Do you follow the football recruiting? That's sort of a sign that you've truly gone over the edge.

DAVID TOMS: Yeah. (Laughter.) Yes, I do.

Q. When you get on the Internet do people know they are chatting with David Toms?

DAVID TOMS: No. Actually, I don't even pay for any of those sites. I find other people that have their pin numbers and everything, they give them to me and they don't even know I'm on there so it's actually perfect.

It's funny, I told DiMarco one time - he's a big, kind of an obnoxious Gator fan - I told him I knew more about his football team than he does, so he has nothing to talk about. (Laughter.)

Q. Have you talked to Saban since he's taken the Dolphins job?

DAVID TOMS: I haven't. I was hoping that maybe he would come out this week but I'm sure he's probably pretty busy. I heard that he doesn't even have a car yet and he's just flying around in a helicopter everywhere or what. I don't know if that's just a rumor. I got that off the Internet.

Q. What's the biggest rumor you've started on the Internet?

DAVID TOMS: I'm not a rumor person.

JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Anymore golf questions? (Laughter.)

Q. This might be premature but have you thought about some day down the road being a Ryder Cup Captain? You've won the PGA Championship and you've played in some; is that something you would like to do?

DAVID TOMS: I would love to do that. Obviously it's a big responsibility but it's a great honor, I think. I hold the PGA of America in very high regard. We have a good relationship with the guys that are in there now. I don't know when I get of age to be one of those guys, if they would still have the same people in place and I would know them as well as I do now, I don't know that.

I think it would be one of the highest honors in golf and I'd be -- I'd feel very privileged to do that sometime.

Q. Obviously you've won a major, but is there a point that you still have to look at yourself as one of the premiere players, that you have to learn to look at yourself that way and does The Match Play sort of push you in that direction?

DAVID TOMS: Yeah, that's something I struggle with. I'm not talking self-esteem or anything like that. I just mean, you know, just mentally putting yourself in a category like some of the other top players. I struggle with that only because there are times I'm certainly behind the 8-ball with my ability to play some of the courses that we play. I can't have an off-day and win a big tournament. I mean, I have to play well the whole time.

I think some of the guys that you're talking about, I think they can slack for nine holes or 18 holes and still have the ability to come in and overpower a course and get it done.

You know, I struggle with that at times. Not that do I belong, but do I belong in that elite group that you're asking me about, so, you know, I really approach it and try to go and play the best I can. You know, a lot of times that's good enough.

Q. You're talking about just brute strength though, mostly. You said something similar when you played up in Minnesota with I think Ernie and Tiger and they were blowing it by you by 30 yards and you were sort of --

DAVID TOMS: Well, I just think that you look back, who was the last guy under six-foot tall that was No. 1 in the world? It's a tough thing. You're talking about big, physical athletes now that are dominating our sport, and I don't know -- I don't ever see it going the other way. I mean, you know, will a guy like Ian Woosnam ever be No. 1 in the world again?

Q. Or Watson?

DAVID TOMS: Even though Nicklaus was a power player, you know, nowadays, it just seems that our sport is going a in different direction. And there's nothing wrong -- I'm not criticizing that in any way. I think it's great for our sport and bringing a lot of people into it. That's what I'm talking about when I'm talking physical limitations.

Q. The top four guys in the world right now, none of them ranked in the Top-120 in fairways in reg last year; is that right? Is that the way the game is supposed to be play?

DAVID TOMS: I don't know. That's a question for our board which I'm part of. (Laughter.)

You know, I don't know. I've said that for the last few years and it doesn't ever -- it's not going the other way, and I don't know if it ever will. You know, it's tough, with technology and to me, that's a tough thing. Whether it's right or wrong, is that fair, is that fair to a guy that hits it 270 right down the middle on every hole but he's got a 4-iron in; and the other guy has got a 9 or a wedge out of the rough. You've seen what Vijay -- that's his theory now is he's hitting driver on every hole, get as close as I can, if I hit it in the rough I can still hit it on the green or is where around the green with the short clubs that I have; and if I hit it in the fairway I've got a wedge in and I feel good about making birdie. That's the way a lot of guys are playing now.

You know, we'll see if that changes. You know, I just think that when you have those other guys that are shorter and straighter, that you really have to have their good weeks when the course is set up for them.

Q. What we're talking about right now, when that has started in other sports, basketball for example, you always hear about the NBA, they have talked about enlarging the court. I know you don't think it will go the other way, but do you think it will go to bigger, stronger?

DAVID TOMS: Yes. Just looking at the trend for the last few years. When they were building the course in New Orleans, I remember Steve Elkington talking to me, back when it was just a concept, the first routing of the course before they cleared anything and he said that Pete Dye's routing was 8,000 yards long. Kind of looked at him like he was crazy. "I just don't ever want this golf course to be" --

Q. Obsolete.

DAVID TOMS: Yeah, exactly. That's just kind of the mentality out there, whether it's the people that build the golf course or the ones that set up the golf courses, and so I just see it continuing that way.

Q. So is it a negative or at best a backhanded compliment to be called a scrappy player these days?

DAVID TOMS: Well, I mean, you know, finding other ways to get it done.

But if you look at it, we have a lot of tournaments and we have a lot of different types of winners. It's not just -- of course we have these big, physical guys that are power players who are dominating our sport but there's still room for everybody else. Now, whether or not you have a player like myself dominate the sport, I don't think so, but we can still go out there and win tournaments and do okay. I mean, there's still that opportunity.

Q. Could you share your observations about Phil Mickelson and how you've seen his game evolve, especially the last 15 months?

DAVID TOMS: You know, he's obviously playing great right now. I think the difference so far this year is he's been able to shoot a couple of really low rounds that set him up for the two victories that he's had so far. You know, he attributes that to the fact that he's picked up some distance.

But, you know, who knows, when a player is hot, and a player of his caliber, and he's won so many times, he's not going to get in the position where he doesn't feel comfortable trying to win a tournament. He knows what it feels like. He's had those shot rounds. Any time you can shoot some of the rounds he's shot so far this year, he's going to win.

For me, is he doing anything different? I don't think so. He's just going out and having fun playing golf. That's really what I see.

Q. Is he still -- do you still see the gambling aspects, the risk-taker in him? What do you see in him, maybe more control?

DAVID TOMS: I know last year, especially early in the year, that was his game plan was to hit more fairways and be in control of what he was doing more, and that worked for him.

Now, all I've heard him talk about this year is being able to overpower a couple of courses. So obviously, he's maybe taken a little bit different approach, and it's working well, too. Just goes to show, there's more than one way to skin a cat.

JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Thank you, David.

End of FastScripts.

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297