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February 25, 2005

David Toms


JAMES CRAMER: We have David Toms, a 4 and 2 victor over Phil Mickelson this afternoon. Congratulations, David, on making it through to the quarterfinals. Maybe just a brief comment about your play this afternoon.

DAVID TOMS: Just played really good golf. I knew if I was going to have to to play a player like Phil and a guy that's been playing great all year, I knew I was going to have to play well. I felt good all day. I played great this morning, too, and still had a tough match.

I was kind of concerned about fatigue late in the day, but I was playing well enough that I had that adrenalin. I had that going for me to get me through. I'm sure I'll be pretty tired tonight, and I have a tough match in the morning, another hot player that I'll have to bring the same kind of game that I had today.

Q. How fatiguing is it out there?

DAVID TOMS: Well, I mean, you don't walk a straight line all day. You know, it's tough to get your ball in some holes. You get pretty fatigued, your legs, or at least my legs are pretty sore, and talking to some of the other guys, they say the same thing. You kind of have to be careful where you're walking so you don't get totally muddy and your clothes all messed up. And plus, match play, you go through all those emotions. You're always concerned about the other what the other guy is doing and how to play. And it just seems like it drains you mentally, also, because you never know when you're out of a hole or you just don't know what's going to happen. So that combined with the conditions, it was a pretty draining day.

Q. With the other two top seeds taken down today, all beaten by guys where there's a distinct length advantage, how hard is that to stay within yourself and just let your own golf be enough?

DAVID TOMS: Can we go over that question one more time?

Q. Are you serious?

DAVID TOMS: Yes. Let's see if you can say it the same twice.

Q. The other two top seeds, you beating Phil, who is No. 3, beaten by guys where there was a distinct length advantage on a soggy course. I'm wondering how hard that is to stay within yourself and let your own game be enough.

DAVID TOMS: Well, my game plan to play Phil was to try to hit the tee early on. I was driving the ball great all week. And I wanted to try to get the ball in the fairway first of all, and so he would have that thought. Here if you miss the fairways it's very difficult to do anything.

And so that was my game plan. I did that for the most part. I think he, at times when he three putted the 9th hole, he got up on No. 1, and I think he tried to swing a little harder and hit it way over to the right, almost to the creek over there, and I made birdie. It was a hole he could have hit 3 wood and wedge to, and I think he got ahead of himself. Probably hot under the collar after the three putt.

Those are the type of things that I knew that was the way I was going to beat him was get the ball in the fairway, put the pressure, and then my putter got hot and I started making putts, and really that was the difference in the end.

Q. We've pretty much seen the effects of what match play can do to the top guys today. Kind of a rerun of some other years, here pre Tiger's domination of two years. This is what happens here, right?

DAVID TOMS: Yeah, I think that's the beauty of this tournament; that's why guys like it. It's a nice change of pace to what we play. It was like Phil and I were talking today, when he shot that low round at Spyglass at AT&T, you shoot a round like that on that golf course, you get a big lead on the field. Here you can do that in one match and the next match if you don't play great, you're gone. So I think guys really enjoy that. I certainly know that I do.

Q. You won.

DAVID TOMS: Yes, sure, you always like it when you win.

Q. Anything you've picked up in your visits here, playing this tournament a few years? Any match play tricks that you've learned that work for you on this course?

DAVID TOMS: As far as this golf course is concerned, you start to learn that you cannot hit a shot that has backspin on it and do any good in the fairway. When it's wet like this, they put all the pins up in the high areas close to the back of the greens. You can't fly past. I did that early in my match this morning on the 8th hole, my 17th hole, and flew it over the green, and it didn't come back onto the green. You always have that battle.

I've played a couple of guys here that have tried to hit a normal shot, and they were always 30 and 40 feet short after it spins. So even if you're hitting 8 irons from 110, which I've done a lot, that's just the way you have to play it. I've become more comfortable doing that and I've played the scores pretty well.

Q. Do you watch other matches, look at the boards during the course of the day, just for some entertainment value?

DAVID TOMS: I try not to, because I'm trying to take care of myself. Some of the boards are in a place where you just can't help but see them. They're right against the green. You might be reading a putt and see it. I don't get caught up in "this guy is losing and this guy is winning." In fact, I don't even know what to say to the guys when you get done. You see the guy in the clubhouse, you don't know if they've won or lost. "Great match," and they look at you like you're an idiot (laughter). I usually watch out, hit some putts late in the day and see who won their match.

Q. Did you at all feel you talked about your strategy and your game plan and going through with it. Did you feel like an underdog out there?

DAVID TOMS: Oh, absolutely. I mean when 98.8 percent of the people are pulling for the other guy, you know he hits it 50 yards by me on some of the holes. And of course, I felt like the underdog. But sometimes I thrive on that. I don't think there's any better feeling than to have a crowd that's not necessarily pulling for you and to make a 25 foot putt when the other guy is in there eight feet. And they're all excited because their man is about to win a hole. And there you go pouring it in. I just think I like that. I like that a lot.

Q. Did you ever experience that before?

DAVID TOMS: Oh, yeah, many times (laughter).

End of FastScripts.

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