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July 4, 2003

David Toms


JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Thank you, David, for joining us for a few minutes. Another good round, 69, great position going into the weekend and a great finish with a birdie on No. 9.

DAVID TOMS: Thank you. It's about how I played today, 3-under. I hit a lot of good shots. I wasn't in total control of what I was doing out there but knew that was a good score. I didn't make as many putts as I did yesterday, so that was kind of the difference, just played a good round.

Q. What did you see on 5 on that second shot? On TV it looked like you were just swinging and praying.

DAVID TOMS: Yeah, that's kind of what I was doing. I was just trying to get it over the rough because the rough was pretty high underneath the tree and somehow under the limb, and I felt like if I could hit it hard enough not to hit the big limb, even if it hit something else it would get through there. The only thing else I could do would be to go backwards and I would have had like 250 left. I felt like I still had a chance to make birdie if I could get it down the fairway and that's what I did.

Q. How about on 17? Did you not take relief there because you were in the tree?

DAVID TOMS: I didn't take relief because the tree was going to be in my way. I would have had no shot whatsoever. I would have had to roll it through the bunker. Other than that big opportunity, there was really nothing in my way in the other direction. If I would have had a decent lie it would have been a shot where I would have had a good chance to get it up-and-down because I was only, what, 40 yards away with a lot of green to work with. I just had an awful lie and I was fortunate to be able to get up-and-over there.

Q. Obviously the circumstances were different golf-wise, but you played against Tiger in the final in the Match Play and acquitted yourself well considering how you were feeling. You'll be playing with him tomorrow. Do you take something away from that, how you held your own?

DAVID TOMS: Yeah. I've played with Tiger a lot the last few years. The last few times we've played together I've played just fine. He doesn't -- I enjoy watching him play when he's playing well and we get along great. I look forward to tomorrow. I like his caddie a lot. We tell jokes out there and have a good time. He's obviously playing well right now and rounding into form, and I'm playing good, too, so maybe we can feed off each other and have a good day tomorrow.

Q. The first few times you played with him did you find it difficult to sort of not pay attention to his game and how far he was hitting it or have you gotten better at that?

DAVID TOMS: I've always paid attention to guys that play this game better than me hoping I can learn something along the way. He's physically extremely talented but he does a lot of things with his mind and beats people that way. I pay attention to that because I think you can learn from people like that. I think that is the best way to learn is by example and watching somebody else. Sure, I've watched him. I think I'd probably do better playing with him if I just played my own game, but at the same time I'm a fan of golf, and tomorrow is just going to be just another day of golf in the Western Open for me, just go out and do the best I can, and like I said, it should be fine.

Q. It looked early on today like Tiger might run away and hide. When you have an afternoon tee time are you aware of what's going on around here? Is it too early to think that a guy can hide after two rounds of a tournament?

DAVID TOMS: I was aware of how he finished and everything. I looked at the leaderboard. I was looking to see how a couple of guys, friends of mine, how they were playing. I didn't really pay attention to it much after that. I felt like I was playing good golf. I wanted to get to double digits because I think that's -- I knew I'd be in pretty good shape if I could do that going into the weekend. I was able to do that. It took me until the last hole today, and I missed a couple of short ones on 7 and 8 or I would have had a really good score today.

You know, he's one of the few guys that when he's on, he can run away and hide from you because he's that good. But there's going to be a lot of guys that will be close, and hopefully we'll still be close on Sunday afternoon.

JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Can you go through your round?

DAVID TOMS: Let's start on the 10th hole. It's easier to think that way. I birdied No. 12, hit a 6-iron to about ten feet there, made that one.

15, I hit a lob wedge to about 12 feet, made a nice putt there.

I missed the fairway on 16, missed the green, hit a bad chip, missed the putt.

And then 17, everybody kind of saw what I did there. I was in a bad spot off the tee and a worse spot at my second shot.

No. 1, I hit a pitching wedge to about six feet.

The par-5, No. 5, after I punched out I hit a lob wedge to about 12 feet or so.

No. 9, I two-putted, hit a 3-wood on the green and two-putted for birdie.

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

End of FastScripts....

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