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July 3, 2003

David Toms


JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Thank you, David, for joining us for a minute here in the media center. Great round, 7-under par, 65. You talked about yesterday afternoon in here that you were a little run down from all of your success from last week. You must have gotten home, gotten some rest and were back here early this morning to post a pretty nice score.

DAVID TOMS: Well, like I said, I got some rest last night and I came out this morning still pretty tired, but I made a 50-footer for birdie on the first hole today. That woke me up pretty quick. It was the best putting round I think I've had in a very long while, at least on this type of putting surface. It's not generally my best, but for some reason I started to feel comfortable on it at the U.S. Open this year. I just putted fantastic today, for me, that's for sure.

Q. David, tell us a little bit about that. You're used to Bermuda putting?

DAVID TOMS: Not necessarily Bermuda, but I've putted well on bentgrass, also, but this is northern poa annua grass that I don't know -- I've never had that great a speed on it. Just for some reason when you don't -- if you don't have success on it, you're just kind of like, well, you take it that I've never putted that great on it, I'd better hit the ball good. For some reason I started feeling -- the more I play on it, we play on it all the time now, and the more experience I have, the better I get at it. One of these days I'm going to figure it out for sure, but today I did. It gives me a lot of confidence going into the final three rounds because I've never made that many putts here at Cog Hill. So if I can continue to hit the ball solid and give myself some opportunities, I think I can shoot some low rounds.

Q. Was it the case that the first one went in and then you felt like --

DAVID TOMS: The first round at the Pro-Am I didn't feel all that well. I felt like I lipped it all out all day. The guys I was playing with commented that maybe you're saving it for tomorrow.

Q. How was the course playing today? We haven't had rain in a while.

DAVID TOMS: It's pretty firm and fast. The greens, I don't know if they watered them last night or what happened, but they were more receptive this morning than they were yesterday in the Pro-Am. Matt Gogel, I was playing with him, he played late yesterday and said they were like concrete. We got fooled out on the golf course with club selection. We came up way short thinking the ball was going to release, so the greens were more receptive this morning, so I thought that the course was there for the taking.

Q. Wind starting to pick up a little toward the end of your round?

DAVID TOMS: Let's see, the wind, when did it start to blow? I noticed it probably on about No. 7 because I think I had 140 yards on 7 and I had to hit an 8-iron, so at least a club wind there starting on 7, and I really didn't notice it before that being much of a factor.

Q. How do you view the notion of trying to win back-to-back? Do you forget about last week?

DAVID TOMS: Well, I can use the positive in that last week I played great and I won the tournament and take confidence away from that, but here it's a totally different course. The greens are totally different, the fairways are totally different, just a different style of golf. I decided to approach this as a new tournament and just use last week for the fact that hey, I'm playing good and I'm hitting a lot of good shots. I don't really think -- I'm not going to think about repeating until Sunday on the back nine if I have a chance. Before that I'm just trying to set myself up to get in that position.

Q. Could you just walk us through your schedule since Sunday? I know you did a lot of traveling, but I'm not exactly sure where you were.

DAVID TOMS: Since Sunday, I left the golf course about 8:00 p.m. on Sunday on a FedEx airplane to Muscle Shoals, Alabama, and did a charity event with Stewart Cink, Joe Durant and Chris DiMarco, got rained out after nine and somehow got out of there in the storms and flew here to Chicago for a policy board meeting Monday night, and then a meeting again Tuesday morning, and then practiced here on Tuesday afternoon, Pro-Am yesterday. I've been busy.

Q. You were a little less consistent than usual earlier this year. You missed a few cuts. Did you feel like you now kind of are getting in the groove that you want to be in?

DAVID TOMS: I think so. I'm playing like I feel like I should play definitely. I was frustrated early this year because I was missing cuts and I think I missed more in the beginning of this year than I had the two previous years combined. Even though I had runner up at the World Match Play and had a decent tournament in Phoenix, I wasn't contending, I was just kind of going through the motions. I worked on a couple things in my swing and I felt good the last couple months and I'm more confident now and playing better golf.

Q. You have the British Open coming up. Do you feel like there's anything you need to do to prepare for that or are you ready for that?

DAVID TOMS: I feel like I'm ready. I'm taking next week off just to rest and get ready for that long haul over there. I'm putting a 1-iron in my bag, which I hit that once a year at the British Open, and I'll work on my punch shot a little bit next week, keep the ball down. Other than that, it's just going to be another tournament.

JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Let's go through your card. You made a 50-footer on the first hole.

DAVID TOMS: I made a wedge out of the rough. I was in the left rough, hit a pitching wedge to 45 or 50 feet, made a nice putt.

No. 3, I hit a 5-iron into No. 3. I didn't hit a good drive, but I hit a 5-iron to about 12 feet, made birdie there.

Bogeyed the next hole, drove it in the left rough again and missed the green in the bunker and didn't get up-and-down, made bogey there.

I hit 3-iron into No. 5 about 15 feet, two-putted for birdie.

7, I hit an 8-iron to about 12 feet, made a nice putt there.

No. 10, I hit a pitching wedge about a foot from the hole on No. 10.

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

16, I hit a 9-iron to about 20 feet, nice putt there.

And then 18, I hit a 4-iron in to about 20 feet, also.

Q. You said outside you had a couple of kind of scrambling pars. Were there any in particular that really sort of kept your round going?

DAVID TOMS: Yeah, I think I missed the green with a 4-iron on No. 6, the par-3, and I hit a bad chip out to about 20 feet and had a tough downhill, sidehill putt, and I made it for par, after being, what, 3-under through 5 or 2-under through 5 with a bogey, so I had already made three birdies at that point and it kind of kept me going. Everything was pretty solid after that.

Q. Does that fifth hole play like a par-4 for you guys?

DAVID TOMS: If you can get it in the fairway. It's not a very wide tee shot. When I played it, it was pretty much straight downwind if any wind was blowing at all. Actually I had 240, which is a pretty good distance to the hole, but the pin was all the way in the back and I hit a 3-iron to try to land it on the front and roll it up. It's a par-4-and-a-half if you can get the ball in the fairway. If you miss that fairway you can struggle to make par because you hit in the right bunker and you're in a bunker with a tree in your line, and the left bunker also has a big lip so you can't advance it very far up the fairway. That's the key to that hole. Get it in the fairway, and if you do it's an obvious birdie hole.

Q. Have you ever had an opportunity to play Royal St. George's?

DAVID TOMS: I have not. I don't know much about any of the golf courses over there. I haven't played there on vacation. I've only played the British Open over there, so I've only played the courses where we've played the British. Not that I wouldn't like to play more of them, I just don't go on golf vacations.

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

End of FastScripts....

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