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May 14, 2003

David Toms


TODD BUDNICK: We thank David Toms for joining us today, of course, he's coming off his win at the Wachovia Championship last week. David is 6th on the money list with 3 top tens.

David, we know last week took a lot off your mind, you have been waiting for that win for a little while.

DAVID TOMS: I have. Obviously it was tough for me to finally get it done in the end. I played great golf the hole week. It feels good to finally be back. It's been a while. It's been a long while and it's been laying on me pretty heavily.

So hopefully I can ride that wave longer. I felt even though I didn't have a great day on the golf course today we were there to entertain, not to score well.

Hopefully tomorrow morning I can get back on track and shoot a good number and get ride in the middle of the golf tournament to start of with.

I felt very confident after I played last week the way I played for the majority of the tournament. We will see. It's going to be a tough test out there. The rough is up. The wind, we have crosswind on every single hole it seemed like, they were opposite the way the hole curved. It makes it tough to get the ball in the fairway to start off with. And then tough to judge your second shots distance-wise, the way the wind was blowing out there. It was gusty. If it continues, I don't think you will see the scores quite as low as the past because the rough is up a bit, and because it's pretty tough with that wind.

Q. Has the way you celebrate a win changed from when you won the first 1 to now?

DAVID TOMS: Probably so because, you know, it's not that I expect it at all. I mean winning, you know, is always kind of a bonus because you go out. I go out and play golf the best I can, and a lot of things have to be able to fall into place to get a win. But I'm not a party guy any way so I'm not going to go out and, you know, give this big celebration or anything like that.

What I did was I got home that night, actually, Monday night, I was coaching T ball. So Thursday I was coach at my son's T ball game. Just a normal life. This is my business and this is what I do. This is my office, and I do it as well as I can. After, you know, golf is over if I get home, I live a normal life just like everybody else.

Q. What did you do after your first victory?

DAVID TOMS: Well, at that time in my life my wife was, you know, it was two weeks before my son was born right here in Dallas. So it was a real special time getting my first victory there and my son was born a couple of weeks later. We were so estatic on what was going to happen any way.

Like I say, it was a great time, I didn't necessarily go out and celebrate either. It was one of those things that's just not my personality.

Like I said. You pat yourself on the back and move on. You try to prepare yourself for the next tournament.

Q. What did you last week heading in this week?

DAVID TOMS: My ball striking was good. I drove the ball in the fairway, hit most of the greens. My putting was pretty good. It was a good solid week across the board. As far as am I doing anything a hole lot different? No, I'm not. Just a couple of little things you key on. You always want to key 1 or 2 things that you think about, or that you work on at least in between rounds or before a round or after a round, not necessarily on the golf course but just a couple of things that are clicking for me. It feels good.

My golf swing feels good, tempo feels good, it's just a matter of getting back into playing another tournament this week and to get up for it again.

Sometimes can you have a let down, I know it's happened to me in the past. I just want to mentally get up for it again and get into what I'm trying to do.

Q. Is there something about this time of year. You won in New Orleans and then Wachovia, you always play well here?

DAVID TOMS: A couple of different things. I's just used to this kind of the country, you know. I'm not out of my element here. I'm close to home. But also starting to warm up. I'm not fond of cold weather golf and throwing on sweaters and everything else. I like it when it's hot. It doesn't affect me negatively in any way, as long as you drink plenty of water. I don't mind sweating.

One of the things I do any way pulling up my shirt sleeve to get ready to swing anyway, so I don't mind. It's part of my routine, what I grew up in, so that might have something to do with it.

Q. What were the nerves like at that first win with everything going on?

DAVID TOMS: What were my nerves like?

Q. Yes.

DAVID TOMS: I didn't know what to expect. It was happening at the Quad-Cities. I'm playing the last hole where you can make anything. You can make a score like I did on 18 last week. It's a very demanding tee shot, and I remember hitting a 3-iron off the tee and I hit it 275 yards. I was so pumped up and I had a 3 shot lead I believe at the time. Just to my finally win. At that point in my career I didn't contend very often any way, so it was kind of like I had a chance to do it, and I was able to do it. I think I still draw on that. These days I have always been able to close pretty well or win a tournament when I got a good chance to. The fact I was able to do it where I really did have a chance, I think it's helped me all the way to this day.

Q. After a hole like 18 on Sunday, do you ever look back and laugh at it?

DAVID TOMS: I have to. The way I drove the hole all week. It was a fluke the last tee shot. I was not even close to being that far off the whole week, and then hit a shot like that the last one. It feels tough. But I'm trying to win. But I just get it in the hole somehow. How many times does a guy have a 6 shot lead with 1 hole to play? Maybe you deal with it. It never happened to me before. Not since Junior Golf or college golf.

So hopefully I will deal with it better the next time around. If it does happen again that would be great.

Q. In a way is it easier to focus if it's 1 shot or 2 shots?

DAVID TOMS: I don't know. I have only won 8 times. Obviously these days that's a good number of wins. Every single win was different it seems like. At the time the PGA the way things went down there. At Kingsmill I won there a couple of times. Once in a playoff having to play that 18th hole which is a very tough tee shot, so I had to at times where I had to play a great hole. Last Sunday I didn't have to play a great hole to win. My first win, I had a three shot lead. It's happened. Every scenario has been different. Will I be able to hopefully do better the next time I'm in that situation? Yes. But I would love to have that opportunity again to be able to lap a field like that with 1 hole to play. It just doesn't happen very often.

At least you guys are still talking about it. If I would have birdied the last hole and won by 7 you wouldn't even be asking me about last week.

Q. Were you Tiger's next rival?

DAVID TOMS: I would say no, that's fine.

Q. Do you have any favorite Byron Nelson stories from time to time?

DAVID TOMS: Well, when I lived here in Dallas I was a member here at this club. I remember many times being up here eating lunch with my wife, and you just get your food and Mr. Nelson sits down to talk to you, and he had so many stories and you start talking and the conversation lasts an hour, and you are sitting there looking at your food, I didn't want to be rude to start eating, finally you're not even hungry anymore, you just get up and walk off. Just the days where I played in the project shelter outing here and he would get up and talk about his experiences, or this tournament or that tournament. You are glued to him. It's almost like watching a TV show that you are into, just to listen to his stories, and the way things used to be and his experience. So I have always had a lot of fond memories of Mr. Nelson.

Q. David, what's your reaction with all of this stuff with Annika going on? Vijay's comment, comments by Tiger, he says he is all for it, she needs more chances to play; what's your reaction?

DAVID TOMS: Obviously there is a lot of coverage. I'm just glad it's next week and that it will be over with. I think it will be over with next week. Obviously you guys got to cover it and talk about it. Probably every player on the tour has a different view, or his own little take of what's going on, or why it's happening. I said before I hope she plays well for ladies golf and for her. But, you know, what is playing well? Nobody knows. Nobody has anything to measure. It's something that I guess it's been a long time since this has actually happened. So I don't have any hard feelings toward her at all. She thinks she can do it, I guess we will find out.

Q. Does all of this do anything leading up to before she plays a round? There seems to be some tension with some guys.

DAVID TOMS: I don't really see why. The only person to me that should have any negative feelings toward her is that last guy that would have been in the field, or the last guy that they would have given the sponsor exemption to, or however that works. To me, it's not like you are adding somebody that should be a threat to win the golf tournament. And if you there are to try to win, why do you even care? That's my view on it. It is not going to affect the way I prepare for the tournament. It's not going to affect what I do in the locker room. It's not going to affect what I eat. It's not going to affect me at all. It's just not going to affect me in any way at all, unless she beats me for two rounds or 3 or 4, then I'm like wow, I let her beat me. That would be the only way that it would affect me personally.

Q. Or that she played well enough to earn it?

DAVID TOMS: Or I played bad enough to let her beat me. I don't care. I really don't even care. I'm glad it's going to be over with soon so nobody will ask me about it anymore.

Q. Has it overshadowed this event?

DAVID TOMS: This golf tournament?

Q. Right.

DAVID TOMS: Maybe so because of the focus on that. That's ashame because they are going to have a good field here this week. A golf tournament with Byron Nelson's name on it. A new sponsor here. They will have a great tournament and they'll have a great finish in the end. That would be ashame to lose any prestige or lose any media coverage of what is going to take place here because of covering what Annika is going to be doing next week. And also for that golf tournament. That's a great tournament over there with a new sponsor. The attention is probably great for that sponsor of that event. I don't know, like I said, I think it will go away, I really do after next week. I hope it does because there has been to much focus on it. It's all over the place. I turned on MSNBC last night and instead of coverage on Iraq, they had 2 women on there talking about how Annika is going to do next week. That is going to be over with soon.

Q. A lot of your comments after you won Sunday, you made it sound like the last several months have really taken a toll on you, maybe your attitude struggled a little bit, you are the eighth rank player in the world, you have been in the hunt a lot, 20 months, can you kind of explain why you felt you had so much pressure on yourself?

DAVID TOMS: You know, if you don't win a tournament -- if you are a player that shows up and prepares with the thought of winning every time you show up, and you feel like you prepared to do that the best you can, then if you don't, you feel like a failure. I don't care if you finish second, third. I made almost a million dollars going into that tournament this year, but I didn't perform like I wanted to. I was up and down. I missed 5 cuts already which I missed 5 cuts the last 2 years combined, I think, before that. So it was tough for me to take. Any time that you are missing cuts, you don't have a chance at all at your goal for that week and so it takes a toll. At least it does on me mentally.

Maybe some players they are used to be up and down and up and down, they got hot and have a chance to win, then they miss cuts, then they miss 3 or 4, then they contend to win again. That hasn't been the way my game has been the last few years. I have always been at least I get to play on Saturday. If I get hot on the weekend I got a chance to win. Hopefully I build on something going into the next tournament. When you are not even around for the weekend, and you are at home, watching other guys win, it's tough to take. At least for me it is. That's what I was talking about. How I felt down at times. Even though I had a couple of good finishes. I struggled with my golf swing. My ball striking. Look at my stats they are not as near consistent as they had been the last couple of years. That was weighing on me. I was working hard and not getting the results, not scoring, and that's why it made it so special last week to be able to win and hopefully I could use that to become a little more consistent this year.

Q. What are the first couple of stats that you look at yourself?

DAVID TOMS: The things I looked at, because that's what made me the player the last few years, or last 4 or 5 years that I have become, is my ball striking stats. Whether that's totally driving, or greens in regulation. I'm kind of a streaky putter where I can have some good rounds with the putter, but I'm pretty consistent on the greens for the most parts. The total driving stat, which means you are hitting it, if that's up there, you are hitting it solid and in the fairway and then hitting the greens, I'm going to do well. That's the two stats that have been much better for me the last 4 or 5 years. So that's what I have to look at and see how I measure up and how I'm playing golf.

Q. You talked about on Sundays when you miss a cut, do you actually sit around and watch a tournament on weekends?

DAVID TOMS: Very seldom. I'll turn it on the last 30 minutes to see what is going on. For example, the week of Hilton Head, when I turned on the television that afternoon, I saw Woody Austin taking a drop and that was what, the first pray off hole. So that is typically -- unless there is a guy that I'm really close to on the tour that has a chance to win that I want to see how they do.

Then the tournament in New Orleans I watched the last 9 holes. It's a place I really like. I want to see what happened there. It was Rick George's last year of tournament director, I wanted to see what was going on with that.

Q. What kind of results did you have as 3rd base coach?

DAVID TOMS: We won 21 to 20. We were in the 3rd base dugout. So not only did I have to coach but I had to tell the kids when they could bat, had to put the bats back in the dugout when they would leave them out. It was a tough job.

Q. Any key decisions to get that 1 run difference?

DAVID TOMS: You know did I send a couple of kids home when it was a close play at the plate. It's so intense. These kids are 5 or six years old. They are trying hard. In the end, they want to win, but they don't even care, they just want to go to Baskin Robbins when it's over with. The parents are more into it than they are.

End of FastScripts....

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