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May 8, 2003

David Toms


JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Great round of 70 today. Why don't you talk about the conditions of the course, how you played and we'll go into questions.

DAVID TOMS: Great golf course. Not a whole lot of birdie opportunities. I think you can see that by the scores out there. I played very well today. Made a couple mistakes. Bogeyed a par 3 but it was a 3-wood par 3; that's going to happen.

I drove it in the rough on No. 12. Made bogey there.

Other than that I was in control all day. I hit fairways and most of the greens and had a good, solid day. I hit a lot of good putts today, missed a couple, made a couple. Just had a good, solid day. That's what you have to do on this golf course, be very patient. I wasn't very -- I would say I was very passive from the fairways as far as trying to get the ball close to the hole. I didn't shoot at many pins at all and just left it at a perfect yardage. It's a U.S. Open style golf course except I think there are a few more birdie opportunities here. Just a great test of golf.

Q. Doesn't look like it is going to take shooting 18- or 20-under par here -- inaudible?

DAVID TOMS: -- inaudible - you have to because even if you get it in the fairway and you hit a big drive down there and you have short to mid-iron in, you still have to be very patient. I saw some pins -- I played the golf course yesterday and I played seven holes on Tuesday before the rain and all the holes, every pin you could get to because it was either on the front of the green or the middle where it funneled right there and it's like this is not too bad. Then they started putting it on a slope and just all on the edges and so forth. You have to pick your spots. You have to be very patient.

And coming from last week where almost every hole was a birdie hole to a golf course like this, guys are going to have to back off and play it.

Q. How big a factor is it that you guys are not familiar with these greens and how difficult are they to read?

DAVID TOMS: Not that difficult because they have so much slope. The ones that are difficult to read to me are the ones that don't have a whole lot of slope and can go either way. Here, you pretty much know which way it's going to break. You have to be aware of your speed. The uphill putts seem to be extremely slow for us, but the downhill putts can get away from you. You do have to be careful, but like I said, they are not difficult to read at all.

Q. Is the course pretty much what you expected, just from word-of-mouth from the other players coming in here? Is it playing like you expected it would?

DAVID TOMS: Yes. I knew that from what I've heard from other players that have played here, you know, from the information the TOUR was putting out or the tournament was putting out, that it was going to be a great test and it was going to be long. Then with the rain on top of that, it's a long golf course to begin with and now it's soft.

But I'm glad I came because everything about the tournament has been fantastic, and the golf course, to me, is a great test. Come Sunday afternoon, you're going to have to play some really good golf to be able to win and I like that. You're not going to see 20-something-under par win this golf tournament, I don't think, unless somebody goes crazy.

JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Can we go through your birdies and bogeys? You started with a bogey on 6 with a 3-wood.

DAVID TOMS: Yes, I hit it right of the green there and didn't get it up-and-down.

Then I birdied the next hole, 7. Just left of the green in two and chipped up to about eight feet and made a birdie there.

I birdied 8, the short hole. I drove it way down the fairway with a driver, got kind of aggressive off the tee, but I was in an area that was very wet and I kind of chunked my second shot to the front of the green and made about a 30-foot birdie putt there.

11, hit a great drive down there. I set myself up. I only had 132 yards to the hole and hit a 9-iron up there about 12 feet and made that.

Then drove it in the rough on 12 and chipped it up, missed it from about ten feet or so for bogey.

14, I hit a pitching wedge to about ten feet or so and made a nice putt there.

Q. Pretty strong finish, what are your impressions of that?

DAVID TOMS: The yardage on 16 is 475 or something like that. I hit a driver and 5-iron today to get just over the back of the green, but it's such a long hole that you have to hit the fairway to have a decent chance to make a birdie.

Then 17, that's a hole that is definitely a par hole, because the green to me the green looks like it's a green designed for a par 5 that you can hit it somewhere up around the green in two. Instead, we are hitting 3- or 4-iron into it and you are just trying to hit the green. You're not trying to, okay, let's hit it ten feet and see if we can make it, no matter where the pin is there. You've got to pick a right club and you're just trying to get it somewhere on the putting surface.

18, what a tee shot that is, especially with the left-to-right wind that we've had the last couple days. You have to start it down the left-hand side unless you're a guy that hits a big draw to keep it from going in the right rough and then you have a long second shot. Killed a drive today and still had 6-iron left to the hole.

So, it's a great finish. Matt Kuchar, he played it in 2-under today and I thought that was awesome. I shook his hand and said, "Man, what a finish that was." It is a very tough finish to try to win on, that's for sure, or try to finish any round, whether it's on Sunday or on Thursday. It's very difficult.

Q. Are you happy with the way you're playing?

DAVID TOMS: Typical round when I'm playing well. Have not been playing well the last couple months, hit or miss kind of thing. I've been driving it erratic. I've had good days and bad. Then I've had the same with the putter and it's just been one thing or another. Very disappointed I missed the cut last week after being right in the middle of the golf tournament through 11 or 12 holes on try day, and all of a sudden, I missed the cut and didn't even get to play on the weekend.

But, you know, my confidence is high because of days like today. I know that I can just play good, solid rounds, and who knows. I feel good about every part of my game right now. The last couple days have been nice and solid, and I like the golf course. We'll have to see.

End of FastScripts....

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