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September 19, 2002

David Toms


TODD BUDNICK: We're with David Toms, 6 under, 66 today, has him tied for the lead, bogey free. David, 20 out of 22 cuts this year. You have eight top tens, 6 top fives, and coming off three weeks vacation and, boom, right back into it.

DAVID TOMS: Well, I was pleased with the round today. I played good solid golf. Like you said, I had three weeks off. I wanted to go out and have a good solid day; not get too far behind the leaders. There were guys already at 5 under par before I teed off. I ran into a long putt on No. 3 and that set the tone for the day. I had good things happen to me, and just played good solid golf. It was nice to get off to a good start.

TODD BUDNICK: You had birdies on 3 and 4.

DAVID TOMS: 3, I hit a 6-iron to about 40 feet, made a nice putt.

Four, I hit a pitching wedge to about 18 feet. Made two nice putts in a row there.

10, I was just in the green-side bunker and 20 feet from the hole and hit it real close, 20.

11, par 3, almost made a hole-in-one, 7-iron, just rolled over the hole about three feet away and made birdie there.

12 -- I birdied 13; not 12.

13, it was the best shot I hit today, 8-iron to about ten feet away. Hit a great shot there, made birdie.

And then 17, I was just short right of the green and chipped up about 12 feet behind the hole and made birdie there.

TODD BUDNICK: Coming off three weeks and playing like this, what particularly was it today?

DAVID TOMS: Well, I drove the ball in play. I hit some good iron shots, made a couple of long putts. But other than that -- I didn't make a lot of putts. I made two long ones. The rest of them that I did make, you're supposed to make, and I missed some good opportunities. I had a good solid ball-striking day. I don't know how many greens I missed today. I didn't miss many. I think I missed the par 3, No. 6. And actually missed 7, but I was about two inches off the green there.

Just a good solid ball-striking day.

Q. Leading up to the U.S. PGA Championship, you said you didn't feel like you were in the lead. How did you get back on track after that?

DAVID TOMS: Well, first of all, I was angry at the time, you know, because of the way I played. I didn't play my game at all. I was upset at the time. I kind of did -- it's usually one of my strengths, I play my own game and I definitely got more into what they were doing on the golf course than what I was doing. I had to make a personal commitment to myself to try to play my own game. I actually played with Tiger the next week in Seattle, and I think I shot four or five under par and actually beat him that day that I played with him, so that helped to get right back to where I played with him. I played with him and Norman that day, got back to playing my own game and playing like I should play golf. That helps.

As far as, you know, just my statements at the time, like I said, I was angry at the way I played and people caught me right after I walked out of the scoring tent, after having an awful day. I didn't necessarily mean everything I said. Like I said, it did help me to get to play with him the next week and get a good solid round under my belt playing with Tiger, and then I took three weeks off right after that.

Q. What did you think about during those three weeks?

DAVID TOMS: I didn't play golf hardly at all. I didn't think about golf much. I played some with some friends of mine at home. Until I got over here, I didn't get into the tournament atmosphere or anything. I barely watched anything on television. I watched on Sunday to see if I had some friends up there that had a chance. Other than that, I didn't pay much attention to it at all.

Q. When you take a break like that, do you come in hot like this?

DAVID TOMS: No. I got here on Monday, on the charter flight, and I was actually feeling a little under the weather. I didn't sleep much on the flight, but I made myself get out on the golf course and play some golf, because I didn't play much at home, and I played fairly solid, hit some good shots. I played Tuesday and Wednesday 18 holes and felt good about going into today. I was hitting fairways, hitting it on the greens, making a few putts.

Q. You've got two big weeks coming up.

DAVID TOMS: I wasn't concerned that I haven't been playing competitive golf. Tiger does it all the time. He takes a month off, from time to time. I think if you are focused, once the tournament starts and you are prepared, there is no reason why you can't play well.

Q. A year ago you were expecting to play in the Ryder Cup. What's happened in a year in terms off the team. Have you been in touch with the captain?

DAVID TOMS: I've talked to Curtis some. Not a whole lot. We're all going our separate ways and just all going about our business until the last month or so when it was getting closer to the time. As far as my thoughts on the Ryder Cup, I had a lot more time to prepare. Last year I made it right at the last minute, and barely had enough time to get my uniforms and my golf bag and so forth, so I didn't have a whole lot of time to prepare for it or think about it. Now that I've had a year, as far as my game, I think I'll be much more prepared to play.

Q. Do you feel you've had to spend a year justifying your presence on the team?

DAVID TOMS: I think so. At least in the media's eyes they're going to write about who is playing well and who's not. You want to play well. You also want to be playing well going into the event, or feel like you're playing well, to get that confidence. Obviously it's going to be a pressure situation, and the better you feel you're playing at the time, the better off you'll be.

Q. (Inaudible) low key at the Ryder Cup this year?

DAVID TOMS: I think that's what he's hoping for. I think that's what needs to happen. It was getting a little out of hand. But I don't know. I just have to wait to get there to see. I have no idea what to expect. I've talked to players who have played before and they've warned me of things that might go on. As far as my experience, I have to wait to get there to see.

Q. Did you feel like you needed a three-week break mentally or physically?

DAVID TOMS: Absolutely. I played 22, 23 events already. I needed a break. I played in the summer, I seem to do a lot of outings, guys have some events going on. And I played 22 official events, plus the Fred Meyer, CVS, some Monday outings all through the summer. It's time for a break to get away from golf and enjoy life without having the pressure to perform. I needed that for sure.

Q. (Inaudible.)

DAVID TOMS: Just about everybody on the team that's has had some experience with Ryder Cups. You know, Hal Sutton, we live in the same town and he's obviously been on a few of the teams and he's the kind of guy you want to talk about Ryder Cups with because he's very competitive, a very spirited guy and he's given me some insight.

Q. One thing that stands out?

DAVID TOMS: Not at all. Just talking about how the matches went in the States, how it went when it was in Europe. You know, different experiences with other players he's played with. It's just fun to listen to all the stories of guys over the years. Actually Curtis Strange put a book together for us, had a letter from all the captains, past captains of the team and they wrote us a letter about their experience and what it might be like and gave us some pointers. It was fun to read those.

Q. A book, did you say?

DAVID TOMS: A little book form, a letter each captain wrote to the team.

Q. When did you get it?

DAVID TOMS: I've had it over a year now. I got it last year at Kingsmill.

Q. Have you had uniforms for a year?

DAVID TOMS: Yes. I packed them away so the moths wouldn't get them, so I kept them wrapped up.

Q. How far back did the captains go?

DAVID TOMS: There was a letter from Sam Snead, so pretty far back.

TODD BUDNICK: Thank you.

End of FastScripts....

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