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March 21, 2002

David Toms


JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Thank you, David for joining us.

Windy day out there, and a little stop of play. Why don't you make a couple of comments about your rounds.

DAVID TOMS: First of all, this is my -- other than a player meeting, this is my first time in the media room, so obviously, I'm happy about today.

I played very well. The delay didn't seem to bother me too much. I went out and played real solid after that. Just had a good day out there. It was -- got to be a little windy at times, but actually in the middle of my round after we came back out, I would not say early on it was pretty windy. But when we came back out in the middle of my front nine -- or the front nine, which was my back nine, it actually died down a little bit and was not playing that difficult. But then the last couple of holes it is started to pick up.

I think any time you can shoot in the 60s on this golf course, you've got to feel good about it, and I do.

Q. How important do you think it was to get on 17 green before the delay?

DAVID TOMS: Well, I wouldn't have wanted to play that hole when we came back out. I hit driver and 3-iron into No. 18. The wind was picking up from a little bit different direction. With that pin on the front, if you're playing that hole into the winds, you have to be concerned about the spin. Even when we played, there was hardly any wind blowing at all and Steve Lowery, his ball actually stopped just before it got on to the cross-tide (ph) there; so we even had to deal with it when we played that hole.

And into the wind, I'm sure it's playing difficult out there right now.

Q. Shifting conditions when you came back out?

DAVID TOMS: I saw when we were riding in the van back to 17, I saw Joe Durant's drive on 18, and it was 30 yards past where we hit our tee balls, and we hit it about the same distance. So they obviously didn't play that hole into the wind like we did.

Q. How would you evaluate your year so far?

DAVID TOMS: I got off to a good start. I had a couple of chances. I within one roll of winning the first tournament, and then the section tournament, I was right there tied for the lead going into 5 or 6 on the last round. And I made a double-bogey and knocked me out of it there.

So I felt good about my start, at least. The last six weeks has been a little slow. I have not been able to putt four rounds together. I've had a couple of good rounds each tournament. The Match Play, you know, I ran into a buzzsaw there in Kevin Sutherland. He played great golf. But I feel good about it. I think if I can put four of them together, I'll be right there in contention.

Q. Have you seen Augusta National yet?

DAVID TOMS: I have not. I've heard a lot about it. I've heard all the different reviews. I'm not sure. I'll just wait until I get there on Monday and see how it fits my game. I think it favors the longer hitters, when the course was a medium-length golf course, I think they can overpower that golf course with all of the length they have added, from what I've heard. I don't know that it can be overpowered; so it might put a little more emphasis on hitting the fairway and maybe the short game and who knows how that will play into my hands.

Q. Atlanta Athletic Club is supposed to be big knockers.

DAVID TOMS: Yeah, if you missed that fairway, the rough was pretty penal, and a big green. So you had a lot of long putts. Obviously, I was okay there. So you never know. I like Georgia, too. It's been good to me.

Q. You're a hard worker, anyway, but you have worked extremely hard this week. Is this kind of the result of all that hard work you've been doing?

DAVID TOMS: To be honest with you, I had to work hard or I would not have been prepared. I didn't do anything at home last week. Came here, practiced, started working hard on Monday, and I really had to, to feel like I was prepared. I've tried working on every part of my game and just be ready. So I guess that's why I put in a few more hours this week.

Q. What's your schedule going into the Masters?

DAVID TOMS: I'm playing here, Houston, Atlanta, and Augusta, and then I'll take a couple of weeks off. So it will be my fourth tournament in a row.

Q. Do you play best with four?

DAVID TOMS: You know, I've done that many times, you three, three or four. I think four is kind of the max that I try to do. I've always played the week before in Atlanta. I like playing Sugarloaf. I like to play in Houston. I usually play Bay Hill, but I just didn't think I could do the five in a row this year since they changed the schedule, and that's why I didn't play last week.

Q. Have you had an ace since 15 at Atlanta?

DAVID TOMS: No, I have not.

Q. Where is that ball now?

DAVID TOMS: You know what I've been asked that question. I think my caddy has it, but we have never sat down to talk about it. So I don't know where it is, to be honest with you.

Q. Do you want it?

DAVID TOMS: You know, I would like to have it. I don't know if -- he might be planning something. We haven't even discussed it at all. But I think I've heard him say that he has it and maybe he's planning, you know, to fix up something nice and give it to me. I'm not real sure.

Q. A lot has been made of Colin Montgomerie after La Costa and the taunting that he's had over the years here. He had a pretty good round, as well, today, and he was talking about how some players reached out to him on the phone and wanted him to stick around. What's your reaction to that and what do you think the general feel is amongst the guys?

DAVID TOMS: I think if everybody would just let is slide and not focus on it, it would go away. If nothing was said or written about it, I think that it would go away. It's unfortunate for him because he's, you know, he's a nice guy and he's a great player and he's good for the game. We need him to come over here to make our competitions better.

So, you know, I do think it would go away if there wasn't so much attention.

Q. Do you know guys who did reach out to him?

DAVID TOMS: I'm nice to him every time. I haven't just gone up to say I'm sorry about what's going on and what's happened to you over here. I don't think he necessarily wants to talk about it, so I don't even mention it.

But we just, you know, say "hello" and "nice playing" or "keep it up" or whatever. Just normal golf talk in the locker room. He's a good fellow.

Q. I hope you don't think this is ridiculous, but in the television commercial, is that really your house that you are hitting golf balls up on the roof?

DAVID TOMS: No. That's a house just outside of Castle Pines. We did that last summer when we were up there for The INTERNATIONAL. It was fun to make. I think the Tour has some great ideas with their production people. It's a lot of fun. They make it fun for the players.

Q. Would you do that on your own house?

DAVID TOMS: I wouldn't do it. But my four-year-old has been trying it. It's a little dangerous. He's trying to hit 7-irons to the top of my roof to hit my satellite dish, and he was trying with real golf balls and I had to bring some plastic ones in so we would not lose any windows.

JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Thank you, David, for joining us.

End of FastScripts....

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