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February 20, 2002

David Toms


Q. You had a really competitive match. You have to be happy to get out of here with a win?

DAVID TOMS: Yeah, I caught a hot player. He's been playing really good golf. Rory didn't let up at all today. He made a mistake at 16 and then another one at 17, but then he came back and made a 50-footer when I thought I was going to be able to get out of there on 17.

It was a tough match. We both had to play good golf. We made a couple bogeys and made some birdies, too. I think we were both under par, so it was a good match.

Q. What made you decide to come out a few days earlier and practice?

DAVID TOMS: I was going to be in a lot better shape doing that than just staying home for four or five more days.

I feel good about my game. My tee ball was not all that great today. I'm going to work on that this afternoon, and if I can straighten that out, I will be in good shape.

Q. Do you think you can make some noise in the tournament --?

DAVID TOMS: Well, I've never made it past the second round. I don't know how Rocco played today, but, you know, he won pretty convincingly, so obviously, he's playing well and I hope to play good tomorrow.

Q. You broke a three-year jinx; you're the first of the sixth seeds to win in this tournament.

DAVID TOMS: I didn't know that until I walked onto my practice round yesterday and one of your colleagues informed me that the sixth seed had never won in the first round. So, I wanted to be at least the first to do that.

Q. In general, what was the one thing that was the difference today?

DAVID TOMS: Well, I think I just hung in there and tried not to make any mistakes. I made a couple of mistakes early, but on the back nine when it got tied, I just played my game. He made a couple of mistakes and I was able to capitalize.

Q. You are at the point now that even if you can't drive it how you would like to, you are able to manage your game; would you agree with that?

DAVID TOMS: I think so. I think it's just being able to come back from a bad shot. Early in my career, I would get down on myself and now I know -- I try to recover the best I can.

Q. You have Rocco next.

DAVID TOMS: Every time I've ever played with Rocco Mediate, he's played good golf. I respect his game and I know that I have to play well to win.

Q. Was 16 the turning point?

DAVID TOMS: Oh, definitely.

Q. Can you talk about that?

DAVID TOMS: Well, he was in the middle of the fairway. I was in the rough off the tee. I missed the green, but I was in good shape. He was in the middle of the fairway with a wide-open green and missed it into the bunker and didn't get up-and-down. I went 1-up there.

But on 17, I hit the second shot in the water, dropped, knocked it on the green 50 feet. I played conservative there. I could have gotten closer to the pin there and I just tried to play past the pin so I could avoid chucking it back in the water, and then he made a 50-footer. So I had to not only 2-putt, but go to the next hole after that.

End of FastScripts....

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