October 6, 2001
DAVID TOMS: I played great today. Tee-to-green very solid compared to the first two days. I made a nice putt on 18 obviously and then made a couple of other nice putts on the front side, but I missed a lot of makeable ones too. Pretty solid all day other than bad swing at 13 and other than that, it was solid.
JOE CHEMYCZ: 14 of 14 fairways today for you.
DAVID TOMS: I knew I drove the ball well. Especially early when conditions were tough. Hit the ball solid and kept it in the fairway and hit some good iron shots. You have to hit the ball solid when it's windy to keep it on line and I was able to do that. I felt good on the range just warming up, I had a jacket on, sweaters; for some reason I just started feeling good. Then obviously we got a break with the weather this afternoon. The guys finished up late. It was perfect the last nine holes or so.
Q. Do you consider yourself a good bad weather player?
DAVID TOMS: Not necessarily. I don't like to play in it, but I think it slows me down a little bit in a way, slows my golf swing down when you have got all those clothes on, you are just trying to hit the ball solid rather than having any swing thoughts, you are just focusing putting the club face on the ball as best you can. I was able to do that well today. But as far as hoping it's going to be cold and windy and rainy tomorrow no, I am not -- you know, I am from the south; I don't play golf in the wintertime when it's gets cold.
Q. Seemed like a lot of guys coming in are saying it wasn't a real factor?
DAVID TOMS: The late guys -- only thing it was a factor is the holes were playing totally different. We were playing -- wind we played in today, No. 1, I had to hit a good drive just to get over the bunker where you know, guys might have been hitting irons there, the first couple of days so it was just a totally different wind. You had to pay attention to what you were doing and what club selections you made off the tee and into some of the par 3s because it was totally opposite than what we had played all week. That's the only fact -- really, our last 12 to 13 holes it was nice, it was nice out there. Catching 7 was a par 5, caught that downwind, 9 which had been playing really tough, caught that downwind and by the time we got to 18 the wind had died down so it wasn't a factor. Early in the day I am sure they moved the tees up probably because guys were having a tough time getting over the gunch there, so...
Q. How long was your birdie putt on 18?
DAVID TOMS: It was dark, I couldn't tell how far it was. I had to have my caddie -- that was probably 35, 40 feet. It was a long putt.
Q. Surprised about being back into your rhythm the way you were before you took that break? It's only been your second week back out. Are you surprised to be right back in the hunt now obviously?
DAVID TOMS: I am not surprised. Because I feel like my game is at a high level now, I am not surprised to be playing well. I like the golf course here. I have had success here. As far as being this early I have hit a ton of balls the last two weeks more so than I normally do just trying to find some rhythm. So I am not surprised that I was ability to perform today.
Q. As interested as you obviously are as to what is going on on CBS at any time out there on the course, did you think about it?
DAVID TOMS: I asked every hole what the score was. I was looking at my watch. I knew it started when we got to probably No. 9. I'd like to go in there and watch right now and see if I can see my family in the stands cheering them on. I don't know, even if it they weren't playing I'd still ask how the other games are going. I asked how the Oklahoma/Texas game was going. I am just a sports fan just like everybody else.
Q. That's just a diversion for you?
DAVID TOMS: Why focus on -- I have got 300 yards 'til I get to my ball. Why am I -- what else are you going to focus on, small talk with your caddie? Might as well ask somebody what the score is in the football game. There's only so much -- we have got what, it took us probably four and a half hours to play golf today, and you are only - I don't know how many actual seconds you are swinging at the golf ball or putting so you have got to do something to kill the time. That's what we all do, we're all like that especially this time of year there's so many sporting events going on.
Q. Some guys come in just make it sound like they don't talk to anybody; they are just totally zoned in, tunnel vision --
DAVID TOMS: I can't play golf that way. That's not my personality. Maybe some guys would be better off if they had some, you know, something other than focusing on golf. I don't know. To me, it's just, I heard Ian Baker-Finch talking yesterday about golf nowadays is, you know, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and it is a big -- it is a grind. And it is, don't get me wrong. You still have to have other things that you care about that you are interested in or you'd go crazy. If you are sitting in your room all night just thinking about the next day - only thing I do like tonight when I go home I will think about you know, a game plan for tomorrow if the wind is the same direction or if it comes opposite so I have some clue of how I want to approach the golf course. You will be able to tell once you get to the course looking to see what the scores might be today how the golf course is playing, but I won't think about it too much. Probably cry all night after we lose the football game.
Q. No slight intended to the people below you on the leaderboard, but you are the defending champion here, you won your first major earlier this summer, when you are in the hunt you traditionally do well. You have got a two-stroke cushion. Is there any reason to believe that you are going to lose this golf tournament tomorrow?
DAVID TOMS: Well, I have said everyday this is a golf course -- it's the type of course where you know if you play really well you can score well. If you get it going a little crooked and you are not striking the ball well it's tough to make pars on a lot of the holes. So I am going to have to go out and play well tomorrow. I feel like if I can continue to play well like I did today, I mean it's going to be -- it will be difficult. Somebody is going have to shoot a low score if I play a good solid round; if I shoot another 4-, 5-under par somebody is going to have shoot a low number. There's a lot of guys that are capable of doing that out there. If the conditions are like what we finished in, someone can go out shoot 6-, 7-, 8-under par. I did the same thing last year, I came from behind.
Q. New Orleans this year, same thing?
DAVID TOMS: Yeah, last year, conditions were tough on Sunday I got it going early, came from behind, shot 5-under par and passed everybody except for Mike Weir and he shot a low round. What is to say somebody doesn't do that tomorrow. Just like Mike did last year, he came out of nowhere and played great. You just don't know who is going to do it. I don't even know who is up there. I don't know who has a chance. I didn't look at the board the last four holes so couldn't tell you.
Q. Do you feel like given your resume and given what you have done this year, that your name is an intimidating one on this leaderboard?
DAVID TOMS: I don't think so. I don't think anybody would be intimidated from me. I think they would think that hey, this guy is probably going to play good; I am going to have to play good golf to beat him but as far as intimidation factor I think that is long gone. I don't know, there might be a handful of players that still have that presence, but there's too many, you know, too many young guys, too many guys that have a lot of experience out here, I won't say there would be any type -- I think that guys that are behind, they might say, well, he will probably play good tomorrow, I am -- they probably don't look for me to, you know, shoot a bad round, I mean, but I don't think there's anything -- if I don't shoot 6 or 7 under I am not going to beat that guy, I don't think that's -- I don't think that ever comes up.
Q. Surprised there weren't more low numbers since the greens got pretty soft? 67 best round of the day.
DAVID TOMS: You know, not surprised. The pins, they keep tucking them. No. 10 I asked my caddie is that even on the green? You couldn't even -- the thing was way over to the left, you couldn't see anything, but I asked him that same pin placement every year, is that even on the green because it doesn't look like it. There are a lot of them out there like that. I don't know, the greens got spiked up late in the day, a little bit bumpy around the hole, probably guys missing some short ones just because of the rain and everything. I don't know -- the conditions were perfect my last 12 holes or so, they were -- you couldn't ask for any better.
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