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October 4, 2001

David Toms


JOE CHEMYCZ: Talk a little bit about your round today. A little rocky start with bogey on the first hole.

DAVID TOMS: Yeah, the whole front 9 was kind of iffy. Thank goodness for the putter, it held me in there, made a couple of long putts; made a couple of good saving par putts. Every time that I got a decent birdie chance I made that one. I think actually only hit one fairway on the back 9, I hit two fairways on the back 9, no. So it was a little rocky start but hit some good iron shots, set me up and made some good putts. Front side I played good, solid golf, other than the 3-putt on No. 8 which was my 17th hole, got a little too aggressive and then just hit a terrible second putt.

JOE CHEMYCZ: 22 putts today.

DAVID TOMS: Yeah, I can't remember the last time I did anything like that even on some of my really low rounds, I don't know that I have ever had that many putts. I struggled with the putter last week. Actually it was pretty sad, a couple of more weeks of that and I thought I would be hanging it up for the year. Worked on it pretty hard last week; couple of things started to feel good. Some reason speed has been very good even in the pro-am I started to make putts; then it carried over to today.

Q. Did you find this after you left here yesterday? You came in here yesterday said you had no expectations...

DAVID TOMS: And the way I started off today, I made a putt from off the green on No. 11. I hit a bad drive there and hit it just short of the green. Made a putt from off the green; all of a sudden the hole started looking bigger and bigger. Made a good solid par-putt on the next hole, after hitting it in the rough again and then I made a long putt on 13, after hitting a -- pulled a 6-iron a little bit. Made a long downhill putt; all of a sudden all started to go in. It's nice when you do that. You can make up for a lot of mistakes. I made some out there today I was able to recover.

Q. Was it just the putter that was different from last week that was so different from last week or --

DAVID TOMS: No, today probably didn't hit the ball as well or as many good shots as I did last Thursday. But I was able to get confident with the putter so I knew if I did hit good shots I had a good chance to make them. Started to hit the fairways on the front side other than No. 7. I hit some good tee shots. Like I said, yesterday, you never know when that one shot or one putt can turn your momentum around and all of a sudden get you going in the right tracks. That's what happened today.

JOE CHEMYCZ: Talk about that tee shot at 7.

DAVID TOMS: I mean, they had a marshal over there telling me what happened to it. He said, well, hit it here, bounced off a tree over here, came over here, but it didn't hit the cart path. Short story was he told me what was going on. I was lucky it stayed in bounds. Absolutely hit it terrible; almost didn't make contact. Usually they hold people up on the road over there and hold the cars up. For some reason they weren't doing that today. Cars are coming both ways. I am listening to them; wasn't even thinking about what I was doing; just hit a terrible drive. Lucky it stayed in bounds.

Q. (Inaudible) where you had to make about a 4-footer there for par....That's a tough hole, right?

DAVID TOMS: Real tough. It's one of the -- the way it plays this time of year, one of the toughest par 4s we play. Demanding tee shots, sets up a little funny, tee box lines you up into the left bunker, fairway is over to the right, you have to hit a good tee shot and then it's a tough second shot; not very deep green. They like to put the pin on the right side all the way along the right. It's difficult. Long shot. I hit a drive 295 today on that hole; still had to hit a 5-iron in. So lengthy par 4.

Q. What did you do on 7 after when you got-- what was the -- what kind of lie did you have?

DAVID TOMS: Just on some hard -- over on the cart path on a little root. I was going to drop it off the path but I had some trees on my right; I was scared it would roll up against one of those. I hit a little punch shot; not a problem there.

Q. You were standing on the cart path?

DAVID TOMS: I was, but I didn't want to drop. It was going to roll against the tree.

Q. Footprints, other kinds of stuff in the mud?

DAVID TOMS: Probably where carts were running; not a place where you are supposed to hit it, so it is not maintained. But I was there and got out of it just fine.

JOE CHEMYCZ: Take us through your birdies No. 11.

DAVID TOMS: Pitching wedge just short of the green probably had 30 feet, ran it in, putted in there. Made birdie at 13, 6-iron to about 30 feet. Made a nice put downhill. Birdied 14, hit a pitching wedge in to about four feet, made that one. 15 made a long putt; hit a terrible chip, terrible pitch shot to about 35 or 40 feet made a long putt there. 17, hit 6-iron in to about eight feet, made that one. Then I made birdie at 3, green in two with a 4-iron about 50 feet or so, 2-putted. Next hole hit 6-iron about foot from the hole. Maybe even closer than that, hit a great shot. Tapped that one in. Then I birdied 6, hit a lob wedge into about five feet. Birdied 7, hit sand wedge to about 25, 30 feet, made a nice putt there.

Q. How far was the second putt that you missed there on 8?

DAVID TOMS: Three and a half feet or so. I didn't take my time. I just went, had a mental lapse, been marking with a quarter all day. All of a sudden I pulled a penny out of my pocket, stuck it down there, didn't take my time, didn't know if it was my putt or Gary's. He said, why don't you go ahead. I said, okay. Got to be there all the time always. That's how the amateurs can take a lesson from it. Half the time they are -- you have to there be on every shot. You never know when it is -- if your mind is not there what can happen. It's tough to execute, just had a mental lapse.

Q. The warning lights ever go off in your head when you are about to do that?

DAVID TOMS: All the time. There were some guys -- No. 18, hit a bomb drive down there trying to hit a 9-iron in, the whole fairway is lined on the right side with people. 4, 5 older men, they probably can't even hear themselves. They were talking. They were talking too loud on my backswing and I didn't back off. You think after ten years you can figure out that you know, you need to be there and I was worried about them talking. I knew they were going to shut-up. So I set there over the ball longer than normal, hit a terrible shot, almost made bogey. I was a little hot under the collar, but you know, I should know better, I should tell my caddie tell them to shut-up, then just start all over, but I didn't do that. Did not do that.

Q. Why does a player make that kind of mistake?

DAVID TOMS: You are just ready to go. You are into the shot. You got your yardage, got your club, you know what the wind is going to do, just ready to hit, and I don't know if you are so into the shot, but I don't know. I wish I could tell you. Sometimes I am able to stop on my backswing and back off when I hear, you know, I was on where -- 14, the guys -- camera crew was over there and the guy dropped his camera into the basket of the cart. I didn't back off. I hit the shot, pulled it into the trees. I mean, I gave myself enough time. I was over the shot. I heard the camera drop. I should have backed off and went through the whole thing, but I just went and I hit a terrible shot. I was disappointed in myself but I don't know.

Q. I wonder maybe if you are so into the shot that you hear these things, but you are not aware of it enough to do back off?

DAVID TOMS: Sometimes I was in -- off the tee on 15 today I hit a shot and other three guys in the group -- there was a turtle going across in front of my ball. I didn't see the thing. The other guys said, see that turtle. I looked down, there it was. I never saw it. Sometimes you are so into it that you don't hear, see. You could have a butterfly laying on your hat, you don't even pay attention but then sometimes everything bothers you, so it is just -- that shows you how powerful the mind is. That's when guys are trying to win their first tournament or something, they are fighting all those inner battles, I can't explain it. That's why they have people that you pay money to go who tell them how sick you are. I can't explain it. There's a lot of people making a lot of money off telling you what is wrong with your head, we need to do this and that. I can't explain it.

Q. Do you use those people?

DAVID TOMS: Oh, yeah, sure. Sure I use them. I use a sports psychologist. My wife and I use a child psychologist trying to deal with a two year old. We all do it all the time. I don't know. Sometimes I deal with it better than other times. Sometimes I don't hear anything. Sometimes I hear everything.

Q. It seems like you had a lot of distractions today. Is that normal?

DAVID TOMS: Well, what happens is when you have -- when you only have 25 people watching you, okay, and they are moving around, you see everything. If there was 10,000 people out there, there's stuff going on everywhere, it is like you just you expect it, everything is a blur. But when there's only a handful of people, you notice these things. I think that's what ---

Q. When you won the PGA there were thousands of people there watching you play. Did you have any distractions like that?

DAVID TOMS: No, every time I walked off a green they said: Come on, Phil, you can win this thing. Somebody in my family was saying: Come on David, you can win this thing. It was just -- I don't know, there was so many people I was really into it. Just didn't bother me. There was this one lady, every time you walked off the green, my caddie said something about her the other day, he was hoping my umbrella would take her out every once in a while. She was: Come on Phil, come on Phil every hole. You were like, that's enough. But you don't -- that doesn't bother me. When there's a lot of people I like that. You are playing good and whether they get behind you or not they are going to applaud your shot, and I like having a lot of people out there.

Q. It's less distracting if you have more people?

DAVID TOMS: Yeah, definitely. Definitely. When there's only a handful of people you see everything; you hear everything because it is a little bit quiet and all of a sudden somebody will pop a can, you hear it. If there's 500 people out there drinking beer half of -- you just don't hear that. Or if you do hear it it is just -- I don't know. Until you play the PGA TOUR you just won't understand. It's -- I think it's easier to have a lot of people. Unless you are not playing good and you want to get away from them. You want to go crawl in a hole someplace. Let me get out of here. But when you are playing good, I'd much prefer a big crowd.

Q. Is it more difficult to get around a golf course when you have--?


Q. That doesn't change?

DAVID TOMS: No, only place we need to get to is from green to tee box. Usually everybody else is outside the ropes and sometimes that's the most difficult thing is just get to the next tee, get everybody out of the way, but our people do a good job of that, security and marshals everything else, they are well trained and know what they are doing, it's not a problem.

Q. Do you ever confront any of the people that make these noises or ---

DAVID TOMS: Well, yeah, sometimes you do, but it is not a smart thing because you just rile them up. My wife got into it with somebody here one year on 16. I am grinding -- I was grinding trying to make the cut one year and our wives were up there pulling as hard as they could because we needed the paycheck. Some guy wound not be quiet, you know, and basically she asked him to be quiet real politely. He goes those guys are chops anyway, that's the kind of stuff they hear. Well, they are not contending; they are not leading. Yeah, but I am trying to make a living and that's the kind of stuff you run into, especially late in the day people have some alcohol.

Q. There's no alcohol being consumed here.

DAVID TOMS: Yeah, right.

Q. Do you personally ever say anything to these --

DAVID TOMS: I try not to. If there's problem out there I will let my caddie or security, somebody handle it. I try not to. Because you just never know. I remember one year playing with Lee Janzen at the Phoenix Open and it was on the 16th hole, the par 3 where people were going crazy, and they booed him right after he hit a shot or something they were booing. He turned around and stared at one of the guys and he said, come on down here, do something about it. Then security went over there and we were walking off the tee he said, man, I have never been in a fight in my life; maybe I shouldn't have done it. He said I don't know what I would have done if three people had come running after me. You just try to stay away from that.

Q. Since the PGA has anything like that changed for you?

DAVID TOMS: What is that?

Q. The gallery and distractions?

DAVID TOMS: No, not really. Only thing probably the thing that's changed the most is before Thursday starts like I said, being in here on Tuesday afternoon, being stopped from the parking lot to the clubhouse somebody wanting an autograph just around the golf course trying to -- when you are out trying to practice or on the putting green and somebody is yelling at you wanting you to come and sign something. That's the only thing that's -- people are out there to watch us play and when we get through we sign autographs and we go practice some more. So probably just before the tournament actually starts is only thing that's changed. Although maybe today there were some people out there that wouldn't have been out there before, before that. They were out there watching you play golf. Maybe before the PGA, instead of having 25 people maybe I had 15.

Q. You are talking about distractions. You told me your connection to LSU, their fans --

DAVID TOMS: They are crazy. I had a couple of guys yelling out there today. I just -- you try -- they are out there pulling for you. Really I tried not to make too much eye contract and get them -- it is -- they are so vocal when there's only 20 people out there you just try not to get them too crazy. But it's nice. It's nice to see. My caddie said something about it on the first hole, somebody had an LSU cap on up here in Williamsburg, Virginia. It is like that everywhere we go, somebody has got purple and gold on.

Q. What about New Orleans this year, big factor, you were wearing a gold shirt or yellow shirt?

DAVID TOMS: Just that's the only thing I had left that was clean. I am serious. I didn't -- I never was big on golf uniforms. When I was in college we had the ugliest thing, purpose polyester pants and yellow striped shirts. We had some white shoes with purple saddles. I am like, I would never do that again. When I get out, I will wear it to a football game. It looks good at a football game not in golf.

Q. Looks good on Jesper?

DAVID TOMS: Well, that's Jesper.

Q. As I understood New Orleans you had a lot of people from there yelling and cheering?


Q. Because it was you and because of their connection to LSU so I guess that was a pretty wild crowd then?

DAVID TOMS: Yeah, it was, but they were behind me, people -- my playing partners didn't seem to mind it too much. Actually thought it was pretty neat, it was fun.

End of FastScripts....

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