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October 8, 2000

David Toms


LEE PATTERSON: David, congratulations.

DAVID TOMS: Thank you.

LEE PATTERSON: Wonderful effort today to get to this point. Maybe just a couple of thoughts about it and then we will open it up for questions.

DAVID TOMS: Well, I didn't know what to expect. I felt like I was playing good, but had been in this position a couple -- actually more than a couple of times this year already, and couldn't quite put it together on Sunday. I just hung in there. Fortunate to get off to a pretty good start, made a couple of nice putts early and that helped. Actually I played great all day. That was really good today. Drove it a little wayward at times. But for the most part, I drove it pretty well all week. I know it let me down a little bit today, but overall, the golf tournament I drove the ball well.


Q. Was there one putt in that stretch that really seemed to fuel the effort? Seemed to me like on 12 you hit such a big drive and the wedge shot ....

DAVID TOMS: Well, on 12 I got it down there and just rolled into the rough. I was on some kind of crusty ground. In fact, I talked to my caddie about it. I said: I am not even going to shoot for this pin. I had a sand wedge in my hand. I didn't know what to -- the ball was going to do and if I hit it thin or fat, I mean, you hate to say that with a sand wedge. But I played it left of the pin in case I didn't hit it solid and I caught it a little heavy. I am glad I went ahead and shot left of the flag. Then I made a long putt. In fact that green was kind of chewed up and I don't know what happened, I hit a putt and it rolled like it was rolling at Augusta, just rolled right in the hole.

Q. The player who you were paired with, his line was very similar to yours. Did you watch his putt?

DAVID TOMS: No, I didn't really watch his putt. I kind of felt for him. I know he was trying awfully hard today and I was playing good and I have been in that situation before. That is a tough tough spot. He is a young player, and has got a lot of future, but I knew he was struggling. I felt bad for him, but at the same time, I was trying to play my own game and not really get caught up to what he was doing.

Q. His putt --

DAVID TOMS: Yeah, I watched his first putt. Well, let's see, his first putt, it was on my line and I saw the break right. Halfway I thought mine was in, but I wasn't going to put the walk on it because the green was a little chewed up. I think really the big putt was I birdied 13, then 14. I made about a 20-footer for par and that hole has just been wearing me out this week. I made double-bogey on it yesterday. Short hole, I never knew what to hit off the tee; hit a few different clubs and I hit it in the rough today; then hit it in the bunker and the pin was all the way back and I didn't want to get too aggressive out of the bunkers because I couldn't put any spin out the sand this week. And I didn't want to fly it back to the hole, roll over the green, make another bogey. I chunked it up there short and hit a putt that just -- I mean, it never left its line. It was perfect. I think that was actually the key to my round today for sure.

Q. Do you watch the score board and if so, was there any point where you got a feeling that you might be able to jump?

DAVID TOMS: To honest with you, I did a good job of not watching them today. The one I did see was on No. 8 because it is right behind the green, I am looking at the green and it is just right there, so I knew what was going on. But then I really didn't see anything at all. On 18 I asked -- after I hit my tee shot I thought I was going to be in the fairway and I didn't know the ball rolled into the rough. I said: What do we need. He said: We need par or better. I am thinking at the time I need par to win. He said: Weir is at 13. I was at 13, and hit a decent shot out of that rough; had a tough lie; hit it kind of in the back right of the green, 2-putted, and got out of there.

Q. Could you go through your thoughts on 18 and you looked like you took a lot of time deciding which club to hit?

DAVID TOMS: My thoughts on 18, first of all, off the tee was try to find some way not to hit it in the water duck-hooked 3 out of my last 4 tee shots -- not really -- pull-hooked it. I don't do that very often, like I said, out there. My back was a little sore this week and I think I was just kind of throwing my hand at it. So that is -- No. 1 concern was to not hit it over there in that water, and then I thought I hit a good shot, just went through the fairway there into the rough. I had 7-iron. My caddie said: The ball is going to fly. We didn't want to the hit this over the green; might putt up the hill if you have to. He made a good choice. I hit 8-iron. It went over the green. Goes to show that it was one of those squirter lies.

Q. Go through your card.

DAVID TOMS: Actually, No. 1, I drove it in the lip of the fairway bunker out there in the middle. Hit it in the right bunker. Had an impossible shot. I don't know what I did, but I hit it in there about three feet, got out of there. It was one of best shots I have hit. So, that helped. And then two was a tough little par 3 today. Hit a really good shot in there and ended up making par, but to get off to a par, par start, the way I played the first hole, and with No. 2 being a tough hole, I think that was just as good as making a birdie. Then 3 I hit it really close with a lob wedge, probably to about foot and a half. No. 4, 7-iron in to about 20 feet, made that. No. 6, I hit another lob wedge into about two feet. No. 8 hit 6-iron in there about twelve feet, made it. Then I bogeyed -- I drove it right in the lip of the fairway bunker on No. 9. Had to chip out. Made bogey. No. 12 we already talked about that one. I hit L-wedge in there again about 35 feet, made it. The next hole hit a great shot 5-iron. That is one of the toughest par 3s we play, I think, and hit a 5-iron in there about eight feet, made it. And then birdied 15. I hit a 5-wood just on -- off the front edge of the green, 2-putted for birdie there. And 16 I drove it in the left rough again and didn't get it up-and-down. (inaudible).

Q. On 18 in the playoff when Mike is down in the rough and you are in the fairway, do you have a thought there that you have got the advantage?

DAVID TOMS: Yeah, if I had -- I was right in between clubs, I wanted to hit a little 6 and my caddie said: Well, you know, with that hanging lie it is going to hook. Let's go ahead and hit 7; if it is short, because he is down in the rough, I tried to hit it hard, get it there, when I shouldn't have. Then I hit a big hook over there on the left side of the green, but I still thought, even with the putt that I had, once he missed the green short I was -- I had the advantage because he had really a tough chip. He hit a great chip to get it within ten feet of the hole because you have got to go up; then back down. Fortunate that he missed that putt and I had, I guess, about five or six feet straight up the hill. All I had to do was hit a good putt. But at that point, I mean, you know, you just want to keep your head down and stroke it and you hope you don't hear the crowd go: "Ooh." You want to hear them start clapping. That is how it worked out.

Q. First putt easier than it looked?

DAVID TOMS: Yeah, wasn't too bad. It was up-and-down and sideways and everything else, but actually overall, the putt was pretty straight. It was a double-breaker and I just needed to get the speed right, and I got it right.

Q. About how far was it?

DAVID TOMS: I'd say it was probably about 45 feet. Maybe -- I am not real sure, I just wanted to get in there. Once he chipped I wanted to get in there where I could make the next one and I did.

Q. After having such a great year last year, how important is it to follow that up this year?

DAVID TOMS: It was very important to me personally. I think I proved myself and to the guys out here, the media, and the guys on Tour and everything. I think I have their respect now, but for me, I just wanted to make sure that wasn't a fluke. I improved every year since I got back on the Tour in 1996, and I felt like I had worked hard. I just hadn't had the results. I was 30th on the money list coming into this week and felt like I played very solid; had a chance to win a few times, and I just didn't do it. I don't know if I was trying too hard, after winning twice last year because you get the taste of victory. Just like Michelob Light, it tastes pretty good. But, yeah, it is very satisfying to win here. Hopefully if I can finish out strong, maybe I can improve on my position I had last year.

Q. You mentioned some disappointments on Sunday earlier this year. Some in particular or --

DAVID TOMS: Well, be honest with you, it is all kind of a blur because I try to forget about it. The Colonial comes to mind. I had a 36-hole lead there. Had a chance at the Hope this year. Couldn't quite make any birdies down the stretch. Actually I had a chance on 18th hole and par 5 and middle of the fairway didn't make birdie. So those are just two. A lot of other ones where I had Top-10s where I actually had a chance -- but if you -- you try and learn from it. Today with the weather the way it was, I mean I got two hand warmers in my left pocket and I didn't want, you know -- I kept my golf ball in my right pocket. I am switching in and out I am doing this just trying to stay warm and I guess it kind of kept my mind off of getting ahead of myself, and worrying about winning the golf tournament. Just played a solid round.

Q. You had to not have been thinking that it was illegal to put your golf ball in a hand warmer on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday; this was going to happen on Sunday?

DAVID TOMS: No, it was, you know, the first couple of days it was a lot like not quite as bad as the summertime here, but it was pretty hot, and -- but all of a sudden -- actually today wasn't too bad. When I first got to the golf course, I said: Man, this is going to be miserable. Today I changed clothes about three, four times; didn't know what to put on right before I teed off. I kind of -- I went from having a sweater, a jacket, a turtle neck and vest to just having a vest on and it was perfect all day. Middle of the round actually my caddie look over and said: I am sweating. I said: Well, maybe -- I don't know if it is my golf game or it is getting warm out, I don't know. But actually nice day, started getting cold towards the end, but at that time you are trying to win a golf tournament. The elements aren't really a factor.

Q. Friday the humidity, temperature index was high enough for the caddies to wear shorts?

DAVID TOMS: They let them wear shorts the rest of the year whenever they want. A couple of guys showed up today with shorts on. They take it a little too far having that power now, but...

Q. Did you actually have hand warmers in your bag anyways or did you pick --

DAVID TOMS: I was lucky. One of the guys in the locker room brought some out to the practice range giving them out to a few guys. At the time when they gave them to me, I needed them because I was freezing, but on the golf course really didn't need them because once you got out there and started walking it was fine.

Q. Did you go into today -- I guess if you have been in contention in some other Sundays this year, did you have as much confidence that it could happen today as you had had; maybe you had more confidence?

DAVID TOMS: Not really. To be honest I hadn't had much success on this golf course at all. I think I have had one Top-10 year; maybe top 12 or something a few years ago. I don't know. Didn't really know what to expect other than I felt like I was playing pretty good, hitting some good shots. I was lucky to get the putter going today. I think that was the difference in knowing -- maybe some of those other Sundays where I didn't make the key putts when I needed to. Actually I was -- about halfway through the year, it was in between Dallas and Colonial, I had my old faithful putter that I won twice with last year, had it since 1991. It was stolen out of my courtesy car, kind have been fighting ever since to find something that was going to work, so it is nice to have this putter. Obviously it's a first victory for this putter and maybe I can hold onto this one.

Q. What kind were you using?

DAVID TOMS: Same Scotty Cameron Titleist. I have been using it since 1991, old faithful -- actually wasn't using it at the time. That is what I get for not using it that week when it was stolen.

Q. Where were you when it was stolen?

DAVID TOMS: I can't quite put my finger on it, at the Colonial but I don't really want you to print that because I could be wrong. That would get a bad rep next time I pulled up there. But it's either there or the Byron Nelson, I don't know, my caddie said it was in my bag at Colonial, I am not sure.

Q. Was there any thought, in other words, walking off the course? I thought I heard you tell the TV interviewers something about you were loading up on Advil or something like that?

DAVID TOMS: Well, the way the story goes is on Friday, actually on No. 8, which was my 26th hole on Friday, I had took a swing and I woke up that morning not feeling very good and loaded up on the Advil, I guess it was wearing off. I hit this big pull-hook kind of like I did today, but way down, almost in the water on No. 8. Then I was down there hacking it out of the rough getting worse and worse. It was just hurting me. Hit a tee shot on No. 9. I really couldn't swing at it. Walking up the ladies aid, that little thing they cut so you can walk up to the fairway, I said to Azinger: I might to have walk. He said: What is wrong. I have got a back problem and it hurts me probably half a dozen times during the year almost to where I can't play. He said, well, hang in there, you know, you got some Advil in your bag? I said: Yeah, I have got a whole big bottle. I loaded up on them. Hung in there and actually finished up, shot 3-under on the backside and ended up having a pretty solid day. Then Saturday morning on the range Azinger came up to me he said: Man, I didn't realize you were 30th on the money list. He said: You needed to suck it up out there. I said yes, I did. The week worked out great. Actually went out to dinner with one of my old teammates every night of the week and I think we went to Chillis three out of four days. It was just a good week. I felt relaxed; didn't really know I was going to win this golf; had no idea I would be sitting here today. But got out there today and here I am.

Q. What was your score, David, when you had the pharmacist Azinger talk to you?

DAVID TOMS: I was actually 3-over for the round. Let's see. Maybe that is not right. No, I was 2-over for the round, 1-under for the your tournament going into the backside. I shot 3-under to make the cut, minus 4, shoot 9-under on the weekend.

Q. Right on the cut?

DAVID TOMS: Right on the cut line. It was definitely -- I was going the wrong direction and I just hung in there. I needed the money. I didn't want to miss THE TOUR Championship. I didn't need the money to go out to the mall. I needed the money -- I needed the money for the THE TOUR Championship and it's very important to me. It is a tough tournament to get into. I wanted to be a part of that elite group. So just played through it. And very lucky, very fortunate.

Q. How many Advil was that for the back nine?


Q. You took 8?


Q. For the day or 8 right then?

DAVID TOMS: 8 right then.

Q. That is loading up?

DAVID TOMS: That is loading up. Yeah, don't try that at home. You know, we are finetuned athletes, our stomachs can take it. Actually probably all that Chillis I had the night before, so I had plenty in my stomach.

Q. Next endorsement, Neal?

DAVID TOMS: Actually, when I want to Callaway Gardens last year, it was the Health South people and Advil that kept me playing that golf tournament and it's -- I have got a disc problem in my neck, I have had it diagnosed. I have had people say you need physical therapy, you need surgery, you need this; you need that. I have had no surgery. I have had a lot of physical therapy and I just play through it. I think sometimes maybe I lay in the bed watching too much TV get my head in a bad spot, I don't know.

Q. Do you think the cold weather today was going to affect it?

DAVID TOMS: Well, I went into the fitness van before I teed off and sat there with a big heat pack around my neck for about 30 minutes and tried to warm up as best I could. It was actually okay. It was okay. Just not quite as mobile; can't turn through it like I would like to. Therefore I miss the ball left. Usually my misses are to the right. But today they were all left. But I have got a week off. Next week I am actually going out to Carmel on a couples trip, and should be fun.

Q. How many Advil today?

DAVID TOMS: None. Didn't take any today. I didn't have any pain. I just didn't even think about it be honest with you. I was fine.

End of FastScripts....

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