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January 19, 2000

David Toms


LEE PATTERSON: Wonderful start to the week. Maybe just a couple comments about your round, a pair of eagles, I believe?

DAVID TOMS: Yeah, obviously, the two eagles, you know, helped me get to 9-under. But the first one I made -- I started on the back side -- I made the first one on number 14. I holed it out of the green-side bunker for eagle and that got me going. The first couple holes, I didn't make anything, and then I made a nice putt on 15 for birdie, and that kind of started my round from there, and I just played real solid after that.

Q. So you did indeed shoot a 63?

DAVID TOMS: Yes, I did.

Q. Considering how well you played, with four rounds still to go, what do you think your chances are for the entire tournament -- of winning the entire tournament?

DAVID TOMS: I have to approach the next four days just like I approached today. The fact is that somebody is going to shoot low every day. It happens here all the time, as long as the weather holds up like it did today. I just have to try to enjoy the amateurs that I play with, do the best I can. Obviously, make a lot of birdies. But I think I don't play very well out there when I know I have to shoot low, so I just have to play the golf course and as long as the weather stays nice -- the golf courses aren't very difficult, and just try and make as many as I can.

Q. Obviously, if you shoot a 63, your entire game is pretty good. But was there anything that was particularly outstanding today?

DAVID TOMS: Iron play was very good today. Hit a lot of shots pretty close to the hole where I had some good birdie putts from every hole. I think I missed one green today. My driver was a little erratic. Hit some really good ones, but then I hit some bad ones, also. But never hit it out of play, so I didn't have any penalty shots or anything like that. I was just a little bit off with the driver. Like I said, irons were real sharp today. For 9-under, you usually make a lot of putts. I made a couple of good putts, but the rest of them were putts that you are supposed to make.

Q. Obviously, the game was in good shape today, but how was your game overall? Is this just a good day, or do you feel like you're on top of your game?

DAVID TOMS: It's hard to say because I didn't play much over the holidays. And then I got out to Kapalua and the wind was blowing so hard that it was -- it's hard to tell exactly how you're playing. If you were playing really well, you could still score, but if you were kind of on the fence, it's maybe good, maybe bad. It was difficult to play in those conditions. I felt like I was playing okay that week, but I just didn't score very well. And then I didn't do much last week when I was home. I skipped the Hawaiian Open, just kind of got ready for the year to start off. Still haven't seen my teacher in a while. Looking forward to seeing him next week at the Phoenix Open. Start to work on my golf swing a little bit and make sure everything is in order for the West Coast. This week, I'm just trying to just focus on the shots I'm trying to hit. I don't really have any swing thoughts right now because I haven't seen my swing on video and haven't worked with my teacher in a while; so I'm just trying to play golf. A lot of times when you do that, you're better off, anyway.

Q. Your performance last year exceeded your expectations, and do you anticipate being able to build on that?

DAVID TOMS: Obviously, I exceeded my expectations, just for the reason that's a lot better than I've ever done on the TOUR before. I thought I could do it, but until you actually do it, I guess you surprise yourself when it happens. You know, I think I can get better. Obviously, we can all get better, but I think I can improve on a 10th-place finish on the money list. It's just how hard I want to work, and get a good break here and there. I think I can do it again, or even better.

Q. Can you talk about the changes in Kapalua? You mentioned the winds blowing really hard. Also, those players that were at the Hawaiian, last week at the Sony, dealt with the winds. How much of a change is it going from that to the Desert?

DAVID TOMS: You know, real little. The only reason why I didn't play the Hawaiian Open was I didn't want to play golf in the wind for two weeks. I just think that, you know, it's always taken its toll on me. Playing in the wind, it takes me a while when you get back to conditions like today. It affects your tempo; it affects your putting, because you're changing your stance and you're widening this, you're widening that. Takes a while to really get back your golf game, your whole game, and that's why I didn't play two weeks in a row. Some of the other players, I don't know if they feel the same way, but it's difficult to adjust for those guys that play both weeks. But then, they probably think they are playing golf in a dome compared to the conditions we've had today. They were perfect. There was no wind blowing whatsoever, so it wasn't affecting the golf ball, the putting or anything.

Q. Speaking of the conditions, let's make everyone jealous of who lives on the East Coast and in the Midwest and is sitting in 12-degree weather right now. How would you describe the conditions under which the golf was played this first round?

DAVID TOMS: Ideal. Like I said, I think it was like playing golf in a dome. The grass on the greens at Indian Wells, the greens were perfect. No wind whatsoever. You didn't have to even think about it. When you pull a club out, that's the yards you go with. Obviously, we all would like to play in this every day, if we could, or at least I would. But it was -- conditions were ideal.

Q. Given your relationship with PGA West, how much time do you spend out in the desert or is it kind of a hit-and-miss thing?

DAVID TOMS: Not as much as I would like to. It's a great place, a great facility and a good place to practice and work on your game. I'm out here some during the winter just before the tour starts. I guess it's kind of like when you're on the road all the time and you get a week off, it's hard to make yourself go on the road to a place that, you know, like PGA West that's so far from home. But once I'm out here on the West Coast and before the TOUR starts, I love being here. The people are great. Like I said, the facilities are awesome to practice.

LEE PATTERSON: Why don't you go real quick over the birdies and the eagles.

DAVID TOMS: Okay I. Started on the back side. No. 14, I holed it out of the bunker with a wedge for eagle there. 15, I hit a 4-iron to about 20 feet. Made that for birdie. No. 18, I was in the green-side for birdie and got up-and-down and hit it out to about three feet and made that. So I turned it -- I guess that's 4-under. Then I birdied No. 2. Hit a wedge to probably 12 feet behind the pin, made that. And I hit a wedge into No. 3 about 15 feet, made that one. And then I hit it on No. 5 and made eagle. Hit a 5-wood to about five feet, made it. And then I hit number 8, par 5, in 2 with a 5-wood, also, and to about 30 feet; 2-putted for birdie. I think that's it.

End of FastScripts….

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