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August 20, 1999

David Toms


LEE PATTERSON: Maybe just a couple of thoughts about today and heading into the weekend.

DAVID TOMS: Thoughts were that it was just a good, solid day. I didn't -- no weakness today. Played tee-to-green. Was very good. Putting was, I guess, above average. But not, as you know, when you have that many points, might say you must have putted pretty well. I didn't. Although I made a long putt on 13 for birdie about 35 feet. Other than that, everything was just normal. Made a few short ones, and then 2-putted a couple of par 5s. Played real solid.


Q. Can we go over the specifics of the card?

DAVID TOMS: No. 1, in the green-side bunker. Got up-and-down, hit the about six feet; made that. No. 2, I hit a sand wedge in to about a foot and a half; birdied there. 3 was my only bogey. I was on the front fringe in two and chipped up four feet; missed the putt for par. Let's see. Then I birdied 6, yeah, I hit it -- hit pitching wedge to about four feet; made that one. Then No. 8, actually it was about ten feet for eagle. Hit 7-wood in to ten feet or so. Missed the putt, but had a birdie there. Then I birdied 10. I hit a 9-iron to ten feet or so behind the hole; made that one. I birdied 13, long putt. I made about 35 feet or so. It was a good putt. Then I came back on 14, hit the green in about 25, 30 feet for eagle and 3-putted for par. So that kind of hurt. Then 2-putted on 17, also from about twelve feet, I would have had 12-footer for eagle there and missed it, so... Then the rest, pars.

Q. Were those eagles your trusty 7-wood?

DAVID TOMS: I hit a 7-wood on 8. And then 17, I actually hit a 6-iron in on 17.

Q. The putt on 14, you 3-putted. Was the first putt long?

DAVID TOMS: Oh, was it a long putt?

Q. No. Was the --

DAVID TOMS: Yeah, behind the hole, I ran it by about six or eight feet. It was a quick putt. It fooled me a little bit. I thought it was a big break to the right. Actually went fairly straight, and was very fast.

Q. Just made one the hole before?

DAVID TOMS: Yeah. I was -- obviously, I was thinking eagle, not par, so -- and almost made the second one. But that kind of hurt my momentum there, to be honest with you. I had hit a really good drive. Hit 4-iron on the green. Got 30 feet. I am licking my chops for eagle or tap-in birdie. Then it kind of just slowed me down, and made a couple of pars next two holes, and then happened to birdie 17.

Q. How often do you use that 7-wood? You talked about it yesterday.

DAVID TOMS: Put it in the bag for this tournament. Every year I carry a 7-wood here. My bag looks kind of funny with four woods in it, but looked like 15 handicap out there playing golf.

Q. Nowhere else do you use the 7-wood?

DAVID TOMS: Nowhere else. It just happens, like, I seem to use it a lot on the 8th hole, just so I can get it up over those trees on my second shot, because it goes pretty high. 14 has been playing pretty short the last couple of years; I have used it on that hole a couple of times. So I don't know. It has been a good club for me on this golf course.

Q. You are leading this tournament at this point, and you are actually playing better than you are scoring, and leading a tournament. How often does that happen to you?

DAVID TOMS: Not very often. But this format, yesterday I made an eagle. So that pushes your score up pretty high pretty quick. Today, to be honest with you, I had two real good chances for eagle that I didn't make. So there were a few more points there. So just, I have kept the ball in play and my iron shots have been right at the pin most of the time. Got a lot of opportunities for birdie. I guess when you are not struggling and you are playing well and you are putting for birdie on every hole and good birdie putts, and you are not making them, then you don't think you are scoring as well as you should.

Q. Is it a danger to get a little greedy, or is greedy good out here?

DAVID TOMS: I think in a way it is good in this format, because, like I said, I might be leading by four points, but come tomorrow, somebody eagles the first hole. They fly right by me. So you have to stay aggressive. But then if you do get in a little bit of trouble, kind of conservatively get out of it, and stay away from the double as much as possible.

Q. Did you or your group consider not finishing 9 last night?

DAVID TOMS: Well, we talked about it for the last three or four holes, and --

Q. Pretty dark?

DAVID TOMS: It was dark. But one of the officials was there. He said: You can finish if somebody will hit. I hit it off the tee. He blew the horn. We couldn't see at all. But I think we added it up, it was about an hour more sleep that we got as if we won't have finished, so. . .

Q. The putt, was it difficult in the dark?

DAVID TOMS: Very. That was the best putt I have made all week. It was a 10 foot par-putt that I couldn't even see the hole. So, it was probably the best putt all week.

Q. Dead in the hole?

DAVID TOMS: Yeah. Right in. Maybe I should close my eyes and putt.

Q. I guess you had a good round to end last year here. You came in with a good feeling. Is that half the battle on this course, to be confident coming in?

DAVID TOMS: Yeah, I think so. Because for years here I struggled and didn't know what club to hit and how to play the holes. Last year finally broke through it, played well. I had never made it to Sunday until last year. And I played real well on Sunday, and I had some confidence coming here that I could play this course well, even though my game really wasn't in tip-top shape at the time. I am surprised a little bit by the way I am playing just because I haven't been playing that well. But confidence can come back as fast as it can leave you, so I feel better about it now.

Q. What is the key to playing well here?

DAVID TOMS: I think to keep the ball in play. And if you can hit good tee shots, especially on the par 5s, it just sets you up to score well. Because -- I won't say they are easy, but they are not real difficult holes if you can get the ball in the fairway, hit it long in the fairway. But I guess just about any golf course is that way. But this one, it seems to, I think, just because of the knowing that you could get five points really quick. And I think that just kind of fires you up to play the par 5s well.

Q. My question is a little bit different. With the altitude here and the hills, do you do anything different in terms of physical preparation before you get here for this course, or anything different while you are here considering the up-and-down nature and the higher altitude --

DAVID TOMS: I probably -- as far as before the tournament, no. While I am here, I try not to stuff myself. Because, you know, if you go -- even though the food is wonderful, if you go out and eat this huge lunch, then walking up the first tee box you are going to faint. So I just try, you know, maybe early in the week have that milk shake that everybody loves here. And then the rest of the week, kind of stayed away from it. But as far as any other special -- I think one year I might bring me an oxygen bottle. I have heard some of the players have done that, brought an oxygen bottle with them. So it might help. I have heard that they were talking about the other day. One of those portable ones that you stick up to your -- it is a good idea. The wide receiver, when he catches an 80-yard bomb on the sidelines, he does it. So why can't a golfer that is struggling with the hills too?

Q. You talked about being surprised about how well you are playing now. When was the last time you felt this good about how your game is going?

DAVID TOMS: Probably since the spring, beginning of the year, actually the first two or three months, I just felt like any time I went out to play golf that I was going to shoot a good round; whether it was -- it might not be a low round. But if the course is playing difficult, just in relation to how everybody else was going to play the course, I thought I was going to play well. Then the summer rolled around, and I just -- I don't think I was as dedicated as maybe I should have been, and just didn't feel that good about my game. So I would say this is the best I have felt since early spring.

Q. What do you mean dedicated?

DAVID TOMS: Maybe just not, you know, if you are not focused all the time as far as mentally being prepared to play golf, not necessarily physically, because you know, I have practiced plenty hard, but just being mentally prepared for each round; if you are not, everybody is going to blow right by you because there are so many people, other than a few players that are just physically more talented than others, a lot of the other players are pretty equal. I think it is whoever has the sharpest mind is going to come out on top.

Q. Does some of your focus come because of the golf course you are playing, perhaps?

DAVID TOMS: I think so because you have to pay attention. Every shot you have got -- well, I have got this yardage, but it is playing this, but it is uphill or is it downhill and a little bit -- you have to think out every shot. I think that you are right, I think I have been able to focus a lot better this week.

Q. Anything distracting you this summer?

DAVID TOMS: No, not at all other than maybe just burned out a little bit; not really wanting to be there. I think any time you are not looking what you are doing, you are not going to do well. That is just kind of the attitude I had. I have been a little more focused now and I am trying to finish off the year on a good note and get ready for hunting season.

End of FastScripts….

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