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January 14, 1998

David Toms


LEE PATTERSON: Share a couple of thoughts about your round today; then we will entertain questions.

DAVID TOMS: I played pretty solid, but the greens were perfect. I was the first group off of the front side today. I had a good group of amateurs, really nice people, and just had a good time out there. We were -- I played a couple of holes, so they helped me probably a little bit on the greens. Not necessarily talking about what the putts were doing, but just watching them and how they went about reading some of their putts on the same line.

Q. These greens have all been refurbished since last year. Are they drastically different?

DAVID TOMS: Not really. They are just firm. I do not remember these greens being this hard. You have got to calculate, I think, about 8 to 9 yards of release when the ball hits the green. Because it is a lot of -- especially like last week at the Mercedes, you can fire it to the flag or past the flag and bring it back. But here you have got to at least figure 8 to 9 yards of release, especially with your mid-irons even short irons.

Q. You mentioned being 66 and you being 10th or 12th by the end of the day?

DAVID TOMS: Yeah, that is just one of those things that you expect at this golf tournament. But I told my caddie about it yesterday. I said,"Well, if we can shoot 5-under everyday, we are going to be right there when it is all said and done." But I said, you know, "Because somebody is going to shoot 8-, 9-, 10-under, you know, almost every day; might not be the same person, but somebody is going to do it everyday. So, we just have to go in with the mindset. We just need to play good solid golf. We don't necessarily need to shoot, 2-, 3- everyday. If we can shoot 5- or 6-under and play good solid golf then we will be right there.

Q. Is that hard to do the first --

DAVID TOMS: Yeah, it's hard to do, but it is like that every week. I mean, you go out everyone of our tournaments, I don't care what golf course we play on, maybe the exception would be the Majors. Somebody is going to go out and shoot 7-, 8-, 9-under. It is just the way it works. You can shoot 3- or 4-under everyday, though, or 2-, 3-, 4-under, and you are going to be right there come Sunday. So it is just -- here it is even more so because the courses are little bit easier, a lot of birdie holes and just guys are going to take it low. I guess, what, Kite shot a 90-hole record in 1990 or something. Because these greens being as firm as they are here, and even the other courses, they seem to be pretty firm. I haven't played Indian Wells here yet this year, but the greens seem to be pretty firm.

Q. Can you talk about how winning last year might have changed your outlook the way you play or the way you look at game?

DAVID TOMS: Yeah, I mean, I think that in the past, I had the opportunities to win tournaments that I never capitalized until last year at the Quad Cities, and that gives you the confidence that, you know, I can do this. I think you know, if I feel like now, when I go out if I have a chance on Sunday, I think I can -- I am over the hump, where now I think that, hey, I can win this tournament. Whereas before, you know, it was like, well, you know, am I going to screw it up again. But now it is just like I look forward to that challenge.

Q. How about your off-season; anything interesting happen in your life?

DAVID TOMS: Not really. I duck hunted everyday, I think, for about three months, and, 'til my wife said, "Well, David we have a five-month-old at home, and you leave every morning at 4:30 and you come home at 4:30. You might need to stay around a little bit more." But, I didn't play much golf. I played Capitol Hill, JC Penney Classic. Other than that, I think I played three rounds of golf other than those two weeks until I got to La Costa; then I went out to La Costa on Friday -- said, "Well, I am going to practice hard and get ready." Well, it rained everyday that weekend, so I didn't get much practice. I think it kind of showed on Thursday, and Friday I struggled. But on the weekend, I played good, then I carried it over 'til today and had a good solid round.

Q. Is that different than your normal off-season?

DAVID TOMS: Yeah, I think so. There is a lot of variables in there. We moved back. We had moved to Dallas a couple of years ago, then we moved back to Shrieveport (ph), bought a new house. It was supposed to be ready first part of November. Well, we are still not moved in. A lot of things like that. We have a young baby, and I have been living with my in-laws for about three months now, and just a lot of things going on. And, also, I like to do other things anyway. So, I wasn't -- I am not really prepared at this point like I have been in the past, but that is not always a bad thing because you are fresh and your mind is in good shape, and I haven't been playing a lot of golf. Obviously, I haven't been seeing a whole lot of bad shots because I haven't been hitting shots so it is not always a bad thing to be unprepared.

LEE PATTERSON: Go over those birdies.

DAVID TOMS: I birdied No. 1. Hit the green in 2 about 30 feet and 2-putted there for birdie. What else I made a birdie on?


DAVID TOMS: 6. What is 6?


DAVID TOMS: Little dog leg there. I hit a 9-iron in to about 12 felt, made that one. Then I birdied number 9. Hit a 9-iron also in to about eight feet made that one. Then I birdied -- yeah, actually 10 was probably my best hole today. We turned we played in less than two hours on the front 9 and we turned to number 10 and it was two groups on the tee that haven't even teed off on the morning round. We waited all the time and all this and then the last player, Spike McRoy, off from the backside hit his ball in a tree on the left-hand side. It didn't come down. So he waited for a ruling. Went up and finally got a ruling. They said, well, unless you can climb up the tree, I guess, and identify your ball, you have got to go back to the tee. He came back to the tee. Then he hit another one in those trees. They finally found the ball and so we were on the 10th hole on the tee box for probably 45 minutes. It went out -- and it is a tough hole; went out and made birdie first hole on the back 9. That kind of spurred me on to having a good round. I would say.


DAVID TOMS: 15, let us see, I hit a wedge in to about six feet made that. And then 18, I was just off the green and chip up to about ten feet made that one. So, no bogeys, 6 birdies.

Q. What is it like (inaudible) after struggling so hard?

DAVID TOMS: It was a weird day. We had rain that afternoon. In fact, we had a rain delay after 10th hole. I was real calm the front 9 because it was -- the leaderboard was kind of bunched up. I really wasn't looking at it because -- I knew anybody can win. Then I birdied 10 and there is a big scoreboard right by the 10th hole. I looked up at it. I said, "Oh, no, I am leading the tournament." There is this big black cloud coming in the backside of the golf course. I hit my tee shot on 11 only about 150 yards out. The pin was tucked over the bunker and the storm was coming in and a wind which was howling about 30 miles an hour. I was with a 6-iron from 150 yards. I said, I am going to wait because I saw lightning in the background. I said, "They are about to call this." I walked over to the official and he said, "We are about to blow it in about 30 seconds." I didn't hit my second shot. Went in hour and a half in the locker room; talked to one of my teammates in college. We just talked about everything didn't talk about golf at all, went out and got back to my ball on the 11th hole; went out, hit 8-iron it in there stiff. Made birdie. It was like, boom, there it was. Kind of got me rolling. I didn't look at another scoreboard until I got to 17. Two players that were in front of me, they both made bogey. I looked up, had a 3-shot lead; felt safe. It was one of those days where I didn't think about winning all day. It was because we were -- it was anybody's tournament. It wasn't like like mine to lose or win or anything, it was like anybody can have this. It was -- like all of a sudden, worked out; made a couple birdies coming down the stretch. It didn't really hit me until like I said I was on 17. Had a 3-shot lead. You can make anything on 18, really tight driving hole; hit the green in 2 on my second shot. The crowd was going crazy. It felt good. We were expecting a baby. My wife was at home. In fact, we had the baby two weeks later. So it was like she wasn't there, but I was thinking about them and how she was doing. It was a great time in Maui, for sure.

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