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August 26, 2015

Davis Love III

Edison, New Jersey

ALEX URBAN: We welcome Davis Love III To the interview room.

Davis, with your win last week at the Wyndham Championship, the 21st of your career. You are the third-oldest winner in the history of the PGA TOUR and it got you back into the FedExCup Playoffs, 76th in the FedExCup and this is your 13th start at The Barclays.

Maybe talk through what the win meant to you and being back as part of the FedExCup Playoffs.

DAVIS LOVE III: I'm excited to be here obviously. It's been a whirlwind couple of days and Bob Rotella reminded me last night, he said, "Let's get all of that out of the way today so you can go start playing again tomorrow."

But it has been fun. It's exciting. Just walking through the clubhouse, through the parking lot and hearing all the guys congratulate me and see how excited they were for me really makes it hit home.

It was pretty fun Sunday night and Monday, but when we got up here, and it really kind of hits home that people really appreciate that win and were happy for me. It's been a fun few days, but busy.

Q. You've been involved with the decision-making process as far as the TOUR is concerned for a couple of years. As the Playoffs have sort of progressed, do you see them being closer to maybe what a playoff would be with so much weight given to THE TOUR Championship?
DAVIS LOVE III: Yeah, I think that Tim has been trained by some of his former board members to look at the NASCAR Chase a lot; I keep bringing that up in meetings. But they keep tweaking the Chase to make it work, for it to work out, for the fans to understand it and for it to be more fair and more exciting.

And I think that's what we've done with the Playoffs is we've tweaked it a few times, changed it a few times, mostly from player suggestions to make it more exciting and more fair. You know, maybe less volatile sometimes and more competitive sometimes.

I think they have got it tweaked just right. It's exciting. To think that I -- the huge jump I made last week, the possibility, like Billy Horschel last year of coming from the middle of the pack all the way to the winner, it's very, very exciting.

I said at first, you can just look at it as a bonus pool and just play these great golf tournaments. I'm excited to have gotten in this tournament. But, I think it's changed over the years to guys have really focused on, if I can just get in them, I can win it; I can win the whole thing. I think it's really involved and I think it's very exciting now.

Q. One of the things that Jordan brought up yesterday that seems to be evident is it really boils down to if you win East Lake, it seems like you're going to win it all. Is that sort of the formula NASCAR would have and that the TOUR was aiming for?
DAVIS LOVE III: With only four events, you wanted them all to really count, and then you wanted east like -- you wanted what's happened the last few years, is if you can get to East Lake and the top five and you win it, you should win. Obviously you should win it. I think it's put more emphasis on the final, rather than if you win the first two, it's over. I think that was kind of the concern.

Or that East Lake could be one story of who is going to win the golf tournament and another story of who has won the FedEx; all he has to do is finish tied for 17th and he's going to win the FedEx. I think it makes it a lot more exciting.

Obviously it's going to be harder for a guy like me to move up there in the new system. I think seeding, giving a guy credit for his whole year, is very valuable.

Q. Your points are well taken, but the flipside of that is that you have the world No. 2 and world No. 10 who decided to treat this as a bye week. If they don't feel like they need to participate in all four tournaments, why should the golf public tune in to all four tournaments?
DAVIS LOVE III: Well, I think, as I said, individually, The Barclays, this is a great tournament with a great field. Obviously there's 30 or 40 other tournaments who would love to have this field during the year.

So it's still a great field. I think we have seen that with Phil or Tiger or Jim Furyk accidentally; that you don't have to play all four. You just have to play really well in the other three if you're going to miss one.

I think it puts you at a disadvantage, you know, that you can try that, but you have to play really well in the other three. But yeah, it's a long year. We're looking at this year as a long year. Next year is going to be an even longer year with the Olympics at the end of the push.

And obviously Rory with his ankle, I thought it was amazing. I had very close to the same ankle injury. It's just amazing that he played the PGA. So I know how -- what he's thinking is, four tournaments is going to be a lot. You know, I'm in kind of the same boat. I'm conserving energy already.

And you heard Jordan even say that. You've got to conserve some energy for this run. It's not the NFL Playoffs or the NHL Playoffs where you're going to get beat up that bad but you still have to conserve some energy to make it through all four rounds. So I can see a guy thinking of skipping one.

Q. What went into your decision to stay here and not play with the so-called old guys? Did you still feel you could win here?
DAVIS LOVE III: Well, really the main thing was I was exempt. I was blessed to be able to play out here. With 20 wins, I could keep playing. I loved Paul Casey's story last week of somebody asked him, "What's Davis doing playing this week?"

He said, "Well, I don't know, but he's eight ahead of you. That's why he's playing."

I just felt like I could still compete out here. I felt if I could putt well enough, if the wedge game was good; that ball-striking-wise, the statistics, even coming back from some surgeries, statistics were proving out that ball-striking-wise, I was fine. I just wasn't getting the ball in the hole.

Some of that, like other players, if you don't play enough, if you're off, you're rusty, short game shows. So now that I've played a nice stretch and worked on my game, the short game has come around. I just feel like I could compete out here just as well as I could out there.

Presidents Cup, Ryder Cup duties, it's nice. I sat with Jordan Spieth yesterday and just sat with Nick Watney and played with Bill Haas and Bubba Watson and guys like that just recently, getting ready for The Presidents Cup.

So if Jay Haas has a question for me about how a guy is playing or what his game is like, or if he doesn't know a player that well, I've been out here with him. So it gives me an advantage in that sense.

Q. Did you consider playing in any of the senior majors, like the Senior Open this year?
DAVIS LOVE III: This year, we were kind of opposite things that I -- either tournaments that I like to play in, or I was trying to get in -- I tried to get back from this foot injury in time to play those three tournaments to try to get in the British Open. They were opposite of a couple majors.

But Colonial, John Deere, some of those weeks that I really like to play have been opposite the majors.

But I've really been focused on the regular tour. Next year is my 30th year on the TOUR, and I really wanted to play a full, solid 30 years. I've been grinding kind of hard to get back to play six or eight months of pain-free, healthy golf. So hopefully this is the start of that.

Q. You mentioned that it is a long year. How hard is it for any player to get the mental energy together to play in four of these things, let alone the physical part?
DAVIS LOVE III: Yeah, that's a big part of it, too. We just came off of PGA Championship, obviously a big, long grinding week.

You look at the guys that have played the bigger events -- I didn't get in Akron, but they have been playing a lot of golf just leading up to the start of the Playoffs. So mentally and physically, it's a grind.

You look at over the course of the year, the top players we are talking about, they usually don't play five or six weeks or six of seven weeks. They spread their schedule out a little bit more than that. It's a very busy time of the year.

The way the schedule works now, it just turns right back around, go to Korea. As soon as you finish THE TOUR Championship, a lot of these guys are getting on a plane, going to Korea to play, and then the start of the next season.

So there's no let-up, really, for the top players.

Q. Along those same lines, what do you imagine your schedule is going to look like next year?
DAVIS LOVE III: Well, hopefully three weeks in Hawai'i in a row, would be nice in January. That's been one of my goals. The Mitsubishi people invited me to play over there in their Tournament of Champions, and I played Sony and then Mitsubishi, and I said: Boy, it sure would be nice to play Kapalua the week before. That's going to be a fun month.

But I'm going to play mostly regular tour. There's some tournaments like The First Tee at Pebble, I hope I get to withdraw that one, as well, because it's opposite TOUR Championship.

But there are some tournaments out there that I've played or I want to play, but it's going to be mostly regular tour. I just feel like the advantage as Ryder Cup Captain, come next summer, if I'm playing in the events with the guys, watching them play, getting to hang out with them -- and we don't really know the team. We know obviously Jordan Spieth is on a roll, got a lot of points. But it could be some new guy.

Looking right now, Justin Thomas, Brooks Koepka, guys that have not played on a team before. So it would be nice for me next year to be around those guys a little bit more. So it's going to be majority regular tour.

ALEX URBAN: Thank you, Davis, good luck this week.

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