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October 26, 2016

David Toms

Jackson, Mississippi

THE MODERATOR: David Toms, thanks for joining us for a few minutes prior to the start of the 2016 Sanderson Farms Championship, a tournament you've had a lot of history and success with. I think you're making your eleventh start in the event and coming off back-to-back Top 10 finishes both of the years that we've been here at the Country Club of Jackson, including your runner-up finish last year. So with that said, just a few comments on being back here at the Country Club of Jackson.

DAVID TOMS: Well, I mean first thought is that it's a lot drier this year which is nice. I've played a college event here multiple times, played junior events here and the same gulf state section as I am over in Louisiana, so a lot of history for me in the Jackson area, a lot of friends and people that I've met here over the years. So I enjoy it here. I like this golf course. It's kind of one of the golf courses that I wish we played more on TOUR where a lot of times all the players are kind of in the same area, same spot going into the greens. I like that. It's not a -- you don't have to overpower the golf course, although I think there's certainly an advantage anywhere you play, but for me you have to be pretty accurate here. I've had a couple of good tournaments the last two years. You know, I hope to build on the success I've had here on this golf course and use it to have a good week here. Obviously I know I can play the golf course well, but you still gotta go out there and do it, and I know the weather is supposed to be good. Going to be nice and warm which is good for an old back that I have. And so all those things being considered, I feel like I can go play well and have a good week.

THE MODERATOR: Coming into the week how are you feeling about your game?

DAVID TOMS: You know, I didn't play very well out in Napa, which I still had a great trip, my wife and I were out there together with some friends, so that was a good time. And not that I was distracted or anything about what I was doing. I just hadn't played in a while, I hadn't played any tournaments at all since the Barclays going into the Safeway Open, so I was a little rusty and got off to a rough start. Had a decent second round and I've been working hard on my game. So I really don't know what to expect here, you know, having not really played a whole lot. But I have been practicing and I'm just hoping to draw on the past and have a good week here.

THE MODERATOR: Okay. With that we'll take a few questions.

Q. How will the course play differently do you think with it being so dry compared to what you guys faced last year?
DAVID TOMS: You know, I guess it's a little bit like the first year that we played here. As dry as it seems to be on the perimeter, the golf course itself is not as dry as I thought it would be. It looks like they've been watering it quite a bit, and if it's green at all, you know that they've been watering. So the same type of conditions we have over in Shreveport right now. You know, the difference would be maybe the course is playing a little shorter, although last year they moved a lot of the tee boxes up to get past some of the wet areas. So maybe those holes will actually be playing a little bit longer. I think the rough will be a factor. Also, you know, we played lift, clean and place last year. So now around the greens, maybe even on some of the fairways you're not able to put the ball in hand, which obviously can be a big advantage sometimes when you're able to clean it, get the lie that you want, especially short game around the greens. Some of these areas that have run-offs. So you might get a tough situation where it's hard to get up and down compared to what was going on last year.

Q. David, have you seen any change in the quality of the field the last two years of this tournament?
DAVID TOMS: You know, I'm not a tournament director, so it's not something that I focus on. What I focus on is that it's a great event. It's run very well. It's on a good golf course, and you're going to have to play well to win. And so I haven't even looked at the field to be quite honest. I mean the only way that I know what the field is like is I see somebody that I know is kind of somebody that's on the fringe whether they can get in or not or what their status is. And I'll see somebody I know and then you kind of like maybe the field is not as strong as it has been in other years. So that's the only way I even know, to be quite honest. So I just when I go into an event, I don't look at who's in the field. I know you guys write about it and it's big for the sponsors and the tournaments but for me as a player I'm just going to play as well as I can.

Q. Let's talk football for a second. You won't have to be worried about trying to get a plane this year. How did that affect your game? The last couple of years you've been kind of --
DAVID TOMS: I guess I can actually relax a little bit, not have to worry about it. I was close to going last year and luckily I didn't go over there because it wasn't very pretty. I know smiley went. Yeah, it's nice just to go and enjoy the week. I mean it's only a little over a three-hour drive for me to get here, which that doesn't happen very often. So a nice relaxing week. I actually went to check in my hotel last night and they were over sold. And they put me in another hotel last night and they paid for it. So I like that deal. Things are going well so far. But anyway, for me and the football thing you can see I have my purple on today, but I actually had a little blue pull over. I kind of felt bad for the Ole Miss fans after last week. I've seen a lot of them after last week. I was worried about it last Saturday night. I was like we can't lose this game because I'm going to Mississippi next week. It was a fun game.

Q. Talk about any goals for this year. What kind of expectations do you have for yourself toward reaching those goals?
DAVID TOMS: You know, I'm in that situation where I'm probably going to focus more on the PGA TOUR Champions Tour, to be quite honest. I actually just booked flights yesterday over to Hawaii, so I know I'm going to play the Sony. I'll play a few events early in the year when that tour is not playing and just see how it goes. I'm lucky that I have the option of doing either one, which I guess guys at my age a lot of them don't have that option. And it's nice to kind of be able to pick and choose where you want to play, and I have that. I'm very fortunate to have that. So I don't have necessarily any goals for the year because of not knowing what it's all about out there. You know, I just want to continue to work hard on my game. That's a personal goal is to no matter where I am in my career is continue to work at golf and have fun playing. You know, anytime you can do that I think you compete well. I think my best golf is still can compete out here, but it's just the fact that my best golf just doesn't happen near as often. You know, when cuts are on good golf courses are 3, 4, 5-under par, I mean that's tough. I mean it's hard to build momentum when you don't even get to play on Saturday and Sunday when you feel like you're playing okay. And it's just very competitive. It's a lot younger, and you know, so my idea is that I'm probably going to move onto another chapter as long as I like the way that plays out when I get out there.

Q. (Inaudible).
DAVID TOMS: Yeah. You know what, I was talking to one of the young guys out there on the range yesterday, and he said something about -- one of my caddies said something to him about yeah I watched you in your college career, and he goes man, seems like a long time ago, and he's 30. And I'm like, gees, it was a long time ago, and I think about that every time I go back to Baton Rouge, how long ago it was. You know, I don't know, I think when you're having fun and you're competing and you know, the years and the weeks seem to go by really fast. And I mean I've seen your face for a long time as well. So I mean so you kind of know. And for me I've been very fortunate to be successful on the PGA TOUR. It provides a great life, and to be able to just play golf and compete every week -- I think it's the unknown that kind of keeps you going; right? I mean you have a bad week one week and then everybody starts fresh the next. You don't know what it's going to be like. You don't know when you get out there if you birdie the first couple holes and then all of a sudden you have a great week, something clicks. I think that's what makes a guy like me continue to come back and work at it and put in the times because you just never know when it can be that week that it wouldn't change my life in any way to win a PGA TOUR event right now, but it would certainly give me confidence, you know, that I can continue to want to work at the game and when you have results it just makes it fun.

Q. So this tournament's kind of in your region. You're just Louisiana. But you're an LSU guy, and Ole Miss, does the crowd kind of give it to you sometimes that you're an LSU guy?
DAVID TOMS: I mean there's quite a few LSU people here in Jackson. It's only about a three-hour drive from Baton Rouge here. I see quite a few of those fans here this week. And you kind of understand what goes on. I mean I like it, though. I like it all over the southeast during this time of year because somebody is always going to give you a hard time no matter where you are. So it's just something you deal with, and you hope that that particular weekend that you get the best of them, at least on the football field. It's just a lot of fun. I mean I think that's why guys -- you know, the reason I always like this time of year, to be quite honest is football is going on, it gives you something to watch on television. It gives you something to look forward to talking to other people about, and golf's almost over and hunting season is about to begin for me. So all that being said it's a great time of year.

Q. One of the things you talk about the unknown, how much adrenaline, how much excitement comes from knowing that next year your routines will change a bit? There will be some new habits that will be formed. How much does that invigorate you?
DAVID TOMS: Well, I mean not knowing what to expect, especially playing out there, you know, I look forward to getting to play on the weekend almost every week. You know, really. I mean it's something that you might take for granted or that I did for a long, long time. I mean you're going to have to play good golf here this week to be able to play on Saturday and Sunday. And so it's getting more and more like that. So the fact that you kind of set a schedule, you know where you're going to be, you know when you're going to be coming home for the most part, where you're going the next week and how things are going to go. It's something I look forward to, a little more of a set schedule. I don't have the expectation that things are going to be easy or anything like that. It's more about just, like you said, the unknown of how things are going to go. You know, I just look forward to it, doing some new things, actually going back to some places where we used to play and communities where we used to play. I look forward to that as well. I mean whether it's the Woodlands, whether it's Sugarloaf, whether it's in Tucson, places like that where I've played good and now I don't even get to play there anymore. So I look forward to those times.

Q. Real quick, any update on home, how things are going in the recovery rebuilding effort? I know you obviously had some personal ties.
DAVID TOMS: Well, I mean you don't see it in the media anymore but there are a lot of people still hurting in south Louisiana. In fact, my sister just this past weekend I was at the football game with her and they were about to start rebuilding, Sheetrocking their house and everything else. And they're fortunate. They got in there pretty quickly to be able to get things done. So a lot of people are still in hotels, living in their house with no walls, things like that. So it's still a tough time for them. But you know, LSU has been winning lately, so the moral is a little bit better down there. But yeah, it's still a tough situation, very much so.

THE MODERATOR: Okay. Anybody else? All right. David, thanks for your time.

DAVID TOMS: All right. You got it.

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