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July 4, 2017

Davis Love III

Dru Love

White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia

THE MODERATOR: We'll get started. Like to welcome Davis and Dru Love into the media center here at the Greenbrier Classic. Combined they're making their 743rd and 744th PGA start this week.

Davis, first of all, I know this is a tournament that you love. You're making your seventh start here. If I can get some comments on being back at the Green brier.

DAVIS LOVE III: Thrilled to be back. Since the first day we came in here this has been one of my favorite tournaments and one of my favorites golf courses.

And now, I'm sure you heard a lot about it so far, the renovation is incredible. Just thrilled to be back. I think Helen corrected me one time on how many starts I had. Aren't there some in there that didn't get counted, like Presidents Cups? That's a lot of starts.

My back and my hip feel those starts more and more every year. I am excited to be here and excited to play. The golf course is just in incredible shape. We played yesterday in the pro-am and nine holes this morning. Just almost no divots out there. Just a great week.

THE MODERATOR: Speaking of starts, Dru recently missed the cut in the U.S. Open, but still an incredible week for you. Really great opening round. Get some comments on playing there and your thoughts on this week.

DRU LOVE: Yeah, I guess I learned a lot from the U.S. Open, some things I didn't know that I had and some things I figured I need to work on. Just gained the experience. I didn't get to play a whole lot in college with injuries, so anything I can play right now is good.

My dad and I had a little bit of fun on the bag, so overall great experience. Learned a lot and sort of gave me some confidence going forward.

THE MODERATOR: I was going to ask, how did he do on the a bag that week?

DRU LOVE: He only messed me up about three times (laughter.)

THE MODERATOR: With that, we'll open it up to questions.

Q. I know you still got a lot of competitive edge in you, but now that your son is out there, does it change anything? Do you feel differently playing with him? Do you feel like that transition, if you will?
DAVIS LOVE, III: Another kid to try to beat and keep up with. You know, I watched like Jay Haas try to hang in there and play with Bill some, and Raymond with his kids or Jack with his kids. I feel like I'm hanging on, yes, to play some with him.

Obviously my injuries or surgeries the last few years have slowed me down a little bit, but I still want to try to play. Obviously I haven't played much on the Champions Tour, so now the decision is when is the right time to go over there. I keep telling Vijay when he goes I'll go, but he seems to be hanging in there better than me.

But it's just great to be out with him. I know I'm looking at where he might get in, so I want to play there as well really just to watch and to be around and see his first few starts.

Like he said, he needs to get some experience. If I can help out, like I do any of the young guys, be fun to be out there with him.

Q. Dru, obviously been competitive with you his whole life. If you guys were somehow coming down the stretch Sunday, how do you feel that dynamic would be if you were competing against each other?
DRU LOVE: It doesn't matter if it's coming down the stretch Sunday or a Monday afternoon practice round, he's going to try just as hard to beat me. Obviously that would be really cool.

We both -- I get it from him. I'm super competitive. And I don't want to lose in anything I do. We've had some good runs at each other the last couple years now that I'm catching up to him a little bit.

Q. (No microphone.)
DRU LOVE: I do. I think it was 2013 at Frederica Golf Club. We both eagled the last hole. He looked at me and said, What was that for? I said, 64. What about you? He goes, 65, and turned around and walked off.

DAVIS LOVE III: I remember only having a few -- other than about my grades or stuff -- a few golf arguments with my dad. My brother and I got in a big argument with him at the PLAYERS Club because we both beat him and he was -- we were picking on him a little bit and he got really mad at us.

I always remember he never let up no matter what. He wanted -- we to beat our mom first, so that was hard enough, and then trying to beat dad. It made us compete every time we played golf. It wasn't just go out and goof around and play golf. Made us compete and keep score and putt everything out.

I still get in him. There are no gimmes on tour, so there shouldn't be any while we're playing on Mondays. It's fun. Now I watch what he hits. If he hits 8, I hit 6-iron. It's like any of these other guys I play with out here. I was that guy for a while that blue it by everybody, and now they're all blowing it by me.

So it's fun to try to keep up but now I know if he plays well he's going to beat me.

Q. Davis, how much did you know about the flood and what happened last year? As somebody that designs and builds golf courses, how impressive is it that they were able to put it back together this quick?
ReplaceName: I remember I think Ken Tackett was the official during the tournament last year. We were texting him from Quicken and saying, We're not going to play, are we? He said, We're not only not going to play this year, we might not play next year. That's how bad it is.

What I started thinking as an architect, Whoa, yeah, the irrigation and drainage has to be replaced. Started thinking about, Well, they're going to have to rebuild the whole golf course basically.

It's amazing what they've done. Not only with the golf course, but obviously with the whole community. Did an incredible job with the golf course.

As an architect, wearing my architect hat, you worry about, well it was a great golf course; I hope it doesn't change. Now you would want to come here to study Macdonald Rainier. What he did here is just incredible. It's a big improvement I think, especially for kind of the average or the higher handicap players. They have to like the golf course better.

As an architect or somebody who likes historical, old school architecture, just couldn't have been any better. I think he did an incredible job. Got to be one of the top courses on tour now. It was probably in my Top 5 before, and it probably moved up.

Q. In your mind, what is the biggest differences between the old golf course and what they have now?
DAVID LOVE, III: The routing is exactly the same. If you had only played it once or twice you might not notice the subtleties. But the greens are bigger. Took some of the kind of questionable steep slopes out. They were cool looking if you like Macdonald or Rainier, but they were a little extreme for today's green speeds. Really give you more pin placements, more bounce-ups into the greens on the longer holes.

Really, I mean, I literally -- talking yesterday, walking around with Matt Ginella, I'm like, I want to get a pencil and paper and draw these greens and take them with me. They're really very, very classic. Square corners. Really feels like it's been here for 100 years.

Q. Dru, you briefly referenced injuries in your college career. Go over your college career and how well you did and what injuries might have held you back and what you've been doing from the end of your college career to the current.
DRU LOVE: It's kind of a long list unfortunately. Freshman year I was playing a pick-up basketball game and stepped on a teammate's foot and rolled my right ankle and tore all the ligaments and tendons. Has reconstructive surgery on it in the spring of '13 and was out pretty much the entire summer.

And then the next year in the winter, was sledding with my cousins and got going a little too quick and broke my wrist.

Then in my first tour start at the RSM, tore the cartilage off one of my ribs trying to hammer one out of a plugged lie in a bunker.

Then the next year I had a very healthy year and played great. Won a college event and won the state am. Had a pretty successful year.

Last summer I had my left labrum fixed in my shoulder and was out for about eight months with that. So after I had that surgery I got a little bit down and was a little upset that I kept on getting hurt when I felt like I was doing some good things. Was starting to play good, starting to really come into my game, and another eight months out.

So my dad helped me out a lot trying to stay positive. I think the weeks leading up to having surgery I just couldn't wrap my head around it. The medical staff we have at Alabama, our trainers, surgeons, are the best in the world. Also have the best football team in the world, so we also have the best staff.

They helped me out a lot. I have them to thank for just being able to hit a golf ball right now. Since I got back, a little rusty in my college season; did not get to play the post-season. I've just been trying to get better every day, and little by little it's starting to come around a little bit the here.

Q. Davis, can you talk a little bit about Dru's development and when you thought he might be good enough to play out here?
DAVIS LOVE III: Yeah. Playing with Jackie Nicklaus at North Carolina and watching the pressure that's on the Haases or Sadlers or the Floyds or whoever, I kind of -- I might have held him back too much. I remember the AJGA guys saying, When are you going to let him play in AJGA? Well, he's not quite ready. They gave him an exemption to his first one and he won it. They went, Well, do you think he's ready?

I always didn't weren't him to feel like he was under pressure. I've gotten a lot of pressure to give him an exemption to the RSM or from other tournaments saying, We'd like him it many come play. I says, No, I don't want to get him ahead of where he is.

And then he goes and qualifies for the U.S. Open when I'm trying to talk him into staying amateur, you know?

So in golf years he's probably only about 18; in his body he's 25 or 26 instead of 23. So he's got a lot of experience to get. These kids that come out of college or turn pro early, Justin Thomas, have played a lot more golf tournaments than him. But he's also fresh and ready to go, so...

Between the two of us the last five years, the Humana people are probably ready to drop us. We have been in and out of Alabama a lot, in Birmingham seeing Jim Andrews' people over there. We have been through a lot, but he has stayed positive. It was devastating after everything he had been through to then tear his labrum and be out for that long.

But he's come back strong. I think he's -- I would say there are 50 or 100 kids out there, you know, Web.com, trying to make it to the tour that have potential, have the game, and he's certainly in that category.

Just a matter of who gets there. Dru is one if he could good the to tour with a tour card he would do really, really well. There are a lot of players that we see like that as soon as they get out there. Just getting through the process is getting harder and harder.

Saw it in the U.S. Open. I was impressed and I've watched him play his whole life. Andres Romero playing with him was like, Holy cow. He's looking pretty good. I was happy to have his bag.

I told him, I said, The way you're playing I'll caddie for you anywhere. You've got the potential to do really, really well. He's just got to come out here and gain experience and learn the golf courses and learn the ropes.

You know, great to have an opportunity. I really appreciate that Greenbrier and some other tournaments are saying, Hey, we'd like to give him a shot. He looks like he's got potential.

Q. Dru, is it hard to stay patient in a way? We see the 20-somethings coming out of their shell and doing great; 20 wins this season have been by guys in their 20s. Do you see that and think, Yeah, I can be one of those guys?
DRU LOVE: Yeah, when you're sitting around watching Jordan Spieth chip in to win his tenth time and he's the same age as you it makes you think a little bit.

But at the same time, I just got out of school. I just got done. Jordan only went for, what, one year? He's got four years on me. Do I think I'll win ten times over the next four years? We will see.

I have a lot of confidence in myself and I have a great support staff at home. If I can stay healthy, I've proven that I can get good pretty quick. That's what it is: Just got to do what I can to keep getting experience and playing week after week after week and building upon a little bit of confidence and experience.

I think if I can stay healthy over the next few years I can get a lot better.

Q. Is it hard to push on when those guys are out there doing those things at 22, 23, 24?
DAVIS LOVE III: Yeah, it's hard when his teammates are Justin Thomas, and those guys are out there winning golf tournaments and you're still in school and you're not playing because you're hurt. It's frustrating.

Again, Alabama was the right place for him, because I kept telling him, if you're going to get hurt, you might as well get hurt at Alabama. They have got unbelievable doctors and trainers, and great staffs.

It was unfortunate, but, again, he's got to look at it like now is my chance, and I'm healthy now and ready to go now. He can watch what those -- he and knows. He's played a lot. He played with Jordan Spieth on a recruiting trip way back, and they looked like they both had the same potential.

So he knows how those guys play, and he's beaten them. Coming along, Justin Thomas has stayed at our house a bunch. He really knows his game and where he stacks up and what he has to work on. Should give him confidence that he can compete down the road.

Q. Dru, how much pressure have you felt having the name you have? He's going in the World Golf Hall of Fame this year.
DRU LOVE: Yeah, I don't really feel a bunch of pressure. If anything, I have an advantage. I get maybe a few opportunities that some people wouldn't get otherwise. I try not to take them for granted. I understand the ins and outs and what comes with it.

He did a great job of not forcing me to do things or keeping me away from things. I make my own decisions, so everything is on me. He always tells me, I ask him what he thinks I should do. Should I do this, should I do that? He'll go, This is your deal.

He'll offer me advice when I need it, but I don't feel any pressure from him. Sometimes I think you don't get full credit for things you do. You know, shoot 63, and, Oh, You're just Davis Love's son; then you shoot 80, and how could you do that? You're Davis Love's son.

Growing up, in high school you get a lot of that. None of them at this level. Guys know what it takes to be good and what it takes to get here. Just because my last name is Love doesn't mean I automatically get to be good at golf. I've had it to work at it my whole life and I've had to grind through a lot of things.

I just rely on my confidence and the fact that I know I've worked just as hard as a lot of guys out here to get here.

Q. Davis, I'm interested to know, what is the most important lesson you have preached to your son to just stay patient and positive? There are so many young golfers that are successful, it's almost harder for younger people to say patient and growing.
DAVIS LOVE III: I think the things I point out is how hard they're working. Rickie Fowler in the gym and Jordan doing everything he can to get better, leaving no stone unturned. I think that's the lesson that obviously I could have worked harder in my career. That's what I'm seeing.

I tell the story all the time of Rickie Fowler heading to the gym when I was going to go take a nap. I went, Well, if Rickie is going to the gym, I better not go take a nap. I better go work out.

Just showing him that everybody out here now is working -- and he knows it -- is working very, very hard and putting the time in. He knows he's got an opportunity.

I keep telling him, Your game is good enough to play out here. Just got to believe in yourself and trust in your game. He grew up inside the ropes. I keep telling him, You get out here you can play out here because you're comfortable.

I think we saw that at the U.S. Open or even at the RSM when he played that if we can get him inside the roped for a full year I think he can do it. He does have that advantage.

I felt that way a little bit. When I came out on tour I knew Tom Kite and some of the players, and I could go up and get a practice round game and I had seen some of the golf courses and I had been around pro golf a lot my whole life. Not as much as Dru has.

I mean, Dru putted for Fred Couples in a U.S. Open practice round, nine holes, and got to hit shots on major championship courses and walk inside the ropes and hang out in the locker room with Tiger Woods.

I remember him in the Champion's loft at TPC with Tiger joking. So if he comes out on tour, some of the things that intimidate guys don't intimidate him. He blends right in. Tell him to trust that if he gets out here, he'll feel like he can belong and compete.

Q. You're being inducted into the Golf Hall of Fame. Give an introduction to the hall itself, what it is, what it consists, the induction classes, and then how much of a difficult, gratifying thrilling it is to get into it?
DAVIS LOVE III: Well, it's still -- you know, they're asking me now to collect a whole bunch of trophies and stuff to put in cases, and I'm a little bit behind schedule. I get distracted easily when I'm at home.

They may kick me out of the Hall of Fame. I may be the first person not to get in because I'm not rounding up enough trophies fast enough.

It really in mind boggling. I started putting some stuff together, laying it out, and I am like, I cannot believe my stuff is going in the Hall of Fame with Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer and those guys. Still hard to wrap my head around it.

But when I called Tom Kite and asked him to do the introduction for me, it really kind of hit me. Meant a lot to him and meant a lot to me to ask him. It's obviously a lot bigger deal than I really thought about two or three years ago or when I first came out on tour.

I said it when I won 20 times, when I was named Ryder Cup captain, or now the Hall of Fame: To have the veteran players come up to me and say what a big deal it is, that's when it starts to hit you. Not really sure what I'm going to do on speech night or how it's going to go, but...

Q. (No microphone.)
DAVIS LOVE, III: It's the Tuesday of the Presidents Cup.

THE MODERATOR: Speaking of the Presidents Cup, Davis, you traded in your captain's hat from the Ryder Cup and you'll be assisting Captain Stricker. How is everything coming along with the team?

DAVIS LOVE III: Great. I was just actually in New York and flew over twice the golf course, Liberty National. The construction is more than underway. It's incredible. I didn't really -- it hit mean when I went to New York next week? How big that's going to be right looking at the city and the Statue of Liberty.

I know I'm excited about it. I know Steve is excited about it. We talked a few timed some strategy things we did at the Ryder Cup, preparation things.

With Jim Furyk next year's Ryder Cup captain assisting him with Freddy, three-time Presidents Cup captain, I'm way down the list on captains. I am like third or fourth assistant.

But talking to the players, they're excited about it. Obviously coming off a win, Team USA is excited to play anywhere. I think it's going to be incredible. Going to be one of the biggest if not the biggest Presidents Cup yet.

Q. (No microphone.)
DAVIS LOVE III: Yeah, and we did that a little bit. Had some guys come in and play some practice rounds, Justin and Berger. Had those guys in conversation. The Nicklauses were great to have a very early Ryder Cup dinner. We had guys down I think through maybe 30 on the points list.

We've included a lot more guys in the conversation the last couple years. These guys are ready. I know Daniel Berger is dying to play. Justin Thomas is dying to play. So I think it's good. The guard has to change for sure. There are some guys -- Phil seems like he's going to play on the teams forever. He's planning on playing in Paris next year, too. Planning playing on a lot more teams.

But eventually Phil Mickelson won't be on the team and we'll have to replace him with a leader. Maybe that guy is Zach Johnson or who the next -- Jordan Spieth certainly.

We told him at the Ryder Cup, This is your team. You're our No. 1 player. No matter where you are in the rankings, guys are going to look to you to play hard and to hole bunker shots.

Yeah, it's something Steve is really going to have to focus on. He's looking at it now. We're getting closer and closer. Now it's starting to look like -- like Darren did last year, have a bunch of guys that haven't played before.

THE MODERATOR: All right, Davis, Dru, best of luck this week. Appreciate your time.


DRU LOVE: Thanks.

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