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October 25, 2017

Davis Love III

Dru Love

Jackson, Mississippi

THE MODERATOR: Like to welcome Davis and Dru Love to the interview room here at the Sanderson Farms Championship. Thanks for joining us for a few minutes.

Obviously the catch here is the father/son combo. I'm sure it's not a new line of questioning. If you could just talk about how nice it is. I think this is your sixth time playing together in the same field.

With that said, just a few comments on that. Davis, let's start with you.

DAVIS LOVE III: Well, it's obviously a big part of the reason why I'm here. I like playing with him or hanging out with him, so to watch him play in a TOUR event is still a novelty, even for me. I'm excited to be here for that reason.

Obviously I'm kicking off my season. I played in Malaysia. Got to know Steve Jent better from playing here a few years ago and around the TOUR, and know he does a great job. Sanderson has done an incredible job here with this tournament. Heard a lot of great things about the golf course.

I was excited yesterday looking at the phone waiting for the pairings to come out wondering if they were going to pair us together like we did back at the RSM the first time he played in a TOUR event.

It's fun. It's exciting for me to watch him proceed, get through the first stage of Q-School, and making progress trying to be a professional.

DRU LOVE: Yeah, it's a lot of fun. I really appreciate Steve Jent giving me the opportunity. Really excited to be here. Every time I get to play in the same tournament as him it's really fun.

We always get to play together at home. We're both super competitive, so whenever I see his name on the leaderboard 3-, 4-, 5-under, I always feel a little pressure to go catch him.

Looking forward to a great week on a great golf course in a great town.

THE MODERATOR: One more from me. Davis, coming off the top 30 in Malaysia. There was a lot of talk on TV, the announcers speculating how much you're going to keep grinding out on the PGA TOUR. Obviously there is no reason not to with the way you're playing.

Anything on the horizon? If you could just talk a little bit about your thoughts with your upcoming schedule.

DAVID LOVE III: Well, Pat Perez, who won in Malaysia, gave me grief all week. He says, What are you doing over here? I said, Well, they were kind enough to ask me to play and I love to compete. I've had two great trips over to Malaysia, a top 10, and I played - except for two holes - really well over there couple weeks ago.

But I just want to play. I would've played in Korea if I could have gotten in. With the RSM coming up in just a few weeks, I need to stay off social media because it keeps reminding me it's coming up in just a few weeks.

I really need to be home the next two weeks. As I said walking in here, man, I would really like to go to Mexico in a couple weeks. I don't know if my wife or tournament director, my brother, is going to let me do that.

I just want to play. I enjoy playing. I enjoy competing. What I'm going to do Champions versus regular I don't know. I played out at Pebble Beach at the PURE Insurance and had a great time seeing my friends.

I've said it a hundred times. If I putt well enough to win out there and beat Bernard Langer, I could probably do pretty well out here. Still got to putt well.

I am going to hang in a little bit longer and see how the fall and start of next year go, but I'm going to start bouncing back and forth.

THE MODERATOR: Dru, on the way in you were talking about you've how crazy your schedule is coming up.

DRU LOVE: Right. After this week I have second stage of Q-School in Brooksville, Florida. Then I was kind enough to receive a sponsor's exemption from this company right here, RSM, into that event.

Then I have final stage, so it's a big month coming up. Looking forward to grinding it out. Like you said, I love to compete, love to play, and anything I can get my hands on I want to play in. Doesn't matter how big or small.


Q. I looked at the pairings, here and Davis, you're playing in the morning and Dru in the afternoon. Will you go watch him play?
DAVIS LOVE III: I was actually thinking about that this morning, because our host family has invited me to go deer hunting tomorrow afternoon. The weather doesn't look great or Friday or Saturday maybe for deer hunting.

DRU LOVE: Go for it.

DAVIS LOVE III: But I was actually thinking about whether I go to Mexico or go watch him at Q-School. He shot 19-under without me watching first stage, so maybe I should just stay away and let will him go play.

But I don't know. I found myself, like at the Barbasol we were on the same pairing, and I found myself looking two fairways over watching him play when it was my turn to hit. Like any parent, I'm interested in what he's doing.

I got to learn from Jay and Jan [sic] Haas or Craig Stadler, how you handle that, how you watch your son when you're in the same field or when he's playing in a pro event.

I don't know. Depends how he's playing. If he's off to a great start, probably leave him alone. He'll be pulling for me and I'll be pulling for him, and we'll be trying to beat each other on the weekend.

Q. Dru, do you like it when he watches you or would you rather he not?
DAVIS LOVE III: That's the better question. I need to hear this answer.

DRU LOVE: Like you said, depends how I'm playing. I love when he's there. He doesn't get to watch me very often. We always seem to be in different places, different times. But the college events he did get to come to, it was great to have some support there.

Any time I get to just see him or get any support, you know, I look over at him every now and then he'll be on his phone and he'll be typing, and I know he's typing my mom or teacher or something.

I love when he's out there. I enjoy it more just to kind of hang out after the rounds. If you go to Q-School in a town like La Grange, it can get a little hotel, golf course, hotel, golf course.

I had my brother-in-law with me caddying. It was cool just to have someone to hang out with. When he was there to either watch or just have someone to talk to, it's nice.

DAVIS LOVE III: Somebody has to find the barbeque restaurants.

Q. How much critiquing happens from father to son?
DRU LOVE: Not much on the swing side. It's usually either my attitude was bad or something here was a little off, your routines or mental game or a decision. He kind of let's me go and let's me go out there and do the good things and the bad things, and tells me both afterwards.

It's not always, You did all this wrong. He tells me what I did good as well. A lot of times it's just simple things like, You had a quick routine and hit a bad shot or hit driver on a hole where you should be hitting 4-iron every time.

The mistakes he's already made that he's able to tell me what I've been doing wrong to help me get a little bit better.

Q. Speaking of mistakes, this is kind of for you, Dru. This being a tournament that gives the younger players like Dru the opportunity to play and kind of get their footing, we were talking to Jimmy Stanger earlier about rookie mistakes he's made so far. He said he wore his gym clothes to the clubhouse and was quickly told not to do that again. Have you thought of any moments in your career or some funny things that other players have sone that you've had to help them along with that you wouldn't think about until it happens?
DAVIS LOVE III: Jimmy probably saw me doing that. I'm really bad about wearing the gym out of the truck and into the gym and then into the dining room when you shouldn't. You should change back.

You know, I'm trying to get him to get experienced caddies. Well, he had a really experienced guy at the U.S. Open caddying for him and I still messed him up.

But little things like knowing the golf course and knowing what clubs to hit. If he had a caddie that says, I've caddied for these pros in the past and they don't hit driver on this hole. They always lay up, hit a shorter club. Things like that I'm trying to coach him on, things that I've learned.

Steve Stricker and I were standing on the first tee at the Presidents Cup going, Why can't they just hit an iron out to the right of the lake and hit it on the green? They're trying to drive the green. What's the matter with getting it in the fairway?

But we've been there so long we've made the same mistakes, as Dru said, so we can pass that on. But I did the seam thing. I came out and begged Tom Kite to play practice rounds. I wanted to learn how to practice on the golf course in a practice round; I wanted to learn what clubs to hit off the tees; I want to suck his experience up.

Tom Lovelady asked yesterday to play. He said, I want to play with your dad and somebody else; he knows some other veterans. So we got Jonathan Byrd. That's how you learn: watching the pros.

Another thing, like Dru said, just knowing the town, knowing where to go eat, or where to fly into or what's the best hotel. We can pass that information on because we've been around the block a few times.

Q. When Dru was growing up, did you ever force golf on him? Was it natural for him to take it up? What is that like?
DAVIS LOVE III: No, I obviously was very lucky with my dad. He didn't ever force it on my brother or myself, but he made it available and he made it fun. When we wanted to work at it, he pushed us.

Now I know what Dru wants to do, so sometimes I get very adamant about things he should be doing. If I see him making the same mistake over and over again, he'll tell you, I get mad at him.

But I know what he wants, and I need to be the coach sometimes and not the playing partner, friend. My dad was great. He made it fun. He stressed that it needs to be fun. I tell him all the time I don't worry about his golf game. That's fine. He needs to do the willing things that I see Dustin Johnson and those guys doing, working out, being organized, taking every opportunity to do something to get better off the golf course.

He's fine making birdies and hitting golf shots. Just got to help him to get stronger and extend his career. There are a lot things I wish I would've done differently. I'm trying to get him to do them.

Q. Davis, I'm sure you've been asked this, but if you won here you would break Snead's record as being the oldest to win on the TOUR. Is that anything you think about?
DAVIS LOVE III: That goes back it Doug's question. That's why I'm here. I don't want to give up if I have a chance to win. Obviously I've put myself in a whole 'nother category. I should have won a lot more. I have 30 I think second place finishes. Should have won a lot more than I did.

Yeah, I'm not giving up on the dream. If I thought I was just here to try to make the cut, I wouldn't be here. I'm not here just to make cuts, take up a spot. There is a guy on the alternate list that probably deserves the spot more than me. There is some young guy trying to get going in his career.

Yeah, I'm not out here to just watch Dru. I want to try to win. That's what I was telling Pat Perez. I didn't come over here just to hang out with you - which was fun.

But, yeah, it would be great to break that record. I didn't really think about it until I won Greensboro and they started talking about four decades and third oldest to win on TOUR.

At Greenbrier this year I thought I had a really good chance to win. Like I said, I played 13 and 14 last week terrible or I would've been up in the Top 5 last week -- or two weeks ago in Malaysia.

So, yeah, I'm trying to win another one. There are some weeks that are going to be really good for me out on TOUR, some golf courses that really suit my game.

Trying to get into the Masters, but I am also trying to get ready tore Hilton Head. Hilton Head is a great golf course for me still.

Colonial is a great golf course for me.

Probably not Quail Hollow and the PGA. That was for a guy like Justin Thomas that bombs it. Yeah, still trying to win. Still trying to hang in there and compete.

Q. What about this golf course?
DAVIS LOVE III: It's great. Obviously if it plays like it did yesterday in the wind, you know, the guys that hit it like him have an advantage over me.

But I kept telling myself yesterday and playing with Jonathan Byrd, experience and patience and perseverance and grinding it out are going to be tough this week. Going to deal with some weather changes and the golf ball not going anywhere maybe on the weekend, and everybody kind of battles a little bit.

So experience will pay off here. Obviously the long hitters, the great ball-strikers have an advantage in any tournament. Greens are great. I'm excited about playing it. I think if 12 and 18 and some of those holes are into the wind, I'm going to have to battle a little bit. I'm getting used to that.

Q. Dru how much longer are you than him?
DRU LOVE: About 75 yards. No, I'm just kidding.

DAVIS LOVE III: With two shots, yes. On 18 you had 75 yards on me.

DRU LOVE: No, if we both catch one, it's 10, 15 yards maybe. He always hits it solid.

DAVIS LOVE III: He's being generous.

DRU LOVE: He always hit it solid and usually in the fairway. He's one the best drivers of the golf ball of all-time and still is.

If I miss-hit one, he still outdrives me. If we go play together, I always have to hit my drive solid. If I hit on in the heel, it's going to cut and be five yards short of his and it always makes me mad.

Yeah, yesterday playing with Tom Lovelady, who might be one of the longest guys out here, too; he still keeps it up. Like you said, if he putts it good, he can win every week.

Q. Just to follow up on that, Davis, you mentioned putting, how important it is. Where is the rest of your game? Do you feel like it's still the same?
DAVIS LOVE III: I'm obviously not as long. Used to be conditions didn't bother me. I think like Tom Watson, you know, weather got bad he played just the same as if the weather was good. The wind or the rain, the cold, didn't effect him. I think I'm in that category now where if it's a nice, sunny 75 degree day I can keep up with those guys -- I can at least see where their ball is, if I am in the same neighborhood.

But if it gets cold and windy and an extra layer of clothes, it's affecting me. Not saying I'm a fair weather player, but I'm feeling it. Tom and Dru were hitting 7-iron in the par-3s, and I'm thinking, Well, do I have to hit a 5 or can I get a 6 there?

So I'm in that category a little bit now that it's just not going as far as it used to. But that's a beat-up body really more than anything. I've had couple very big surgeries over the last five years. Honestly, I'm blessed to still be able to play and go all the way to Malaysia and finish in the middle of the pack when I didn't even play my best.

Peyton Manning had that surgery and he's out of the league and I'm still in the league. He lasted a few years after a big neck surgery and I've lasted longer frankly than even my doctor thought I would.

Today I'm going to go out there and enjoy the nice weather and hit it plenty far and enjoy playing with my amateurs and try to get ready for a nice day on Thursday.

But then I'm going to have to get mentally prepared, like everybody else. It's going to be a little bit harder for me in the tough weather than it would be for Dru.

Q. Davis, switch gears here and talk North Carolina basketball. They are the defending national champs. Did you go to the national championship last year? How much do you follow hoops, if at all?
DAVIS LOVE III: I follow a lot. As a TV fan. From a distance. I did go to the semifinal game in Houston a few years ago. Did not go to the national championship game because I was going to the Masters, which was nice.

But, no, somebody told me yesterday it's 32 days or 38 days or something until the season starts. At 1-6 in football, we're getting really excited about basketball right now.

THE MODERATOR: Anybody else?

Q. Just curious about how much father/son needling there is. I was looking through some stats, and the first time I played together in a PGA TOUR event you both shot the same score for 18 holes. As Doug said, this is your sixth event together. When it inevitably happens that Dru shoots a lower score than you, Davis, how will you feel about it? And Dru, how will you feel about it?
DAVIS LOVE III: I'll be happy for him as long as my score was good. Now, it's going to happen. That's why I tease him. I want to make sure I keep beating you in these events, pushing him. If we were going to finish one, two this week, I would like for him to finish first. It would be interesting coming down the stretch obviously.

No, I'm trying to beat everybody. It would get a little emotional if it was close coming down to the end for both of us. We're both out here to play and win. He's beaten me so much over the last few years and I'm used to it.

I tell him all the time he's a better player than me, and I know that and he knows that. It's just getting the experience and learning how to do it inside the ropes rather than at home. He shoots, 63, 64, 65, 66 every day at home and can beat me any time.

He's played and Justin Thomas in college and all the guys winning tournaments. He knows he can compete. It's just getting the experience and doing it. As my good friend Vinny (indiscernible) said, with a pencil in your pocket, it's a different game.

Q. Dru, do you remember the first time you beat your dad in 18 holes? What was this feeling like? How old were you?
DRU LOVE: Absolutely. I think I was 20, something like that. Not very long ago at Fredericka Golf Club. He made about a 30-, 40-footer for eagle on the last hole and I made about a 20-footer for eagle on top of him.

He looked over at me and said, What was that for? I said 64. What about you? He said, 65, and turned around and walked off the green.

DAVIS LOVE III: There was no shaking hands that day.

DRU LOVE: I shot 30 on the front nine or something like that, and we went in and got lunch, and when he came out it was like he was in the final round of a major. He didn't talk to anyone. I mean, he got laser focus. He didn't want to lose that perfect record against me.

But I clipped it, so...

DAVIS LOVE III: My dad did the same thing to me and my brother, so it's payback.

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