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May 23, 2018

David Toms

Benton Harbor, Michigan

JOHN DEVER: Good afternoon, everybody. Thanks for joining us here at the 79th KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship. We're pleased to be joined by David Toms. Our 2001 PGA Champion. Thank you for joining us today.

DAVID TOMS: My pleasure.

JOHN DEVER: Welcome to southwest Michigan. This is your first visit here, I believe.

DAVID TOMS: It is, yes.

JOHN DEVER: Interested in your initial impressions of Harbor Shores and what you see out there.

DAVID TOMS: First of all I think it's a beautiful golf course. I enjoy it. There's a lot of wildlife out there, geese everywhere, saw some Sandhill cranes fly over today and just kind of reminds me of some of the marsh areas that I've bird hunted in my whole life. So it's beautiful, I love the rivers out there, the lake.

The golf course itself is going to be quite a challenge I think this week because it's playing pretty long. I guess especially compared to maybe the last time they were here where they had to really position themselves off the tee. But now it's pretty much a driver on every hole for me, other than the par-3s, so it's playing pretty long out there.

JOHN DEVER: So I've seen, I'm seeing a lot of Top-5's for you this year. Are you knocking on the door? Do you feel like you're ready to break through and get that win?

DAVID TOMS: I sure hope so. I've had some good finishes this year. I had some really good rounds. Then I've had some tournaments where I could have done a lot better. I feel like I'm competitive enough, I just need to put, this week, obviously, four really solid rounds together. The level of competition that we play every week is really unbelievable, the way guys continue to play golf and the way they prepare. I was told before I came out you don't see many guys practicing and don't take it real serious and now every week I go out and guys are there on Monday and grinding every round and shooting some great scores.

So you still, it's like any golf tournament, to have a chance to win, you have to play your best golf and you have to put either three or four rounds together and play really solid to have a chance.

JOHN DEVER: Okay. Questions, please.

Q. Players often talk about the adjustment coming to this tour playing 54-hole events. Is there some sort of comfort zone coming to a major like this and getting back to a 72-hole event, something that you're used to playing in or you played in for so many years?
DAVID TOMS: Well I think you don't have to put the accelerator down from the very beginning, to me. At least you can kind of get into the round and you don't feel -- to me our regular PGA TOUR Champions events, I feel like you really have to attack from the beginning. This being a major championship and four rounds I think you can kind of feel your way into the first part of the week. Obviously you don't want to shoot yourself out of it, but you can really see how the golf course is playing and have a chance to make up for a couple bad holes here or there because you have another round of golf to play. That being said, you still have to play great to win any tournaments out here, much less a major championship.

Q. Talk about the uniqueness of playing back-to-back major championships and obviously you're very familiar with playing 72-hole events, but just talk about the uniqueness of that and whether you like that more, more pressure, how you sort of feel yourself around.
DAVID TOMS: For me it's all about how you schedule your play going into that stretch. We had, luckily had a week off before going to the, through these two longer weeks, I guess. Some of us had a pro-am here this week, some others didn't. I always like playing the pro-ams because I feel like it's more of a tournament condition right before you play. Especially when you play a pro-am the day before the event starts.

But today was nice. Yesterday I didn't really -- we had so much fog it was first time I had been on the golf course and to be quite honest I mean off the tee I didn't see a whole lot of holes. You were just kind of hitting into the fog and you get out there and then you play from there. Today at least it was a beautiful day, so you got to see how the holes set up and what shape you wanted to, what kind of shot you want to play off the tee and then maybe some holes where you want to play short of bunkers and things like that. So I enjoyed playing today, I got to play with Mike Genovese, who I hadn't played with him in a long time, we were buddies going way back to junior golf growing up in Louisiana. So I had a great time playing with he and Joe Durant and Billy Andrade.

I look forward to having a great week, I feel like I'm playing pretty solid and it's just a matter of going out there and scoring well. I guess it's like that any time, to have a chance, but certainly for me right now it's all about scoring the best I can.

JOHN DEVER: Let's talk about 54 versus 72, but just in general how much fun are you having on this tour? Are you having a good time?

DAVID TOMS: Yeah, I do enjoy it. I enjoy preparing for events, whether it's on-site or whether I'm at home, continuing to work on my game. So I enjoy that. My family enjoys coming out when they get that opportunity, catching up with friends that we have had for a long time and being around guys that I know very well instead of walking into a clubhouse or into a locker room where I don't know half the people and they're half my age. I mean, this is certainly where I belong and I've enjoyed playing out here for sure.

JOHN DEVER: Doing all right with the weather so far. I believe it's going to warm up for you.

DAVID TOMS: It would be nice.

JOHN DEVER: You're from really further south.

DAVID TOMS: To be quite honest I enjoy the heat a lot better at my age. I got a few ailments here or there, so I would much rather be sweating rather than having to put on a sweater.

JOHN DEVER: I think we're working on that.

Q. Earlier this season you got to No. 1 in the Charles Schwab. What was it like being No. 1 and does it make you even hungrier to get back up there?
DAVID TOMS: I think it's more about the caddie getting to wear the bib. Mine didn't last very long. I don't know, it was early in the year and I got off to a good start. So it's something that I shoot for as a player, to be right up there with a chance at the end. I know it's a big deal, it really means that you've played great all year. So to have a chance, come the fall, to win the Cup would be fantastic and I'll continue to work hard to try to get there.

Q. Over your career, five of your wins have been in the month of May. Do you prescribe to any bio-rhythms of getting more comfortable or playing your best within this month at all? Are you aware of that?
DAVID TOMS: I had no idea until you just said that. I mean I think it's one of those things that you just, you hope that you're playing great golf at the right time on a course that you like and the atmosphere that things just kind of line up. Very seldom do you go out and play great every week, unless you were Tiger Woods back in the day or Bernhard Langer now, it seems like they always play great.

But for me it was more about hopefully the times where I was driving it well, hitting the irons well and putting well, you just hope that you're playing in a golf tournament.

I don't know about the month of May. I got -- today's my anniversary, so I got married in the month of May and maybe that has something to do with it.

I just remember getting -- it's always easy to remember my anniversary it was always during the Colonial. And I remember my rookie year on TOUR I was in the Colonial because I had played well enough in the beginning, but my wife picked that date for us to get married, I didn't get to play in the Colonial and I was like, you don't understand, that's a big event, it's close to home, I always enjoyed it. She's like, oh, well, you'll be in that again, and I went for like three or four years not getting back in the event. But to be one of their champions is pretty special and so maybe the month of May is significant for that reason.

JOHN DEVER: Well thanks for your insight, sir, and best of luck this week.

DAVID TOMS: All right. Thank you.

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