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August 13, 2005

Davis Love III


JULIUS MASON: Davis Love, ladies and gentlemen, in after the third round of the 87th PGA Championship at 6 under. Davis, if you wouldn't mind going through the card, birdies and bogeys only, that would be terrific.

DAVIS LOVE III: Okay. Good start with birdies at the first two, driver and a pitching wedge to about ten feet on 1.

And then a 3 iron off the tee at 2 and a 7 iron to about 25 feet.

Then a bogey at 6 and 7, missed the fairway, hit drivers on both.

6, I hit a short left bunker, hit a bad bunker shot and had about a 20 footer for par.

Then 7, hit it through the green out of the rough with an 8 iron and chipped it up 15 feet short and missed it.

10, hit it in the first cut of the rough and hit a 9 iron through the green and chipped it about 10, 12 feet and missed that.

11 was a 3 wood off the tee into the right bunker and a 6 iron to about ten feet for birdie.

13, driver and a sand wedge, spun back a little to maybe 20 feet. I'm going off ShotLink (laughter). I made that for birdie.

And 15, driver, and again, a sand wedge from about 30 feet, and then a three putt after a 5 iron on 16 and a driver and a 3 wood pin high at 17 and a good up and down, about a three or four footer for birdie.

Q. I'm wondering if the feeling right now, maybe it's too soon to ask you this, but is the feeling right now anything similar what you felt after three rounds at Winged Foot?

DAVIS LOVE III: It's a long time ago to remember how I was feeling that Saturday. Yeah, I'm confident and excited about the way I'm playing and looking forward to the next round. Obviously it's a little different situation. We are quite separated and there's just two of us really, but as far as my game, I feel good about it.

I'm hitting the ball more solidly than I have in a while. I think it was at Congressional, the Booz Allen, I was really hitting the ball well, and I'm starting to get that feeling again and then I'm holing a few putts. That's a secret here, hit the fairways and hole some putts.

Q. What would a second major at this point in your career mean to you?

DAVIS LOVE III: Oh, it would mean a lot obviously. But we can talk about that tomorrow night (laughter) if we need to, but it would mean an awful lot.

Q. Is it a surprise to you at all how the field bunched up today?

DAVIS LOVE III: Is the question is it bunched up?

Q. No, are you surprised that it bunched up like it did?

DAVIS LOVE III: Am I surprised? I haven't really been watching it, but no. I mean, in a major that usually happens. I mean, just because the second round lead is 8 under doesn't mean it's going to be 16 like you can pretty much count on at the Buick in Flint, that if the lead is 14 under, 28 is probably going to win. It's going to keep on going. But in a major it gets harder and harder, and the greens have firmed up and the fairways have firmed up. It's harder to get it in the fairway and harder to get it close to the hole and make the putts, so it's not surprising.

Q. This is quite a final pairing tomorrow with yourself and Phil for fans of the game. How much do you relish that, not just being in the final pairing but someone of Phil's stature and his popularity along with you?

DAVIS LOVE III: I don't think he's more popular here than John Daly the first two days, so I'm kind of used to it. I enjoy playing with Phil, and Jim, his caddie, is one of my good friends. It'll be a lot of fun. I've had great pairings this week with guys that I enjoy playing with. You know, we're playing for the PGA tomorrow, so friendship is aside, but it'll be a good day.

Q. As hot as it's been, is that helpful for you with your back, and does it feel better in this kind of weather, and tomorrow there's a chance for a lot of rain. What does that do for you and for the rest of this field?

DAVIS LOVE III: Well, I could say something about a rainbow, but I won't (laughter) because we don't want it to rain. But as far as physically, I feel great. I've been telling you guys I've been feeling better and better all year, and my wife keeps saying, "maybe you ought to quit working out so much because your game is kind of inconsistent." But I feel better and I know I'm going to play better, and it shows. Today the longest drives I hit were probably 15 and 17. I hit the ball more solidly as I go through a round. It was not that long ago, last year especially, that I tended to fade at the end of the round and especially at the end of a tournament.

I think this year I've been so excited about my game that I've gotten ahead of myself the first rounds and I've had a lot of bad first rounds. I think physically I just feel so good, I'm ready to just go tear it up, and it just hasn't been happening. I'm digging balls out of the rough that I wasn't able to and I'm hitting drives powerfully at the end of a round like I couldn't last year, so I'm feeling good. I don't think the weather has that much to do with it except that I'm hot and thirsty.

Q. Just wondering, this is a little bit more of a big picture question. When you won in 1997 I think a lot of us and people who follow the game thought that might catapult you into more majors. Has that been disappointing that that hasn't come to fruition?

DAVIS LOVE III: Yeah, I've been disappointed but I've kept on working hard and had a lot of chances. You know, you keep setting goals and working towards them, and that's what's been frustrating about this year, because I wanted to come in healthy and play well in the majors and the first rounds have killed me in all of them except for this one.

If I could explain golf, you know, I'd be a genius. But I don't know why it hasn't happened, but I've certainly worked hard to get it to happen. Like I said, this has been an inconsistent year, probably the only really inconsistent year I've had, but I've been feeling like I can play well enough to win and hopefully this will no matter what happens, be the start of good things to come.

Q. Just as a follow up, did you think that that would catapult you a little bit? Did you subscribe to that theory?

DAVIS LOVE III: Yeah, you obviously arrogantly think if you win one that the rest of them are easy (laughter). The second one is just as hard. That's why when you see a guy who has three or four or five of them, you know, he's looked upon a little bit differently than the rest of the players. One major puts you in the club, but it's just in the club. Four or five of them puts you in superstar status, you know.

But I always thought when I was a kid that I was watching guys win majors in their 40s. Early 40s was when guys won majors. Hopefully now I have the experience to even though that's not true anymore, it can still work.

Q. Since you haven't been in this situation for a while, when you start to surrender a few strokes on the front nine, do the doubts creep in at all or do you stay with the solid confidence all the way through the round?

DAVIS LOVE III: Well, I knew that you had to be patient this week, and if you hit bad shots you're going to pay for it, but if you hit good shots the course will reward you. That was kind of my goal all week, play each shot for what it was worth and not worry about what would happen because I know that in the last three majors I have gotten frustrated. I promised myself I wasn't going to get frustrated this week, that I was going to have fun and play hard and give every shot my best.

You know, I've been remarkably calm and I've had a lot of fun. These fans are very enthusiastic and I've had a lot of fun listening to them and watching them. Whether I have a good hole or bad hole, I've been pretty level headed this week.

JULIUS MASON: Thanks for coming down, Davis.

DAVIS LOVE III: Thank you.

End of FastScripts.

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