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August 4, 2005

Davis Love III


JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Thank you, Davis, for joining us for a few minutes. I know you want to get home or do something.

DAVIS LOVE III: Got a lot to do, yeah (laughter).

JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: I'll let you begin with questions.

Q. What time did you get here today? How tough has it been just waiting?

DAVIS LOVE III: Well, I had a 12:40 tee time today so I knew I wasn't going to get to play just by looking out the window this morning. I've just been hanging around.

It's not tough, it's just unfortunate for the people outside, 75 guys with buckets out there trying to keep the course alive. It's easy for us, just hanging around enjoying the International hospitality. Bad for the fans and the tournament. We get to pay for it probably on Saturday when we play 36 holes. That's when it will start catching up with us.

Q. You guys are old hats at rain delays. What is the scene like down in the locker room? How do you keep yourself busy?

DAVIS LOVE III: It was pretty quiet. I mean, I didn't come until late. I think a lot of guys seen the handwriting on the wall and had kind of taken off. So it was pretty quiet in there. Just a lot of sitting around, chitchatting. It's fun to catch up with guys you don't see every week, just hang out. But it's pretty boring. Like y'all down here, just waiting for something to happen, and waiting for the next hour delay.

Q. Davis, you're one of only a handful of players who has played all of The Presidents Cups. You were there in South Africa when they played the last time. You're pretty close this time on a points system. Talk about the experience and how The Presidents Cup has developed.

DAVIS LOVE III: Well, it's certainly grown every year. I think last year, last time in South Africa, was unfortunate but at the same time exciting kind of a finish. Went all the way to dark, two of the best players in the world going against each other, then ending in a tie. It may have brought it more attention than if one of us would have won. Certainly that's what we said about it early on.

How will The Presidents Cup grow? We just need to lose it a couple times and the American fans will want it back, just like The Americas Cup and then The Ryder Cup. Nobody paid really any attention to The Americas Cup until we lost it. They didn't pay any attention to The Ryder Cup until we started losing. Now it's one of the biggest events in the world.

I think The Presidents Cup, as long as players continue to play and get excited about it and are doing like I'm doing, grinding it out, trying to make a little money to keep your position, as long as the players are focused on it, I think it will continue to grow.

I think having it the same place year after year in the US helps. I think certainly our players, and half of their team as well, the PGA TOUR players, would like it to stay closer to North America, make it a little bit easier since it is during the middle of our season.

We're excited about it. You know, Jack has put himself another year and a half of work into it, so we're excited about trying to win one for him since we haven't yet.

Q. Regarding the TOUR schedule from 2007 and beyond, can you talk a little bit about what you think is best for the TOUR?

DAVIS LOVE III: Well, I think there's a lot of models out there right now that have been kicked around. Certainly we're just like every other sport, we're trying to sell it, the best package we can, to TV. Certainly we're in a great position, along with NASCAR, as being the two sports that are really ratings are going up rather than down, the fans are excited about it. I think as long as we package our sport where TV likes it and the fans like it and it has an exciting finish, then we'll do well.

I think our current schedule might be a little long and drawn out and a little flat at the end. Try to improve that. But how with it will all shake out... I guess NASCAR is finishing up their TV negotiations, haven't released their schedule. I think balancing the TV and the dollars certainly is going to happen in the next year for us.

I don't know where it's all going to fall out. Hopefully we have a little bit shorter season, a little more impactful end somehow.

Q. When do the delays this week start to worry you about your preparation for next week?

DAVIS LOVE III: Yesterday when we saw the weather forecast (laughter). I saw an interesting article when I was reading this morning, being something about a lot of guys that played here last year played real well at the PGA, some of the top finishers at the PGA, Justin, for example, they were saying this week really didn't affect them playing the next week.

I know you can get through a long, hilly golf course and still play well the next week. But if you have to do 36 in a day or if you have to play until Monday and you're worn out, it could affect you. Certainly won't be pounding a whole lot of balls every afternoon and wear myself out. I'll certainly pace myself.

By the same token, you know, guys want to play. We want to play some golf before we go to the PGA. If it cuts one practice round out because you have to take a day off, I don't think it would really hurt you. We're fortunate now. Most of us have an easy travel schedule to the next tournament. It's not like we have to find a way to get to the tournament. Most of us are flying privately and it's a pretty easy trip. I think it will be all right.

Hopefully it will get out of here and get going tomorrow. If it gets into a couple days of 27 holes, then we'll be tired next week.

Q. You will come here to play often because you like the course. Is there a good time where you think, other than now, where this tournament could fall, where you think it might be good to play?

DAVIS LOVE III: I think it's good to play here any time the weather's good. I've talked about this several times already this week. You know, they get a very good field here that a lot of other tournaments would be happy with. No matter when they have it, you're not going to get everybody. You can look at almost every tournament except for a major, they're missing a few players, you know. Even some of the World Golf Championships miss a few players.

You've got a different kind of golf course and a different kind of atmosphere with the altitude and a long, hilly golf course to walk, a different format. You're not going to get everybody, just like the Atlanta Classic the week before the Masters doesn't get everybody. They're hilly, a different golf course than Augusta. Some guys don't like to play. Ask Arnold if he's happy with his field the week before THE PLAYERS. Some guys take the week off.

It's hard. The TOUR is a victim of its own success. Everybody wants to have all the top players. There's only about eight or ten weeks when everybody in the world plays. I think this tournament has certainly had its share of great players play here and win here. It's a great tournament for the guys who like to come. The guys that don't, they're missing out on something fun.

Q. David Toms said the weather and the wet grounds would favor the long, high hitters like yourself. Would you agree with that?

DAVIS LOVE III: Generally it does. If you have David Toms' putter and you can hit it high and long, you've got a good combination (laughter).

I think you see that here generally. That's why, you know, some guys again, some guys don't play here. If you hit it high, long... The farther you hit it, the higher you hit it, the more you can take advantage of the altitude, take advantage of the par 5s. The par 5s have gotten harder over the years. The long hitters even have more of an advantage. You see that in the winners. You go right down the list. The majority of them are guys that hit the ball a long way and hit it high. So I think it is even more of an advantage, not getting any roll.

But the other side of the coin is the greens are very good. They're going to be very soft. You're going to be firing it right at it. Somebody that gets on a roll can shoot a low score, like Olin Browne, couple other guys like that, have had some really hot rounds here, if you get rolling...

The course looks pretty easy if you start making birdies, it looks pretty hard if you start making bogeys. If you're hitting fairways and making putts, you can still do it.

Q. Some guys have 7:00, 7:30 tee times, got here at 5:30 in the morning. You being on the flipside of that coin, do you have sympathy for guys doing it all over again tomorrow?

DAVIS LOVE III: I was out with Brad Faxon for dinner last night. He knew what was coming. He knew he was going to get here early. He knew he wasn't going to play. He knew he was going to have to get up again and do it again tomorrow. There's a chance it could be raining again tomorrow.

But, you know, as you said, we're experienced at this. This is not our first time dealing with it. You just have to be patient. It's just like a round of golf: you just have to be patient, wait till it's your turn to go, hopefully it will improve. I'll get to sleep in again tomorrow, but then it will be over for the rest of the weekend. I'll be up early the rest of the weekend. We know it's coming. What happens in golf is it all evens out in the end. Somehow, somewhere, you'll get that if you get to sleep in, the next time you won't get to, you'll have to sit around and wait.

Q. The last time you won here, wasn't there a weather factor? Didn't you have to play a lot of holes on one day?

DAVIS LOVE III: The first two days were okay, then we may have had a delay.

Q. (No microphone.)

DAVIS LOVE III: We've had so many of them.

JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: We had a delay during the day on Sunday.

Q. What is your evaluation of your year as a whole?

DAVIS LOVE III: Kind of up and down. You know, I've had a lot of good tournaments and a lot of really bad ones. I haven't looked at the stats, but I probably missed more cuts this year than I've ever missed. I've had a whole bunch of top tens as well. I've either been good or bad. Putting has been either good or bad. Usually if I putt well, I've played pretty good. If I don't, I haven't had as good of results.

I'm feeling better. This year I felt healthier than I have in a long time. I feel like I'm close. I've been putting a lot of pressure on myself, one, obviously to win and then, two, to make The Presidents Cup team.

I think getting back focused on tournaments that I like here, the PGA, NEC, getting to The Presidents Cup, I think I'm going to have a good second half because I feel like I prepared myself well this year, it just hasn't happened for me yet. Just got to get out of my own way a little bit.

Q. I know you probably spent time in the clubhouse. Have you walked out at all to see what it looks like there? If you have, how does it compare to some of the other big rain delays you've had?

DAVIS LOVE III: We've watched them out the window on 18. They keep emptying the bunker and then it fills back up on them. Same 10 guys seem to be hanging around. We asked how many people were out there on the golf course. They said 75. They're all over the place working, fighting a losing battle it looks like to us.

It looks pretty bad. 18 green keeps getting covered up with water. I'm sure there's a lot of other ones like it. You hate it when the weatherman is right. He said it was going to be a really bad day, a couple of inches of rain. He was right.

Again, I feel sorry for the greens crew because they had the course as good as they could get it with the heat they've had the last couple weeks. Now they're out there putting it back together again.

Hopefully it will dry up. Greens won't be hard, but they're pretty smooth. Hopefully we'll get back to some good conditions on the weekend.

JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Thank you, Davis.

End of FastScripts.

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