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August 7, 2003

Davis Love III


JOAN vON THRON: Thank you, Davis, for joining us for a few minutes. Great round today. Wonderful start. You had that break, you came out and finished real strong. Talk about today and a little bit about the break, having to take two hours to sit around and then come back out there.

DAVIS LOVE III: Well, it was disappointing because I was playing well, but it didn't really obviously affect me. I came right back out and hit a good shot at 10 from the fairway right after the break and hit the green at 11 which is always good and then made a birdie on 12. Came right back where I left off. Sometimes it affects you. Sometimes it doesn't. But I am just glad we got it in. I think we're very fortunate. There are going to be some guys that don't finish. We were lucky to get it in.

Q. Do you have a routine for when you are waiting and not knowing when you are going back out? What do you do during that time?

DAVIS LOVE III: Not really, it depends. If it's going to be four, five hours, get something to eat. If it's just going to be a few minutes, you know, they thought it was going to be only 30 minutes so I was trying to stay loose, trying to just walk around and not get stiff. As soon as I saw Slugger walking into the locker room I wanted to lay down on the floor and start stretching because I knew we were going back. Just try to stay loose and have some fun and not get too worried about it because it's going to happen here, get a delay eventually, everybody is going to have to deal with it. So come back and pick up where you left off and you cannot get anxious about it.

Q. You played the most early on into the wind. When you came back out there was no wind at all. Was that a little bit settling for you?

DAVIS LOVE III: It was nice to get out at 11 and 12 with no wind because they are some tricky shots, but then it started blowing again when we got to the par 5, 14, I hit what I thought was a perfect shot, second shot, I came up a little bit short and it blew 14, 15, 16 and then it kind of quit again. It was blowing a little bit left-to-right on 18 but that's really exposed and kind of caught Ernie. Actually just while Ernie was hitting it was blowing pretty hard then it calmed down a little bit.

It changes here a lot. Things change. You play a lot and it's calm; then it can below 30 miles an hour out of nowhere sometimes. We're kind of used to that.

Q. In terms of ball-striking and things how does this round stack up with some of the rounds you have had this year?

DAVIS LOVE III: After I hit my second shot into 18 I was thinking -- I only hit one bad tee shot which is the first hole, one bad wedge shot at 13, missed the green and -- a bad 6-iron at 16. That was it. I hit a couple too far but I didn't hit them bad. I don't think I could hit it much better and I couldn't have putted much better either. I may have missed two or three putts all day, and that's certainly more than you can ask for. In the afternoon when the greens weren't as smooth as they were in the morning.

Q. Second shot at 17 went over --


Q. From?

DAVIS LOVE III: 214, something like that. A little over 200 yards. Yeah, 214. Sounds right.

I did the same thing at 8, hit a beautiful 3-iron right at the flag over the green, hit it long at 5 and hit it long at 6. The ball was really going today and part of it was probably because I was hitting it real solid, but just one of those days where the air was drier than normal and thin, we were taking obviously 15 percent off, but they were solid. I hit them right at it. Got a little -- Ernie hit a little too long there 17, as well, just the fine line on 17 getting on the green.

Q. I know a lot different circumstances given this is the first day and that was the last, but how does it compare to the last round of THE PLAYERS Championship?

DAVIS LOVE III: Well, ball-striking-wise it is very similar, maybe even better. Weather was bad at THE PLAYERS and obviously on a pretty hard golf course, but it was a heck of a round of golf, both places, but I can't remember the last time I putted with such confidence all the way straight through a round. I really putted very, very well. Obviously if you are hitting it good and you are having that kind of putter it turns into a low score.

Q. You are a one of a handful of players contending for Player-of-the-Year honors. Does that sharpen your focus, give you more motivation?

DAVIS LOVE III: No, I think I have been pretty much all the same all year trying to do my best every week and trying to win. But I am going to try to block that out next week, certainly, when I am playing the PGA. PGA is going to be a very important golf tournament for me, not only I need to win a major, but on top of this year it would be a great year to win another one because it would mean, you know, go a long way to reach Player-of-the-Year so --

Q. Would you like to have putted this well at Saint Georges?

DAVIS LOVE III: Oh, gosh, I would have won by 5. If I would have just putted this way on Sunday I would have just won the first five holes. But sometimes when you are relaxed and you are confident and the pressure is not on, you play some really good golf. The trick is like you were saying about the last round of THE PLAYERS Championship to do it when you really need it, when you are behind or when it's a big tournament so I will carry this round and a lot of other ones that I have played for the back nine at Saint Georges with me, this weekend and next week.

Q. Talk about your pairing, playing with Greg and Ernie, there seems to be some good chemistry there. Was that a plus for you?

DAVIS LOVE III: It's great to play with those guys, certainly Ernie is one of the top players of the game right now so it's always great to play with a great player but Ernie is a fun guy as well. Greg came out on Tour, chasing Greg Norman, so it's always a thrill. He's been a friend for a long time, so, it's a great pairing. They were close to playing very, very well too. They just had a couple of loose shots here or there or they would have both had good scores. As I said, they said in the scoring tent nobody else had three guys in the black so we all played pretty well.

Q. Davis Love thirteen years ago to the Davis Love today what could you do then now and couldn't do then and vice versa, how is your game different?

DAVIS LOVE III: My swing is mechanically better. My putting stroke mechanically is better and then on top of that my attitude is a lot better, my routine, certainly my patience is a lot better, whether I am playing good like I am now or whether I am not, I think I get a lot out of a round of golf. And I was really inconsistent back then. I had the raw skills but I didn't have the polish that I do now.

Q. You had a great start with three wins; then you had some personal tragedy. What's it been like for you, now you are playing good again?

DAVIS LOVE III: Well, you know, really the only tournament I am disappointed with is the U.S. Open, I overworked myself there which I said I wasn't going to do this year. I felt like I was close to playing good. I was playing good at Kemper and I worked a little bit too hard, and I think I pushed myself to where I couldn't play at the U.S. Open and that was one thing I said I wasn't going to do this year. So I think overall, I have done pretty much the same job every week. I have come out ready to play. If I didn't think I was going to play well, or if I didn't feel well, like at the Western Open, I just didn't play. I think my game plan this year is to be ready to play every tournament and I think I have done that pretty much every tournament except for the U.S. Open. Continue that hopefully into the next few years just trying to stay healthy and work hard.

Q. After you got to 16 there's a chance of setting there -- tying the record of 20 points or even surpassing it. Did you ever look at the board and see that maybe you can get to 20 or better?

DAVIS LOVE III: I didn't know what the record was so I was trying obviously trying to birdie every hole, and the wind was blowing in a little bit at 16 and my caddie I think really wanted me to hit a 5-iron and I wanted to try and kill a 6. I didn't quite catch it. It got up there almost pin-high. I was trying to hit it so hard that I pushed it a little bit, didn't quite catch it. And then Greg and Ernie of course hit 5, so I was trying to maybe force it just a little bit. I didn't look really -- I was trying to get as many as I could while it was going good.

Q. Did you think you could have scored 19 out here without an eagle or without an eagle putt?

DAVIS LOVE III: Usually you see a score like that you see two eagles thrown in there. I (inaudible) shot 60 before, but I think it was a bunch of eagles. I think it was probably the most birdies I had in a round.

JOAN vON THRON: Ten birdies is the record here in a round. Anymore questions? Thank you, Davis, for joining us.

End of FastScripts....

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