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July 19, 2003

Davis Love III


STEWART McDOUGALL: Davis Love, 72, 213. Are you happy with the situation today?

DAVIS LOVE III: I'm not happy with the way I started, certainly. The easy holes I gave strokes away. And I didn't take advantage of some opportunities, maybe, in the middle of the round. And I made a nice eagle, obviously, at 14, and parred in, when I guess the wind was laying down and they weren't playing terribly hard. But some good pars coming in. All in all, I like my position. But just like everybody out there, just feels like they left some shots out there, and I felt like I did, as well.

Q. It must give you a bit of heart to come back from the bad start you had?

DAVIS LOVE III: I knew I had to. I knew I was going to have to play the hard holes well. Other than No. 8 and 11, I played very well after my start. And I really hit the wrong club at 8 and 11, just pulled it enough to get in that bunker and missed an easy putt there. I really didn't play that bad all day. You take away two three-putts on the green, on 5 and 8, if I had scrambled well, long-putted well, I'd be in great shape. So it's unfortunate, but I'm pleased with my position and I know that I haven't played my best round yet this week, so I'm looking forward to tomorrow.

Q. Could you just walk us through No. 14. What it did for you at that point in the tournament, where you were and kind of how it set you up for that brutal stretch?

DAVIS LOVE III: I picked the same target every day on that tee shot. I hit a really good one today and got it way down there where I could get it on the green and hit a really good 1-iron on the bottom level, which is about as close as you're going to get to the hole in two. And I had a putt up the hill, up and over the hill and made a good read on it and finally got a good speed and knocked it in. And I was happy to finally see a putt go in, whether it was eagle or birdie. I had a lot of probably from five, six feet out to 30 feet putts that I didn't get the speed or just didn't hit it right on line. And I was frustrated a little bit in the beginning with my putting, but I had to settle down and keep hitting them. And that was the one that went in. And obviously back to even par, and thinking about making some birdies, because the wind was starting to lay down, but never got one close enough to the hole to make a birdie.

Q. Even though you're so immersed in this yourself, you obviously just got off your round, can you step back and appreciate the leaderboard going into tomorrow, where you have yourself, right in the mix, you have Sergio and Bjorn -- trying to win their first major -- Tiger, Kenny Perry there. Can you do that and appreciate what tomorrow can be like?

DAVIS LOVE III: Well, as I said outside, this is what we were saying in the locker room at the beginning of the week, this is going to be like last year, year. There's going to be four or five guys that can win the golf tournament with just a few holes to go. It's going to be very tight. I was intent on making that putt on that last hole so I could be in the last group so I could watch the action from behind and know what I had to do. I'm going to have to go out and play the first 7 holes a little better than I've been playing them, and the last nine better than I've been playing them. But, yeah, I can appreciate it. It's what we expected. It's what you expect in a major and there's a lot of great players up there with a chance.

Q. You made a pretty good putt at 6, I think. Did that kind of --

DAVIS LOVE III: Out of the bunker.

Q. Did that set you up again?

DAVIS LOVE III: Well, I made a good putt at 6 and 7. And that's why it was unfortunate I didn't get enough club into 8 to keep things going and to stall there. I think that second shot at 8, even though I hit a good shape of a shot, I needed one more club. I thought it was going to fly out of that rough. But I did make those two and I made the one at 14 and the one at 18. And certainly, if you don't make those, I'm out of it. So I did good enough with it, even though I had some silly 3-putts and some chances to get up-and-down I left out there, I certainly did save a few. And the putt at 14, there was nobody really out there to cheer, but that was a big putt for me. To get that in and get back to even was a big move.

Q. Tomorrow is the beginning of the day when you could win the Open. Can you just tell us how you put your mind to that when you wake up?

DAVIS LOVE III: Well, I wake up and try to kill four or five hours and then think about it. You know, if I can do the things that I do well in pressure situations, just get into the task at hand, get into the one shot, get into the target and not think about the lead and the leaderboard and the -- really the results. If I can get away from that. Obviously if I think about winning the Open on the first tee, I'm done. I've got to think about playing a golf shot and going and finding the ball and playing another one. I've done a good job of that several times this year so I'm going to have to rely on that and just fall into the rhythm of just playing the game and not thinking about the Claret Jug, because that's the thing that will sidetrack you.

Q. How far was the last putt?

DAVIS LOVE III: It was about six, seven feet.

Q. How much score board watching was there on a day like this? You must have been hearing noises from the crowd and been aware of your position.

DAVIS LOVE III: I heard noises and watched the board. A long time ago I gave up on trying not to look at the leaderboard. I like watching it. I was hoping I'd see Fred Couples' name pop up there. And watching what Tiger was doing, and Kenny Perry is playing so well. I expected him to run up there. I like to watch it. And every time I look away from it I say, okay, now let's get back to getting into the process of what you're doing and forget about that. I've learned that not watching it is as distracting to me as watching it, so I just watch it and enjoy -- I enjoy the tournament. I enjoy watching things happen, just like any fan. I like to see what's going on and try not to let it affect the way I play.

Q. Davis, what do you do when you're overseas to kill time until a 3:30 tee time?

DAVIS LOVE III: I stay up as late as we can watching the World Pool Championships and then sleep in as late as we can. And stretch breakfast out and stretch lunch out as long as you can, just find anything. I came out early and milled around a little bit. It's hard. It's normal for us to play maybe 1:30 or 2:00. But 3:30 is pretty late. But you can do it. It's the time of day you want to play. It was very, very nice out there the last 4 or 5 holes.

Q. The yellow sheet that you wrote in January by the fire about your goals and all the Dr. Rotella stuff, do you have it with you? Will you look at it and/or will you call Dr. Bob?

DAVIS LOVE III: He's here. He's been here all week. If I don't see him on the range this afternoon I'll see him -- or this evening, I'll see him tomorrow. That's another reason to come out early and talk to him, talk about the reminders of what to do. But he is here.

Q. Just to go back to those conversations that you guys are having Monday and Tuesday in the locker room. Why did you feel so confident that it was going to be like this? Like the U.S. Open, for instance, wasn't this kind of a finish. What made you so confident about this?

DAVIS LOVE III: I think this course -- it's not similar to Muirfield, but it's going to produce similar results. The field's going to be bunched up. I don't think anybody can really run away and hide. And every time you get a run, something knocks you back. And I think it's just the type of course that the scores are going to be -- there's going to be a lot of players hanging around the same scores. There's not going to be guys running off getting 5 -, 6 -, 7-shot leads, like happens sometimes.

Q. Why is that?

DAVIS LOVE III: It's just so hard. It's just very, very difficult and it's not a course that you can shoot real low on. I think what, we've had a 68 is the low score, 67?

Q. 67.

DAVIS LOVE III: So it's not a course that you're going to put three 68s together and get a big lead.

End of FastScripts....

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