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July 17, 2003

Davis Love III


STEWART McDOUGALL: Davis Love 69, 2-under par. You've won three times this year. Is it going to be four, do you think?

DAVIS LOVE III: I certainly hope so. At least 4. It would be nice to start another run right here.

Q. How is your back? How is your outlook and so forth?

DAVIS LOVE III: Pretty good. I've been over since Wednesday, played 18 holes a day. I've been feeling very good and we had -- Tom Boers is actually still here, our back guy, so I feel like I'm in good shape and just excited to get off to a good start and finally get the tournament going. It's a good thing to come over early and get acclimated. The other thing is it takes a long time for the tournament to start. I'm glad to get the tournament under way, now the week will go quicker.

Q. Were you in London?

DAVIS LOVE III: I was in northern Ireland and London. I had some just unbelievable weather and great golf courses. It was quite nice until I teed off this morning.

Q. Which courses did you play?

DAVIS LOVE III: I played Royal Port Rush, Port Stewart, Royal County Down and the Old Course the Sunningdale, and Wentworth.

Q. Can you talk about the difference, when you're in the States and it's most often a power game, and you come over here and you see that first fairway, and it's like there's no talk of power?

DAVIS LOVE III: Well, it's more strategy off the tee than at home, I would say, and a lot more patience. Even compared to Muirfield, it was hard to hit the fairways, but if you did hit a good shot it would stay in the fairway. There was a correct shot to hit off each tee, and if you hit it, it would stay in the fairway. Here you could hit very good shots and not end up in the fairway. I think it was described as quirky, it is a little bit quirky, but that's why they don't have the rough as bad as it was at Muirfield, because you're going to get some drives that are hit right down the middle of the fairway, and end up out of the fairway in a bad place. So I think it's a lot different than U.S., and even this course is different than most courses on the rotation.

Q. Were you aware of Tiger's start today?


Q. Took a triple bogey at the first.

DAVIS LOVE III: I'm not keeping score for him.

Q. Where do you think minus two will finish today?

DAVIS LOVE III: I don't know, depends on the weather.

Q. How did you find the greens?

DAVIS LOVE III: They were good. I always struggle with hitting them hard enough here. I started out rolling it pretty good and then I kind of lost the pace a little bit in the middle of the round and got it back a little at the end. I made a couple of nice putts on 16 and 17. But I think they're a good pace. They're not overly fast, where they can use some of the tougher pin placements, where they won't be rolling off the edges of the greens, if the wind gets blowing extremely hard. I think they're just about what we're used to here.

Q. (Inaudible.)

DAVIS LOVE III: I think it did for a little while. That's why I was glad to get the rain out and let the wind dry it up a little bit. They'll get faster as the day goes on, but they won't get out of control. That's another thing, they've got 12 or 13 hours of golf, at least, and it can really dry out before the end of the day. They can't get them right on the edge like they do on other tournaments. Maybe on the weekend they can push them a little bit more.

Q. Jerry Kelly made a 11 at No. 1. Tiger lost his ball at 1 and made a triple. Can you talk about how hard that hole is?

DAVIS LOVE III: Well, I played with Darren Clarke, and he was talking about that right rough down there. So I just took a club where I knew I couldn't hit into it. I hit a 1-iron off the tee, where others are hitting woods. There's four or five places out there that are just really, really bad, and you've got to stay away from them, and that's one of them. The mistake I made today really was at 18 not getting aggressive enough. I played very patiently and conservatively off the tee, I guess except for No. 5, I tried to bomb it up there by the green. There's places to stay away from, and that's certainly one of them. Obviously the bunkers, you can hit it in there and the sand is so soft you make double or triple. It's a lot like any other Open course. If you hit it in the wrong place, you're going to pay the price. And you have to shoot away from it a little bit. And some holes, the left rough is much better than the right rough. I hit it in the left rough at 13 and knocked it up there on the green. You hit it right and you're going to be in one of three bunkers or deeper rough and you're not going to be able to get on the green. You don't want to plan on missing it, but you've got to avoid the bad spots.

Q. Are the bunkers more penal than anything we have back in the States?

DAVIS LOVE III: I think so. They're real soft here, maybe not as bad and deep as other places, but they're very, very soft. I had a 4-iron bounce and it went in the bunker and buried. I was fortunate to make a long putt for par. You just don't want to go in there. Shingo got up half buried. You have to make sure you stay out of them.

Q. Did you think you had to play any shots that you hadn't practiced today?

DAVIS LOVE III: In the last three days I think I've hit them all. We've had little bets, so I've been all over the place, and played most of them. That's what we try to do is say, all right, if I hit it over here, am I going to know this shot or know that shot. So I hit a lot of 8, 9-irons out of the rough to see how the ball would react, and hit a lot of pitches and chips around the greens, to get used to running it up the hills. So, I'd say no, I pretty much had practiced most of them. Now, for three days, not all my life. I'm not an expert at some of these shots.

End of FastScripts....

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