home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


March 28, 2003

Davis Love III


JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Thank you, Davis, for joining us for a few minutes here in the media center. Great round today, five under par, 67 and a nice string of five birdies there on the front side coming in. Why don't you make a couple comments about your round today and then we'll go into questions.

DAVIS LOVE III: I hit it pretty good the whole 36 holes. I had a few bad shots, but I think with the soft conditions and some kind of squirty lies you're going to hit a few bad ones, but I hit the ball pretty well, and I really didn't make anything until that last nine holes. I made a few putts but I made a nice putt for par coming back after about a 30-foot birdie putt. I had about a five and a half footer coming back on 1. After that I rolled the ball very well. I had makeable birdie putts for the next five holes and made them all, and it was a nice run, and then I hit a bad tee shot at 8 and had a little mud on my ball at 9 and hit kind of a squirter layup, got in the edge of the rough and didn't get a birdie putt but I made a nice putt for par at 9. It was a nice putting nine and a pretty solid day except for a couple of swings.

Q. I know how steamed you look at 18. How mad you were about that chip and about the double at 18? Did you think you were -- how were you able to put that behind you and do what you did on the front?

DAVIS LOVE III: I said to myself walking over there, I said you've hit two bad shots really, maybe three bad shots and got no break, so maybe you can get a break on the front. Then, like I said, after I made that par putt on 1, I played pretty confidently. I hit every putt feeling like I was going to make it, and I really didn't hit a bad putt at 18 on my second putt, I just misread it a little bit. You know, I just got, I guess, mad enough to get back to concentrating. I hit a great tee shot at 18. That's what's so disappointing. I drove it right down the middle with a 3-wood and I had a 7-iron in and hung it out there to the right and it was almost buried in the right. In fact, I picked it up to look at it, it was so far down in there. It hit and just stuck in the grass, it was technically not buried. But I couldn't drop it. I was just mad that I had hit a bad shot, and when you hit a bad shot on a relatively easy shot you usually don't get a good break. You compound it into something else.

Anyway, I got more focused on the front nine, and after I made the putt at 2 and 3 I just kind of got rolling and I got a good break at 4. I hit it up on the hill maybe a couple few yards too far to the light and it still came down the hill.

Q. That lie that you had on 18, was it a matter of you hit the shot you hit or you skull it over the green?

DAVIS LOVE III: It was one if you swung hard enough if you could get it to the hole there was a chance it could go flying out. It was straight down in there. It looked like in a nest. It was just stuck down in there. So I knew if I hit it up to the hole, it was going to have to be that it shot out more than I thought. I at least thought I could get it up on the green, but like I said, that's what happens when you hit one. You hit a loose shot, let one get away from you, it ends up being worse than you think most times. I just really wasn't getting any good breaks, even on good shots, spinning back down the hills. They weren't turning out good.

You know, I missed it right at 11 with a 5-iron, I think in a spot where I couldn't get it up and down. I missed it right at 18 with a 6 iron where I couldn't get it up and down, and those two really kept me from getting any momentum on the front nine.

Q. I apologize for belaboring it, Davis. I didn't see the chip. Where did the chip --

DAVIS LOVE III: I hit it five feet in front of it. I barely got it out of the deep rough into the fringe and I had like a 50-foot putt and knocked it six feet by and missed it coming back.

Q. Could you go over the birdie holes?

DAVIS LOVE III: Yeah. Let's start on the card. 12, I hit a 3-wood off the tee and a pitching wedge to about ten feet.

14, driver and a 9-iron to about ten feet.

Starting at 2, 3-wood in the right rough, laid up with a 9-iron, hit a 60-degree sand wedge to about eight feet.

3, 7-iron to about eight feet.

4, 1-iron off the tee and a pitching wedge -- I hit it a few yards too far up on the hill and it spun towards me and it got up enough speed and it dropped back down on the bottom level, and I made about a five-footer for birdie, and then a drive and a 9-iron just in the fringe but about 15 feet from the hole, maybe 16 feet from the hole. I made that.

6, a 1-iron off the tee and a pitching wedge to about six, seven feet.

Q. Davis, having won once and having come close again with Justin the other day, can you just talk about - even though we're only halfway through here - what a win could do leading into the Masters and the majors season?

DAVIS LOVE III: Well, a win here would be counted as a major, close to a major. It would be a big win. That was my goal this year, so keep myself in position and keep myself at the top of the leaderboard with chances to win. I'm hoping to stay healthy and keep that going all year, so this week is as big as any week. Obviously we were building up to this one and we'll build up to the Masters after this.

Q. Davis, at Honda you talked about it a little bit. Can you talk about how important taking last week off was for you physically going into this stretch?

DAVIS LOVE III: It was going to be an either/or, Honda or Bay Hill. I need to pace myself and not try to play four or five in a row, especially coming up to the Masters. I would honestly like to play Atlanta. I like that golf course and the people there obviously -- having grown up there for a long time until I was 14, it's a good place for me to play. I'm trying to be -- like I said, be ready for every one, and wearing myself down before the Masters or wearing myself down before THE PLAYERS doesn't make me play better. I need to be healthy and excited and energized when I come to a tournament, try not to get a cold.

You want to be ready where if you do get a cold, like Tiger, where if you do get sick one day it doesn't put you out of the tournament because you had some energy coming in.

Q. The back of the neck and some of the other little nagging things you've had over the last few years, has that pretty much cleared up, and if so when was the last time you felt as well physically just in total?

DAVIS LOVE III: I would say the beginning of 2000 probably was the last time I felt this good or I could wonder if I was 90 or 100 percent. I can feel it. The last four or five tournaments when I come out and I can hit a big high cut 3-iron or I can hit a good drive when I need to hit it on a tough driving hole, I can feel the strength is back and the power is back. I had enough of what I felt was a little bit of a lack of strength or lack of power, and then you start losing confidence. When you see that ball curving off to the left time after time and you thought you hit it good, you start to wonder now what do I have to do, do I hit it and try to hit it straight when I hit a 6? It was a little bit of a lack of confidence was the biggest thing. Now I feel almost 100 percent and I'm hitting shots much better than I was all the way back I'd say 2000 probably maybe was the last time I really felt really, really good.

Q. Was it the walk from 18 to 1 that calmed you down or was it the putt at 1?

DAVIS LOVE III: Well, seeing some putts go in. I was watching Craig keep making them and he was inspiring me to roll them in the middle like he was. I calmed myself down walking over. It was nice to have a long walk and get back to -- get back in the game finally. If there was a wishy-washy swing it certainly was my second shot at 18 that I wasn't 100 percent locked in on what I was doing, and if I'd have made a big hard swing at it and it had just cut, I would have been fine, but it was just -- it wasn't freed up 100 percent swing, and I thought after 1 I did that better. Even though they didn't all go straight I hit it better on the back 9.

Q. You talked about playing with Craig. A lot of people were surprised when he won it last year. Are you surprised to see him on the leaderboard?

DAVIS LOVE III: Since he's right there I'm not surprised at all. That's what I said yesterday when I was in here. He putts beautifully and hits the ball a long way. He's a big tall strong player, and when he gets rolling, gosh, that putter just looks so good on greens like this, and it's a scrambling golf course. Anybody that plays with confidence and chips and putts well will do well on this golf course, and he's definitely -- this golf course suits certain attitudes, and I think he's got the right attitude for it.

Q. You mentioned yesterday that you were ready to go in when it ended. What did the overnight allow you to do just in terms of taking inventory and whatnot?

DAVIS LOVE III: I felt like I came out more ready to putt with a little bit more aggressive attitude. I just felt I missed a few and hadn't gotten anything going. I kept seeing the dark clouds coming and you're thinking maybe we'll stop and the wind will stop blowing and we'll come back in the morning when it's nice and calm, and I think that's what we got. Maybe now the first two days there's probably no advantage on one set of tee times or the other. I think we were headed for -- if we had to play them all yesterday, we were probably headed for an imbalance, and since we got a few holes in the nice weather this morning to finish our round, a lot of guys finished well this morning and it kind of evened things out a little bit.

Q. As a friend of Freddie's, how cool is it to see him up on the leaderboard, A, and B, what is it about him that gets people to charged up? He's got such a following? What kind of intangibles are there?

DAVIS LOVE III: I was asked that outside. He's built the gallery being excited because of the way he plays. He makes it look to easy. His swing is effortless and the ball just screams off the club. Then when he makes a putt, his demeanor is like -- you know he's having fun. He celebrates a big putt probably as good as anybody. When he makes a big putt and he puts his fist out, people get excited. I think he's built that and they look for it. When he made that putt at 16 the last time he won here from just the fringe and stuck his arm up there, that was one of the most exciting putts at the end of a big tournament that I can remember, that one Tiger made across the green at 17 was pretty exciting, too. But in that theater for the crowd to roar for Freddie and for him to give that big fist pump, he's got a big forearm and it's fun to watch when he's playing well. When you know him and you know how much he loves to get inside the ropes and compete, it's even more fun to see him playing good. Someone asked me where has Freddie been. I said: He played good on the west coast. He was under the radar but he was playing pretty good. He's playing some tournaments and he's working on his game. It's hard out here for all of us and it's nice to see him back playing.

JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Thank you, Davis, for joining us.

End of FastScripts....

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297