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July 7, 2002

Davis Love III


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Davis, thank you for joining us. Great day today, 66. You know, you fell a little bit short, but overall, you've got to be happy with how you played out there. The same thing happened last year, but you've got to take some positives out of a 66 in the final round. So if you could just talk a little bit about today and how it went.

DAVIS LOVE III: Yeah. I started off not making any birdies, and I told myself to be patient and just hang in there, that I was playing well and I knew I could make a bunch of birdies at any time if I was patient. So I played really well of the first 6 holes.

You know, even after 6 was not what I wanted and then got a birdie at 7 and 9, 10 and 11, played real well after that. Hit a couple bad shots coming in but, you know, I had gotten to the point I wasn't making up any ground anymore on Jerry.

You know, he started making a few birdies in the middle of the back 9, and I got a little aggressive and missed the green at 16 and missed the fairway at 17 and, you know, it cost me chances to make birdies. But I probably would have -- I guess if I would have birdied 16, 17 and 18, I would have had a chance, but all in all, I played real well and I'm excited by the way I'm playing and, you know, hopefully get it transferred over to the British Open.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Okay. We'll take some questions now. Please raise your hand and speak loudly.

Q. Davis, can you tell us what happened with the fans on 6 and 17?

DAVIS LOVE III: They're just -- they're just overstepping their bounds. They're yelling before you hit and screaming after you hit, and when you walk up on a green they're telling you which way the putt breaks and they're really getting a little bit -- well, they're just overstepping their bounds. They're not supposed to yell at the players, they're not supposed to give players advice and they're not supposed to tell players what to do and interfere in their game.

They're not supposed to do that, and it's unfortunate because the players out here try real hard to represent the game and represent the sport and themselves and their families and, you know, they push us into positions where we -- you know, I don't like going to the ropes and yelling at people, but it seems like I do it every week now, and it's -- you know, it's just not what golf is about.

Q. How did it affect your play and what can be done to remedy it?

DAVIS LOVE III: It didn't affect my play. It's just sad when a guy gets a chance -- gets close to the lead and is on the 16th tee and can't take his backswing because of a fan yelling. It doesn't happen at the Masters, and why we can't have that every week where the fans respect the game and respect the players -- and we're going to see it the week after next in England.

We see it in England, Scotland, I haven't played in Ireland, but I'm sure it's the same. But we don't see it at Augusta, and why it's not like that everywhere I don't know. The state of the culture these days, people don't have respect for other people and don't have respect for what they do. You know, I'm certainly not going to go out and disrupt another athlete in his sport or disrupt a business person in their business life and they shouldn't try to disrupt our game. If they don't like -- if they're not having any fun and they have to scream and yell to have fun, they ought to go somewhere else because it's fun to watch good golf and not interfere with it.

Q. Has it gotten worse the last few years?

DAVIS LOVE III: It gets worse every year, but I think it's gotten worse since the U.S. Open. Everyone saw on TV the fans doing the wave and yelling and screaming and yelling at players and they were chipping in. Just like when the first guy started yelling, "You're the man," everybody copied him and it's just annoying.

But like I said, it doesn't matter if you're at the mall and the young kids are being disrespectful of their elders or people that work there or if you're at the movies, kids yelling and screaming and disrupting the movie theater or on the golf course. You know, I'm sounding like an old guy, lack of respect, I sound like my mom, but lack of respect for other people and for what they do.

My 14-year-old came in off the golf course yesterday because a group of young people were picking on some elderly people that were watching golf, making fun of them, and she was not having fun and she was hot and she said, "I'm not going to walk with these people," and she came in. That's sad when our wives or children have to keep an eye out for our security guys while they're watching because they don't like what's going on out there.

Anyway, enough about that. The majority of the fans are very good and a bunch of younger drunker people make it hard on our to have and make it hard on the players to make it fun for the majority.

Q. Is this the first time that's happened at the Western?

DAVIS LOVE III: No. It's not the first time it's happened at any tournament. It's everywhere now. Enough about that. The golf was very exciting.

Q. What happened at 16?

DAVIS LOVE III: Enough about that.

Q. Talk about how well Jerry was playing and, you know, how that played into your mind. You knew you had to play lights out out there.

DAVIS LOVE III: Yeah. Obviously, watching him playing behind me and watching the scoreboard, I knew he was on a roll and, you know, he had the most vocal crowd sport because, you know, they love him up this way and it's a big one for him next week and they're all excited about him playing good, and I knew by the roars -- when he gets going, you know, he's tough to beat. When he gets on a roll, when he gets up on the leader board, he fights pretty hard.

It was fun watching him. Play was kind of slowed down there in the middle of the back 9, so I watched a lot of his shots coming in. He made a great save at 13, hit it in there close and made a great par safe, and he played real well coming in. So he was definitely tough to beat today.

Q. What I meant was what happened to your shot on 16?

DAVIS LOVE III: You know, it's a sidehill kind of a hook lie, and I was trying to hit a shot back into the that little bitty portion of the green and I just hooked it, as I did last year. You want to aim right at the hole and hit it safe, but it always seems to turn over and I just hit a little hook. You just can't get away with it on that hole. It has to be a pretty good shot to get it close to the hole.

Q. What was it, 8-iron?

DAVIS LOVE III: 8-iron, yeah.

Q. How much did Jerry's play, if at all, affect your game plan there at 16 and 17?

DAVIS LOVE III: Well, I knew I couldn't just hit a 9-iron out into the middle of the green. I was running out of holes and he was making birdies. I was shooting back at that pin rather than chickening out and hitting it out to the right.

And 17, you know, obviously, where I've been driving it up there in that crosswalk was what I wanted to do and have an easy sand wedge shot in there and hit one straight, and I pulled it through the fairway rather than cutting the corner. So I was playing aggressively, and there was nothing else I could do. I tried to hit a hard 5-iron into 15 to get an eagle putt, you know, rather than just hit something in the middle of the green, so he was making me play aggressive.

Q. When are you going overseas and what is your feeling about Muirfield?

DAVIS LOVE III: Well, I've played two Opens at Muirfield and it's a great course. I'm excited about going back there. It's nice to go back for the second or third time to some of these places, and I'm going probably Thursday of next week.

Q. What are your thoughts are Muirfield? Do you think it's more wide open?

DAVIS LOVE III: I think it's more -- you know, there's a bigger field of guys that can win there than at Bethpage, for sure, but it's a great golf course and it's stood up well and I think they've added a couple tees, but they don't have to do much to the to play -- to play the Open and, you know, like Faldo did one year, make 18 pars on the last round and win. I think it's a good, solid golf course that will be good to play, and it makes you play every shot because the wind changes on every hole. It's not a typical out-and-back links course, so it's a difficult challenge and fun to play.

Q. Why not 3-wood off the 17th tee?

DAVIS LOVE III: I've just never hit a 3-wood. I had 107 yesterday and, well, every day this week I've had 110 yards or less. I can hit a 3-wood through the fairway too, so I figure if I got to hit something up there with a cut on it, just go ahead and hit driver.

I've never -- I won't say never, but not in recent memory have I hit it on the left side. I've always hit it in the fairway or in the rough so I can hack a sand wedge up on the green. After I hit my drive, John's 3-wood looked pretty good. You know, everybody was talking yesterday about how close I was on the green from my second shot yesterday, so that's where I was trying to put it again.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Can we go through your birdies and bogeys real quick, starting with No. 7?

DAVIS LOVE III: No. 7, driver off the tee, 9-iron to about to 10 feet.

No. 9, driver and 3-wood to about 40 feet from the hole and 2-putted.


DAVIS LOVE III: 3-wood off the tee at 10 and a 60-degree wedge to about 10 feet.

11, the driver and a 3-iron just through the green, pitched it about 8 or 10 inches short of the hole. I was probably 50 feet away from the hole, just off the right side of the green.

And 14, an 8-iron to about 12 feet.

And 15, a driver, 5-iron just through the left side of the green and a little chip-and-run with a 7-iron from 50 feet, chipped it down there 6 inches.

And 18, -- well, 17, drove it left. Sand wedge right of the green and chipped up, missed about a 4- or 5-footer.

And 18, driver and a 7-iron to about 15 feet behind the hole.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Okay. We'll take two more questions.

Q. Jerry Kelly's confidence, do you see him as a different guy since he won Sony?

DAVIS LOVE III: Yeah. He looked like -- and I just happened to see him play a couple times on TV when he was close to the lead or leading, and he looked like he got even more excited than he normally is and got a little quick and jumpy. It looked like at Hawaii he was more in control, and ever since then he's been more relaxed about the way he plays. This is obviously just watching from a distance, but he looked pretty good out there today, the shots I saw, the holes I saw him on. He looked pretty calm and collected, and he's learned his way around the lead. He's handling it better than I think he did a couple years ago.


DAVIS LOVE III: All right. Thanks, guys.

End of FastScripts....

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