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June 21, 2002

Davis Love III


TODD BUDNICK: We have Davis Love III, a 6-under 64 today. Davis had 6 birdies and no bogies today. If you could go through those beginning with the one on 12.

DAVIS LOVE III: Obviously, started on the back. Hit a driver and a pitching wedge on 12 to about 10 feet, a little right-to-left, maybe 12-footer, and made that.

And then, 15, drove it infront of the green and chipped it into the valley. Didn't hit a very good chip and made a nice 25, 40-footer for birdie there.

And then 3, driver and an 8-iron to about 12, 15 feet.

And then No. 6, driver and a 3-iron to lay up and a pitching wedge to about 3 feet from about 110 yards.

And then 7, a driver and a sand wedge, 60-degree sand wedge, to about, again, 12 feet, made that.

And then No. 8, a 6-iron to about 15 feet just past the hole and made a nice little breaking putt for birdie there, and I also made a couple of good saves on that side, so I putted very well and I hung in there pretty good on the front, hit a couple -- couple bad drives that -- well, one bad drive on the front and a bad iron shot at 16 and made a couple of good saves, so all in all, it was a good scrambling day and a good day. When I did get in the fairway, I made birdies.

TODD BUDNICK: All of the guys that seem to be at the top of the leader board talk about their putting, making putts. Is this a type of course where you can make some long ones or is it just a matter of getting in a rhythm?

DAVIS LOVE III: Well, you get into a rhythm, and for the guys that played last week, once you get the feel of them, you can make a run at some of them rather than lag them, but you have to make some putts here. There's some tricky greens, tricky that fall off the edge, and to hang in there you have to make some putts.

And yesterday I did a little bit of that, made a double at 17 coming in, and today when I had a bad tee shot at 10 or hit it over the green at 16, I got up and down. I made a nice save when I had to today. I missed the green bad at the 5th hole left of the green and pitched it out of the rough up there to about 6 feet for par, and I did little things to keep the round going and made the birdie putts when I had the chance to.

Q. Davis, when you come to the course after a first round and you see that the morning group really isn't making a run, does that kind of get you going? Do you think if I go out there and start fast, I can shoot right up the board?

DAVIS LOVE III: Well, there were some good scores, there weren't a whole lot of them. I think Jonathan Kaye was up there, somebody was up there at 8 this morning.


DAVIS LOVE III: As I said, the double coming in yesterday really put me behind the 8-ball. But no, I just try to go out and play and be patient and play the golf course because you never know what you're going to shoot. There's been some times I've been way behind going into a Friday afternoon and shot a great score and, all of a sudden be leading by a bunch, so you can't be worried about what the score is or what the cut is going to be.

I think the guys that watch the board after one day and try to figure out what the cut is going to be more often than not hit it on the mark or don't make it at all. In this wind I wouldn't have predicted a 64 to catch the leaders this afternoon. You know, there are not going to be any other 64s out there this afternoon, so I get some preconceived notion other than I'm going to break the course record every time you go out there, then it probably holds you back a little bit.

Q. Your track record hasn't been the best here. Have you sat back and analyzed what it might take to do a little better here?

DAVIS LOVE III: Well, I've already done a lot better.

Q. I know that, but coming in --

DAVIS LOVE III: I am motivated a little bit simply because this is the last year for Canon, and I have come in here more prepared because of the U.S. Open last week, so I think those two factors, you know, I'm ready to play more than just coming in after a week off and feeling like I've, you know, got other things on my mind. You know, I've come off fresh, ready to play after playing last week and so I'm excited about it and it's nice to see both Briny and I up there.

Q. (Inaudible.)

DAVIS LOVE III: Well, we want to send Canon out with a good finish, and there would be nothing better than for us to that dinner on Sunday and that little outing on Monday with one of us winning. That would be a great way to finish off a great sponsorship.

Q. Davis, I think you've had a couple of top 10s in the last five outings. Has today's round been kind of emblematic, sort of rolling better at this juncture of the season?

DAVIS LOVE III: It's coming around obviously. Obviously, I started off the year expecting big things because I was hurt last year and healthy this year and maybe came out a little too anxious to try and make up for last year. And even though I did win, I didn't win as much as I wanted to, so it took me a while to settle down and get into the rhythm of playing. And now that I am healthy and feeling good, my confidence is starting to come back and I'm starting to see some good things. It happened on the golf course and then on the practice tee. So, yeah, the signs are there that I'm close to playing very well and, you know, I just need four good rounds. I've had 2 or three good rounds, just haven't had four.

Q. How much windier was it today and how hard were the greens compared to yesterday?

DAVIS LOVE III: Oh, it was a lot harder for us yesterday in the afternoon. I don't know how much it was blowing this morning, but it was blowing pretty good by the time we got going and, you know, for example, I hit a sand wedge into 18 and into 7, and yet I hit 8-irons into the hole so, you know, it was a 3- or 4-club difference on those holes in the wind. And a hole like 17 played a little easier because you could hit a shorter club off the tee, but, you know, you couldn't get to the par 5s, which was -- when there's only two is a little frustrating. It's nice to be able to get it around the green on those. I'll tell you, at least a couple plays harder, and I think the cut shows that.

Q. Davis, when you show up here after all the trials and tribulations last week at Bethpage, do you look out there and say this is just a wide expanse compared to what you went through last week?

DAVIS LOVE III: It definitely looks a lot easier. You're not sweating off the tee because if you miss the fairway, you're not chipping out, it's not the end of the world. You know, last week if you weren't driving it great, the fairways looked pretty small. They looked really small on a few holes to me that I just couldn't ever get comfortable on, so it's a lot more relaxing golf course this week than it was last week. And, you know, there's nothing wrong with 8 under leading after 2 days. These fans don't come out to watch us putt for pars, and I think it's a more exciting brand of golf.

Q. Is that the general feeling after Farmingdale, that this is quite a relief in that we can, you know, get back to normal again.

DAVIS LOVE III: Yeah. It took us a couple days to get used to how slow the greens are here. I mean, the greens are great, but those were just so fast. That golf course is long and hard, and hard to walk, so I think guys were, you know, taking a deep breath and relaxing a little bit the first couple days, and, you know, trying to get excited and motivated again. You know, for most of us it was a disappointing week last week.

Q. So how were you more prepared to play this week after playing the Open?

DAVIS LOVE III: Well, I had spent, you know, three or four weeks getting ready to play the U.S. Open rather than -- I think most times that I've played here I've come in here after a week off and, you know, this time of year if the fish are biting, a week off is a week off. So I'm probably just physically just more prepared to play golf, and obviously mentally sharper because I was near the end of the field on the weekend. I didn't finish well, but I played in, you know, the last few groups both Saturday and Sunday so, I mean, you know, tournament sharp and tough and ready to go. I was a little bit mad I didn't play good last week, so that motivates you to play good this week.

Q. How long have you been with Canon?

DAVIS LOVE III: I would say this is my fourth, fourth year.

TODD BUDNICK: All right. Thank you for your time, Davis.

DAVIS LOVE III: Thank you.

End of FastScripts....

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