July 7, 2001
NELSON LUIS: Davis, welcome to the interview room. Finished the day at 14-under. Why don't you just walk us through your round there.
DAVIS LOVE III: Well, didn't get off to a good start before the delay with a bogey at the 2nd hole. Then came back and played you know pretty solid except for hit a bad shot into 9 and made a good up-and-down but I played pretty solid a round until 15, 16, 17, I missed the fairways, and got a little bit you know, behind the 8-ball in the rough. But I finished good and got a good score so I am pretty happy with it. And except for, like I said, one or 2-iron shots and 3 drives, I hit the ball real well all day maybe four drives pretty happy with it. And obviously Scott finished real good there at the end, and there's a couple of good scores I just didn't quite put the distance out there that I wanted to separate myself. But you know, you got to play four good rounds and hopefully I got another good one in me tomorrow.
Q. It is extremely important for you to win or are you just happy to be playing well again?
DAVIS LOVE III: I think it is both. You don't want to give away a chance at an old classic tournament like this. You don't want to give the way the chance to give it away anywhere. I am pleased with -- yes, with having a chance, with missing a few fairways in a row and coming back hitting two great shots at 18. I am happy that I am in the hunt after you know, a period of question marks, so, I knew this was where I could get. Just a matter of that I am happy to have done it.
Q. Could you talk about the -- you are playing the back nine and the carryover effect into tomorrow?
DAVIS LOVE III: I actually hit the ball real well except for 3 drives on the back, so I feel like there's a couple of holes out there that owe me. I missed an easy eagle putt at 11 and by still made 3 birdies in a row there real quick and you know, you are bound to hit a few bad ones, but a little disappointing 16 and 17 especially they are not that hard a driving holes for me. But you know, I finished good. I am ready to go. It is going to take 18 good ones tomorrow for sure.
Q. You had a couple of close birdie putts on the front nine, then you seemed to kind of get it going on the back nine. Did something happen going from 9 to 10 or did you start doing?
DAVIS LOVE III: I made a great up-and-down at nine. I think I was trying to get real cute with some shots because the greens were soft again, trying not to spin the ball back and hit a bad shot into 9 trying to be overly cute. I stayed you know, just go back to just playing and hit the ball at the hole, don't worry about it. Sure enough, I had 3, you know, I had a chance to be 4-under through 3 on the first three holes. Make one more putt, and good shots had 13, 14, I just got kind of got back on track. I was being a little too, you know, creative rather than just going there and hit it. You are going to suck some back, you are going to hit some close to the hole than not. But it was kind of one of those days where it was hard to get things going because start and stop and play was slow on the back and it was hot and there was a lot of it was a tough day. The course was softer on the greens, but I think tees and pin positions were probably a little tougher today than they have been.
DAVIS LOVE III: I was -- you hate to make a bogey then to have to stop but maybe it was good to go back and start over. But I was just glad to get the whole round in so that we don't have to do extra tomorrow.
Q. What was your mindset when you got 5 ahead?
DAVIS LOVE III: I was just trying to get more and you know, I think maybe it was a little bit aggressive at 16 and 17 rather than just trying to get it in the fairway, I was trying to hit it way down there. And you know, I didn't know that Scott was making all those birdies, so you know, I was trying to -- I was just trying to birdie every hole. I got on a roll there starting off the back and just trying to get as far ahead because this is the kind of course where you can play real good and shoot 70. A guy can get a couple of breaks and make some putts and we have seen some 65s and 66s too. So it is a tough course and one that you'd like to have a big lead on if you can get it. But you know, Scott played real well coming in to cut it down.
Q. There was a lot of people going pretty low on the back today coming in. Was the golf course easier because of the rain and lack of wind?
DAVIS LOVE III: It was softer today. The wind was pretty much like every other day, kind of calmed down as you finished and you know, I hit driver, 7-iron into 18 the last two days and that's calming down pretty good if you can hit a little 7-iron in there two days in a row.
Q. How does it affect your mindset knowing that you already have a victory at ATT this year, that you have that in the bag, does that affect your approach coming?
DAVIS LOVE III: I think Scott and I are pretty much in the same boat. We have been playing good. We have got a win and you know, I don't think there's -- you know, any undue pressure that we have to win this week or we are not going to get another chance, that this ruins our year. We have both been out here a while and are both competitors, and I think we both understand that when you get a chance to win you want to take advantage of it no matter what you have done, you know, the months or years before.
Q. How do you think the course is going to play tomorrow, stay soft --
DAVIS LOVE III: I think it will firm up a little bit. There was a couple of greens that we got some bounces on like 15, the back there was pretty hard and so I think it will gradually dry up. If we go to the same tee times and get some sun I think by the time we get out there it will dry it up a little bit.
Q. Scott described his injury as a nuisance injury now his left wrist has been bothering him. Has yours improved enough to where it's a nuisance injury or --
DAVIS LOVE III: I think I am past that. It's something that I have just got to watch. But I have played four rounds already this week and I feel the same as when I started so I feel like I am over the hump on mine.
Q. Chip-in on 14...
DAVIS LOVE III: On 15.
DAVIS LOVE III: Hit a good 6-iron in there. That green was hard as a rock back there. It just bounced into the deep rough and I had to land it just in the fringe to get it to trickle down there. It landed just on the green and it was soft and they were yelling "go in" behind me. I guess they knew something because it rolled straight in like a putt that was hit a little too hard. That was exciting. Then Brandel chips in on 17, so we had kind of a fun finish even though we missed a few fairways.
NELSON LUIS: Chip-in was how far?
DAVIS LOVE III: Probably 25, 30 feet from the hole.
Q. You said you got cute for a little while out there. Then go back and hit the ball. Do you get into those phases now and then?
DAVIS LOVE III: I think when the greens get soft and the ball starts spinning off the greens yeah, you can try a little too much, take spin off or hit, you know, half a club more and try to chip it in there. I think I did that a couple of times and didn't quite get what I wanted. I got back a little aggressive after that and it worked for a while. Figure something out for tomorrow.
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