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July 6, 2001

Davis Love III


JOE CHEMYCZ: Davis Love III, a 5-under par, 67, minus 11 for the tournament. Why don't you just talk a little bit about your round today.

DAVIS LOVE III: Well, obviously another good day. I hit the ball real well. And only hit a couple of bad drives. And really didn't hit that many bad shots and hit some good putts that didn't go in. Really only real bad mistake was a couple of the par 5s, I just didn't drive the ball in the fairway and give myself a chance. But all and all I am very happy with the way I am playing obviously and it is fun to not only be hitting it good and scoring well but then to also have the chip-ins and the fun putts go in even though you don't expect to. It is nice to get one of those and balance out the lip-outs. All and all it was a good day. Greens were firmer and harder - I am sure you have heard that a lot today. It played a little tougher today overall. But I was pretty happy with it.

Q. Tell us about some of those fun shots. You had eagle on 5 and you holed from the bunker on 13, right?

DAVIS LOVE III: Right. Well, I can just run through the card real quick. 1 hit a great drive and tried to hit a soft pitching wedge in, bounced over the green in the fringe and I hit a chip five feet short and missed it some. That was a little disappointing to start out that way. Came back 8-iron 15 feet, made that at two. And then 5 hit a good drive and 6-iron probably 30, 35 feet behind the hole, Loren chipped in from behind the green and then I made a putt down the hill for eagle. So that was an exciting hole. And then 8 hit 1-iron off the tee, a 9-iron to about two feet, then 13, drove it in the right bunker and then hit an 9-iron out -- hit it in the green-side bunker and it wasn't that far from the pin but it kicked off the side of the bunker and went across the bunker then I holed the bunker shot. So it was a great birdie on that hole. Two birdies on that hole gets me ahead of the game a little bit.

Q. How long was that shot from the bunker?

DAVIS LOVE III: Probably 40 feet from the hole. It wasn't a long way, but it was -- the pin was front right. I was in the front right bunker. And then 18 a really good drive and 7-iron kind of rolled around down there to the left of the hole pin-high and then hit one of those rollercoaster putts that I was just trying to lag it up the hill where it would turn around and come back and stop by the hole where I could tap it in so wouldn't have a 3-footer because I have been watching guys ahead of me lipping out 3-footers the whole way in. I didn't want that, one of those sidehill putts there so trying at least if it came down past the hole it would be straight back in. I got up there and I said: Well, I might have a chance for it to go in. I started down the hill looked like it was going to stop; then it tumbled over in the hole. That was fun, made, like I said, for a couple of that I hit real good putts on, it lipped out. That was probably 25 feet or just a little less.

Q. Is that going straight ahead route or --

DAVIS LOVE III: 40 feet maybe, it was about a 25-footer with six feet of break.

Q. Are you surprised given your layoff that you are playing -- you played well in the Open one bad round in Hartford; now you are playing well here?

DAVIS LOVE III: Not really because I was playing good you know, while I was hurt before I took time off. I was swinging the best I'd ever been swinging it. At the Masters practice rounds, I was -- I couldn't have hit it any better and then just happened to get hurt the first day and it wasn't really the same, you know, the next -- that week and next week, I just never felt the same. That was kind of the straw that broke the camel's back but before that, I was just swinging great. I just felt like if I could just get healthy that I would start playing good again. Now I have been able to putt, you know, a fair amount; not a lot, but a fair amount, and haven't really been able to pitch and chip very much, but I have been able to putt some in the house, do things like that, and I took that time to switch over to a Scotty Cameron putter that I had been wanting to switch to for a long time so kind of took that opportunity to work with it. So yeah, one bad round at Hartford and one bad nine at Hartford you know, is to be expected. I think obviously I didn't expect to come out and be putting it down the middle of every hole after being hurt, but that's how far I have progressed. Hopefully I can rest up again before tomorrow afternoon and come back, you know, one thing is done is got to get the rest of my body refreshed, you know, trying to fix my neck, you know, my back and my lower back that I have had problems with and my hip, I don't even have a problem anymore it feels like, so I probably just needed a break. Like I said, outside I am the most excited guy to be here because I haven't been playing much. That's good for something.

Q. Is it a little more satisfying because you didn't expect to be here until last Friday or --

DAVIS LOVE III: Well, it was always in the back of my mind that I might play depending on what I can at Hartford. But I think I had both ends of the spectrum, if I had played poorly I was going to come and if I played really, really good I was going to come. So -- but, yeah, after missing the cut last week and committing the last minute it is fun to get off to a great start.

Q. You talked yesterday about having to build up your endurance or stamina. How do you feel?

DAVIS LOVE III: I feel pretty good. This is not an overly difficult course to walk but it is not the easiest one either. That part of it I feel pretty good about. Like I said, I hit a my best drive on 18 of the day, so -- and I hit a great drive at 16, 17 too, so I know that I don't run out of gas anymore. I think at the Open I was kind of running out of gas, not really walking because I had been doing a lot of, you know, cardiovascular kind of stuff, but I hadn't been hitting golf balls. I think my arms got tired, especially my left arm got tired and now, like I said, that I can practice a little bit, I have got that endurance back up where I can go all day and not lose it.

Q. Were you surprised that none of the guys in the morning made more of a run? Typically the greens are little softer in the morning.

DAVIS LOVE III: I think -- I wasn't out here until 11:30, but I think the wind blew harder both mornings than it did in the afternoons. It's gusty this afternoon but it wasn't steady and yesterday morning it blew pretty good, then it kind of cut off, so you know, I think 4-, 5-under was a low round today, so I think it played a little harder just because of the greens and the wind was very similar, it blew, I mean, 18 I hit longer drive today than I did yesterday and I thought it was blowing in pretty hard earlier in the day on 18 and then it seemed like it just kind of stopped only about 16 on about 16 it kind of quit for us.

Q. Was the toughest part of your injury knowing that you were hitting the ball so great and bang it, just got shut down like that?

DAVIS LOVE III: Yeah, knowing that I was -- I had won and I was playing good and had had a couple of other chances to win and then when it came around time to play at THE PLAYERS Championship and I started probably overworking, putting myself in a position that I wasn't competitive, yeah, that was frustrating, that -- it wasn't because I wasn't working hard or wasn't because I was swinging bad. It was just because physically I couldn't do it. That was a little frustrating. But you know, it was more a sense of doubt, what am I going to do, am I going to be able to play the big tournaments or the Ryder Cup team or where am I going with the rest of this year that got off to a good start and that was probably the most frustrating.

Q. Is your life off the course, your routine has it changed a lot over the -- (inaudible)

DAVIS LOVE III: A little bit. I seem to at home be leaving things for other people to do a little bit more rather than -- I had spent a lot of time on my boat cleaning my boat down at the marina and one day a guy walked by and said: Shouldn't you be paying somebody to do that for you. I wasn't doing anything too strenuous, I just happened to there be for a long time. And that's kind of what I have tried to do is just you know, leave things that are fun to do, but you probably can let somebody else do and I try to spend more time on relaxing or doing things, you know, there's a lot of things that I did that didn't bother my neck that I had a lot of fun doing. Spent a lot of time with my kids. My son cried for the first time me leaving on Sunday because I had been home so much that he was not used to me being -- going away. He didn't like it. That's really the first time in seven years that I had seen him get upset that I was leaving because he knew I'd be, you know, I'd be back pretty quick. But being home that much, I spoiled him, I guess.

Q. Is that course where length may matter more than some others or not?

DAVIS LOVE III: I think it's a good advantage everywhere, but maybe a little more here because if I had driven it in the fairway on the par 5s today, today I could have used my length to an advantage. I got it right up there at 9 and I didn't get it up-and-down, but missed a fairway at 11 and 15 and that just that killed me because I can -- know, Loren and Purtz probably weren't going to knock it on there today and I could have and that would have been an advantage on both of those. So I think it helps. It is a tough driving course and if you can back off and feel comfortable with a 1-iron that you will have a sure enough shot in, yeah, it's just a hard golf course and everything that you are doing well, whether it is a length or straight or whatever gives you an advantage.

Q. Were the greens a lot harder today?

DAVIS LOVE III: Yeah, they were a lot harder today, I thought. Somewhere in between yesterday and today I like but if it rains a little bit they will probably get too soft again, but I heard Monday they were extremely hard then that rain softened them up. They were right where we can handle today and I think if they get any harder it gets to where they are really tough.

Q. Mentally do your victories at Pebble (inaudible) in any way maybe make this weekend a little easier?

DAVIS LOVE III: Yeah, I have been playing good and been close recently and I know that you know, I am not under the gun to prove anything right now. I am just trying to get back healthy and competitive and this was going to be a week to come back and make another step forward to get ready for the Open and you know, this is obviously a great tournament and we all want to win. But you know, I am -- I was kind of on a rebuilding path but as soon as I got off to a good start yesterday, I said all right, it wasn't last week was just a bad one, bad day, I am still on the same path I was on, so, but yeah, I think it will help me.

End of FastScripts....

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