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July 5, 2001

Davis Love III


NELSON LUIS: We'd like to welcome Davis Love into the interview room, finished 6-under today. Obviously a very good start to your tournament, Davis. Why don't you just give us some of your brief thoughts on your round today.

DAVIS LOVE III: Well, I did get off to a good start. I birdied the first two. I started on 10, birdied the first two so I was happy with that after the start I had last week of 75. It was a little bit better start. I kind of got on a roll and even though the wind was blowing on the first nine, I played real well and then kind of kept it going on my back nine and really only made two or three mistakes all day that I was unhappy with and I rolled the ball real well and drove it well. That's a good combination?

Q. Were you originally planning on playing here or did something evolve after?

DAVIS LOVE III: It has kind of been -- everything with me since April has been evolving, you know, I didn't know where or when I was going to play. I was told before Hartford to try to go play everyday, whether it was on Tour or at home, build my stamina back up, get back used to hitting golf balls everyday. I don't need to play six weeks in a row but I need to play a lot of golf. After missing the cut I knew I'd have the weekend off to kind of recover and start back over again this week. I am planning on playing next Monday and Tuesday and then going over early for the British and then playing the British and then I will reassess after that if everything is going good.

Q. What is your physical condition at this time?

DAVIS LOVE III: Today it was great. I am very good today.

Q. Does it come and go?

DAVIS LOVE III: It seems to be going more everyday. I think I got a little aggressive with exercise and golf at Hartford because I felt like I was going to jump back out there and start playing and I was doing exercises at the same time. As soon as I kind of backed off a little bit over the weekend and went back to just, you know, a gradual increase, I seemed to get better. I haven't had a setback other than like I said, a couple of bad holes starting off last week, I have just you know, had to knock the cobwebs out of my head and it took me -- I thought the Open was a good sign but it was actually, you know, I still needed some more rounds under my belt to get back to feeling normal.

Q. How close were you not coming this week?

DAVIS LOVE III: I think if I had played decent the first two days last week I may not have committed knowing that like I said, I have got, you know, a commitment next week and then the early travel to the British to get ready over there, I may not have played, but you know, I was looking at Friday, late commitment, probably even if I made it just on the number or something, or, you know, just snuck in there -- if I was playing really good last week, got off to a start where I had a chance, maybe to be in the hunt on the weekend, then I may not have played, but I didn't have a hotel reservation, but I thought I might come.

Q. Surprised with the round today?

DAVIS LOVE III: Am I surprised with my round today?

Q. Yes.

DAVIS LOVE III: Not really. It should have been a lot better the way I drove it. I hit the ball good on the weekend. I went home and got a lesson from my teacher Jack Lumpkin. I hit the ball real well with him. I hadn't really -- well, since April hadn't had a lesson, per se. I talked to him and he went to the U.S. Open with me but I couldn't practice so I really hadn't worked on my swing any. So we worked on posture over the weekend a little. Pretty happy with the way I was hitting it going in. Then started making some putts yesterday in the pro-am, so I felt pretty good about it. I am surprised I didn't get a couple of more the way I was going with two holes to go finishing 5, 5 that wasn't very good. You hit a good shot at 8 and it backed down the hill, I 3-putted, didn't hit a good drive at 9, but all and all I am pleased, but no, I am not shocked that I am scoring well on this kind of golf course.

Q. Where did the trouble start? How long a battle has it been for you?

DAVIS LOVE III: Well, I think over -- getting started at the beginning of the year not being in Kapalua and not going to Australia I was practicing hard to come out at the beginning of the year getting ready to go, started playing good and played probably too many on the West Coast and probably pounded too many balls before THE PLAYERS and the Masters just kind of wore myself out. A bad disc is not really a problem. It is aggravating, a bad disc, that is a problem. I think I just aggravated it. It was coming on since February probably. I just was hanging in there. It just never seemed to get any better. A lot of times they say well, it is good to play hurt sometimes. Well sometimes it is good to play hurt. I kept throwing pitches when my arm was bothering me and I should have just quit.

Q. Have you been told now you will be okay and go ahead and play is that the deal?

DAVIS LOVE III: Well, I don't think anybody wants to go out on that limb, but, you know, given that I do the right things that I shouldn't have a problem, yeah. If I go out this afternoon and get all excited and hit, you know, 500 balls, then I am going to have a problem over the weekend probably. As long as I am patient with it and gradually build back up, I don't think I am -- the way I am driving it right now, you know, I haven't lost anything. I think it is just a matter of not overdoing it, which is good for me. I can find other things to do than pound drivers on the driving range. I can go chip and putt or something. Maybe go to the White Sox game.

Q. How long did you go without touching the club or without swinging?

DAVIS LOVE III: Well, probably two and a half weeks. I tried to come back at New Orleans, it didn't work. Tried to come back at Fort Worth and it didn't work. So I didn't go along stretch without ever hitting one, but I went from the last day of Hilton Head to the first round of the U.S. Open without playing 18 holes. That was probably the biggest thing was just, you know, not going out and keeping score for that long, and just getting rusty. When I was going good at the Open it was going good. When it was going bad at the Open, I'd make a string of bogeys. That's what seemed like it got me at Hartford. I got off to a bad start and I had a one of my worst rounds in five years. The next day I kind of plodded along even it was no problem. Once I went back -- like Phil went back, and got back into my mental routine, I played good today.

Q. Was it frustrating during that period where you went two months without playing 18 holes? How did you handle that?

DAVIS LOVE III: I was frustrated with just the fact that sitting around was the only thing that would get me better. I couldn't really -- it wasn't like I got to go home and, you know, go fishing everyday and ride horses and, you know, build tree houses and stuff. I was home trying to take it easy which is hard for me to do. That was the only frustrating thing. They didn't say, you know, if you work out on this two hours a day you will be better. I didn't have anything I could really jump into to make myself get better and that was the only frustrating thing.

End of FastScripts....

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