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April 14, 2001

Davis Love III


DAVIS LOVE III: Obviously, the charities are the focus on the PGA TOUR. We hear that all the time, but the time that we are in, the purses are getting bigger and bigger and bigger. There is more focus on the money that the players are making. I think we've got to remember that there are volunteers - I don't know how many - from a thousand to 2,000 volunteers every week that come out, and the reason they volunteer isn't so the players can make more money. It is so that the charity can make money. Sometimes you forget that these people are out there, not just, you know, so the golf tournament can function. They are doing it so the golf tournament doesn't have to spend money on those people, so that they can make money for charity. The players do a lot for their own individual communities. But the real people that do the hard work for charity are the volunteers and the Tour, because of its structure and the individual tournaments, structures that are really the whole reason that the PGA TOUR, Tour events started, was because its charitable organizations wanted a way to raise money. I think it is great that we continue that. Obviously, the number of dollars raised and the purses have separated a little bit, but the purses have grown a lot because of TV, and the charities have grown a lot because of the growth of the tournaments, and just continues to obviously be a focus of what we do.

Q. (Inaudible)

DAVIS LOVE III: I was doing some sleeping this morning.

Q. How do you feel coming in here this week? Your leg was bothering you?

DAVIS LOVE III: No. That was Chris Perry in my group. He was limping. I said: Chris, I am not playing. I can carry you a couple of holes and your caddie can carry you a couple of holes. My neck was acting up but I hit the ball great on the range so I don't think that was it. I just didn't play well. I am feeling good and obviously it is always exciting to come back here. We were joking last week that to try and take some pressure off last week was to think of it as a warm-up for the Heritage. I always get ready like I'm trying to get ready for the Masters. I am ready to play, and after not playing well in a couple of big tournaments in the year, and playing good in everything else, I am happy to get back to the normal routine and start getting ready for the U.S. Open.

Q. The course has been restored here. Have you had a chance to be out there?

DAVIS LOVE III: I haven't been out on the golf course yet so I am looking forward to seeing it this afternoon.

Q. Have you heard anything about it? Any concern?

DAVIS LOVE III: No concern that I have, but I have heard a lot about it. So I am interested to see the differences and the changes, but I have heard it's in great shape, so....

Q. (Inaudible)

? DAVIS LOVE III: It's never fun to miss a cut, not being around -- the way I was playing, I wasn't going to be around for the last nine holes whether I was playing or not probably. I put myself so far behind the first 27 with trying to make the cut with nine to go, rather than trying to get in the hunt, so -- but, yeah, I missed being there. I have been close there a lot of years at least around the Top 5 for a lot of Sundays there, so it was not fun not to get a shot at it.

Q. Ever think you'd see the day (inaudible) --

DAVIS LOVE III: I didn't think it would be likely, and you know, some of the predictions that he would win as many majors as Nicklaus we all kind of scoffed at a little bit, but if you are going to win that many in a row, it certainly makes it a lot easier. I think the incredible thing that hadn't been pointed out a whole lot, not only has he won the last four majors, but he won THE PLAYERS Championship. When you consider that, it is the five best fields, you know, whatever you want to call the tournaments, it is the five tournaments that you most want to win and he has won them, not just in a lifetime, but in the space of a year. That, to me, is phenomenal. Like Rush Limbaugh (ph) said yesterday, we are lucky that we are playing the sport that has the best athlete in the world. It is very exciting. You know, if I don't win, you know, it is exciting to see him win because it is just an incredible story. It is Michael Jordan all over again.

Q. Some sports commentators I think are saying that (inaudible) --

DAVIS LOVE III: Mickelson and Duval played pretty good last week. They just didn't finish the tournament off the way they should have and they, you know, we all have if's, and David and Phil had a lot of if's last week, and Tiger is the one that hung on and won, so more power to him. Phil Mickelson has played some incredible golf in the last 13 months. He just has had a mistake here or a mistake there that has cost him, and if you make mistakes, the best player in the world is going to beat you.

Q. But in all generations (inaudible) --

DAVIS LOVE III: In golf there hasn't been one like this since Jack Nicklaus, so I think there was -- don't want to put it on Jack, but there was a generation in between, so I -- you can go from Bobby Jones really to Jack Nicklaus to Tiger, I think of dominating major championships. Obviously, Byron Nelson, and there is a lot of great players in between. But dominating major championships, I think he is in the top 3 for sure.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about (inaudible) --

DAVIS LOVE III: Here it has always been good. Iron-play is very important and obviously short game because you see all the putting records are kind of here; the least number of putts for 18, or 9, or for a tournament, they are all -- a lot of them have happened here, so you have got to chip and putt well. But you have got to hit enough good iron shots that you get some birdie putts. You can't go out there and get up-and-down on every hole and win some. Obviously, you have to hit it in the fairway, but more importantly, I think when you do drive it in ten fairways out of 14, you better hit some of them close so you can get some birdie putts. There is not really -- you know, there are a couple chances to get on a par 5 in two, but the greens are so small that you very rarely are on the fifth green in two. Sometimes you are on the second, at least you are around it, but you are going to have to be getting up-and-down a bunch to hang in there. I think good iron-play and good putting really is the key here.

Q. (Inaudible)

DAVIS LOVE III: I think some players are uncomfortable at certain places and some players get comfortable. We certainly won't, you know, predict a long hitter to do extremely well here. You won't predict Corey Pavin to do well at Riviera but just somehow you get comfortable and you play well. It gets to be a little bit comforting when you come to a place that you played well on. I think you can get used to a certain kind of grass, or get used to a certain style of course and enjoy them. But I think this -- we will see if its changed any since last year, but I have always felt really comfortable on this course having success early in my career on it.

Q. (Inaudible)

DAVIS LOVE III: Memorial for practicing is a great one. Callaway Gardens because you get to go bow hunting that week, or I do, if you are invited. Getting to go to Las Vegas for a lot of reasons; plus we take our motorcycles out there and a bunch of us going touring around sight-seeing, and that is why we look forward to probably Vegas as much as any tournament because of the sight-seeing. It is probably the only time we ever go to the Hoover Dam or have an excuse to ride our motorcycles around and see stuff. Pebble Beach, we have friends that we stay with and we always look forward to going and visiting them. That is always a big -- especially with the kids, they want to go see their family we stay with.

Q. (Inaudible)

DAVIS LOVE III: David (inaudible) Bob Tway's brother Scott, (inaudible) the caddie, he brings his bike and some Pro-Am friends we have met over the years and they bring theirs.

Q. What do you have?

DAVIS LOVE III: A Harley, a road king out there.

Q. (Inaudible)

DAVIS LOVE III: I think the same old thing when you redo a course people like (inaudible) I think if it's a golf course that needs rebuilding, finally they are going to fix it. When they say we are going to do Harbour Town, everybody panics: Oh my God, don't mess it up. There was change over the years from the original design that guys wished they would go back to, so I think everybody was kind of hoping it would go back to square one. Obviously, it needed some length and some trees cleaned up and things like that. And resurfacing, but everybody is hoping that it was like they remembered it from years past.

Q. Any hole in particular that (inaudible) changes that they have made that --

DAVIS LOVE III: 15th green changed a couple of times. 7th green was a little more severe than I think it was originally and the greens are kind of starting to shrink even smaller than the small size they started out, so I think, you know, those are some of the things that guys were hoping to be put back to the way they were. But you know, we have always enjoyed the golf course and just -- it changes, evolves over the years, and it is nice to go back and say: Hey, there is a reason why this course was great and let's put it back to where it was.

LEE PATTERSON: Anything else? Thank you, Davis, we appreciate it.

End of FastScripts....

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