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May 11, 2000
DAVE SENKO: Well, Davis, started off 4-under 66. Maybe just a quick recap of your day
and we'll get your birdies and then we'll open up for some questions.
DAVIS LOVE III: Well, I scrambled around, you know pretty good when I had to today in
the wind. I hit some balls, you know, close to the hole and made a couple 30-footers,
chipped in once, and made one other real good up-and-down. So I did everything, you know,
I could to shoot a good score, except, you know hit good putts on the last hole. You know,
it was a struggle to hit the fairways. It was hard to hit the ball close to the hole. You
know, it seemed to get worse as we went on, especially in the middle of the round into the
middle of the back nine, the holes seemed to be all cross wind and it was hard to get it
close. But I hung in there real good, and I hit the ball real solid all day. And like I
said, made a couple good -- good saves and only had, really, only one or two mistakes.
DAVE SENKO: Want to go through your birdies, bogeys real quick. Start at 1.
DAVIS LOVE III: 1st hole, hit a 4-wood off the tee, a sand wedge to about four feet. 3,
3-wood off the tee, 7-iron to about 15 feet. 6, a driver, just in the right rough and a
7-iron to about 30 feet. 10 was a 4-wood off the tee, a pitching wedge to about three
feet. 13, hit an 8-iron left of the green, a little long and left up on the hill, and
chipped it down there about six feet and missed it. 15, I hit driver, 5-iron 30 feet left
of the hole and made it. 16, driver and a 3-wood up there pretty close to the green, about
60 yards from the hole, and saw Brandel Chamblee hit it up on top and suck it back; so I
tried to hit a low, running pitching wedge up the hill and I hooked it left of the green,
pin-high and then chipped it in. Thought it was a very good strategy. It was about 40 feet
away, I guess. 18, drove it in the left rough and hit a real good 4-iron up there on the
front of green out of the rough, and left my first putt about five feet short and then
Q. Is it more difficult playing the crosswind holes or the ones playing into the wind
DAVIS LOVE III: You know, if I'd have hit the fairway at 18, I would say the crosswind
holes, but, you know, I saw how hard it can play if you start missing the fairways and the
greens coming in. But I was hitting the ball pretty solid. I hit a driver and a 5-iron to
15 and everybody else -- Brandel is in the other fairway and Cookie is over in the left
trees; so I didn't really see how hard it was playing. Then I started to realize it when
they weren't anywhere near the pin in 2, and I'm up there putting for birdie. I hit some
real good, solid shots into the wind, two good shots at 16 and hit a real good 3-iron at
17. Just went right through the wind over the green, and a good 4-iron into 18. Like I
said I was fortunate. I scrambled around pretty good and kept myself having chances; so it
didn't seem quite as hard as the guys who were not catching it solid. Every missed shot I
saw today out of those two guys or the guys in front of us, it was just off, whew,
sailing. There was no real margin for error. Like I said, I gave myself a lot of chances.
You know you go back and say, gosh, I could have shot even par very easily if I didn't get
lucky and I make a couple long putts and chip-in. But you also go back and say, well, if I
2-putt 18 and make a couple other ones and don't miss a green with an 8-iron here or miss
this fairway there, I could have shot even lower. It's one of those days where if you get
something going, hitting it solid -- looked like Tiger got something going there for a
while and then all of the sudden going the other direction. I know Brandel was playing
pretty well. Cookie started to play better, and then all of the sudden, they both just
crashed coming in. It's very, very difficult. You have to really catch the ball solid.
Q. We had heard that a gust of wind was up to about 38 miles an hour today. Are there
players on TOUR who are better wind players who are out here in this tournament?
DAVIS LOVE III: Well, there's guys who always seem to play pretty good in the wind. Jim
Furyk, just off the top of your head, if you had to say who plays best in the wind, Furyk
seems to always play well when it is windy. But the longer hitters tend to do well. And
obviously the guys with the real good short games, they get it out there pretty good, they
tend to have an advantage; scramble, get it around the greens and scramble. I was watching
Corey and Ed Fiori in front of me; they were having an awful tough time. The course is
long enough without the wind blowing; so I think length definitely an advantage in the
Q. Assuming you keep hitting the ball this well, is this somewhat of an advantage to
you to have gotten this round out of the way, a 66 on this course and having Cottonwood
Valley ahead of you?
DAVIS LOVE III: It's nice. I got out in in the middle of the round and said,
"Let's just stay patient and keep going," because you don't want to go over to
Cottonwood trying to catch up with somebody. I think it's better to play that course
either first, or, you know, after a good round, because if you're trying to play catchup,
then you feel like you're going backwards over there if you're not making birdies. I think
that course has gotten harder, though. I think maybe today we'll see that the scores are a
little more even. It seemed harder, the 12 or so holes or so I played over there Tuesday.
You know, and that course is -- has matured a little bit and seems like it's gotten a
little longer. I don't think it's quite the disparity that there used to be, especially if
the wind blows.
Q. If it calms down, is it an advantage to guys who played this course where tomorrow
you have a course where you could possibly go real low in ideal conditions?
DAVIS LOVE III: I think it would be, if it calms down. I think they were saying it was
going to blow until the front came. But hopefully, it will be calmer for everybody
tomorrow, because you don't want to play two or three days in this.
Q. Are you tired?
DAVIS LOVE III: Yeah. It really wears you out. And I rested a lot yesterday, because we
had -- we had a long day Tuesday playing golf and having some meetings; so I spent a lot
of time resting yesterday. Still pretty tired. And you walk those last four or five holes
kind of uphill into the wind, it's -- it is tiring.
Q. Generally, the scores get pretty low out here at this tournament. If this keeps up
for three days, do you expect this to be one of the higher-scoring Nelsons they have had?
DAVIS LOVE III: Yeah, if it keeps up, it will -- I didn't play last year. I don't know
what the weather was, but Loren Roberts' scores were awful low; so I don't know how hard
it blew, but I would think that if it blew like this, you would be pretty happy to be 12-
Q. Going on a little more than two years since the MCI in '98, is it easier for you or
difficult for you to keep your patience, knowing that, you know, you are at least giving
yourself some chances?
DAVIS LOVE III: Well, I definitely lost my patience after Hilton Head and Greensboro. I
didn't play -- I was playing well, and I just didn't hang in there very good. That's why I
took two weeks off. Rather than one, because I was just very frustrated and very tired.
This is my 12th tournament already this year, and I've just been trying too hard to, you
know, to winning, rather than just come out and play good. You know, that's everybody's
goal is to win, but I was -- you know, I was pushing a little too hard to win. It became
more than a goal. You know, if I had a bad day or missed a putt or something, I was
getting very frustrated. And I'm sure you've been around, you've seen me get frustrated,
bogey the last hole, not finish well. I've gotten frustrated more than I usually do, and I
needed to take a break and relax. Talked a lot with Jack Lumpkin, working on my game this
week; that I just need to come out and play and just play and enjoy it and do my best and
not put so much pressure on wins or -- you know, I've been going backwards rather than
forwards the last couple months because I have been trying way too hard. You know, I feel
like I've got a better attitude this week than I did at Greensboro, and that's really all
I can do is see if I can improve the things I know were costing me shots. And it wasn't my
golf swing or my putting stroke; it was mostly my attitude.
Q. Davis, obviously you're playing well enough to contend a lot. So do you feel that if
there's some type of barrier, it might be more mental than physical; you maybe have to try
to figure out how to get back to winning the way you want to?
DAVIS LOVE III: I think it definitely is mental. You know, I worked real hard on my
swing this winter, and I came out with a good golf swing and ready to play. Like I was
just saying, I was thinking about winning, not before I went out to play or reminding
myself to be patient so I could win. I was thinking, all right, now I'm in -- like today,
I'd get under par and I'd go, "Okay, now you have a chance to win, let's get
going." It was becoming an obsession rather than just part of my daily routine and
goals, and it was getting in the way. I think it was popping into my head too much, and
that's why I said, I needed to take a break from that and say, what's important. I've
played for the last two years, you know, I've been at the top of the Money List, top of
the World Rankings and I haven't won. So something is getting in the way of the win part
of it, because I've done everything you could do, except for win: Second in majors, second
in a lot of tournaments, and a lot of Top-10s. And, you know, I thought about what did I
do at the Ryder Cup that was so much better than the week before or the week after. I just
played with a lot of intensity and played to have fun, but I wasn't trying to win a golf
tournament. You know, I was just playing for the love of it, and I think that's what I was
missing. I went out and played nine holes with some friends, the only nine I played when I
was home, and I hit every shot good and every putt good because I went out and played for
fun. I wasn't trying to win a tournament, not even keeping score for 18 holes. Took my
little boy out in my mom's backyard and hit two 8-irons to the green and then two 8-irons
back to the 150-yard marker and I hit all four of them just right at it, without warming
up without practicing. I just said, "You've got to go back out there and play like
that," for one. Sure, play to win, but not get obsessed with it and obsessed with
beating Tiger and obsessed with beating David Duval. Just play golf and have fun. I've
come in all of these press rooms so much in the last two years, except on Sundays, and it
just shows I've been playing good, and I've just got to get over. You know what, if I
don't win this week, as long as I do better than at Greensboro, which was disappointing.
Q. Is this a chronic thing with you or is this the first time this has ever happened?
DAVIS LOVE III: No. I think I've tried too hard a lot. But definitely after winning in
'97, winning the PGA and then coming back and winning -- you know, having a good fall and
winter and coming back and winning Hilton Head, you know, you think you would just keep
right on going, but I haven't. You know, you keep trying to move up to the next level. And
it seems like every time I try to move to the next level, I get a new level of trying to
hard. And it's not from lack of talking to Rotel (ph) or anything like that; I see where I
want to go, and sometimes, I get in my own way trying to get there.
Q. Did you find yourself during the last two weeks off trying to remember what it was
like to win, what was going through your head that week at wherever, at MCI?
DAVIS LOVE III: No. I tried to just get away from playing. You know, not really even
think about golf and just try to get back to feeling good and feeling rested and take care
of some of the things that were, you know, hanging over me that I had not gotten done, you
know, putting off because -- sorry, I'm going to practice, I'm not going to sign
autographs or answer my phone calls or write letters. Just be focused on what I'm doing. I
just went home and watched baseball games and softball games and went fishing and just
goofed around with my family, and it was good for me. I took my mom and my wife fishing
one day, and they were talking about me coming to Dallas. I said, "Y'all are so
worried about it, it makes me start trying too hard," and I said, "you know,
I've been doing this for 15 years, I'll get it right again." I think that's what I
needed was just a break, and quit thinking about it. If I went home and sat there for two
weeks and thought about trying to win Dallas or Colonial or win the U.S. Open, it would
not have done me any good.
Q. What do you think about your dad being honored last week?
DAVIS LOVE III: I thought that was great. You know, we've gotten a nice little run here
where that's happened a few times. It's nice that people remember, you know, because of
Harvey, my dad had an awful lot; so that meant an awful lot to all of us.
Q. Are you curious to see about having fun again and taking that attitude, if you can
keep that attitude on a Sunday afternoon?
DAVIS LOVE III: Yeah. I didn't keep it on 18 green there, you know, so I'm not going to
keep it all the way. You know, all of the sudden I started trying to 2-putt and figure out
how fast it was up the hill or get it up there close and get it in 5-under. And, you know,
it's not the first time that's happened and not the last time it will happen. But yeah,
I'm looking forward to the next three days. And as we've talked a lot in the last couple
years, it's four rounds that I haven't played; so it would be nice to see -- you know, as
I said, it might not be this week, but I'd like to improve. Greensboro, I was all over the
place; Hilton Head, I was all over the place; Masters, I was all over the place. So it
would be nice to have a consistent attitude. I might not make the putts, but just have a
nice even keel. You know, that's one thing I saw in David Duval that really helped me for
a while, and that I need to get back to. I was thinking about -- I had dinner with him
last night, and I said, you know, that's what I'm missing is that -- when he goes out to
play, he just stays nice and even. He doesn't get excited. He doesn't get down. It doesn't
look like he gets too frustrated. I need to get back to that where my emotions aren't
running all over the place. So, you know, if you're trying to hard to do something, if
you're not thinking about the task at hand, your emotions can get away from you a little
End of FastScripts