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January 19, 2000

Davis Love III


LEE PATTERSON: All right. Maybe just a couple comments about today, and then we'll pass around the microphone and ask questions.

DAVIS LOVE III: I played fairly solid all day. I hit two or three bad shots, and I made one good up-and-down, and then drove it out of bounds on 9, my 18th, and made double. So other than that, other than a couple swings, I played pretty good.

Q. What did he shoot?

DAVIS LOVE III: Yeah, I finished six (under).

Q. You haven't played in this tournament since 1994. Is it difficult to get back the knowledge of the golf courses, especially kind of funky little golf courses like Indian Wells?

DAVIS LOVE III: No, I've played them enough. I played all four -- I played three of them all the way through and played about half the holes at La Quinta. So, no, it wasn't that big of deal. I think Tamarisk could be the only one that I haven't played enough to jump right in and play them. But they stay pretty consistent. The golf course over here is always in great shape and the greens are good. Bermuda Dunes, pretty much the same. I guess La Quinta is the only one that's really changed a little bit. We looked at that. Yeah, I'm pretty comfortable with the golf course. When the wind starts to blow out here, everything is pretty much, you know, just play your yardages.

Q. Since this is your first tournament this year, just curious how you spent the off-season to start preparing for this year, and any goals that you might want to share?

DAVIS LOVE III: My goals really haven't changed ever since I first came out. You know, win majors and try to be leading money winner, Player of the Year, that kind of stuff. They haven't really changed. I spent a lot of time the last couple weeks working on my swing and trying to get everything tuned up. I felt pretty good about that. So I'm looking forward to this year, an exciting year. And after the great play of David and Tiger last year, it will be fun to try to keep up with that pace that they set last year.

Q. At this point, how do you feel about your chances of winning this tournament if you keep playing the way you played in this round?

DAVIS LOVE III: I think I answered your own question. It's way early. We've got four rounds to go. You never know what's going to happen with the golf and with the weather. But like I said, I played pretty good today. Sure, I'd like to have a couple of swings over, but the first round of my year, I'm pretty happy with 6-under, and if I can keep that up, I'll have a chance come Sunday.

Q. Last year, I think was probably the first year you didn't win since, I guess, 1993 or 1994. How much of a motivating factor was that in the month or so you had off getting ready for this year?

DAVIS LOVE III: I didn't like not going to Kapalua, for sure. But I came close a few times last year. I felt like I played good. My big goal this year is to keep doing what I'm doing right now, then I think I'll get back in the winner's circle. Winning one, would that have made a huge difference? If it had been the Masters, yeah. But winning one, I'm still not sure where I want to be. I want to be competitive every week. I was consistent last year, but I wasn't consistently ready to win. That was the big difference. Will one win this year make that big a difference? I don't think so. I think I need to get back to where I have a chance to win every week, and that's the way that I think that I'll be comfortable with what I'm doing.

Q. Just a minor point of clarification: You usually play the Sony, and I remember when you went to Valderrama. You said you made a deal with your daughter, who was in a horse show, that you would take her to Hawaii?

DAVIS LOVE III: We went over Thanksgiving.

Q. Since you didn't play in Kapalua or at the Sony, is this a tough tournament to start your year with? Your first round, you've got to go out and shoot 66 or 65 to just be in the hunt, as opposed to starting at some of the other tournaments?

DAVIS LOVE III: Well, you know, I guess last week, you would have had to shoot the same thing. Yeah, I think these days, the scores are going to be like that pretty much wherever you go. On the West Coast, there's a lot of courses where they shoot low numbers. But I think with working on my swing for a couple weeks, this is the best place for me to start. 90% of the time, the wind is pretty calm, and, you know, it's not that -- that hard to get something going on. The biggest thing is to get the rust off the putter, and I spent enough time playing and practicing to do that. But I didn't want to try my swing out -- with the winds in Hawaii it would have been counterproductive for me. This is a good spot. I haven't played in a while. We've got a (inaudible) on the retirement side deals that incentivize us to not (inaudible) for a long time. So I needed to play this one, not only for the sponsors and for the TOUR, but also for myself. And there's some that haven't fallen just right in my schedule, and I'm glad to be back.

Q. There's a lot of interest this week in Casey Martin playing for the first time as a TOUR member. Do you look at him any differently than you would any other rookie or is he just a guy that, as he says, just gets to the ball in a different way?

DAVIS LOVE III: It's probably better that I don't comment on that subject.

LEE PATTERSON: Why don't you go over your birdies and things for us real quick.

DAVIS LOVE III: Birdies and things?


DAVIS LOVE III: Let's see, started on the back nine.

LEE PATTERSON: Birdied 12?

DAVIS LOVE III: 12, with a driver and about a 60-yard sand wedge and about a 15-foot putt. 14 was a 3-wood -- no, wait a minute. 13 -- 14 is the par 5. Driver, and a 5-iron just in front of the green and pitched up. And then the par 3, next hole, a 7-iron to about two feet. And then 16, a 3-wood and pitching wedge to about 15 feet. And then 18, a driver and a 4-iron right in the middle of the green on the lower level, and I had a 25-footer and 2-putted it. And then the next birdie was 5, a driver and a 4-iron to the middle of the green, about 25 feet, 2-putted. And then 7, a driver and about an 80-yard wedge shot to about three feet. And then No. 8, driver and a 3-iron, just left of the green in the fringe. Kicked it up there around a foot from 40 feet and tapped that in for birdie. 9, I hit a driver right, out of bounds and then hit the fairway on the green and then 2-putted from about 40 feet for six.

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