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October 28, 1999

Davis Love III


JAMES CRAMER: We have Davis Love III with us. Leader at 7-under par after 27 holes. Davis, good playing. Why don't we quickly go over your card before we let these guys ask you some questions.


JAMES CRAMER: Start on where you started; go through from there.

DAVIS LOVE III: On 12, par 3, hit a 6-iron about 15 feet, made it. 16, was a 5-iron to about 20 feet, made it. Next hole, another drive and 6-iron -- excuse me, 5-iron, about four feet and made it. Then went to 1. Chipped in from just pin-high to the right, maybe 30 feet from the hole. 3, hit a 3-wood off the tee. 9-iron to about 15 feet, made that. 5, driver and 1-iron into the right bunker, pin-high. Blasted out about less than a foot and tapped that in for birdie. Then the 9th hole, driver, then 5-iron about 40 feet short of the hole, 2-putted. Then back to 10.

JAMES CRAMER: First birdie on 11.

DAVIS LOVE III: You can tell it was hard to concentrate out there today. 11, driver and an 8-iron to about five feet. Par 5, drove it right down the middle tried to hit 1-iron over the tree, the corner of the tree to get on the green, hit the tree, fell down. Still had like 170 yards, hit that short and left of the green. Pitched up about ten feet, missed it. Then 17, drove it just in the right rough. Hit it out of the green about 50 feet, made it with a 7-iron. Then 18, flamed it way right, chipped out, knocked it on about -- well, chipped out into the rough across the fairway. And then had about a 40-footer for par, 2-putted. Not a pretty finish, but a good day.

Q. Two things, has there ever been a golf tournament that you have cared less about leading; and secondly, after the emotions of this morning, how did you get yourself focused back on your game?

DAVIS LOVE III: Well, Justin and I were coming across the putting green, and I guess lack of something better to say, he said, "When are you going to go to Orlando?" I said, "I might just go in a little while." I had a tough time gathering up enough emotion to play. And I was glad that I had a couple of hours. And it goes up and down. You want to play well. You want to do your job and -- but the whole day today, I was thinking about all kinds of things from, you know, the events of the week, and then, you know, all kinds of other crazy thoughts in my head. When you are not concentrating, it is hard to stay focused. I definitely wasn't. But I came in here hitting the ball real well. Drove it in a lot of fairways; hit a few bad drives. My shoulder kind of went screwy on me on the last nine holes and started losing some shots and hitting it shorter, and that got me worrying about -- immediately, when you bogey a par 5 and your shoulder hurts, you say, "I am just going to go home." That is kind of the way it looked like. You know, a couple of holes, you know, Jeff, I could tell wasn't really concentrating, and then he'd make a birdie he'd concentrate for a couple of holes. We were both kind of all over the place today. I think that is probably the way it was for everybody. It was more like work, I think, is the simplest way to put it. I was glad I was out on the golf course for 27 holes with one of my Ryder Cup teammates out there, with my brother and seeing the fans. But it was definitely hard to concentrate. I still feel like what I said yesterday is true; it was good for us all to be out here together. And hopefully, Tiger is not hurt, but have to laugh at him trying to hit it through a rock, and, you know, at least make some putts. And you know, it has been a heart-wrenching week, but it has been -- we have come together a little bit. Ben Crenshaw coming down here. And being around and watching me hit balls this morning, that shows you how close we are. He is not even in the golf tournament. Billy Ray Brown is here all day yesterday because he felt like he needed to be here. Guys who are not playing in tournaments are coming to the tournament to see their friends. Tomorrow is going to be very, very emotional for a lot of people. And I think getting today in was good, and we will see what the weekend brings. But the focus is obviously not for us -- not for the tournament and not for scores. It is for, you know, still as it was -- as it has been since Monday; it is on the loss of a lot of fathers and husbands.

Q. Everybody who has come in here talked about how hard it was to concentrate. Are you proud of yourself that somehow you were able to wind up leading this thing; you did something that allowed you to concentrate or hit or something? Are you proud of yourself that you responded the way you did?

DAVIS LOVE III: I had a bad lie on -- I have never been at a loss for what the holes are and for what the -- but the 14th hole, had a bad lie over there in the left side of the fairway. Hit a beautiful 6-iron off the dirt; cut up there on the green. I am walking up there: You know what, who cares if I hit a great shot. Nobody is out here, a couple of hundred people, and got a birdie putt, but, you know, just didn't excite me. You know, that is the way it ought to be, though. I made a great putt there at 17. And walking over to 18 had a laugh because sign boy was out there. Now we are calling him "Muffin Man" because of his new commercial. You get on the 18th tee, the fun doesn't last very long. And I know that it is no fun in Orlando right now, and it is not going to be tomorrow. So you kind of chastise yourself every time you'd have fun today, or every time you got excited. I don't know, crazy range of emotions. And there is the part of me that says we shouldn't be playing, but then the other part of it is we need to be out here; we need to be going on TV and keeping the focus on the situation and not really on -- try not to make this more important -- this is not the most important thing this week. I think that is the point guys have been trying to make.

Q. Are you surprised you are leading?

DAVIS LOVE III: No. I came in playing well. I think I if I would have got going bad, I would have got going really bad. I'd got go going good, I was fortunate to get off to a good start. Sometimes I play better when I play with a lot of excitement and passion like at the Ryder Cup this year. Sometimes I play better if I have got something else on my mind or I don't feel well or I am hurt and I am just trying to get through and trying to go through my routines. Bob today said, "Hey, look, today, every time you think about something that is not golf today, let it remind you to get into your routine. That is the only way you are going to get through." I tried to do that today. Backed off some putts and some shots and tried to just focus on my routine. And so I am not surprised that I played well. Don't get me wrong. I mean, this is a big golf tournament. I am pleased. But it just doesn't have the same excitement to it. You know, I was only one that broke 100 today; so that is a good day. So hopefully we can get through tomorrow, and then maybe the weekend will be a little bit more exciting.

Q. You told us yesterday you thought there might be some people flying to Orlando and just not come back. Do you still feel that way?

DAVIS LOVE III: Well, I hurt my shoulder and Tiger probably broke his wrist, so I don't know. Maybe the injured guys will be sore tomorrow. But I think it is good for me to have a day off, but I don't know. You have to take each guy individually and see what they shot and how close they were to Payne. And at some points during today, it really hit home. That little airplane flew over with that banner; I couldn't putt. I had a 4-footer straight in for birdie. Took me ten minutes to get ready to putt it, waiting for Jeff. And you shouldn't be out there playing golf with tears in your eyes. And some guys, you know, might not want to do it again after today. But I would be surprised. This morning meant a lot to a lot of people, and Tom Lehman did an outstanding job and I think being together might be more important than, you know, packing it in and going home.

Q. Do you think possibly that your experiences in the past helped you get through today and played better?

DAVIS LOVE III: I think so. I got -- I think, my personality and my attitude changed a lot in 1988, and I learned to play the game. May have hurt me; may have helped me, but I learned to play the game on a little bit more even keel and make it a little -- try to make it a little more workmen-like and not as much loose and fun as I had been in the past. I look at David Duval. I'd like to be able to play as even and as calm and composed as him and so I think, yeah, I think yeah that -- you know, and maybe being a little bit older and a little more experienced helped. But as I said, I came in here hitting the ball pretty good. I played three rounds last week on a new golf course at home that I was excited about and my coach helped me some and I was hitting it good. So I came in hitting it good;I think things that have happened in the past for me that I have been through certainly made me at least know how to deal with it and how to deal with my emotions maybe a little bit better.

Q. Anybody flying back to Orlando with you tonight?

DAVIS LOVE III: I actually told my wife, I said, leave me a message when I get done, what I am supposed to do, you know, am I going to take our airplane; am I going to go commercial? I am on the plane with Tiger, so, she got with Alicia, she is down there now, and Joanna, they said just tell him to just go with Tiger so he can get here quick.

Q. You know what Estes did this morning in the first tee. Was there any thoughts of any kind of things like that yourself?

DAVIS LOVE III: Not to poke fun at him but I don't think Payne wants us throwing away strokes. I think that was -- I understand Bob's emotion and I admire him for that. I guess maybe he told you what he was trying to say, but I admire whatever it was. But I am glad he was 1-under after 4, whatever he was. I don't know what he made on the first hole. But you know, I admire him for that. I had Sign Boy, Matt, he writes neater than me. I had him write PS. on my hat for me on the range this morning and had a little tartan thing somebody gave me and some sand from Iwo Jima that a gentlemen gave all the Ryder Cup guys and little things like that that makes you remember what it is all about and remember Payne and I think all that stuff helped today.

End of FastScripts….

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