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March 20, 1999

Davis Love III


LEE PATTERSON: Excellent finish. Couple thoughts about the round and then we will take questions.

DAVIS LOVE III: I brought my score sheet because I had such an up-and-down day so I can remember which holes I birdied and which holes I bogeyed. I am happy to be in this position obviously, and Tim is playing very well. He is killing it off the tee, and so it is going to be a good day tomorrow with Tom and everybody else up on the leaderboard. Have to shoot a good score to win. I am feeling pretty good about the way I am playing, even though I made a few mistakes. It is a good position to be in obviously.

Q. Feel like conditions of the green being this firm plays to one of your strengths?

DAVIS LOVE III: Well, it is good if you drive it out there and you got shorter shots in. I miss-clubbed a couple of times, bounced it over the greens, but, yeah, hit a 9-iron into 18 where you can spin it, it is definitely an advantage and being able to hit it at the par 5s with a club you can get up in the air. I hit 4-wood at them a couple of times, putting it in there nice and soft where you can get it around the green; make an easy birdie, that definitely, definitely helps. 4-iron into 16, when other guys are saying: Well, I can't hold the green, I am going to lay-up. It is a hard shot to get it on the green. Yeah, it is an advantage for me. But you have got to put it in the fairway. Couple of fairways that I missed - couple of shots that I let get away because you get a little bit careless. It is a tough up-and-down.

Q. What did you hit on 18?

DAVIS LOVE III: Driver and 9-iron about 15 feet. I pulled it a little bit with the wind and it hit on the hill and I hit probably 25 feet left of the hole. It ran down ten feet down the hill and I had about 15-footer.

Q. What is the difference going into the final round tied as opposed to one stroke back?

DAVIS LOVE III: I don't think it is that big a deal except that birdies are hard to get. You want -- if you get a good chance like that, you want to get one, and I will feel better because I birdied that hole three times and I finished on a good note, but all and all, I don't think it really matters. You come out the next day and start over again. There is still a long way to go.

Q. Birdies are hard to find. You had eight of them today.

DAVIS LOVE III: Yeah, you know, I hit a lot of good shots and made some good putts. I didn't miss as many as I did yesterday. So I made a couple of nice ones for par, too. The greens are just so pure, if you can get the shorter shots in like we said before, where you can get some spin on it, then the greens are good, hit a little pitching wedge in there at 13, right by the hole where you can knock it in and 4-wood on the green hole before and 2-putt. Those kind of birdies are easy. That just comes off of hitting good drives.

Q. Is there some sort of satisfaction between 6 and 7 when you had some bogeys, more satisfaction than shooting low without bogeys?

DAVIS LOVE III: I went through those early holes. I birdied 3; hit a great driver over the lake and hit a little sand wedge in there and then I made 5 at the next hole, could have hit it on the green. Had to make a nice putt for 5. Bogeyed the next hole, and then 3-putted the par 3. I play the easy holes not very well, and I just kept telling myself stay patient, this golf course is playing hard; if you make some birdies, you know, I didn't expect Tom and Tim to make that many birdies. I just stayed patient. That was the big thing today because I could have let it get away from me and get frustrated. Made a nice putt at 6 for a birdie and made a nice birdie at 9. That kind of kept me in the ballgame.

Q. Did you see yourself ESPN at all last night?

DAVIS LOVE III: We were watching the basketball, no, luckily they didn't show it. I thought they might, actually, but they -- they -- I didn't see it, but --

Q. Did you get a bill?

DAVIS LOVE III: Nice note and bill from Arnold this morning. That made me feel a lot better. He was very -- shows what a classy guy he is, to do something like that, funny and to make me feel better saying I am not mad about it, so don't worry about it. It was nice to see that this morning.

Q. Had a bill up on TV for $175,003.50.

DAVIS LOVE III: That sounds about it. Sounds like somebody has been in my locker.

LEE PATTERSON: No, Arnold talked about it on TV.

DAVIS LOVE III: Oh. That is expensive labor, but --

Q. How much was it?

DAVIS LOVE III: If he did it, that is about what it costs an hour, probably (laughter). I hope he doesn't pay his superintendent that much. But the job they have done, they ought to because I have never seen this golf course in this good a condition; plus, you know, the greens are just -- they are unbelievable, so, maybe he is paying them more and they are doing a better job.

Q. Paying by check or Visa?

DAVIS LOVE III: I don't know, I am going to negotiate. Maybe future earnings. He can garnish my wages. I am glad he is laughing about it because I am sure there is a lot of other people that wouldn't be laughing about it.

Q. You mentioned this being sort of a key stretch for you. I am wondering if were to win could sort of set the tone for the kind of year you might have?

DAVIS LOVE III: I am playing solid like this is going to set the tone. If I play well tomorrow and somebody else plays a little bit better, because there is a couple of good guys there, I am not going to be happy about it, but I am going in the right direction. To come from, you know, losing the first round at the Match Play and then taking a couple of weeks off, I am happy to be you know, at this pace already, so I am looking forward to the next few weeks. I am not hitting it perfect, but I am into it. I am feeling good about it, and tomorrow is a good chance, but there is some guys up there and if I go out and shoot 69 or 68 and somebody beats me, I am still going to be excited about next week and I have a good feeling about the next five weeks, so maybe one or more of them I will come through.

Q. Who was longer off the tee today, Tim or you?

DAVIS LOVE III: I'd say Tim today. I haven't played with him since he got this new driver, but he is really getting it out there. I hit it by him a couple of holes, but I'd say overall, he hitter farther than me, for sure.

Q. Can you tell us what the mindset is going into tomorrow?

DAVIS LOVE III: Well, same as today. Going try to go out there and make a lot of birdies because somebody is going to shoot a good score. There were some guys that were real close, earlier guys that were real close to shooting some good scores. I am sure there will be a number out there by the time we get around to the middle of the back 9 for us to beat and one of the three of us will, I am sure, have a pretty good day. So just go out and do the best you can and try to birdie every hole and if you set a number, surely that will be -- somebody will do better than that these days, so just shoot as low as you can.

Q. Just about the firm greens here perhaps being a little typifying the Tour as a whole, what they have tried to go to, is that good from your standpoint?

DAVIS LOVE III: I think it is good that they are toughening up the courses a little bit. There was some talk about Phoenix being to the extreme with the shaved banks. I think this is perfect though. This is more like what we will see next week or what we will see at Augusta if they get their way, and I am sure at Pinehurst the greens will be pretty hard to hold. So, it is more consistent with the bigger tournaments and I like seeing low scores just as much as anybody, but you know, when the greens are this smooth, you almost have to do something to keep guys from making lots of birdies. You hit a bad shot, you are going to have to make a good up-and-down. But, yeah, it definitely looks like the trend. If they can get it done, the weather obviously dictates a lot of it, but --

LEE PATTERSON: Just give us the birdies.

DAVIS LOVE III: 3, driver, sand wedge, to about ten feet. 6 was a driver, 4-wood just through the green, pitched up about ten feet. Made it. 9, driver, 6-iron about four feet. 10, 3-wood, and 8-iron to about 15 feet. And 12, driver and 4-wood to about 30 feet and 2-putted. 13, 3-wood, pitching wedge, about five feet. And 16, driver, 4-iron about 20 feet, 2-putted. And then 18, a driver and 9-iron 15 feet, made it.

End of FastScripts....

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