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November 1, 1997

Davis Love III


LEE PATTERSON: Maybe just a couple thoughts about your round today and going into tomorrow.

DAVIS LOVE: Well, I feel like I'm in good position, obviously. But it was a struggle out there today. The course played very, very hard. You know, it was a lot different than yesterday. Not the same clubs into the greens. The greens got a little quicker. But more what we expected here. Expected it to play hard. It was pretty difficult today. Hard to get the ball on the fairway.

Q. Because of the wind?

DAVIS LOVE: Yeah. The wind was just, you know, different direction, extremely hard. We've been used to playing 1, 2, 3 downwind. All of a sudden they're into the wind. It made it play very different and very hard.

Q. Any good examples of difference in clubs today from yesterday?

DAVIS LOVE: Trying to think of one I hit a good drive on. Hit a 9-iron into 1 yesterday and a 6-iron -- 5-iron today. Didn't hit that many good drives. I hit a 7-iron into the par 5 on the back, 13. Isn't that 13?

Q. Yes.


DAVIS LOVE: Yeah, 13, hit a 7-iron in, as opposed to a 3-wood yesterday. It was really howling. You could hit a good shot and it would just get knocked right out of the air. I hit a couple 9-irons, 8-irons, just got flattened out. Then on 18, I was trying not to let that happen with a sand wedge. It got up in the air, rode it, went 40 feet past the hole. You never know how far it's going to go; if it's going to get knocked down, if it's going to sail.

Q. Davis, on 11 there, your decision to try to get through the trees kind of backfired on you when you got pushed back further. What exactly happened?

DAVIS LOVE: Well, I figured I was better off just running it out in the fairway in front of the green than trying to chip out because then I could knock it in the water. I mean, that pin was so close, I figured might as well get it up there with a sand wedge. It was a big gap. Just had to keep it down. I got it up too high. You know, if it hits the limb and kicks left instead of right, I'm in the middle of the fairway with an 8-iron, or even if it just comes straight down. So it was kind of, you know, I put myself in a bad place and then got a bad break, then hit a couple bad shots. I just kept digging a hole. You know, that was just an example of a bad drive can get you in trouble. 10 I hit a bad driver in the bunker, but hit a great 3-iron in the middle of the green. If you hit a great shot after a bad drive, you can survive it. If you hit a bad shot, you're probably going to make a bogey. I just turned it into double. You know, can't get around there without having a mistake. I let it cost me two. Then came back and 3-putted the next hole, which was disappointing. Other than those two holes, I played real well.

Q. Is being in contention in this tournament on Sunday like any other week or does the money at stake change it at all?

DAVIS LOVE: I think the possibility of moving up the money list really is the difference. For me, whenever I've played a decent TOUR Championship, I haven't played great in them. But whenever I made it into a position where I can make a difference, not 25th, I feel like moving up the money list. Protecting your position on the money list is in a lot of guys' minds. You have to fight that urge to think about what can happen; think about the golf. I know about tomorrow, there's a bunch of guys with a chance to win. The guy who is thinking most about golf, concentrating on what he's doing, is going to win. The guy who is thinking about money is not going to be able to keep up. So it's hard not to think about a purse like this. That's part of the challenge of winning.

Q. You have a chance to do more than protect your position; you could lead the money list?

DAVIS LOVE: I was talking about in the past. I don't know what Tiger shot. But I got an outside chance. You know, if I go and just play golf, play 18 holes tomorrow, staying focused, you know, a lot of good things could happen. If I go there thinking about all the good things that can happen, I'm going to play terrible. So, you know, it's like the last round at the PGA: If I thought about winning the PGA all day, I wouldn't have won. I've learned my lesson on that. So tomorrow, just try to get into the process of playing golf and enjoy the round. Every time I think about a win or if I get into position to win, whatever, just think about going through the motions, that will be the challenge. There will be a lot of distractions.

Q. If you win tomorrow, should you be the Player of the Year?

DAVIS LOVE: Got me. Worry about that tomorrow.

Q. Did you figure out where you have to be (inaudible) where Tiger is?

DAVIS LOVE: I think he's got to make less than $110,000, something like that. I mean, it's pretty easy for him to make $110,000. I kind of conceded going into the week that he's playing good enough. All I can do is try to win; not watch the score board. If I don't see him in the Top 10 on every hole when I walk by, just put it out of my mind. He's capable, just like everybody out here, to shoot a good round. Winning the golf tournament and finishing second on the money list will be a hell of a year, so I can't really worry about it.

Q. Is the Player of the Year possibility still in the back of your mind?

DAVIS LOVE: When you think of him winning four tournaments, and they were all big tournaments, middle-of-the-year events, not taking anything away from the Buick, but, you know, winning at the Western Open, Dallas, is a big win. So, you know, I don't know. I always vote with the guys who play well in the majors, kind of what I look at. He played well in the majors. Winning the Masters by that many, I mean, it's hard not to vote for him, no matter what happens this week. I only get one vote.

Q. Davis, the Ryder Cup was a tough week for you. You've rebounded, played extremely well. Was there some motivation to do that after the Ryder Cup or is it just the way things broke? You played very well before and you played well after.

DAVIS LOVE: I hit the ball good at the Ryder Cup, I just didn't score well. You know, I played the same way at Vegas last week. I hit the ball great. I drove it great. I just chipped and putted mediocre, and just didn't get the ball in the hole. That leads to, you know, not winning any matches at the Ryder Cup and finishing, you know, down the list in the regular tour event. This week I'm chipping and putting pretty good. I'm hitting the ball actually not as good as last week, but I'm chipping and putting better. You know, I came off the Ryder Cup, you know, it's hard to believe, I'm disappointed that we didn't win, but I felt good about my golf swing. I've said it a bunch. I had a lot of compliments on the way I was hitting the ball over there. I was very, very happy every day when I went out to play, with the way I was swinging. Really, I didn't hit that many bad shots when I was playing. You know, just didn't happen the right way. Then the next week I putted real well. It was very easy. So you never know.

Q. It's a different kind of disappointment, the Ryder Cup, though, than just a normal tour event.

DAVIS LOVE: Yeah. If you don't win there, it's a team and a whole bunch of people, a bunch of friends trying to accomplish a goal. If you don't get it, there's always another tournament next week for individuals. But for the Ryder Cup, it's a two-year wait. It's not a whole lot of fun. Those guys all play their hearts out. Just didn't happen, so it's very disappointing. It's like 12 guys coming out on the last three holes of a major a stroke ahead and not winning. Everybody is going to be disappointed for a while. We'll get them next time, though. Get back and try again for Crenshaw.

Q. Whatever happens tomorrow, will you look back on this as your best year?

DAVIS LOVE: Yeah. I think the PGA, you know, one week, if that makes a year, but it's a year that I'll never forget. You know, another step in reaching my goals. I think this, so far, has got to be my best year.

Q. One of the guys at 8 is Billie Glasson. Fellow players out there feel for what this guy has been through with all these injuries?

DAVIS LOVE: Yeah, everybody knows what a great player he is. It's just a shame that he hasn't been able to show it, to come out and play as much as he'd like. You know, there's a few guys like that that we all know, if they were healthy, would play better. Scott Verplank, Freddie, other guys. You know, it's tough. You don't think it would happen much in golf. You expect that to happen in football or some other sport, you know, top players getting knocked out by injuries. But, you know, it happens in golf. Who knows what Scott Verplank would have done. You know, he's just had bad problems ever since his first couple years on the tour. You know, same thing with Billie. I mean, every time he gets going, you know, he collects another surgery. He's kind of like a football player that is always on the injured reserve. Never seems to get going. But, you know, we all know he's a good player. He's got a lot of strength to hang in there as much as he has.

LEE PATTERSON: Real quick details since we didn't get to watch it today.

DAVIS LOVE: 4, I hit a 1-iron to about 25 feet, made that for birdie. Just dead into the wind there. 5, hit a 3-wood -- no, driver off the tee, a 6-iron in the green, side bunker, just about pin-high. Blasted out about eight feet. Made that for birdie. Then 9, hit a 3-wood off the tee, a 5-iron in the middle of the green, about 50 feet. Putted about six feet, made it for birdie. Then 11, hit a drive, hung it to the right behind the trees, tried to punch it under, hit the tree. Tried to punch it out with a 5-iron. Hit the tree. Went way to the right over by 3. Tried to punch it out again, caught another tree, stayed in the rough. Hit an L-wedge short of the green. Chipped up about five feet, made it for 6. That's more than we need to know (laughter). 12, 3-iron in the middle of the green. Had about a 40-footer. Left it four feet short. Missed it. Then 13, driver, 7-iron just in the front fringe, 2-putted from about 30 feet. 14, I hit a 1-iron off the tee, pitching wedge to about six feet. Made that for birdie. And then a couple five footers for par at 15 and 16. Then 2-putted 17 and 18.

LEE PATTERSON: Anything else?

Q. What was it like, did you notice playing out there today with no TV?

DAVIS LOVE: Well, we knew teeing off when we got out here that something was going on, that they might not do anything. It was strange to see the cameras all buttoned up. You just kept expecting all of a sudden they were going to all pop up, everybody was going to get started. It was a little strange. It was a little less distracting, not as many people running around out there. It's disappointing, you know. Just when you got all kinds of stuff going on out here, great tournament, you know, then they shut off. But I know that the people that are here didn't want to strike. You know, they all wanted to work, for the most part. So it's disappointing. You know, this is a great crew doing this event, and they got caught up in it. You know, they wanted to get out there. I know half the people that are out there on the fairways, you know, in the towers, they wanted to work. Too bad. Bonus coverage.

LEE PATTERSON: Thank you. Appreciate it.

DAVIS LOVE: Thank you. See you tomorrow.

End of FastScripts....

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