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March 9, 2006

David Toms


DAVE SENKO: Just get us started, talk about your day, and then we'll go through your card:

DAVID TOMS: Started off kind of slow. I bogeyed the first hole today. It was an iron and a wedge hole, and I made bogey there. So I was off to a slow start, but came back and ended up making a lot of birdies today.

I putted well. I capitalized on every time I hit a good shot just about, so ended up with eight birdies today, so that was pretty good on a day like today. Other than a couple of 3 putts that I had from long range just off the green, I guess they were not officially 3 putts, but it was a pretty good day other than that.

DAVE SENKO: Can you go through your shot sequence on 10?

DAVID TOMS: Yes, I hit a 5 wood off the tee in the right bunker short of the green, chipped up and missed the putt, 12 feet or so.

Then 12, the par 5, I hit it in the front left bunker in two and got up and down, hit a great shot to about ten feet, made birdie there.

13, I missed the green short. Chipped a terrible chip about 20 feet and missed the putt.

15, I hit a 5 iron about 25 feet and made a nice putt downhill there.

16, I hit a 5 iron to about 50 feet probably. I don't know how it was. It was a long one. I made the putt all the way across the green. It was a good birdie. Today was a tough hole.

18, I hit it over the green in two to the back fringe and 3 putted from the back fringe and made bogey.

2, I hit a 6 iron to about 12 feet.

3, I hit a 5 iron to about the same, about 12 feet or so and made two nice putts in a row.

The next hole, the par 4 there, I hit 9 iron to about 12 feet again and.

The par 5, I hit a lob wedge in about 18 feet and made a nice putt.

The next par 5, I hit a 6 iron on my second shot on the green and 2 putted from about 35 feet or so.

DAVE SENKO: Conditions, how difficult were they today?

DAVID TOMS: Well, I thought it was to me, the holes played, the into the winds holes I did better on those I think because you can control your ball. Just wherever it landed, it was going to stay.

The downwind holes, they were to the point where you really couldn't do much. You didn't know, No. 8, I hit an 8 iron and I think it went about 215 yards, over the green just over the back. I hit a 3 wood off of the tee that went about 360 and then had a sand wedge. Here you are hitting a 3 wood 360, I had a sand wedge 130 yard sand wedge for my last shot of the day and barely got it to the green because the wind knocked it down. I had a solid shot. Just made it tough to control where your ball was going to end up.

Q. Is the course conditions and the wind going to create a lot of birdies and a lot of bogeys?

DAVID TOMS: I think so. First of all, it's that type of course, anyway, with no wind. It's kind of a risk/reward, go for some of these pins and you pay the price if you didn't hit a good shot. If you put the wind on top of it where you can't necessarily control where your ball is going to come down it's the type of course, I was lucky to make a lot of birdies.

But to have a good score, it's not one of those days where you can go out and make 16 pars and two birdies, I don't think anyway. It's just the type of course you're going to make a good bogeys out there even playing smart. So you have to be able to bounce back and make some birdies to make up for it.

Q. Didn't you say last week that you didn't consider yourself a real good wind player earlier in your career, but it's something that you've developed?

DAVID TOMS: Yeah, I think so. Playing smarter shots, playing the right club a lot of times, taking a little bit more and hitting a better shot, seeing my shots better, I just when I first came out, I was one of those young players that probably always played a certain way.

You don't always have to hit the perfect club, either. You don't have to hit the perfect shot. Sometimes 30 feet on the green is not a bad spot, especially on a golf course like this. I've started doing a better job of that.

Q. Billy Mayfair, after he finished he said that sometimes it's almost better to be off the green instead of on when you're putting on your third shot, and especially on the back nine.

DAVID TOMS: Well, I think it depends on where you are. I think what he's saying there is on the short side in the fringe is better than being 40 or 50 feet away and having than having to come up and over. Certainly, yeah, I had a couple of spots today where it was very makeable but I was off the green. Just the surface is just as good and it's a lot easier putt.

Q. Judging the round from a ball striking standpoint, obviously if you're hitting the ball well, you can usually control it in a lot of wind, what would you say today was for you?

DAVID TOMS: The first five or six holes, it wasn't very good to be honest with you. I don't know if I wasn't awake yet or not. You know, I had a 7:30 off the back nine, so I was out they want you to be there half an hour before I was on the putting green before 7:00 on the 10th tee. So I had to hit balls for 15 minutes and you don't tee off for 30 minutes.

So the first five or six holes it was pretty ugly. I just had to hang in there, chip, get the ball up and down. But after that, I settled down, started hitting the ball great, my tee ball started setting me up, started hitting all the fairways. The holes into the wind, I was hitting great shots, solid shots right at it and controlling the distance. So I was very proud of the way I ended up hitting the ball today after a slow start.

Q. I've never been to Waialae, but are the winds there as rough here or as hard to figure?

DAVID TOMS: Well, I mean, when it's blowing this hard, you know where it's coming from. It's just having to hit these hen all of the greens are elevated, so that makes your trajectory, you can't just run the ball along the ground. At Waialae, especially in front the greens that are open, you can run it all the way up here. Here you can't do that; you can't hit that shot, so you have to hit the ball in the air with perched up greens. This is probably more difficult to get the ball close to the hole here for sure.

Q. Historically when you're on a streak of playing well, does that streak last X number of tournaments, weeks, months?

DAVID TOMS: I try not to figure that out. I just go out and play. But I see what you're saying, you know, how long does it last. I hope it doesn't ever stop, how about that. I think I've been on one since about 1999, so I just you know, to me, you can use it as confidence. Even if you have that one bad day, you're like, hey, I'm still playing well, so you try and get over it.

I don't really know the answer to that. I don't have a good one for you.

Q. Right now, overall, are you playing as well as you did in Hawaii?

DAVID TOMS: I think so. Maybe not quite as in control, but still playing pretty solid golf, yes.

Q. Would you say those last 14 holes today, would that have been as good as Hawaii?

DAVID TOMS: Yeah, it's good. But if I didn't make the putt, if I didn't capitalize and I didn't make the putts, you know, and shot even par, then I'd be disappointed because I hit a lot of good shots. But I happened to go ahead and make the putt and use that momentum to continue to have a good round.

Yeah, I would say, you know, but I just have to keep it up. You saw there are some good scores today, even with the conditions, somebody is always going to play well, so no matter who is in the field. So I'll have to continue to post good scores.

Q. How much was your putting, how much did the wind affect your putting or putting in general today?

DAVID TOMS: Well, first of all, you have to try to be still. So any time the wind starts moving you around, it can affect your speed and your line. And just pay attention out there. You have to pay attention to the grain, and certainly, I was playing the wind on my putts out there.

Q. I heard Dr. Bob Rotella talk about the fact that the ball was almost getting close to moving today at some point, did you have that experience?

DAVID TOMS: Yeah, I was worried about it, what's the first par 3 on the front, is that No. 3? I hit a shot and hit it right at it and hit a great shot. I was surprised my ball stayed up there. I couldn't tell from the tee, I was just waiting to watch the ball roll down and it happened to stay up there. I actually thought it was on more of a slope until I got up there and it was okay. Still, I was worried about it. I was thinking about maybe not grounding my putter because I was worried about the ball rolling off the grown. It all worked out fine.

Q. When conditions are forecast like this for the first couple of rounds, do you have a preference on when you go out earlier or late?

DAVID TOMS: To be honest with you I thought we were going to catch a break today, because we warmed up this with literally no wind whatsoever. By the time we got to our first hole of the day, it was starting to blow.

You never know what it's going to do. I mean, I've seen it both ways. Typically, I think guys prefer to go late/early, I don't know why. I've never really put a pencil to it how it all works out. You just hope that it evens out over a year's time. If you feel like you've got some bad luck one week, maybe it will work your way the next time.

Q. Was there a day last week that equalled this, weather wise?

DAVID TOMS: I think as far as scoring conditions, Saturday. Last Saturday, the pins were pretty tough and with the crosswind, the wind picked up. With the crosswinds, the fairways were hard to hit. These are more generous off the tee. The only problem is these fairways are rolling more and they are crowned so they have a tendency to roll and the corridors are bigger as far as getting the ball in the fairway. Saturday was pretty similar to what we had out there today I would say scoring wise.

Q. How old is your youngest now?

DAVID TOMS: Eight months.

Q. I've heard guys say a lot that after they have a child they seem to go on a pretty good streak in the months after that. Does that have anything to do with the way you've been playing lately?

DAVID TOMS: I don't think so.

Q. How did you play after your first one was born?

DAVID TOMS: Well, I played well. I won two weeks before he was born and in '99 I won a couple of times when he was young. I've played well since Anna was born. So, I don't know, maybe there's something to it.

I think what it does is that it makes you focus a lot when you're on the road and you're in a golf tournament. For me, I don't just show just to be playing golf. If you're going to be away from them, why not do your job the best you can, put everything you have into it, work hard. I think sometimes guys, especially that play a lot have a tendency to get lazy. Certain weeks, you don't put everything into it the way you should, you don't prepare the way you should. I think since my children have been born, I feel like if I'm going to be away from them then I have to prepare myself and take advantage of playing great golf and I think that probably has a lot to do with that. I think it just gets a different mind set for guys.

Q. Is there also a perspective thing involved, when kids come along and you realize what's really important in life that you're maybe a little bit looser; a bogey or shooting a 75 is not going to bother you as much so maybe you play better?

DAVID TOMS: Yeah, I think this every bit of that has something, that shows you how powerful the mind is. Really, it shouldn't be any different. It's still golf and the hole is the same size, the golf courses. Shouldn't be any different but just you get in a different mind set, and like you said, you don't put that pressure on yourself. You have something, your family still loves you when you go home even if you're shot a 78, or at least you hope they do.

But the thing is, when your kids get bigger, they are like, why didn't you play good. When they are little babies, they don't realize it. But now you're, you're kind of like, what happened dad.

Q. Could you just compare Doral, it was a birdie fest the first day, you almost won last week in that condition and you take your game here, can you compare the conditions and how you feel about how your game has held up?

DAVID TOMS: Obviously today was more of a grind than last Thursday. But still, still saw some good scores, obviously not as many as we saw last week.

But I knew it was going to be tough. I knew before the week started, they said Thursday it was going to blow, so you kind of prepare yourself for it. I think playing the Pro Am and playing on Tuesday, Tuesday I could have just taken the day off and not done anything.

But I think being out there and playing when the wind was blowing, even though it was a different direction, you can tell how the course is going to play and how it's going to dry out and how it's going to be and how the ball is going to bounce. I was ready for it. I think everybody kind of knew that had played here before, anyway, I played here I don't know that one year that Hamilton won, it wasn't very low that won the golf tournament.

Q. 276 I think.

DAVID TOMS: I knew going in that the golf course was going to be could be tough. And there were some spots that you had to avoid out there and some other holes that you had to take advantage of and I did that today.

DAVE SENKO: Thank you, David.

End of FastScripts.

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