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August 8, 2003

Davis Love III


DAVIS LOVE III: Obviously couldn't wait to get out there today after yesterday, got off to a good start and just felt like anything I had tried to do I could do today. I made a couple of good up-and-downs and a couple of good birdies starting off; then started making eagles. Just incredible feeling that everything is going just right. Today was dead calm, greens were as good as they are going to get, and it just felt like today was the day to score.

Obviously didn't finish the way I wanted to, but I hit the ball -- except for the tee shot at 8, I hit the ball very good all the way 'til -- well, bad iron on the 9th hole, but hit the ball really good. I didn't get the putts in, didn't get it really close after the 2nd hole, but I hit the ball real solid and just real pleased with the way I am hitting it.

Obviously the way I am putting it, Greg was laughing at me at the front, our first nine, how many putts I was making. Then I started hitting them close, really didn't have to putt. It was an incredible day and Doug Barren was teasing me the range this morning that yesterday I was staying even points with the number of holes I played and then I screwed up at the end. And I thought about that today when I was out there. I said, I am getting way ahead of points and holes played. I was, you know, looking like I was going to get into the 40s.

But it was just unfortunate the way I finished, but overall played incredibly well. Obviously made a lot more points on the par 5s today than I did yesterday even with the double-bogey.

Q. Have you ever had two rounds back-to-back like this?

DAVIS LOVE III: I don't think so. I played some pretty good rounds back-to-back but not this low of scoring, I don't think. I played a couple of good back-to-back rounds at the PGA, I got 30, 66s in at the PGA or something like that, and I have had some good rounds back-to-back, but these are two pretty incredible rounds back it back even with, as I said, even with a double-bogey thrown in there.

Q. Three eagles in 10 holes.

DAVIS LOVE III: That's a lot of points. Somebody out there said, well, you got such a big lead. I said, well, guys got to go play 18 holes and they can make 20 points, one of the guy's at 14, they will be right behind me. So you never know in this format what is going to happen.

In here yesterday we were saying 10 birdies; no eagles. Today I got all the eagles, so you never know. But it was exciting.

Q. (Inaudible)?

DAVIS LOVE III: Usually very easily could have been in the 20s because of the eagles.

Q. How hard is it just to keep that pace when you are 11 holes in, you are already 20 points, what are you thinking at that point?

DAVIS LOVE III: Well, I was trying to make birdies. Kind of playing whatever takes to get it in the fairway and then aggressive into the greens. I hit pretty good shots into 3 and 4 and 5 and didn't get them close, you know, a little short on all of them and then a little long at 6. Hit a real good shot at 7 and didn't make it. Then didn't play the last two very well but I was just trying to birdie every hole and I didn't know how many points was the record or how many points, I just wanted to get in the 40s. I'm probably going to go out there and second-guess myself a little bit on 8 trying to be that aggressive because really you get it in the fairway you can make 4 from laying up without trying to kill it up there. But Ernie had a 5-iron, 4-iron in, so that's what I was looking for.

Q. What happened on the shot (inaudible) --

DAVIS LOVE III: I just pulled it, and hit the tree and through it up the hill in the bushes, and had to take an unplayable and then didn't drop. The ball didn't bounce the way I thought it was going to. I dropped it. Got under some limbs and then just got it out up the fairway and actually you know, I had about a 6-footer for bogey and didn't hit a good putt. Just all around bad hole.

JOAN vON THRON: Go through your birdies and eagles.

DAVIS LOVE III: Starting obviously on 10, 3-wood off the tee and a pitching wedge short of the hole, about a little over 20 feet, made it.

Q. Remember what your distance was on the pitching wedge?

DAVIS LOVE III: In the 150 range, somewhere like 154 or something like that.

Then 12, 3-wood, just through the fairway in the rough. Pitching wedge to about 15 feet.

14, great drive and 4-iron. I am going to have to take back the other day about not being able to get 14 in 8 because I've hit it there the last couple of days, apologize to Mr. Vickers, but hit a 4-iron about 30 feet, made it.

Then 16, hit it right in the back bunker, which it is just dead, got it up on the green and 2-putted from about 35, 40 feet.

Then 17, a 1-iron off the tee and 4-iron just behind the hole, about six inches behind the hole, eagle.

And then 1, good drive and a 3-iron to about eight feet.

Then 2, 3-iron off the tee and a sand wedge about 110 yards to about five, six feet, made that.

Up-and-down on 18 from just -- on nine from just off the fringe.

Q. Distances at shots at 14, 17 and 1?

DAVIS LOVE III: 14, I want to say it was like 250, somewhere in there.

17, was like 220, I hit there.

1, I had almost like a little over 260, I think.

Q. Were you aware that you lipped out at 17?

DAVIS LOVE III: The reaction of the crowd, we figured it had come real close or lipped out; then somebody said after I was done that it did lip out. You can only see about half the stick so you can't really tell but I knew I hit a good shot right at it.

Q. Talking about trying to get in the 40s, is that just because last year, you know, anybody is capable of putting up 15, 16 points in a matter of three, four holes?

DAVIS LOVE III: Yeah, just trying to get as many as you can get. I didn't want to, you know, to make the turn at whatever it was, 27, you know, and just say right now I have got to play safe because 27 ain't going to win. So just try to keep going and birdie every hole and see how many I can get. Certainly tried to come out today thinking that well, 19 is a lot, I can play conservative now when I got to 36, just got to keep going.

Q. Davis, since you won in 1990, how much has technology changed your club selections especially off the tee box this year?

DAVIS LOVE III: It hasn't changed, really hasn't changed my club selection. I think years that it's firm, hit irons off tees where or sometimes I carry a 4-wood here. But it really hasn't changed. I am driving it pretty much in the same place I always have. The holes have changed, like 3, we used to not really hit a 1-iron or 3-iron down the left-hand side because there wasn't a fairway over there to hit for a while. So holes have gotten longer. 5, all the way back and 8 is a lot longer, so, I don't think it's really changed the strategy where you want to put it. Sometimes you have to adjust -- this morning I hit 3-wood off 10 because it was a little softer. Yesterday it was a little downwind and firm and hit 1-iron. Really hadn't changed that much. Certainly my confidence with my tee shots has gotten better, for sure, I am not as nervous as I used to be off of a hole like 10, so I can hit it all the way down at the end of the fairway and I don't worry about it. This is a course you have to get comfortable on maybe three or four tee shots that are a little bit more nerve-wracking than others. The more you do it, you learn that you don't have to hit driver off 18. You can get a 3-wood and if it's firm it will run up on top. I think experience certainly is more important here for me than the change in equipment.

Q. What is the advantage of hitting 1-iron off 17th tee versus; what was your other option, 3-wood?

DAVIS LOVE III: Yeah, 3-wood, but as far as I have been hitting my 3-wood and as firm as it is, I would have had to put it way up the left and I wasn't real comfortable with 3-wood. Only place you can't knock it on the green from, you know, is in the right rough where the creek is, so if I hit a 1-iron and a 4-iron rather than trying to squeeze a 3-wood in there to get a 6-iron, it's not that big a difference. Ernie hit a real easy 3-wood and I just didn't want to hit one easy. I wanted to hit one hard.

Q. How important is it playing well and having confidence this week knowing next week is the last major?

DAVIS LOVE III: Obviously I want to win every time I play, so I want to win this week and that would give me a boost of confidence certainly for next week. But I came out here to win and to play my way in and not to come out here to beat balls, come out here to play golf and you know, get used to playing and scoring, and into my routine and getting nervous and getting ready for next week. Good way to prepare to get to play the weekend under pressure, good preparation for next week.

Q. You are playing exceptionally well this year. Any difference in your game between this year and the last couple of years? How come your game is so much better this year?

DAVIS LOVE III: I think mostly because I am healthy which I was not the last couple of years and then I am putting very, very well. I started putting good the end of last year, probably, I don't know what the stats say but I know I am putting better than I ever have and that's the difference.

Q. Talk a little bit about how you feel this week going into the PGA compared to before you won last time, your major?

DAVIS LOVE III: In 1997 I was playing pretty good. I didn't hit the ball very well the week before and didn't play well the week before the PGA, but for the year I felt like I was playing pretty good. But certainly this year I am playing much better than in 1997.

End of FastScripts....

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