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March 5, 2006

David Toms


JOE CHEMYCZ: We welcome David Toms, a 67 today. David, I know the finish wasn't what you wanted exactly, but talk about just the competition out there and trying to get into the lead.

DAVID TOMS: I had a lot of fun playing golf out there today. You know, trying to catch Tiger Woods, getting close, and ultimately in the end, not quite getting there. But, you know, it was just I enjoyed the challenge, the fans were into it. They were cheering me on and I know there were a lot of them out there. Just one of those days where that's one of the reason why I play the Tour. Just the bottom line; getting in the hunt, having a chance to win, whether you screw up or you don't or you come out on top, I think that's the beauty of it. That's the beauty of sports. You know, that's why I play.

I know I cost myself a lot of money on the last hole, but really; it's about that, but in the end, it's really not. It was having a chance to win. You know, my family was in the mountain snow skiing this weekend and I desperately wanted to be there with them and having a good time. I came down here because I've played well here, I knew that if I played well, I was going to have a chance to win this golf tournament. So I made the right decision to come down here and play.

And that's why I was here, days like today.

JOE CHEMYCZ: Talk about the 18th hole and your thought process and then your time on the green.

DAVID TOMS: First of all, you know, it's a very difficult driving hole for me. I can't clear the water on the left side, and I missed my target by about five yards, just into the rough. I was trying to hit it at the right edge of the bunker and I didn't miss it by much. I was actually fortunate to have a pretty good lie but I still had a 4 iron out of the rough and I could not be aggressive to try to get it over there to the left side. So I kind of played way out to the right.

I had a difficult putt. Once it started to break, it was straight downgrain, and it just took off and went about eight feet by. I missed the second one. I pulled it just a little bit left and it didn't break very much. Disappointed, but, you know, I think it was it's a tough hole, anyway. If it was a little driver, 8 iron hole and I was in the middle of the fairway and made a bogey, I'd be obviously pretty ticked off.

But it's not a hole it's a hole where, you know, the best player in the world just bogeyed it trying to win a tournament. Had to hit a heck of a shot on his third shot to make a bogey.

Not too disappointed with it.

Q. When did you know you were only one shot behind?

DAVID TOMS: Once I was on the green in two. I asked my caddie, I didn't see a board all day, but I could tell it was close by crowd reaction. I said, "How are we doing?"

He said, "I think we're a few shots back." He didn't even know because he had not looked at it either. Rolfing came over and told us we were only one shot back, he was in the rough, so that's kind of how it all went back.

Q. How did that change your mindset at that time?

DAVID TOMS: Well, I think it was a mistake, because I went from knowing I had to hit good shots, I couldn't give one away to have a chance, and then all of a sudden I hear, you know, just trying to 2 putt. And of course, you're not trying to make this 80 footer or whatever I had, but still, if I didn't if I was two or three shots back, you just have a different, are you're free wheeling it a little bit more and you're not protecting. I was just kind of trying to 2 putt that one. It looked like I was trying to make it because I ran it by. But really, it's more about you're just trying to 2 putt instead of thinking that you have to make it. It's just a different mind set.

Q. When you say you didn't know, there really because there are not a lot of leaderboards out there or did you just ignore them?

DAVID TOMS: I totally ignored them. I was having fun. Scott and I were having fun, talking a lot, playing good, looking forward to getting to the greens on every hole because I felt like I was rolling the ball well. That's really what we were doing. I never asked him, I never paid attention.

Q. Are you saying that you wish you didn't know?

DAVID TOMS: Yeah, in the end probably. Not that I would have hit my first putt any different, but it's just you start feeling different inside. You start getting I wasn't even nervous all day because I'm trying to catch the guy. So then all of a sudden I've got a 100 foot putt all the way across the green, big break and I'm nervous because I'm just trying to 2 putt because I think I might have a chance. Instead, you know, that's my mistake. I don't usually do things like that. But if I had been looking at it all day, then maybe I would have felt that way all the way through the back nine, I don't know. I should have just paid attention on the last hole, really.

Q. Did you get a sense of where he was behind you?

DAVID TOMS: I saw his drive, and they said right rough. I kind of saw the people moving around but that's all I saw, so I didn't know.

Q. Can you talk about holes 12 through 15, you got to 19 and it seemed like you had a chance to go to 20, 21?

DAVID TOMS: I had a great putt on 12, it was straight up the hill. It was, you know, 12 or 15 feet but I had a very makeable putt.

13 was a tough hole, but I hit a great putt from about 30 feet and I thought I had made that one.

14, I had another straight uphill right to lefter from about 15 feet.

15, I had another uphill putt, just left edge, and I didn't make any of them. I felt like I was rolling it pretty well, misread a couple and hit a couple a little bit too hard. I kind of stalled out there, but I was still hitting good shots. I hit the fairways on those holes and was still playing aggressive and was in control. I just didn't make much.

Q. Was 17 a bigger blow than 18 in some respects?

DAVID TOMS: I had a great look at it, just coming out of the fringe, I wasn't sure, I didn't want to run it four feet past the hole. I had left it, what, a couple of revolutions short right in the gut.

That's another hole. I mean, 17, I missed my drive about five yards right of where I was trying to hit it, and I can't carry that part of the bunker. The last two holes are very difficult driving holes for me. They were not necessarily birdie holes, and so, I knew they would be tough. I didn't play them too well.

Q. Can you think of a week where you've played better and didn't win?

DAVID TOMS: You know, yes, because yesterday I didn't feel like I played well at all. My short game kept me in there all day. My driving was not very good. My iron shots, every time I had a chance to hit a good shot, I didn't hit a very good one and I wasn't in control of what I was doing. And ultimately, that's the round that cost me the golf tournament. The other days, I played pretty solid.

It goes to show you. When you play against Tiger, you can't slip up. You just have to play solid every day. Ultimately, the third round that I played here is the one that cost me the golf tournament.

Q. This is Tiger's third win worldwide already this year, can you speak about he went through that period of his swing change, just where you see him now?

DAVID TOMS: You know, I see him, he's obviously still the best player. I don't know, you know, I can't say I can't speak for him as far as what he feels about his golf game. He's obviously winning tournaments, so he feels pretty good about it. Every time I hear him, he talks, he says that he feels good about it and what he's doing and what he's working on in his swing.

But I haven't played with him. I see him obviously on television every day when I'm watching it, but I haven't played with him enough to really comment on that. I mean, as far as I've played with him when he was playing extremely well and was in control and hitting the fairways and making putts and just lapping fields. But I haven't played with him in, oh well, it's been a little while.

JOE CHEMYCZ: Thanks, David.

End of FastScripts.

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