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May 5, 2006

Davis Love III


LAURY LIVSEY: Davis, thanks for coming in. Can we have some general comments about your round today?

DAVIS LOVE III: Yeah, pretty solid. I hit the ball pretty well except for a few shots and putted well and scrambled well a couple times. I played good solid golf. I made a couple mistakes off the tee with the wrong club being a little aggressive, but all in all, a lot like yesterday, just a good solid round. I played good golf, didn't look pretty the whole time, but got the job done.

Q. Is this course going to bring that out of you a little bit? It's not always going to look pretty here because of conditions and greens.

DAVIS LOVE III: Yeah, it's tough. You miss a fairway, you've got to chip out. The rough is pretty consistently deep. Unless you get lucky, you can't really shoot at the green very often unless you're way up there with a wedge. If you short side yourself or get on the wrong side of the hole, you're playing defense a lot.

It's very difficult. It's a little bit easier than a U.S. Open, not quite. It feels like a major, and it plays a lot like a major, and if it doesn't rain, it'll get more and more difficult over the weekend.

Q. Can you kind of talk about Hootie Johnson's legacy at The Masters, kind of what he's meant to that tournament and that club?

DAVIS LOVE III: Well, Hootie did a great job. He certainly made the golf course tougher, and every time we thought he made it too hard, it played real well. I think he meant a lot to the club and to the Masters. It's a hard job these days. It's not something you do for a lifetime. It's a lot of pressure and a lot going on around you and a lot of second guessing. It's kind of like being president; no matter what you do, half the people think you did it wrong.

I'm sure he enjoyed it, but I'm sure he's ready to let somebody else have a shot.

Q. Do you know Billy Payne at all?

DAVIS LOVE III: I know Billy real well, and he'll do a great job. He'll be very decisive and he'll make the club fun. I hope I get a green jacket out of Billy Payne.

Q. You didn't want the job?

DAVIS LOVE III: They didn't ask me.

Q. Even though the Open is a little ways off because of the way this course doglegs, and we just talk about the rough is tougher than most Tour events and the greens are pretty severe, even though you're a little far out, a month or so away, is it still good prep to a degree for you?

DAVIS LOVE III: I think all the tournaments now are good prep for me, trying to get my confidence back and put four good rounds together. But this is a really good one.

When you come here, you feel like you're at a major. There's certain tournaments that feel a little more special, a little more difficult. Obviously the field here and the difficulty of the golf course and the look of the golf course makes you feel like you're more at a major than other tournaments. You know, you get to Memorial, or for a lot of players, Memorials or Wachovias or even The Colonials are their majors, you know. They don't get in all the majors, and these are big tournaments for them, and this tournament certainly has that feel.

Q. Talk about getting your confidence back. A guy with your record, it seems like looking from the outside in where is your confidence at right now?

DAVIS LOVE III: I think I've been trying too hard, obviously trying to win majors and trying to make Presidents Cup teams and Ryder Cup teams, just sometimes you get to pushing too hard for results, rather than just to go out and play and have fun. I felt like the last two days I went out and played and had fun and enjoyed myself and got into playing golf.

Rather than worrying about a bad drive at the first hole, I hit a cute little cut shot up there in the middle of the green and made a 25 footer for birdie. That's playing golf rather than analyzing golf swings and worrying about results. I think that's the difference in when I'm playing good and when I'm playing bad. I'm just out there playing when I'm doing well. When I'm playing bad, I'm trying to make the Ryder Cup team or trying to win The Masters and putting too much pressure on myself.

Q. What do you think of Greensboro's position with regard to the FedEx Cup?

DAVIS LOVE III: I think Greensboro will be very happy.

Q. It's your course obviously.

DAVIS LOVE III: Well, you can always get, again, 50/50 on that one, too, whether guys like it or don't like it. They came out very well. I think it'll be hard if you're in the top three or four guys going into the last four to play, but certainly if you're not one of the top three or four guys and you want to move up, Greensboro is going to be very attractive, and then for the guys obviously that need to move up a lot, I think after 20 or 30, there will be a lot of guys thinking, I've got to move up so I have a chance to make the TOUR Championship or whatever the number is. So I think Greensboro walked into one, and it's going to be exciting. That whole stretch is going to be very exciting with ten to go.

I mean, they talk about the last four being the playoffs, but really you look at NASCAR, the last ten races are exciting, but the five leading up to those last ten sure are exciting, too. I think it's going to have its effect, and Greensboro is going to come out good with it.

Q. You talked about not being results oriented. Has that become a tougher task when you are in contention on the weekend of a tournament?

DAVIS LOVE III: It is. I think I've always done better, though, with my approach. The closer I am to the lead, it seems to I seem to narrow my focus a little bit better and seem to have more problems on Thursday mornings than Sunday afternoons, being able to concentrate and block things out.

You know, what I need to do is what I did the last two days, get myself in position to play a good round and to be near the lead, to challenge for a win, and keep doing it. It's not just this week. I think that's my problem is I've been focused on I've got to play well this week, today, right now, instead of trying to go out every day and do the same thing over and over and be patient and let it happen. That's my challenge for the weekend.

Q. Is this a place you would think you would have had a little more success than you've had? You've had some really good rounds.

DAVIS LOVE III: Yeah, I've had some good rounds but I haven't put four together. This is a tricky golf course. I've done well at some tricky ones like Hilton Head, but this is one you've got to have the total game. You've got to drive it very, very well.

Like I said, I hit a couple drivers, a 4 wood into the long par 3, No. 6, was a little aggressive. I have to play patiently, put it in the fairway. Like today I hit 3 wood off of 18 and hit a great tee shot. I've got to do a little bit more thinking off the tee and play a little bit more patient, and then I can play this golf course.

LAURY LIVSEY: Can we talk about your birdies? You talked about No. 1, but the other four that you had.

DAVIS LOVE III: No. 5, hit a 3 wood off the tee and a 4 wood on the green and two putted from about 50 feet, I guess.

And then 4 wood over the green in the bunker, didn't get it on the green and chipped down and made a bogey at 6.

Then 7, drove it in the fairway bunker, hit a pitching wedge out, sand wedge to about 10 or 12 feet.

Then hit driver off of 8, up there behind the tree and chipped a couple times and two putted from about 30 feet, 40 feet, for bogey.

11, hit a 3 wood to the left, far enough left I had a shot, knocked it on the green. I made about a 35 footer for birdie with a wedge.

And 16, good driver and a 9 iron to about 15 feet.

LAURY LIVSEY: Okay, Davis, good playing. Thanks for coming in.

End of FastScripts.

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