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November 3, 1999

Davis Love III


LEE PATTERSON: Davis, we appreciate you spending some time with us. Last week was a very good week, maybe a couple of thoughts about that and how you feel coming into this tournament.

DAVIS LOVE III: Well, I did play pretty well last week, and then considering the circumstances, was happy with my finish. I didn't realize it until I got home and worked with my teacher, Jack Lumpkin, he pointed out that out of the 27, my last nine, I was not very good. But other than that, I played very good. Maybe if we played 18 at a time, I would have played better. He was happy with how I played, but maybe I just got tired. I think I was two-over par for that 18, and the rest of the tournament I was in good shape. I'm looking forward to this week. I hit the ball good, both practice sessions I had with him and at home. I'm looking forward to seeing if I can keep it going this week.

Q. Do you think you were as much emotionally tired as physically tired?

DAVIS LOVE III: I think we were all dragging a little bit. It was a somber mood, and it was a strange feeling to go out and play 27 holes and then take a day off and then play again. With flying back and forth, had an unexpected flight, before we got to Houston, and two unexpected flights in the middle of the tournament. And the traveling has been what's getting to me lately. So I think that slowed me down a little bit. But it was just -- it was a hard week to be very energized and very enthusiastic. I think I just wore down the last nine holes. Obviously Tiger didn't. He played beautifully all day, and that was the difference. On those two days, it was kind of a short tournament, and he played good the two long days, and did real well keeping it going.

Q. Davis, what surveyed you to finally come over here?

DAVIS LOVE III: Well, I spent a couple of days with my kids at home, and then seeing in the newspaper that I had finished second -- the week was kind of a blur while I was there, and to see I finished second, I hit the ball great on Sunday, and I started thinking that if I could get a good report on my arm and my shoulder, that I wasn't going to hurt myself and if my teacher said you're not really changing your golf swing -- I was hitting some funny looking shots, but I was afraid I was adjusting my swing to compensate for how I was feeling. He said I was fine. Given that, and that my little girl agreed that if she could go to Hawaii later in the year, she'd let me out. We all made a compromise. And it was good for me to get home and see them. It was an emotional week, and I think just getting home and putting my feet back on the ground, and driving the kids to school and spending a little time with them was important to me, probably more than to them. And I got, as I said, I got my swing checked out and my neck checked out yesterday, before I headed over here. So I just pulled some loose ends together, and it felt better coming. Straight from Houston Sunday night, I was very questionable. But when I got home and got organized I felt better about it.

Q. Davis, given the option, isn't a danger the game's authorities are losing touch with the players, certainly the leading players?

DAVIS LOVE III: Well, I think we've known since -- when I say we, the PGA TOUR Board Members, we knew from the very beginning that guys like David Duval and Fred Couples, that do not like a whole lot of international travel, it might take them a while to warm up to it. And I think some other promoters in the past have proven that this time of year big money events don't get everybody. And if it's more towards the middle of the year, and more in the United States, the U.S. Players tend to support them a little better. But we play a lot of golf tournaments. We'll play at Pebble Beach next year for four million dollars, and they won't get everybody. I think these days there's so many good golf tournaments, they want you to pick the Majors and a few others that are important to you, you still have a lot of great choices. And that's where I was. I said, hey, look, I'm not feeling a hundred percent, maybe I'll wait until next year, and pick up a three or four million dollar event the first few months on our Tour. So the problem is that there are a lot of choices, and just like somebody who's set over here on the European Tour or somebody on the Japanese Tour, it's hard to leave home when things are good, and they're at their best in the U.S. It makes it very easy for us to not travel the world. I don't know exactly the stat, I think David Duval has asked for one conflicting-event release since he came out on Tour. That shows you he didn't want to travel very much away from home. And I've cut mine back a lot. It just gets better and better at home. If we come over here for the Open -- and a couple of others is enough for most guys.

Q. When you say, Davis, it gets better at home, does that mean the home Tour or home with your family?

DAVIS LOVE III: The home Tour. It's always better at my house, but there's not very many golf tournaments in South Georgia. There's one little one in the middle of Georgia.

Q. Jacksonville.

DAVIS LOVE III: Jacksonville, Hilton Head and Augusta and Orlando and that's about it, in my truck. But it just gets better and better on our Tour. I think the great thing about these World Golf Championship events is that they are getting moved around some and try to spread the wealth we have in the U.S. over here. Hopefully this will catch on. Obviously it's an easier sell in the United States as far as corporately and ticket-wise. But hopefully if you keep rotating it around, it will catch on better and better every year and that will spill down through the whole European Tour and the whole International Tour. I'm sure the Federation sees it as we do, that this will build professional golf around the world, not just our events.

Q. The deal you have with your little girl, could you explain it, please?

DAVIS LOVE III: Well, she was going to miss out on whichever Hawaii trip we ended up going on in the next couple of months, if somehow I could get into the Mercedes Tournament or the Sony Open in the following week. I said we'll let you out of school to go on a Hawaii trip. But if I go and play in this tournament, it would mean a lot to me and mean a lot to a lot of people, like the Tour and the American Express people. I said I feel like I'm going to let them down if I don't go, just like if I'd let you down if I don't watch you ride this week. She understood that. And she said if I get to go to Hawaii -- she's missed two weeks of school for riding horses. We said we'll let you miss another week of school and travel with us to Hawaii, which would you rather do? And she said I'd rather go to Hawaii.

Q. How old is she?

DAVIS LOVE III: She's 11. And I reminded her when we were here for the Ryder Cup she won a big national championship that week in '97. I said so maybe me being in Spain will be good luck for you. It is her biggest horse show she's ever ridden in. I haven't been good luck for her. When I've been there, she hasn't done as well.

Q. What kind of shows are they, Davis?

DAVIS LOVE III: She rode during the last couple of Ryder Cups. She rode in the Grand National Horse Show, but this is the World Cup. And they only have it every three years. And it's the first time it's ever been in the United States. It's a big deal for her. But she also understands what second place meant last week, and what playing well means. My five year old, he just wants me to come home and throw baseballs, he doesn't care. But she understands 540,000, and what finishing second to Tiger Woods means, and then wanting to go try and beat him the next week. She's a pretty level-headed little kid. She knows that I can't help her with her horseback riding, and she can't help me with my golf, so we might as well go out and do our jobs.

Q. Davis, as a Policy Board Member, does it bother you that six prominent U.S. Players didn't play here, given that one of the reasons this event was created was to give you guys an opportunity to play against the best in the world more often and playing for one million dollar first prize?

DAVIS LOVE III: Well, it's disappointing when guys won't come to any tournament, I think. But I will say that the players on the Policy Board try to make that point very clear, that international travel and new events are probably not going to be a hundred percent supported. And as long as the Tour and the Federation and the sponsors felt we could work through that -- my example was the three million dollar Jamaica tournament, when there was no other tournaments with that big a purse. And I remember I getting a call on a Tuesday, the tournament starting on Thursday, and asking me to please come play. And Jamaica is a pretty easy place to get to, and in December to play a three million dollar golf tournament -- so I think that as long as we knew going in we weren't going to get everybody every time. It's unfortunate the first time over here that we lose a couple of guys to various things. And I don't know -- I understand David not traveling, but I don't know what Steve Stricker apparently or Jesper, what happened last minute. I didn't want to be included in that group. With my finish last week and being top five in the world, and if I had any chance of -- I felt like of playing well, I wanted to come and be a part of it and not add to that.

Q. When exactly did you arrive here?

DAVIS LOVE III: 30 minutes ago.

Q. So with your experience of jet lag and so on, when do you reckon you'll be back to normal?

DAVIS LOVE III: I think tomorrow morning. I slept very well on the way over. I have problems -- when I come over for the Open Championship, getting in on Sunday or Monday morning and waiting around for the tournament to start overseas. For some reason if I get into Atlanta a little early, I kill the time better, if you know what I mean. When I'm over here I'm already starting by Thursday or Friday wishing that it was time to get back home to the family. For some reason two weeks overseas and two weeks at home -- two weeks overseas seems like a lot longer to me. I'm a very impatient person to get home. I'll be fine. I've flown in for the Open Championship on Tuesday mornings and played Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday and been in good shape. So I got some good rest at home. I feel like -- everybody has to prepare differently. I feel like now I'm excited about playing, rather than if I had come over Monday, like I don't really want to go, I would have had a difficult time. I'm excited about it. I'm going to play this afternoon and try to stay up. If I'm up until nine and sleep in and -- I'll be ready to go. I'm basically a lazy person, I can sleep anytime. It's going back usually that I have a problem, getting back on the right time.

Q. What's your schedule after this, Davis?

DAVIS LOVE III: I'm scheduled for the Mixed Team, and Tiger's New Year's Event. And so if I am fortunate enough to win this week, I would play that and then two weeks in Hawaii to start off the year. But a light off-season schedule.

End of FastScripts….

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