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March 3, 2005

Brian Davis


TODD BUDNICK: We thank Brian Davis for stopping in after an 8-under 64 today. No bogeys today, Brian. A nice round.

BRIAN DAVIS: Yeah, I got off to a good start, a couple under after five and hit a few bad shots and scrambled for pars which gets the momentum going. Made a putt on 8 for eagle and hit a terrible shot on 9 just left of the green and chipped it in.

Got it going but slowed up on the back nine. I missed a few putts. I've been making pretty much everything. You know, the back nine is not easy. The last three holes I had a few chances which I took advantage of and I shot 8-under. You'll take anything in the 60s around here. There was not a lot of wind but we saw in the practice rounds; if the wind gets up, this is brutal. So happy to get to 8-under and get in the clubhouse.

TODD BUDNICK: You're a rookie and you finished first after the first reshuffle on Monday. You're having some good luck on the PGA TOUR this year.

BRIAN DAVIS: Going through the European Tour school, it's important, you have to get your card but it is important to finish high up and that doesn't matter if you re-rank well. I finished high in the European Tour School and obviously re-ranking I'm pretty much going to get in up to the Wachovia when I'm going to be going back to Europe and obviously the Money List, that will help with Bay Hill as well. So that's an added bonus for me.

Q. You mentioned Bay Hill; does that mean you're going to be Top-70 on the Money List?

BRIAN DAVIS: Yeah, I think I'm around 30. I slipped back a few places last week.

Q. That's one you want to play in for hometown reasons?

BRIAN DAVIS: Yeah, I spent a couple years when I was younger in Orlando. I used come watch that tournament. I have friends that live there. That was one tournament that always stuck in my mind and that was one tournament I wasn't going to get into just off the ranking so it was important and I wanted to make that.

Q. I understand you did well at L.A. Can you talk about that tournament and the disappointment obviously of it getting washed out?

BRIAN DAVIS: Yeah, that was a weird week. A lot of guys have said "well done," "unlucky." It's a bit of both really. I'm happy because it helped me to re-rank but the downside is it was one of those weeks where I played great and only wanted four rounds to give myself a chance of winning. There's certain people, fortunately, I re-ranked at No. 1 so I can't be too hard on myself for things but that was a tough week. I paid the price a little bit last week, a little bit tired down in Tucson and obviously I've come over this week, my parents are here so, they are giving a little bit of help with Oliver, my little boy, and getting plenty of rest. That's a big help.

Q. Two par 5s on the back nine and you took 5 on each; could have been even better, couldn't it?

BRIAN DAVIS: I'm not going to grumble. I missed a couple of putts on those two par 5s but then, to shoot that sort of score you have to hole a lot of putts anyway. I'm very happy with that. Tomorrow I might not make any 2s and birdie those two.

I'll take anything in the 60s around here all four days. The wind blowing in the practice rounds, I thought if that happens, then anything in the 60s will be go. It wasn't as much wind, it's picking up a little bit. I know there's a forecast of rain, so hats off; I'm in the clubhouse 8-under.

Q. You're not in the Masters yet, are you?

BRIAN DAVIS: No, I'm not, no.

Q. Is that on the back of your mind the next three weeks?

BRIAN DAVIS: No, it's not. I've got my goals. I'm going back to Europe and playing 11 events after the Wachovia, so I want my card up by then. Obviously I want to win, but if I don't, that's another goal that I've got to achieve.

I'd like to get into TPC. I played that last year. I played the Masters last year as well. I really enjoyed the TPC. If I make the Masters, that would be a plus. But the downside is I would play probably 15 events in a row. After Bay Hill it is going to be nine in a row, and traveling with a family is pretty tough to do nine in a row. TPC, it would be nice to get into, it would be ten, and then, you know, if it happens, great. But if it doesn't, you know, I could do with a week off, and obviously come back BellSouth. Whatever happens, I can't really lose in that situation.

Q. You mentioned the reshuffle, after Tucson last week, how big of a deal is that? Obviously you do get into pretty much anything you want now; right?

BRIAN DAVIS: Yeah, apart from obviously those big events, I'm pretty much going to get into those minutes and it's easier to plan my schedule. I look at this week, guys maybe finish 20th, for example Phillip Price from Europe, I don't know where he finished in the reshuffle but it was roundabout 20th.

Q. Are those the guys you spent time with like Phillip and Greg Owen?

BRIAN DAVIS: We all have families out here traveling so we're spending time with the kids so we're actually not doing that as much. Now and again we do but, you know, I'm just enjoying spending time with my little boy and that's the advantage being over here, I can see a lot more of him.

Q. You weren't that bad off going in there but for guys who had cuts on the West Coast is that a pressurized environment?

BRIAN DAVIS: Very much so. They go in, obviously, no secret it's a weaker field because all of the guys are playing the Accenture. The pressure wasn't on me as much. Obviously I wanted to finish No. 1. I was only a few thousand ahead of Greg. If any of those guys popped up to 1, I would probably be ranked three or four. It was an important week for me. If I had not gone there and made the cut I would have finished No. 2. So I shot 5-under the last seven holes to make the cut there. So, you know, that's a bonus for me, but, you know, to re-rank No. 1 is important and it's important for me as well because it proves something to myself.

Q. Do you have much experience here at this course or is this the first time for you?

BRIAN DAVIS: First time here. I've heard quite a few things about it. Obviously I've watched it on TV. This week is up against Dubai and I've always done well in Dubai, so maybe it's this time of the year.

But this course will really show its teeth on the weekends. The greens are pretty soft at the moment and there was not a lot of wind. Once they get those greens firm, they tuck those pins away, I'm sure it will be a different story.

Q. You mentioned that you'll take four rounds in the 60s this week but on a day like today, as calm as it is, is a round merely in the 60s good enough or did you really have to go low to get yourself into it?

BRIAN DAVIS: You know, I haven't been here before, and we arrived Monday, blowing; Tuesday, blowing; Wednesday it was blowing. So I just assumed that's the way it would be all week. Obviously it was a little bit down today but the forecast is not great, I don't think. It will even itself out. The course always gets tougher as the week goes on with the greens.

Q. Do you have an objective, a goal to be in contention now having shot 64?

BRIAN DAVIS: Well, you always wanted to be -- I'm not stupid, I know it's only one round. I've been around enough. All I can do is give myself a chance on Sunday and if I'm in position, great. And I want to win that car. (Laughter.)

TODD BUDNICK: Let's go through your round.

BRIAN DAVIS: I hit driver, driver on the front edge and 2-putted.

5, I hit 3-wood, 8-iron to about a foot and a half.

No. 8, I hit driver, 3-wood to about 25, 30 feet and holed it.

9, pulled it left and chipped it in, 25 feet.

15, the par 3, I hit 8-iron to about 15 feet, 14 feet, somewhere around that.

16, I hit driver, sand iron to about 12 feet and holed it.

17, hit driver, lob-wedge to about four, five feet and holed it.

Q. You mentioned Q-School or started to mention that you turned pro rather early and that was somewhat controversial?

BRIAN DAVIS: Yes, it was in many respects. Obviously I planned to go back in the U.K., and I played for Great Britain and Ireland as a boy under 18. Some people like to have a good amateur record but I wasn't playing golf to be an amateur the rest of my life. I was playing it because I wanted to play on TOUR and I wanted to compete with the best and win.

I got the opportunity when I was 18 with many sponsorship to turn pro and I took that and I played the mini-tours in Florida, which was a great learning experience, and that's why I do like it over here. Then I got one invite to a European Tour event and I finished fifth and that gave me enough money the following year to go to the Challenge Tour in Europe and then I went to school and got my card and I've been playing here. I was going to go to the Q-School two years ago but my wife was pregnant with my son so I didn't come. For me looking at it, the Q-School was my main goal last year after I didn't make the Ryder Cup. So going into next week, I'll try and make the Ryder Cup from over here hopefully.

Q. In terms of, you had some resistance or criticism about turning pro from other people in Amateur circles?

BRIAN DAVIS: Yeah, I'm not going to obviously bad-mouth anyone, but, you know, you're told that without a good amateur career, you're never going to make it as a pro. Tell that to Ian Poulter. Tell that to me. I played at a young age but I didn't carry on -- and people like Harrington have gone on, so everybody is different. Over here you have a totally different system. I left school when I was 15 and it was always my goal to win golf tournaments, Player of the Year, Ryder Cup, all of those kind of things. That was just another stepping stone to get to.

Q. In America to turn pro at 18 is asking for it.

BRIAN DAVIS: Yeah, everybody freaks out when somebody does it over here. I was born in a different culture, so obviously most of my friends left school when I was 15, 16 and got a job; whereas I played golf for a few years, a couple of years now and that's it.

Q. Who did you stay with in Florida?

BRIAN DAVIS: I just rented a room in a house and just played the mini-tours.

Q. The Tommy Armour Tour?


Q. How old were you then?

BRIAN DAVIS: 18. I went to the Q-School over here and I won first stage by eight shots at Wildwood and missed Greenleaf, missed last, bogeyed it and missed it by one. It's all a learning experience.

Q. And sponsorship enabled you to do that?

BRIAN DAVIS: Yes, it does.

Q. Same company?

BRIAN DAVIS: It was DHL Worldwide Express at the time. It was a good learning experience. Left home, packed my bags, two suitcases and off I went. It was a great experience and I think it's done me go to have done it at a young age.

Q. Where did you take an apartment?

BRIAN DAVIS: At Windermere.

Q. How goes the house-hunting or have you had a chance to do that?

BRIAN DAVIS: We are renting at the moment, but I know where I want to live. I just wanted to make sure my wife was happy with the area before I go and buy somewhere and have the hassle selling it later. So I thought it was easier just to wait and see but I'm sure we'll buy something by the end of the summer.

Q. What made you focus on Windermere as opposed to Jupiter.

BRIAN DAVIS: I'm a tourist. I need my English newspaper. It's great when we have an off-week because just before we came here, we took Oliver to Disneyworld with the family. There's so much to do. If you take a week off, you don't actually have to go anywhere. I like the weather, I have friends there and that's where I used practice, and obviously I can get my English newspaper.

Q. And you're still young enough to get a discount at Disneyworld, too.

BRIAN DAVIS: I don't know about that. I'm feeling a bit old nowadays.

TODD BUDNICK: Thank you, Brian.

End of FastScripts.

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