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January 10, 2007

David Toms


TODD BUDNICK: We thank David Toms defending champion of the Sony Open in Hawaii. Thank you for joining us today. You got off to a good start last week at the Mercedes-Benz Championship with an eighth place. Just talk about the start of the year for you.
DAVID TOMS: Yeah, I finished up good last week. I think it was more just being rusty early in the week. I had not played any golf really since The TOUR Championship. I played Tiger's event, six days of golf there, and other than that, I didn't touch a club the whole time.
I was home during the off-season. Made a club change, and that's been very positive and felt good about that. So you know, I just started to get my rhythm last week a little better and played good again today in the Pro-Am. So I look forward to, you know, giving it a shot this week.
You know, it will still be all about making the putts. It always is here and getting the putter hot because you'll have a lot of opportunities if you're driving the ball well. We'll see how it goes.
TODD BUDNICK: First time we bring new at the beginning of the year, we like to talk about what you did if you had any break and what your 2007 goals are.
DAVID TOMS: I had a big break in the fall. Got away from golf and did a lot of other fun stuff. You know, as far as goals for this year, it's always for me, you know, obviously winning a golf tournament. It's always a nice bonus I guess for the year if you can win.
But for me, I really want to putt myself into contention more. The last couple of years I've had a lot of great tournaments and I've had a lot of so-so below average I would say.
So this year, I would like to, you know, have the goal of putting myself into position more and maybe more Top-10s, just overall more quality golf, as opposed to winning a couple of times or winning once and having some missed cuts and struggling at some other times.
I'm healthy right now. If I can stay that way all year, I look forward to having a good one.
TODD BUDNICK: You joined a new group last week, part of the 40-somethings now. When you watch Vijay get his 18th victory since turning 40, is that something to shoot for?
DAVID TOMS: It's amazing. I told him this morning on the range, he said something about, you know, being 40 and everything. I said, well if I can have half the success that he's had in my 40s that, would be good stuff.
But he's a guy that's top conditions, works really hard. I don't know that I enjoy it that much to do that. I like to do other stuff. I don't see myself dedicating that much time to it. But at the same time, feel like I can still play some really good golf. My golf swing feels fine. Still continue to work on the same things, and maybe the experience will pay off.

Q. You said one of your goals was to play more consistently quality golf. Is there one thing perhaps that's been holding you back in that regard?
DAVID TOMS: You know, not really. If you look at my stats overall, everything was pretty good last year and the year before. But it's just been -- I have some really hot weeks, I guess everybody kind of does that. But the elite players don't. They tend to be there an awful lot of the time. That's what I'd like to do.
I'm not sure that there's anything other than just the mental approach as far as playing at that level more often. That's probably if I struggle with anything at times, that's probably it.

Q. As part of your equipment change, did you do anything with the putter?
DAVID TOMS: I do have a Corza putter, which is a TaylorMade putter, similar look to the same thing I've used the past dozen years or. So it seems like every company, whatever putter I've used always made me something similar to the style that I used ever since I was in college. So you know, it's nothing out of the ordinary I guess. It's just a nice, solid putter.
And the technology that they have with their insert, I went through their putting studio and they made me a believer after about 30 minutes that I think it's something that's going to help me be more consistent with pace on the greens. I'm going to give it a shot for a while.

Q. Speaking of pace on the greens, how is the golf course playing at the moment?
DAVID TOMS: The course is not as fast as last year. The greens are not rolling out as much, they are receptive and quite as fast. Who knows what the weather will do, it's been windy, if it continues to blow and the sun comes out, but it seems like we have a little bit of rain every day that softens it. It's easier to hit the fairways than last year, being not as firm, and the greens are pretty receptive. There will be some good scores.
You know, overall, if the wind blows, you'll have days where you have to, you know, play really well to shoot low. But you'll see some good scores out there.

Q. You've got a good record here, not just last year but previous years as well, what is it about this course that makes you feel so comfortable?
DAVID TOMS: I think it's the type of glass we play on, some grainy bermuda, the rough, the type of stuff I grew up on. It's kind of second nature as far as reading the greens and so forth.
Plus the golf course sets up well. You don't have to just bomb it out there. It always helps but it's the type of course where accuracy is a little more important. So it suits my game a little bit better than some others.

Q. Todd mentioned you joining the 40-something brigade, if you look back at your breakthrough in the majors in 2001, going forward, are you happy with where you are in the world of golf right now, have you underachieved, overachieved?
DAVID TOMS: I don't know. I think it's about par for me, as far as skills go, ability. I've won some tournaments that I was surprised at. Other times where I haven't played as well as I think I should. So I'd say I'm probably -- obviously been very successful as far as number of victories and so forth.
I haven't been as successful in the big events like I would like to be, and so maybe the next few years, maybe that's time to make amends for all of the other majors that I would obviously like to win. We all like to win one, but just to give myself more opportunities and play better in them, in some of the bigger events, too.

Q. Last year when you won you had a friend that I guess had just been diagnosed with Hodgkins disease, how is he doing?
DAVID TOMS: He's doing great. A few weeks ago they took his port out where they gave him his chemo and everything. So clean Bill of health. He's doing very well, thanks.

Q. You were kind of vocal, not extremely vocal, but vocal enough about the courses in the Playoff system, three courses that are in northeast and the Midwest, not bermuda, not the kind of courses that you grew up on. Have you had a chance to think about that anymore and do you still feel the same way?
DAVID TOMS: Well, Westchester, the positive there is it's not a long, you know, bomber's golf course, and I've played well there in the past at times. So it's not that big a deal, other than it's not in the south.
I guess I still think we should move them around. But at the same time, we have to have tournament sponsors and you have people that are willing to putt up the money and kind of you have to go where they want to go.
Who knows what's going to happen. I know the one we play in Chicago is going to move around a little bit and give us some variety. Who knows what the future holds. But for now, I just have to go out there and play well.

Q. Are you surprised that they could not find a venue/sponsor that would be somewhere south of the Mason-Dixon line outside of the Coca-Cola and East Lake?
DAVID TOMS: I'm not sure how that whole process works to be honest with you. Once you find one that's a quality sponsor and you have a venue, how hard do you really work to find something in another place. I don't know.
I've always said the PGA TOUR has always provided a great place for me to play golf for a lot of money since I started out here. So I just feel confident they will continue to do the same thing. We all have our pros and cons of each tournament and where we go and we would all -- obviously I would prefer to play in the south every single event. Of course, I've had the most success there. Half the field, three-quarters of our field would probably prefer to play in another country because, you know, that's where they were born and raised. Just go with it and see how it works out.

Q. You played with Michelle the other day, I understand that you were talking to her about her game and some of the shots you thought would help her?
DAVID TOMS: Well, I mean, I was very impressed with her game, her ability. She plays a lot like a male player in that she creates a lot of speed through the ball. Not only with her long shots, but around the greens and so forth. She can hit all the different shots.
I just felt like at times maybe she was overswinging, trying to hit a draw for extra distance. She could probably tell after playing nine holes with me that she has adequate distance to play out here at a high level. She can't overpower our game like she does on the ladies tour, so she has to play a different game, more of an accuracy type of game. I think once she learns that, she'll do fine.
TODD BUDNICK: Thank you and good luck this week.

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