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February 29, 2008

Brian Davis


DOUG MILNE: Brian Davis, thanks for joining us, another good round today at the Honda Classic, 67, a little hiccup coming down the stretch but overall, good day, just a few opening comments.
BRIAN DAVIS: Yeah, I'm sure every player has got a few hiccups around here. You know for me personally, it was a tough finish but overall, all you can do is hit good shots, good putts and if things don't come off, don't come off.
You know, overall, for the way I've been playing the start of this season, it's a welcome return to form, and you know, where you want to be.

Q. You just touched on it, but you had a late double, Dudley had a late double, other guys were finishing with bogeys. Just talk about how the nature of the course seems to present that?
BRIAN DAVIS: It's more like a major in the respect that it wears you down. As I said yesterday, I missed it in all the right spots, and today I missed in one bad spot and made double and then on the last just didn't get up-and-down.
You know, overall, I've missed it on the right spots and made some good putts, and kept the momentum going which is the key.

Q. It might sound silly being alone on the lead after 36, but how much does -- how much, rather, did 7 and 9, rather, sort of take away from how good you might be feeling?
BRIAN DAVIS: Well, we'd all like to have a five-shot lead. But on this course, I think you need a 20-shot lead to feel secure with one round to go.
You know around here it's going to come down to the last nine holes, just the way the course is set up. I can't see anybody getting a six-shot lead out there tomorrow. It's just not that type of golf course, with the wind blowing as it is. If it's calm, you can fire at a few pins, but no doubt the pins will be talked away the next couple of days.

Q. What happened on 9, were you between, on the second?
BRIAN DAVIS: No. We had a good club, a good number. Caddie reassured me it was a good number and finished pin-high. I just blocked it, that's all, because I was trying to hit a little knock-down hold up and blocked it, not in a great spot. Hit a good putt, misread it.

Q. Were you near a sprinklerhead?
BRIAN DAVIS: No, drain. That's fine.

Q. 7?
BRIAN DAVIS: I was in-between clubs and went at it and miss-hit it right in the bunker and got in there. There's a lot of sand and just hit it heavy and then it plugged. Then I had to make sure I got the ball out obviously, and had about a 15-footer and just misread it.

Q. What did you hit there?
BRIAN DAVIS: 6-iron. One hole you're not thinking you're going to make double on.

Q. The flip side, a lot of guys, Dudley had six straight birdies. You obviously played well, except for those last three holes. Just talk about, you still can play on this course.
BRIAN DAVIS: Yeah, coming straight back with a birdie on 8, which for me is probably more important than going bogey-free yesterday. It's when the chips are down, what do you do. I hit good drive, good second shot and a good putt.
You know, disappointed on the last. If I had parred the last, I would have been really, really happy. There's nothing I could do on 7.
But you know, it's just one of them things, this golf course, there are some birdie holes, when you get certain pin positions, and you'll find that over the weekend when they stick the pins in certain positions, it's almost impossible to get it close unless it's a do-or-die shot. If they don't come off, you're going to make double.

Q. You sunk quite the big one on the 18th. Seemed to have a laugh about it afterwards.
BRIAN DAVIS: Yeah, I hit it close a few holes back, twice in a row, missed them, which you're going to do. I kept going, and then on 18, I hit it in the rough off the tee so I was always struggling.
I had the easiest putt out of the three of us. It was uphill into the grain where they were coming back down and downgrain. I had an easy putt and absolutely hammered it, as my caddie said, and it hit the hole and dropped in. You get a bit of momentum like that, a bit of luck and I had a bit of bad luck on No. 7. But you're going to get that. That's just golf.

Q. Did you see these two days coming?
BRIAN DAVIS: I've been putting well, and we've been working hard on my swing trying to get my game back where it needs to be. I've lost so much distance from a year ago, the start of the season, I think I'm playing with Matt Jones tomorrow, he hits it eight miles, so I'll probably be 40 yards behind him tomorrow.
Overall my distance has been so down the start of this year. I really haven't been able to compete. I've had to build it up. There's no point in me taking two months off the start of the season and then coming out with a bit more power. I just wanted to keep my game in check, my short game, and gradually build up.
It's been pretty good this week. Whatever happens this weekend, it's a starting block for me this year because I didn't know what to expect coming out after having -- you know, two months off, but not being able to dry-swing or stretch or do anything. I was just purely doing work on my neck.

Q. What's the great achievement of your golf career and what's the most plea sure you've ever felt?
BRIAN DAVIS: (Laughing.) The greatest achievement in my golfing career was not actually a win. It was when I finished second at The European Tour School. Don't ask me what date. You'll have to check that one.
I went there. I played on the Challenge Tour, and as you know, there wasn't any money. I went there and my dad gave me a thousand pounds to get a caddie, which at the time was a lot of money for me because I didn't have any money. The caddies were coming up to me and saying, "Well, I want 1,200 plus a bonus," and I'm thinking, forget that.
I pulled my bag for eight rounds, six rounds of tournament, two rounds of practice, and I pulled it in a cart and I finished second. Got my European Tour card with my back up against the wall, and that to me showed more than, you know, when I won at Q-School or I've won two events in Europe; that was more important to me. It was the start of my career, but also it showed to me, you know, what I could do.

Q. A pull cart?

Q. Were you the only one with a pull cart?
BRIAN DAVIS: I think there was a few other guys. By the way I didn't tell my dad that I didn't have a caddie (laughter) in case he wanted the thousand pounds back.

Q. How much distance have you lost?
BRIAN DAVIS: It's getting me back this week but I would have said the start of the season, probably 30 yards off the tee at the start of the season. I mean, I just couldn't hit it. I was hitting it 250 off some of the tees.
You know, I just got into the wind. I would probably say I'm probably ten yards down on sort of this time last year.

Q. Did you have to readjust all your clubbing?
BRIAN DAVIS: Absolutely. It wasn't a case I was striking it so bad I didn't have the power or the flight. So as soon as we got a windy day the ball was going nowhere. It's just the process I had to go through.

Q. What is your father's name and what did he do for a living or does he do for a living?
BRIAN DAVIS: Father's name is Bob, Robert. And he had a had a carpet business and then he had a florist business in London.
DOUG MILNE: If you can just run us through the birdies real quick and give us some putts.
BRIAN DAVIS: No. 1, I hit rescue, sand iron to about ten feet and holed it.
No. 4, I hit driver, lob-wedge to about 15, 18 feet and holed it.
Hit double on 7. I hit 6-iron in the bunker, duffed it, plugged. Missed the putt.
Hit driver, 5-iron on No. 8 and made about a 15-footer there, 12 or 15-footer.
Bogey on 9, I chipped it up and missed from about eight feet, six or eight feet.
Birdie on 12. I hit driver, 4-iron to about 12 feet and holed it.
No. 13, I hit driver, 7-iron to about two foot.
Birdie on the last, I hit driver, utility club and then 5-iron. And then made a bomb.
DOUG MILNE: Thanks for coming in. Best of luck on the weekend.

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