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June 19, 2008

Brian Davis


CHRIS REIMER: Brian Davis now in the media center. Thanks for coming in, 64 today. Obviously a great way to start the tournament. Talk about what you had going right today out there.
BRIAN DAVIS: Yeah, I played good. I hit the ball pretty good off the tee, as I usually do. But the difference was I hit a few iron shots closer today. Like any time you shoot 6-under you've got to hole some putts, and that's what I did today.
CHRIS REIMER: Is this a course that fits your eye well? Do you like playing this course?
BRIAN DAVIS: You have to work the ball. It's not just a bomber's course; you do have to work the ball off the tee and into the pin, some of the pin positions. So it's a fun course to play.
And obviously with the enhanced practice facilities now, it's an added bonus to come here and actually do some really good work on your game, not just for this week.
CHRIS REIMER: You were, I believe, the 36 hole leader at Honda this year; is that right?
BRIAN DAVIS: Yes, I was.
CHRIS REIMER: Talk about the year as a whole. It's been a good year for you?
BRIAN DAVIS: Yeah, I came out at the start of the year and I was still suffering from an injury a bit, and I made a lot of changes but my body wasn't allowing me to make the swing changes, and it's taken a bit of time, longer than I thought it would. I hit a bad shot where I go back to the old things. But overall it's a work in progress. Unfortunately you've just got to try and stay patient, and I'm not very good at that.

Q. Has the course dried out at all, or is it still pretty soft?
BRIAN DAVIS: Still pretty soft. The greens have gotten a little bit firmer but you can still stop pretty much every iron.

Q. You said it's not a bomber's course, but wouldn't you think that would help the longer players where you could just hit it out there and not have to worry about it straying left and right?
BRIAN DAVIS: Yeah, there's quite a lot of par-4s where it bottlenecks, so if they hit it 320 off the tee, 330, they've got to hit to a smaller target. That might make them hit 3-woods a lot, which obviously plays into our hands. Like any golf course, it doesn't matter how short or long you are, you've got to play well. But this course you do have to work the ball a little bit.

Q. What was the injury, and what in particular was going wrong that you were trying to fix?
BRIAN DAVIS: Just I had a herniated disk in my back early on in the year, got over that, and then I had two herniated disks in my neck at the end of the season, and that was really painful because I played hurt for about three months and then finally my neck gave way. I was pretty bad for a couple of months, and it's taken longer than I thought it would.
My doctor back in the UK said to me it would probably take about six months before you felt strong enough, and I was being impatient after two months because I didn't feel good. It's taken about six months to get fully fit, and then it's probably taken me another two or three months working on my swing to finally feel it. It's very difficult.

Q. Is part of the swing change to compensate for these problems?
BRIAN DAVIS: That's what happened. I compensated with my swing for about three months at the end of the season and worked in a lot of problems and then obviously I've had to reverse that, and it's not that easy to do.
CHRIS REIMER: Do you want to just go through your clubs and just the birdies and bogeys?
BRIAN DAVIS: 1st hole, I hit driver, 9-iron, holed about a 20-, 25-footer.
Bogey on 2, I hit it in the right-hand trap off the tee, right-hand trap by the green, smashed it out, missed the par putt.
No. 3, I hit driver, 7-iron to about three feet.
And then on No. 4, I hit driver, 4-iron, missed the green right, chipped it in.
On No. 7, I hit drive, 7-iron, pulled it and holed a bomb across the green.
No. 10, hit the trees in my second shot, dropped down, chipped it on, two-putted for bogey.
12th hole, I hit driver, 9-iron to about ten feet, holed it.
Par-5, hit driver, 3-wood on the green, two-putted from about 25, 30 feet.
15, I hit driver just right of the green, chipped it up to a foot.
No. 16, I hit 6-iron to about 12 feet, made it.

Q. How long was the hole-out and the, quote, bomb?
BRIAN DAVIS: I'd probably say 40 feet, the longest one of the year.

Q. Longest one of the year?
BRIAN DAVIS: Definitely. I signed a ball for a kid who was in the wheelchair, and I said, "Cherish that; I haven't made many of them this year." I've chipped in more than I've holed putts.

Q. How long was the chip-in?
BRIAN DAVIS: Probably 25 feet, 30 feet from the pin.

Q. So that was a gimme?
BRIAN DAVIS: Yeah, it was a gimme, yeah.

Q. Seriously, that's the longest putt you've made this year?

Q. What would you say the previous one was?
BRIAN DAVIS: 30. Things are going good. I don't want to curse it.

Q. How long was the par save on the eighth hole, your 17th?
BRIAN DAVIS: Yeah, I holed about probably a 10-footer.

Q. What did you hit in there?
BRIAN DAVIS: I shanked it in the bunker right. I hit a couple of shots, my last two shots, where the irons had been left, so obviously that's a swing thing I'm working on still. And the brain says, okay, we're not going left. Straight right. And I played a good bunker shot, got unlucky, but I left myself the uphill putt, which was the key. And the greens as they are at the moment being fairly slow, you can be really aggressive.

Q. Has the swing been more of a problem, the putting? You joked that this is the longest putt I've made --
BRIAN DAVIS: No, my putting has been fine. Just when you can't physically do things with the golf club it affects putting. If you're not hitting your irons close, you miss the green and you've got to chip up and hole a five-footer or you hit the green and you're 40 feet all the time it puts pressure on your 40-footer. But when you're hitting it close and making them and then hit it far away, it doesn't put so much pressure on you.

Q. When you came into the round today were you thinking, okay, let's see what happens?
BRIAN DAVIS: Yeah, I haven't had a good run lately, and I had a good few days' practice and came in and started with a bogey. Felt great.
And then things happened. It's weird how it happens sometimes, but it was nice to get a bit of momentum and nice to be under par early and not always finding -- out here the standard is so good that you play mediocre and you shoot around level par all the time, you're fine on the cut. You're still playing pretty good. So you have to step it up out here and you need to throw in at least one or two low ones during the week to have any chance at winning.

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