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August 13, 2008

Davis Love III


DOUG MILNE: We'd like to welcome Davis Love, III to the interview room here at the Wyndham Championship. Three-time winner of this tournament.
Thanks for joining us for a few minutes, Davis. We talked yesterday a little bit about you mentioned yesterday was the first time you played the course. Just some opening thoughts on the course.
DAVIS LOVE, III: The course is great. I'm sure you've heard it over and over and over again, an awesome golf course.
It's great to be moving to a traditional golf course. So many times in my career we've left a classic, traditional golf course and gone to a new, modern style course. So it's nice to be doing the opposite for once and they did a wonderful job with the renovation.
I didn't see it before but whatever they did, they did a great job. And my brother and I, you know, being in the design business -- he's caddying for me this week and we kind of got lost in our practice round discussing all the green complexes and, you know, what do you think was here before and how much we like the greens and how much we like the golf course.
It's been -- it was a fun day yesterday and I'm sure we'll enjoy the whole week because it's a great course and in wonderful shape.
DOUG MILNE: This is a significant week. We talked yesterday about kind of the tail of two Cups. The FedExCup and the Ryder Cup.
Are you able to just state -- stay in the moment, focus on this week, take it one at a time or how much do those thoughts creep in?
DAVIS LOVE, III: Lot of thoughts creeping in. That's why I play two, three good rounds or 14 or 15 good holes a day. But I'm hitting the ball real well and I'm excited about the opportunity this week, hopefully next week, if not, the fall term.
I didn't get to play last year. Starting this week last year I had a lot of issues that held me back. So still trying to bounce back from those and get my confidence back and play well.
I feel like I've been playing pretty good but I'm always playing the PGA or the U.S. Open or the British Open and battling through tough conditions. You know, playing the AT&T in Washington was kind of like a mini Major course.
It would be nice -- well, like this week, play a traditional golf course and then see what happens in the playoffs. But in the fall events get back to playing some Vegases and some Disneys and tournaments that I've been successful in the past and aren't set-up for 9-over making the cut kind of tournaments.
My brother said at the PGA, said, "You're trying to get your game together. You keep playing these hard golf courses where nobody can get their game together. Just hang in there, you're hitting it great."
I'm excited about this week and we'll see what happens with the Cups but first priorities first is playing a good round of golf tomorrow afternoon. I'm excited about it.
DOUG MILNE: Questions?

Q. Davis, what would you say to Paul for Ryder Cup for making an argument for you?
DAVIS LOVE, III: We've had that discussion. I told him when I win a couple then we'll talk about it. But, you know, I'm not in the picture right now. I need to play my way into Barclays. That's what I need to do right now. I'm a long way from Ryder Cup selection.
He's smart. He wants guys that are putting good and are confident. Well, if I win this week, then I will have putted good and be confident. If I win next week, I'll be really putting well and confident.
I'm a long way from that. I'm a long way from -- I have to have a good tournament this week to get in next week. The Ryder Cup is a whole 'nother issue.
Paul is getting some guys. He's getting the Ben Curtises and Anthony Kims that are getting on a roll. That's exactly what he set it up for. And, you know, I think they're going to do real well because there will be somebody else and hopefully me that gets hot in the next few weeks and makes the team.
I think it's smart not to have the team set. You still got a chance for somebody else to get hot and that's really what you want.
It's just like Paul going to the poker tournament. He goes to the World Series of Poker because he thinks he can get some hot cards and get on a run and win. He needs a couple players in the last few months that they get hot and have confidence and go in smoking.
I've consistently gone in to these Cup matches, you know, on a roll the first year and not the second year. Maybe five or six or seven of them out of the 12 teams I made that I played good the first year and not as good the second year and didn't go in with enough confidence, and I think that's what Paul is seeing is now he's got the guys that are playing well this year.
So I think he'll do well with them.

Q. Davis, considering your background with Forest Oaks, two wins, redesign, is there any lingering disappointment about leaving there and coming here?
DAVIS LOVE, III: I'm disappointed for the members who might -- half of them might be happy they got their course back this week. They put a lot into it over there, the membership did and the ownership.
It's disappointing for them. For us, it's fine. We built that course and as we told all the organizers of the tournament, we built that course for the members so they would enjoy it., bring it back to something that they would enjoy and the members do enjoy it.
That whole project was successful and hopefully we helped the tournament along a little bit and we told Bobby Long and everybody involved, do whatever is best for the tournament. It isn't going to affect us one way or another.
So I'm excited to play this golf course. You know, I got asked 50 times yesterday, you know, about the golf course. I'm like I've never seen it before, you know? It's hard to believe that as much time as I spent in Chapel Hill and in Greensboro that I hadn't played the golf course. We're excited to be here.
Anytime you get to play a Donald Ross course, it's a treat. So, hopefully, word will spread to the players that this is a great golf course, a fun place to play and it will help the tournament out and that's No. 1, is helping the tournament out.
Right now in our design business we're doing good, building a lot of really good stuff and we're excited about where we're going and, you know, hopefully, you know, courses like Forest Oaks that the members like will continue that reputation.
DOUG MILNE: Davis, thanks so much for your time.

Q. Real quick, two quick topics, Olympics and golf. Your thoughts on that. Is that something that's feasible with the schedules and all?
DAVIS LOVE, III: It's tough with the schedules. I saw the President was talking about baseball. You think about how would you stop a season? You know, this time of year it would be hard to stop our season.
I would love to see it be amateurs, give the amateurs one more thing to play for, you know, play for an Olympic medal, play for your country.
We've got a Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup already and a lot of great tournaments we get to play in. It would be neat if it was a world amateur kind of format, two or four of the best amateurs in the world and let them play for their country.
Is that what the Olympics wants? No. They want Greg Normans and Fred Couples and Tiger Woods. They don't want guys you never heard of.
So, I don't know in the long run if those two things can balance out. But you know, every time they've talked about it, it's always been, you know, 50/50. Guys want to go play and not wanting to play.
But, you know it would be interesting. I don't know. I don't know how you would do it with our season.

Q. And lastly, your days on the policy board, can you talk a little about course set-up and what your role was and your thoughts on it today?
Has it changed much over the years?
DAVIS LOVE, III: No. Our direction has always been, you know, that we wanted some variety. We didn't want every tee to be back and every course to be hard. We keep going back to a comment that Tommy Roy said and has been echoed by the Lance Barrows and anybody that knows anything about putting golf on TV, we want something that's going to be excited. We want some risk/reward. We want some birdies and bogeys. We don't want putting for par and bogeys on every hole.
I think if there's any contention with the players it's just make the courses hard as you can every week and see if you can stop this technology onslaught.
You know, like the PGA last week, nothing has changed since the Ryder Cup was there technologywise, but the golf course, 11 holes got longer. They got smart and they didn't use all the back tees on the par-3s or on 11 but we played 8 holes longer than we did in the Ryder Cup and that was the hardest course of the year at the Ryder Cup.
I think, you know, you see 5-over winning U.S. Opens and 7, 8-over making cuts, something is wrong, it's too hard. The fans eventually -- it's like watching the Indy NASCAR race. If they stop every 12 laps to change tires because the tires are blowing up, people don't want to watch it, you know?
If guys are putting for par ever hole and never see any birdies or eagles, eventually people are going to turn it off and watch something else. That's fine every once in a while.
We need a Vegas and a Buick Open where guys shoot 20-under par and people are talking about he birdied 4 in a row, you know. That's what we're supposed to do. The NBA players are supposed to dunk. The big hitters are supposed to hit it out of park and we're supposed to make birdies. We're not supposed to putt for par every hole.
I think variety is what the players ask for. I think Sedgefield doesn't want us to shoot 61 every round here. They're going to get it as hard as they can. The field staff tries to get it where they think it's tough enough and the next thing you know every week is getting as hard as you can make it.
So, you know, I think we need variety. We need the Hilton Heads to play short and tricky and we need Oakland Hills to play long and tough but we need a variety and not putting for par every week.
I'm not on the Board now. I think that's certainly the message that the players are giving the Board or the Player Directors now is, "Hey, let's back off. Don't make it so hard every week that it's boring and give TV what they want."
Q. Would you like to see a drivable hole sometime this week?
DAVIS LOVE, III: I would. I don't know where they're going to get it. You could move it up at 8 and get a shot at it, maybe.
We try to build one if the land fits on every course we build, we try to get a real short par 3 and a real long par 3 and try to get a drivable hole, an almost unreachable par 4. You try to get a variety learned from the old architects.
It's nice to throw one in there every once in a while. A drivable hole for us means it's an easier hole for an average guy. I think that's what you need.
It felt like last week every hole is a 4, 5, 6-iron into it for me and that's not for the average length hitter.
A short hole every now and then, drivable hole every now and then is great. That's why this course is so good, you got long holes all the way to short holes. You got 4 irons off the tee all the way to drivers. It's a variety pack. It challenges your whole bag.
Somebody -- which is a great compliment -- said this is like a hilly Hilton Head. You got to hit every club in your bag, use ever bit of your strategy and your course management.
You got to hit every shot you know around the greens and that's a sign of a great golf course. Like Colonial. Colonial and Hilton Head are the two shortest courses on Tour. They're never 20-under par. They're always challenging.
When the wind blows at Hilton Head scores are high. If it's soft, the scores are low at Hilton Head. It never is -- it never is easy and I think that's what this course will give you.
If the wind blows, it's going to be tough. If it's soft, it might play easier. You're going to hit every club in your bag and be challenged off every tee to make a decision. It's a sign of a great course.
Again, they did a great job the redo because it's excellent looking out there.
DOUG MILNE: Great. Thanks guys.

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