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October 1, 2008

Davis Love III


JOE CHEMYCZ: We welcome Davis Love III to our interview room for a couple minutes this morning. You haven't played since the Wyndham. Maybe just talk a little bit about what you been doing in preparation with your down time first of all, and then we'll open it up for some questions.
DAVIS LOVE III: It has been a long time. I took a few weeks completely off. My goal was to make it two weeks, and I only made it 13 days without hitting a ball, which was a long time.
But I needed to take a break on my ankle and my brain from trying to play hard to get in the FedExCup Playoffs. It was nice to relax.
And then the only tournament I could get in was the Viking, and unfortunately my daughter had a national horse show that week -- or fortunately for her, but I didn't get to play.
So I've had a nice long break and I'm excited about the next six weeks. I'm going to play hopefully five of the six. I was really excited last year this time to come up here and play and try to get some momentum going, finish off my year and keep my ranking and make sure I was in the Masters, and then I stepped in a hole and kind of sidelined my fall season, which I've always done well in.
It's been a long year. They said on October 2nd it would be a full year from my injury and I would be 100% healed by then. I got to get a little bit better before the 2nd comes around. I'm excited about playing up here.
I know Tim Finchem said when he first came up here it was going to be a great event, and I've been looking forward to it since then. I'm excited about playing.

Q. Could you describe the rehab and recovery from that injury that you had last year?
DAVIS LOVE III: I don't really want to. After playing a round with Brad Faxon yesterday, his first time really back on the course in 14 months, I've got no complaints. You read about Tiger, you know, playing the best golf anyone's every played probably and having to sit out six or eight months. I mean, I got no complaints.
But it was a long six months of coming back trying to play. You know, typical. Now I know with the football players or the basketball or baseball players when they have surgery and try to come back to their sport how hard it is and what goes into it.
But I came -- I came back as fast as I could to try to play some tournaments before the Masters. I pushed that, and then I played a full schedule between Pebble and Greensboro trying to get things going. I got in and played in three of the Majors. That takes a lot out of you, so it was a long year crammed into a short period.
I needed a break, and I'm excited about -- now I'm a little bit more refreshed and ready to go for the fall, which should set me up for the start of next season. It always has, the fall has always been good for me, whether it's as win at Vegas or playing good at Disney or, you know, a win at the Southern Open, you know, some tournaments that have always been good to a lot of plays in the regular season, sets you up to start the next year.
Even Tiger's tournament I've won a couple times in the off-season. But a win is a win, and it gets you going and gets you excited about the next season. I'd love to be in Hawaii come January 4th, you know, and start off the year like I'm used to.

Q. Do you think it's good luck that today you're playing in the Pro-Am with a guy that's handing out the check at the end of the tournament?
DAVIS LOVE III: Well, I haven't seen the pairing yet. I was wondering who I would get. Usually in the afternoon you get the bigger groups. Yeah, hopefully I can talk him into giving it to me. I know how to take care of that during the week.
I'm excited to be here because this tournament, as I said, ever since Tim came up here the first time and they talked about moving it. I was on the board, and Tim came back and said, This is really, really going to be a great event. They're going to do everything they can, it's a great purse, it's a great golf course. He was excited about it. He was convinced that the weather would always be good, too. You take what you get up here.
But this is really the premier event of our second season, and I'm excited to play in it. I'll look forward to meeting the guys today. They'll know the course better than me, so they can give me some tips.

Q. Does your ankle still need time to recover and get rest, and has maybe the time off since the Wyndham helped?
DAVIS LOVE III: Oh, it definitely helped. I needed it. I went straight from the Wyndham to my surgeon and said, "What's going on?" He said, "You over rehabbed and overplayed and now you need to take a break. You've collected all the itises you can in it." He said, "What I fixed is fine. You're just tired and worn out. You have tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, all the things you could get as a result of working an injury back."
It always seems like a guy hurts his knee and then rehabs his knee and his hip starts bothering him because he's favoring it. Little things like that needed a break. I'm 44 years old. They're always going to need a rest. Like Brad trying to come back, really struggling back with a knee surgery over and over again. If we were twenty rather than 44 or 48, 47, whatever Brad is, we bounce back a lot faster.
I should have stepped in a hole my first year on TOUR rather than the 22nd year on TOUR. I feel like I've had a nice break and spent a ton of time with my family and got to do a lot of things at home that needed to get done. Our golf design business, like every other business in this country, needs attention.
I got to spend a lot of time working with my brother. We got caught up and focused for the rest of this year and for next year, so now I can come out and play clearheaded and ready to go and play hopefully, like I said, hopefully five or six weeks.

Q. Lots of low scores last year. Obviously the conditions are a little bit different this time around. Does that excite you to play on a course like that?
DAVIS LOVE III: Yeah, my caddie was here last year with Ryan Moore, and he told me, Well, last year we hit it over that bunker or, Last year this hole played a lot shorter. I don't think it's going to play like that.
Obviously when a course is in this good a condition, you've got great fairways, they're pretty wide, and perfect greens, guys are going to shoot low scores.
I don't know if it's 55 degrees if they will, but when you get a golf course like this, it seems like it's big and long and hard, but if it's in great condition and the greens are good somebody will always shoot a low score.
It'll be a lot like us playing in the Open Championship or somewhere where the weather can really affect the scores. We'll just have to go out and play and see what happens at 7:55 tomorrow morning what it's like. Might be playing pretty hard.
I'm just excited to be playing. I'm not going to worry about the scoring. Just get out there and do my best every day and try to get in the hunt on Sunday.

Q. Someone with your past and stature or TOUR, you probably don't have to worry about being in the top 125 or 150 or what have you, but are there any kind of small goals for you that you want to do that?
DAVIS LOVE III: Well, big goals, fortunately for a long time I never did have to worry about that. Certainly now I'm not in -- I wasn't in the Masters. That's one step. I'm not in -- didn't play in the Ryder Cup or the Presidents Cup the last couple times. That's where I feel like I want to be, I should be.
So then you go all the way down to, Well, you're not in the World Golf Championships or you're not in -- I got an exemption to the Memorial. Puts everything into perspective. Players do come and go on this TOUR, and if you don't play well, no matter what you've done in the past, you don't get in the big tournaments.
I'm trying to look at that I need to hit two more fairways a day and two more greens a day and get one more ball up-and-down. Then I'll be right back where I was. I'm trying to focus on that and just playing the game.
I think when I played really, really well you almost took it for granted that if you just did the simple things that you were going to have a chance to win. When you're not playing well it's hard to make it that simple.
I'm, again, trying to make it that simple and do the things that Bob Rotella always asked me to do. When you're playing good and got confidence it's easy to -- the game gets a little easier.
It's what comes first? The chicken or the egg? Where does the confidence come from? It comes from playing with Brad Faxon and talking about the things that we did when we played well and going back to the drills or the thoughts that made us play well. I don't want to be 150th in the world or the rankings, I want to be up at the top and talking to Fred Couples about how we're going to win the President's Cup by the end of next year.
But I'm hitting the ball far enough and hard enough and striking it well, rolling the ball well. Just got to get out of my own way and play golf, and that's what this fall is all about: going back and enjoying playing golf.

Q. What are your expectations for this week?
DAVIS LOVE III: I expect to go out and play and just enjoy playing. I don't have any -- I think the problem I've been having is I knew exactly what I had to do to get into this tournament or that tournament or where I had to finish to get into the FedExCup. I started playing for position and scores. You know, shoot 73 the first day and you know you got to shoot 68 the second day to make the cut. Those kind of things. Just a bad habit of playing for something rather than just playing.
Not really a lot of pressure on me. You know, I'll be able to get in tournaments next year no matter where I finish on the Money List. I'll have a place to play some tournaments to play in based on past performance, but I want to win and I went to get into Hawaii.
The expectations are if I go out and take care of my game and take care of what Padraig says I can take care of and just hit the ball, the rest of that stuff will all take care of itself.
JOE CHEMYCZ: Thank you for coming in.

End of FastScripts

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