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October 4, 2008

Davis Love III


JOHN BUSH: We'd like to welcome Davis Love, III into the interview room here at The Turning Stone Resort Championship. Davis, 6-under par, 66. You got off to a great start with four birdies your first four holes. Just get your comments on a great day.
DAVIS LOVE III: It was, especially the first four holes. Golf Channel just showed me all the putts going in again, so that was fun.
Yeah, I putted better obviously today to get to that score. I've been hitting the ball well. I actually hit more fairways the first day. I think the stats would prove that, that I hit more fairways. I was definitely only in the deep rough once the first day. I was in the first cut maybe once or twice.
But I kept hitting it 50 feet the first day and 3-putting and not making them, so that was the difference in the first and second day. I only did it once yesterday. At nine I hit it 50 feet and 3-putted from the middle of the fairway. Today I did it once out of the rough on 7. I was a little tentative and didn't hit it all the way back to the hole and then 3-putted it.
So the difference today is I just hit it closer and made a few putts. I been rolling it better every day, so I'm excited about seeing a few go in and looking forward to tomorrow and four or five more of these fall events to get back on a roll.
JOHN BUSH: All right. Questions.

Q. A lot of the guys on the top of the leaderboard are some of the longer guys that are here. Is that a coincidence?
DAVIS LOVE III: It's not a coincidence. We played a practice round, and holes like 13 that we thought were going to go short I been hitting driver, 5-iron and 6-iron in for long hitters. So you know that the guys that are shorter, I mean, that's a tough, tricky little hole when you have to hit a -- I watched Parker McLachlin try to hit a 4-iron in there yesterday.
God, I mean, that's a tough green to be shooting a 4-iron at. And that's a shorter hole, so it's playing a lot harder. And if you're a long hitter, they get you up in front of the greens on the par-5s. Even just like today it's hard to get to some of them in two. You're up in front of the greens a little better.
Length is definitely an advantage, because the fairways are pretty wide. A lot guys are gonna hit them, so length is gonna help, especially when it's squishy.

Q. I saw you put a 5-wood in the bag. Was that a game-time decision when you got here or is that something that you had done at home?
DAVIS LOVE III: Yeah, I had the new utility wood in the bag. But I'm thinking after the practice round that we might get to hit a 5-wood at the par-5s. That's what I had it in for. Turns out I only got hit it maybe once at a Par 5.
The ball is not going -- I killed it off of 8 today and still had 270 front. It's just hard to get it there.
But the 5-wood was for the par-5s. Hopefully tomorrow it'll warm up and we can use it.

Q. Has the weather made IT easier today without the rain and the wind?
DAVIS LOVE III: It was not very nice today. I can tell you the holes it was warm on, 2 and 8 and maybe 18. It was nicer. I actually took my sweater off to try to jump on it on No. 8 with my second shot.
No, I don't think it played any easier. Obviously today the greens are a little bit better because there are less people on them. We had 50, 60 less guys on them. So it's not quite as windy, and I think that's the only difference.

Q. You mentioned squishy and so on and battling the elements and putting the sweater on and off. Does that make you think about other things, that you're not worried about the next shot? How do you deal with that?
DAVIS LOVE III: Well, it just makes it hard. I mean, we got up on 4 -- was it 4?

Q. 4 and 5 and then the rain came.
DAVIS LOVE III: The par-5 thinking that when we got up there, and watching some of the other guys go for it in two, that we could knock it on in two. Well, I just absolutely pounded two of them and barely right in front of the green.
So it just makes it more difficult. You have to just play a little bit more patient and a little bit more -- not conservative, but you're not -- can't be really aggressive when you're hitting 4-, 5, and 6 irons into par-4s. Just makes it a little trickier.
But you know that you got to do the best you can, because somebody is going to shoot low and somebody is going to win. You got to be patient and play what the course will give you. I threw them away the first day, but after that I've done a pretty good job of playing the golf course and just taking what it'll give you.

Q. With things being squishy, you mentioned fewer people. How did your round change from the front nine, from your first nine, to the second nine, and how were the greens?
DAVIS LOVE III: Well, I mean, they were perfect in the beginning. As long as one of my guys didn't step in my line I had a perfect, pure green.
And then the next nine they weren't quite as good. You know when you're playing life, clean, and place it's squishy. But I hit a lot of good putts that didn't go in. I maybe misread a couple, and obviously 7 I hit one too hard and one not hard enough and then got a 3-putt out of it.
But I hit a lot of good putts and rolled it right up to the hole a lot. I holed four in a row on the front nine, the first nine, and I didn't hole four in a row in the back. That's really the only difference. A couple 2-footers makes the round go a lot better. I.
But I would say a couple drives and a couple putts and I would have had an incredible round.

Q. You mentioned the other day about trying to make your buddy Freddy's Presidents Cup team next year. Did you enter this session here, I mean, having gone through all you had gone through, maybe like pulling a like what Justin did last year, you went out and won a tournament. Is that kind of any kind of game plan you set?
DAVIS LOVE III: Not a game plan, but I know what he did. He came from not playing really well last summer to rolling right through the fall and into the beginning of the year and winning at Memphis and playing great all year really.
So that's just what I got to do, is like him, get my confidence back and get in contention and get a few wins and then Freddy won't to have pick me. That's kind of the plan. He said he wanted my son, Drew, and I to make the team but he didn't want to have to pick us. We're both going to have to pick it up.

Q. When you have a round like this, what does that do for your confidence leading into the final round?
DAVIS LOVE III: I'm excited to tee off a little bit later on tomorrow. I came up here to play and have fun and get into my golf game and get into my routine and not worry about results, so I'm going to try to do that for one more day.
Certainly 3-over through, I don't know, ten holes or whatever the first day I wasn't real -- you know, in a real good place. So I held my patience and I did what I wanted to do: just come up and play and get back into playing and competing.
You know, I don't have to -- I'm fortunate I don't have to win or have any certain finish this week. Just out here to play and have fun and get ready for the next week. I can play six in a row if I want to, so I'm just excited to be playing. I'm gonna keep doing the things I did the last two days.

Q. Describe the give and take. You get off to the great start, and then obviously the crowd around you grows. Does that get you going more, or does you have blinders on?
DAVIS LOVE III: It was fun to get some fans out there. Plus then we caught up with the leaders, so it was like we were playing with the leaders there because we were waiting on them a lot. We had their gallery and our gallery kind of combined, so it was fun. Felt like you were in the tournament and got me ready for tomorrow.

Q. On 8, and I'm just curious on this, the two guys that hit right before you on the chip shots, one winds up in the bunker and the other one barely makes it on over. Does that get into your brain, because I think you hit it I think a little bit farther?
DAVIS LOVE III: Well, when you're chipping off this wet grass it doesn't take much to get in your brain. Obviously they kind of got a little more dirt than they wanted, and I got a little less. It's tricky.
We were talking about that on the Golf Channel. You know, the fairways are so good and so tight that when it's wet like this there's not much margin for error, whether you're hit an easy 6-iron or a pitch shot or a 80-, 90-yard wedge. It's tight.
I saw a lot of them go a lot of funny places this week. It's tricky. So, yeah, you can be a little careful and tentative. At least today I was knocking them up to the hole. Like 12 I hit it by the hole, but I made the putt coming back. I'm being a little bit more aggressive rather than tentative and getting them to the hole. I think that's what you gotta do. You gotta plan on it spinning back and not trying to be careful and just roll it up there.

Q. Can you talk your save on 3 when you came out of the bunker?
DAVIS LOVE III: The par-3, yeah, I was in between clubs and didn't really commit to hitting a good hard one and pulled it. But the bunkers, again, like everything else here, are in perfect condition. Nobody had been in there, so I had a great lie and actually kind of an easy shot. But hit a very nice shot.
Then that gets you going and then you can birdie the next hole. Rather than going bogey, par and putting yourself, you know, going backwards. I actually birdied I guess the next two. So, you know, it keeps you going. You need a save here and there to save a round always.

Q. Congratulations on the Payne Stewart Award?
DAVIS LOVE III: Thank you.

Q. What did that mean to you, and didn't your dad used to work at the Atlanta Country Club?
DAVIS LOVE III: Yeah, I grew up at the Atlanta Country Club. It was nice to get it there, because there were some friends from town there. I grew up with the Yates and the Harrison family, and a lot of people in Atlanta were a big influence on me.
Obviously the players that my dad introduced me to growing up and then the players that I hung around with right when I came out on TOUR, like Tom Kite and Ben Crenshaw were a great influence on me. The award's for following those guy's lead. And as some of my friends said at home, some of my mom's friends, Congratulations on your mom's award.
Because I listened to my mother and did as I was told, and obviously I listened he said to my mother because my dad told me to. So following along with my mom and my dad and the great players before me is the only reason I won that award.
And hopefully -- Tim's been saying it every since the award came out, the award is there to point out what a great guy Payne Stewart was and what a great ambassador to the game and what we want our TOUR players when they come out on TOUR to strive for.
Brad Faxon said it best when got the Payne Stewart Award last year or two years ago, that every player should try to win the Payne Stewart Award. That should be their goal. You can't win it by hitting any golf shots.
You know, I'm honored to have it. Like a lot of things, they're talking about me for the Ryder Cup captain. A little too soon to be talking about me for the Ryder Cup captain, because I want to keep playing. I don't want to be accepting awards right now, I want to be playing golf.
But it is an honor, and I'm thrilled to have my name on the trophy with all those guys.

Q. Does anything like that give you a little bit more impetus?
DAVIS LOVE III: Well, now you have to live up to it, so even more aware of how you're supposed to act. Certainly the guys that are on there before me, like Brad, they continue that the rest of their career. It's a reminder of how we're supposed to carry ourselves as professional golfers, not golf pros. I think there's a difference.
A club pro or a TOUR pro or a teaching pro can be a true professional. Guys like Bob Ford right on down the list of club pros out there being leaders right now and just as important as TOUR players doing it. Just got to keep doing it.
JOHN BUSH: Let's just go through that back nine. The birdie on 10.
DAVIS LOVE III: Driver and 9-iron -- was that a 9-iron? Seems so long ago. A 9-iron and then hold a nice putt.
And then a 5-iron on 11 and about an, I don't know, ShotLink will tell us, 25-footer.
And then 12, a good driver, 3-wood down there in front, and as I said, pitched it by the hole about ten feet and made it.
And then 12, (sic) driver and a -- that hole plays long. It was a little 6-iron just on top of the ridge and made another nice 20- or 25-footer.
15 -- or no, 16 was a 6-iron to about 15 feet.
JOHN BUSH: All right. Thanks a lot, Davis.
DAVIS LOVE III: Thank you.

End of FastScripts

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