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October 8, 2008

Davis Love III


JOE CHEMYCZ: We welcome Davis Love, III to our interview room.
Davis, very good week for you last week at the Turning Stone Resort Championship. I know you're excited about the Fall Series.
Just talk a little bit about what that did for you confidence-wise as we approach the last few tournaments of this season.
DAVIS LOVE, III: Well, it was certainly fun to get in there and, like I said after the tournament, there were 6, 7 guys that said they probably should have won and I was one of them, but it was fun to be in there and I enjoyed it up there.
I like the weather here a lot better and I'm looking forward to a good week here and building on last week through the fall as I try to play as many as I can.
It's been a long time since I played here. Excited about playing and excited about them going to the spring. I know this has always been a great stop on Tour and we're excited to see them keep moving up.

Q. Playing LaCantera for the first time, I'm presuming this week, can you talk a little bit about this course? It's been a little debated over the years. What's your thoughts on it?
DAVIS LOVE, III: I got a practice round with Justin Leonard yesterday and we got out there and it was blowing so hard, he said every hole is different. There's no use playing so we only played 9.
I did get kind of a feel for him on how the course, how you should play it and what it was like and, you know, we got the front-9 in which I'm assuming there's a couple tricky holes on that side. I was glad to get his opinion on those.
Obviously get to see the back first today and in the Pro-Am. My brother got out there and checked it out a little bit.
You know, it's what we're used to, you know, is adapting so, you know, I played tournaments where I've spent three, four days trying to figure the course out and not gotten much out of.
I've played in tournaments when I didn't get a practice round or Pro-Am in and I've won. It's all a matter of how well you're playing not how well you know the course. Come in with some confidence, hitting the ball well and I'm excited -- I'm used to bermuda greens, I'm used to this kind of conditions. I'll be a little bit more comfortable here than I was in New York not knowing the golf course.

Q. You mentioned the tournament moving to the spring and this tournament, of course, has got a rich history to it but players, lot of players in the upper strata of the rankings and everything else haven't been coming through here recently.
You've been on the Board and seen the evolution of what happened to this event. Could you speak to that a little bit about how this will change things?
DAVIS LOVE, III: Well, certainly being in the spring, being back in the FedExCup season immediately improves your field. You know, the first few weeks certainly after the FedExCup season, it's tough, you know, guys are relaxing, taking a deep breath and trying to decide if they are going to play any at all and we like the way it's set-up.
There's two different seasons and there is a nice break. And for the top, top players, they've been wanting a fall/winter break like other sports, but for guys like me, the last couple years that are anxious to play and it gives you a great place to play and some great tournaments and certainly we'll see some shifting back and forth, you know.
You've got a great sponsor here that's doing very well and they can move up, and even last week they would love to move into the spring or the summer, probably is better for them up there, but they would love to move up to the next level.
You know, it goes in cycles just like our economy. Tournaments have great success. You look back when Vegas and the International were the only $2 million tournaments. That's why they got great fields for awhile.
Everybody caught up with them and passed them. Things go in cycles. If you don't be progressive -- moving to a new course, moving to a new date with a great sponsor, this tournament is just going to get better and better.

Q. How about your yourself, one of the things that's interesting, obviously you're ankle has been a concern for you for awhile and it's been a long road back.
This is a hard-walking course. Was that a concern for you coming in here knowing that caddies ranked this the 3rd worse course on the planet to walk?
DAVIS LOVE, III: Well, Fred Couples' caddie, Joe LaCava, has been working for me. He elected to let my brother caddy this week (laughter). My brother got stuck with the hilly one. It's a nice hotel. So it's got that going for it.
This is one of the fun stops, you know, like we don't get very often but you get maybe a Dallas or, you know, just a few tournaments where you got everything kind of contained in one spot. It is a good week for him to come out.
He's always caddied the hard ones. He's caddied a lot of Internationals and Tiger's tournament in California that aren't as easy to caddy, but he also gets to do Hilton Head so it balances out.
But, you know, I need the challenge. I don't need to just pick flat courses, you know, and easy courses. I need to play a great tournament, springboard for Justin last year to get going and have a great year the next year.
I can make it around the hills. I don't know if I'll make six in a row but I know that this week will be not easy on me but definitely doable.

Q. San Antonio in particular, it's been awhile since you've been here. What has been the perception of this course and this tournament from your peripheral viewpoint over the years?
DAVIS LOVE, III: Well, I haven't really -- you know, not playing here, you don't really get a feel for it. The guys always -- you hear as much about going to good food and good hotel and you know there was a time where there wasn't a clubhouse. You hear about things like that.
I didn't hear that much really about the golf course good or bad. I know it's tricky and got some interesting holes, you know, like 7 that anything can happen on but, you know, it was tough to leave a classic old golf course and come to a brand new place.
Now it will be a transition to go to another new course from here. Every time you make a change it's hard. Guys are used to this. It's hilly but they're used to playing the golf course. It will a transition.
I haven't really ever heard anything negative except the fact that, you know, we want this tournament to succeed because of the rich history and there was a time when it almost didn't and that was tough for the Tour and tough for the Texas Open, just like guys still talk about we wish we were in Denver. That was a fun tournament for a lot of us.
We didn't want it to go away. These are tough times and so hopefully this tournament can grow and with a great sponsor and a new course, it will get better and better, but when you have a good purse and a good facility and everything, guys will figure out how to play the golf course.
You're not going to make everybody happy and you're only going to hear the complaining. You don't really hear a whole lot of the compliments.
I think it's going in the right direction certainly.

Q. Looking forward now, spinning forward, have you had a chance or have any of you had a chance to go out and visit the new TPC layout or heard anything about it?
DAVIS LOVE, III: I was on the Board up until a year ago, I guess, kind of knew what was going on with the course and with the progress of the project.
I haven't seen it. I'd like to get out and see it this week. My brother and I, being in the golf design business, that's probably what we ought to do tomorrow afternoon one rather than going dove hunting, go see what they're doing out there, what it looks like, and, you know, for next year, get a head start on knowing what's going on out there, but anytime you take a step like that, you know, it's going to be positive because they've been planning on it for a long, long time and trying to make the tournament better and I know between Pete and Bruce and whoever else is involved, they'll do a good job.

Q. Where are you going dove hunting?
DAVIS LOVE, III: I saw that in my locker. Two things in my locker, "Trip to the new TPC course and trip to go dove hunting." So -- or I can practice (laughter). I got to make a decision.

Q. What would you normally be doing this time, hunting or fishing?
DAVIS LOVE, III: Well, you know, this is the second time we've done this, you know, FedEx Fall and in the Fall Series. Last year I was having ankle surgery and recuperating. So, I don't know.
I'd love to be explaining, sitting at home explaining how I won the FedExCup and taking two, three weeks off but, you know, if I was off this week, you know, we'd be -- again, my brother and I be catching up on building golf courses and we'd be hunting or fishing or taking my daughter to a horse show or something like I've been doing the last six weeks.
I was off since Greensboro. Even Mark said yesterday, "This last week was your first tournament since Greensboro?" I said, "Yeah." That was a long break.
So I went to a couple horse shows and some junior high school golf matches and did a little bit of hunting and fishing and little bit of work but, you know, I'm busy when I'm off.
When I'm playing is really usually my more quiet time because I get back into my own routine but we're very busy off the golf course with design business stuff and family stuff and then extracurricular activities. We're waiting for some snow.
We enjoy our off time, whether it's hunting, fishing, snowboarding, horses or whatever, but I'm excited about playing because I was off for a long time in the beginning of the year and obviously during the FedExCup so I'm excited about playing now, focused on playing now.

Q. One more question. You mentioned Justin earlier. This is a course that obviously really meets his eyes, Longhorn, lot of Texas fans, lot of things in here.
Why do some courses meet the eye like that? Is it a comfort level or he obviously is the favorite here again this week because of that, his past performance?
DAVIS LOVE, III: You know, it's a place where he's comfortable. Certainly he grew up in the wind, he grew up on this kind of bermuda grass playing the grainy greens a lot of like me at Hilton Head or Andy Bean in Florida, guys just have a place where they're comfortable and some guys are more comfortable on bent grass and some guys are more comfortable on bermuda.
Certainly being in his home state and conditions he's used to, he certainly is -- he's a favorite a lot of places but certainly you get him on his home turf he becomes even more dangerous.
You could see it yesterday, he's excited to be here, he knows what he's doing, how to play each hole. He's coaching me along without even asking, you know, don't you like this hole, don't -- this is -- here's what you do with the wind blowing the other way.
He's comfortable and excited. That's a big part of it. You show up -- that's easy at a Major. The rest of the year is harder. What do I like about this place or that?
I just went from wet, you know, bent grass to dry bermuda grass. That's the hard change and you got to find some positive hey, I've always done well at courses like this. It's easier for Justin to psych himself up because he has had success and this is what he's used to.
JOE CHEMYCZ: Okay. Alright. Davis, thank you. I appreciate it.

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