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February 25, 2009

Davis Love III


LAURA HILL: Davis, thanks for joining us. It took you a couple extra holes to get done, but a good result for the first round.
DAVIS LOVE III: Yeah, good result. Happy to get through the first round, and it wasn't pretty, but I just got to advance. And I heard Tiger say each hole is a match, and that's the way it was today. You never knew what was going to happen on each hole. But we got it, and I look forward to playing with Justin tomorrow.
LAURA HILL: You took Henrik out, who has quite a good record here.
DAVIS LOVE III: Yeah, he's good because he putts so well, and he obviously struggled off the tee, which is the opposite of the way I played. I hit a lot of great drives and I think I only hit one that was really that bad, and then he really didn't hit a whole lot of good ones and we were kind of playing a game of opposites.
But I just didn't convert a whole lot of times, especially on the par-5s. But I'm hitting the ball really, really solid and long, and I just need to take advantage of it.

Q. Is it better to win a tough match in 21 holes or an easy match in 15?
DAVIS LOVE III: It's better to walk as little as possible out here on this hard ground. My feet are sore.
But you just want to win. Sure, you would like to shoot 8-under for 14 holes and be done with it. But you've just got to get by.
You gain some confidence by being able to hang in there. It looked like I was going to win and then lose and it looked like I had it won again, so that's -- that will make me tougher for the rest of the week here, I'm sure.

Q. Can I get a comment from you about the greens?
DAVIS LOVE III: There's 18 of them.
And they were pretty good to me today. No, they're different. They're good for match play, I guess. There's a lot of movement, and I hit a lot of greens, but I didn't hit it in the right places so I really didn't have a whole lot of birdie putts. I was lagging.
So it was, you know, a lot of defense. You have to be real patient with your shots in because you could hit good shots and not get close, and then you have to be real patient with yourself not trying to force it into pins. And I think that was the toughest thing today is, one, judging the distance as the wind switched around, and two, deciding where to hit it.
The only thing I got out of 21 holes, I got to play No. 1 and 2 and 3 twice because I'll know them better, get a little bit more info on them.
But they're -- a good sign was there was four caddies, mine included, sitting on the porch this morning. They all had pin sheets and their yardage books out, staring at them, trying to make sure that they knew where they wanted to play to each pin. And my brother really helped me. He talked me out of driver at the short hole, whatever that is, 15. He said, "Don't hit driver; if you go over the green you won't -- it's better to be short." And I just killed a 3-wood and it actually popped up on the green.
But you have to know what you're doing on these greens or you can put yourself in trouble. Sometimes short-siding yourself is the best thing to do. If it's on the right side and you hit it way over on the left, you would think that would be better, but it's worse because then you chip it back all the way across the green, because there's so much movement. I did that a couple times. So you have to put a lot of thought into it, and I guess that's good for match play.

Q. Can you look ahead a little bit to your match with Justin. You guys are really good friends, know each other's games a lot.
DAVIS LOVE III: We played a lot together. We have been through a lot together. He'll tell you that I always play well when I play with him, which always -- it took me a while, but I always played good when I played with Freddie too. Playing with your friends and somebody that inspires you and you enjoy playing with, sometimes you can play better. Justin just gets mad because sometimes I do it on Sundays and shoot the best round of the tournament with him on the Sunday, and that makes him mad.
We'll have fun. It will be tough to play against a close friend, but that's part of it. We do it. Even in stroke play tournaments we do it a lot, too. But we saw it coming if we both won.

Q. Talk about this golf course and how it compares with The Gallery and maybe how even though it's also long how it's different and maybe favors a different kind of player, and your thoughts on the two?
DAVIS LOVE III: It's a lot different than The Gallery. Jack always works his courses kind of up and then you hit down. So you're not hitting a whole lot of uphill, blind shots. You got to get back up the hills here, but I think that the routing is great. It's more -- over there it's pretty wide, but you couldn't really tell where exactly where the fairways were. You could leave the roughs dormant or do something to give you a little more definition. This one is very defined. You see the bunkers, see the turns. It's a little narrow for a typical Nicklaus Course, but very traditional-looking bunkers, the more raggedy-edged bunkers.
It's long, but if you take whatever, five, six percent off that you are taking off, it comes back down to just a long course, not a really, really long course. But it plays short. You probably saw that a lot. A guy will -- 300 over a bunker, but it's thin air and it's warm and a guy flies it over the bunker and it runs 50 yards, and next thing you know he's got a sand wedge on a really long hole.
Like I hit sand wedge into 10, they moved the tee up and I hit at 1 -- I had 111 or something to the flag. Well, that's still a long hole. If you play the back tee and the wind is blowing in, it's a driver and a 5-iron.
But I like the course off the tee for me. I can hit a lot of drivers and challenge a lot of bunkers and a lot of corners. But for the members, the bunkers are playable, they're not really really deep and that they're not like if you hit it in it, you're done. I think the members probably take awhile to get used to the greens, but from tee to green they would have to enjoy playing the course.

Q. You mentioned Tiger, how much different is it when he's out here. Do you notice something when you're out there playing, just the crowds and the attention?
DAVIS LOVE III: Not really.

Q. No? I mean he obviously --
DAVIS LOVE III: He was -- there was only eight pages in a row in the USA Today. We just kept flipping and he was on every page. And it's like Michael Jordan. It's like, I don't know, Wayne Gretzky, you know, he's the biggest name in professional sports. He's on our course.
So it's great. It's just great to have him back and healthy. And no, you can hear them screaming out there. They weren't screaming on any other matches, but you could hear them screaming out there on his match. And just a lot of buzz. And that's what we needed. Sure, it was great. Phil's played great, Vijay's played great, Camilo. And if Tiger was here, maybe they would have had some great battles.
But everybody got to say, hey you know what, that Camilo can really play, you know. Vijay, what a great finish to the year. Things like that happened because Tiger was out a little bit.
And now when he comes back you say, well I wonder if Camilo can beat Tiger on a Sunday; I wonder if Dustin Johnson, as far as he hits it, can he hit it past Tiger. Things like that are going to really help. But you got to have him back to take a shot at him.
And we're glad to have him back and healthy. That's the main thing. The point everybody, you know, glad to have him back, we're glad to have him healthy and back because he's, he's the, he's driving the bus for us right now.
Just like Greg Norman did, you know. If Greg Norman had gotten hurt and been out for eight months it would have really hurt our TOUR. And we needed him. And Tiger takes it to the next level.
We have always had that person whether it's Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Greg Norman, Fred Couples still, you know, we have always had that person. So having him out hurt and it's great to have him back. Although last week Phil and Freddie, the ratings were way up. So people are still excited about golf, but he'll just take it to the next level, which is nice.

Q. I know it's seven months away but does the Presidents Cup give you any extra motivation this week being match play?
DAVIS LOVE III: Well, it's nice to play some match play. I heard Phil say that, we don't get to do it a whole lot. So it's fun to do it. You got to take a good attitude about it. Hopefully Freddie will see that I can play 21 holes and not get tired.
And I'm grinding to get in a lot of things. Like this tournament. I had to work hard from the start of the fall series last year to get here. I have to work hard to get in CA in a couple weeks and then even harder to get in the Masters a couple weeks after that. And to be in the chase for the FedExCup. I see my name on the board therefore FedExCup points, you know, that's nice. So I'm working hard for a lot of that and Presidents Cup is obviously towards the end of it, but that's all part of it. If I come out and play well and win matches and win tournaments then I'll be on the team. And I got fitted for the clothes yesterday, so that was fun. So I got a shot at it. I'll at least have clothes if I make it.
LAURA HILL: Davis, thanks for joining us.
DAVIS LOVE III: All right. Thank you.

End of FastScripts

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