home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


March 11, 2009

Davis Love III


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Davis Love III thank you for joining us here prior to the first round of the CA Championship. Maybe some opening comments. Your season is off to a good start, and you jumped into the Top-50 in the World Rankings. I know that's a big priority for you these days. Maybe just some opening comments.
DAVIS LOVE III: Yeah, it was a big goal to get in the Match Play, and then I snuck in that one. Then barely snuck in this one. So I'm improving, and I've been having some good finishes.
Obviously want to get in, it was great to get in Mercedes and great to get in these two World Golf Championships, and then I'm in the one in Akron. So now work on the majors. I'm in THE PLAYERS Championship, so working on getting in the Masters next and then continue on.
Has not been much fun the last few years trying to get in events like this, but it is fun when you do accomplish a goal, even though it was by the skin of my teeth.

Q. Was the overriding emotion when you heard the numbers Sunday night, was it a relief, or what was it when you saw that you were going to get in here, when as you said, by a very, very slight margin.
DAVIS LOVE III: I was firing off some text messages to my manager, Buddy, and they were discussing that I was in, but we were not going to be guaranteed until we saw it the next morning.
You know, I knew when Steve Rintoul from the TOUR called me Sunday afternoon, and said: "Are you committed, and obviously you want to play. I just want to check in with you and give you the news tomorrow. Keep your cell phone on."
I said, "I'm playing at Seminole tomorrow." He said, keep your cell phone on, and I said, "I'm not explaining that very well; I'm playing at Seminole." No cell phones left on while we are playing.
But you can go on The European Tour Web site, as most of you guys probably know, early in the morning because they are so far ahead of us and find out what's going on. We knew early Monday morning and we were excited, and almost as excited because we played good at Seminole, and my partner and I won low; not a big deal to you guys but a big deal for my partner.
So enjoying the fact that I was getting ready to go south and then back north and get to play Doral again. I love playing here and obviously love being in the World Golf Championships. I was thrilled.
After the first day, which I didn't play that bad, but I got a bad score, to come all the way back to a couple under par and sneak up there -- I didn't know where I had to finish, but I knew, obviously, after the first day and especially on Sunday, that every shot was going to be crucial. I had to just get out of my own way and just play. It was funny, the closer I got to the end, the better I played, and shot my best round on Sunday.
So I just need to get more into that frame of mind where I'm not really thinking about the ultimate goals, which, you know, the ultimate goal is not to be 50 by.009. It's to be in the top 5, where I got used to being for a long time.
Obviously keep working at it. Obviously this is a great boost and if I can play well this week, I can move up some, and whatever happens the next two weeks, I'll try to play well and get in Augusta and just keep working on it.

Q. After playing at Augusta so many years, was it tough? Did you watch much of the tournament last year? What did you do last week?
DAVIS LOVE III: Not much, because I was turkey hunting. I take every break I get to, as my wife says, "You have too many hobbies, and you're not very good at any of them."
I go straight into turkey hunting. Probably too late in the season to try another snowboarding trip. But turkey season opens next weekend, and I did that last year. I had some fun with some friends. It's disappointing, but you've got to look on to the next thing, which is trying to get into the U.S. Open and then trying to get into the British. I had a long year last year of kind of grinding it out.
You know, it's exciting this year to get off to a good start and have a couple chances to play well. I only had one week where I wasn't hitting on cylinders. Obviously I want to win. I don't want to keep hanging around the cut-offs. I want to get back to winning and contending, and I feel like I'm real close to doing that.

Q. Do you remember watching the final round at all, or when did you find out who won?
DAVIS LOVE III: I caught -- I think I caught bits and pieces of it on Sunday. But I don't remember. I don't remember exactly.
I remember knowing that Trevor had a nice lead but I don't remember exactly how it finished. We did go back and watch the highlights and stuff. No, I didn't sit all day and cry in front of the TV.

Q. You've had such little room for error and yet you have met each one of your goals. Has your confidence grown with each step you've met in the challenge? Where do you think your game is right now?
DAVIS LOVE III: It pretty good. Obviously, you know, if I won another match or two, in Tucson, I would have moved way up. If I would have had one good round here or one good round there, rather than a bad round, I could have moved up.
So I put myself in this position, and I'm close to getting back out of it. I've got to keep looking at where I was last summer or where I was the start of last fall. I've come a long, long way, in rankings and points and I'm still looking at that 14th in FedExCup points and stay after it.
Come end of the year, I want to be in contention for the FedExCup. On a week last week where I didn't play my best but hung in there pretty good, I got a lot of credit for The Presidents Cup team. I'm keeping on improving all of my categories. That's the way I've got to look at it.
You know, there is a goal, and the goal is to be -- everybody's goal out here is to be the No. 1 player in the world and win golf tournaments. I've got to shoot high and get myself back to what I'm used to. That's not scraping into these tournaments.
But it was a fun run, because I knew I had to get in the Top-64 to get into the Match Play, and I knew I had to keep moving up to get into this one and didn't have a whole lot of opportunities to do it. It was nice to accomplish that, and shows me that my confidence is there and that I can play good rounds when I need to and make putts when I need to, like a nice putt at the last hole.
You know, Brett Quigley, sure, he 3-putted the last hole, but I made my putt on the last hole when I had to a couple of hours earlier that got me a birdie that got me a chance for somebody to have a bad hole coming in and move me up one more spot.
So confidence is getting better and I'm just excited to play in this tournament and try to win this one, because I never won a World Golf Championships, so you know, that's the focus now. When I leave you guys, I'll go see Rotella, and he can talk me into thinking the right way for the rest of this week like he did last week.

Q. Depending on what happens this week and just how far up you might move with a good finish, do you have to look at your schedule now the next few weeks because that deadline is after Bay Hill for the Top-50 and decide whether or not to play, or will you just play regardless?
DAVIS LOVE III: I'm going to play Bay Hill, even though it's my kids spring break, because, you know, I've always enjoyed Bay Hill, and Arnie has meant so much to the TOUR. He likes it when guys show up.
I've had great success there. I've almost won there a few times. I'll play there anyway. I might have a conversation with Andy Pazder about whether I should play next week or not.
If you play well, it's going to help you, you know that. Playing poorly, and not playing probably are going to balance out. You're going to lose spots probably either way.
Now, if he says, look, either way I absolutely guarantee you whatever you are at the end of next week, you'll move up two spots if you don't play; I want to play well at Bay Hill, I want to play well at the Masters and I want to play well at THE PLAYERS Championship. I'm not going to run myself into the ground.
You look at David Toms, and he has not played this one or that one, but you cannot play every week. I can play every week up until the Masters and be in it, but then I'll be dead and I won't have any energy to play that tournament.
You have to pick and choose. Obviously if I got in the Masters, I would probably not play Houston. But it's all up in there, just like we were talking about Sunday night, I didn't know whether I was going north or south. I loaded my motorhome up with everything to stay out for a while, except I forgot a fishing rod, which is probably better, I can go put instead of fish.
I can play next week if I need to and definitely I will play Bay Hill.

Q. You said you will see Rotella afterwards. What are you working on right now with Rotella, and do you have any mind of mental tools that you uses on course if you hit a really bad shot?
DAVIS LOVE III: Yeah, banging my club into the ground. (Laughter).
We are working real hard on not thinking about getting in the Top-50 and not thinking about getting in the Masters. (Laughter) And so every time you ask me, or my brother asks me, or my mother or my wife or my friends or the fans in the gallery, I'm supposed to go, yeah, I'm trying to get in the Masters.
Now, that's a reminder to get back to what I'm supposed to be doing, which is playing one shot at a time.
So I have plenty of people reminding me to quit thinking about it. It's just like not looking at the leaderboards. You have to make a commitment that I'm not going to look at leaderboards. I don't care where I stand and I'm just not going to do it, and the simple thing I do when I play well is just try to be more committed to what I'm doing.
If we all said, I want you to do 25 sit-ups every day for the next year and you'll get stronger. Well, 25 sit-ups is not that big of a deal. It's being committed to doing it 365 days a year. That's the hard thing, 18 holes, one shot at a time, for four days, breaking it down; it sounds easy, but you get out there and you start thinking, well, why did I hit that one bad, now I'm 1-over, what if I miss the cut and what if I don't get in the Top-50 and then I won't be in the Masters.
You can spiral out of control, and that's our challenge. The best players out here are the strongest mentally. That's all there is to it. There's a lot of guys that can really hit the ball well that week-in and week-out, it's why did Y.E. Yang win last week? Well, he looked pretty dang confident when he stood up there and took a swipe at it and he was knocking putts in and he just looked like a winner.
The question is, what comes first, the chicken or the egg; where do you get the confidence? We are working on things like that and just getting into a good routine of just playing the game and enjoying playing and relaxing while you're playing.

Q. And if you hit a really bad shot?
DAVIS LOVE III: Try to block it out. Try to dismiss it and go on to the next one. Just say, all right, all I've got to do is go through my routine as many times as possible and I'll hit good ones, and that one, I'll just try to forget it. And enjoy the challenge of wherever it went.
I think Chip Beck was always the best, no matter where he hit it; this is an opportunity for me to show off my short game. He would turn it into a positive, and that's what you have to do. My caddie last week, Joe LaCava, on the 17th hole, I missed the green barely on the fringe and hit a good shot and he could tell I was upset about it and he said, "It's all right Love. Don't worry about it, just go chip it in." Then I lipped the thing out, it should have gone in. It was a hard shot but I made an easy up-and-down. I switched modes from being upset that I missed the green from trying to have a birdie putt to chip it in. And I'm sure that helped me on the next hole because I made a birdie. I was in a positive frame of mind rather than even if I had to grind over a 6-footer, you know, and made it, it's still -- I went to the next tee excited ready to make a birdie. So little thing like that keep the momentum going, and that's what I'm really working hard on.

Q. In some ways, has this last year's pursuit to get back to where you were before, been as satisfying as the original pursuit, 20-some years ago, to get to that place in the world?
DAVIS LOVE III: I would remember playing with Beth Daniel a lot and she would run up to the world No. 1 and she would get frustrated, and when somebody asked her, she said: It's a lot more fun getting to the top than being there. I've never really been all the way to the top, but the challenge of trying to get better is fun.
I don't get frustrated or down on myself. You guys have heard me for 25 years going, man, I'm really close to playing good. I'm always trying to see the glass half-full and I'm always working hard and enjoying it.
I enjoy it. I don't sit around and pat myself on the back when I do something. I'm like, I'm like, now, if that was great, if I can keep doing these little things, I can get better and better and better. The thing that I've done poorly is when I get really good, then I start working harder. Then I try to get it a little bit better.
But I enjoy the challenge. That's why I'm still doing it at almost 45 years old and why I'm not satisfied to just play 15 or 18 tournaments or whatever I get in, because I want to be -- I want to get in this one, not just because it's an easy tournament to play four rounds and make some money; because I want to win this tournament.
Whether I win or not, that is the goal, to get in it to try to win it, to try to win a World Golf Championships. And if I don't win this one, I'm going to go to Akron trying to win that one, because I want one of those blue trophies before I'm done. I enjoy that part of it, the always trying to get better.
That's why working with Rotella or working with the guys at Sea Island, when I go home, there's five or six world-class teachers on the range every day. I'm pulling Morris Pickens or Todd Anderson or always working with Jack Lumpkin. I'm always trying to find something to get better, and I enjoy that.
I'm not Vijay. I'm not out there pounding balls all day, but I'm always working at trying to get better.

Q. I know this is awhile back, but in '95, when you got in the Masters at the last minute, was there some feeling that this is a real opportunity, you just got in, that you might tap into again this year, if you get in at the last minute?
DAVIS LOVE III: Well, I promised myself that, one, I would get in, and two, when I got in, I would play and have fun. I wouldn't go there and go, all of a sudden, well, now I meant I've got to start trying harder and work hard and take advantage of it.
I want to get in and then I want to go enjoy the fact that I've played there a bunch and I've got a lot of experience. I need to enjoy playing in the Masters and not just go in there trying to grind it out and win. Just go play and have fun and enjoy it.
So it will be last minute. Obviously we are down -- we are getting down to the last minute. I think I'll be -- I'll appreciate playing more, and since I missed one last year, if I get in this year, or next year. But I will just relax and play and just enjoy.
JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Davis Love, thank you.

End of FastScripts

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297