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April 26, 2009

David Toms


Q. Tell us about your day.
DAVID TOMS: It was a lot of fun. I got off to a bad start, bogeyed the first hole. I rebounded with four birdies in a row to finish the front nine. And the people started getting into it.
It was fun. My heart started beating a little bit faster, and I knew I had a chance. I just couldn't make anything happen on the back nine.

Q. What is it like? What is the thought when you have by far the biggest galleries all over this place?
DAVID TOMS: It's by far the biggest I'll have all year. It's a lot of fun for me to have them behind me. I think that was really the motivation of being able to rebound from the way I started today.
I knew I had to shoot a good round to have a chance. I started off bad, but they were still into it and behind me. It was good motivation for me to continue to play hard and let things happen, and they did.

Q. You admit that you've kind of struggled on this course. When you look back, are you pleased with your performance this week?
DAVID TOMS: Yeah, I think so. Starting to learn it a little bit better. Like I said early in the week, without the overseed, it's a little bit faster. So I have a chance. I don't have to have such long clubs into the holes. Looking forward to coming back next year and see if I can do better.

Q. Talk about your birdies on 6, 7, and 8.
DAVID TOMS: I rallied. Birdied 6 which was a really a tough hole. Birdied 7, 8 and 9. Made the turn. Everybody was pulling for me and getting wild on out there. It was a lot of fun.
I had a sand wedge into 10, didn't hit a very good shot. Kind of stopped the momentum. I came back and birdied 11. Then after that we had some tough holes coming in. Not birdying 16 off the front edge, and not birdying 18 off the front edge was the story of my back nine.

Q. Talk about how you had to play perfect golf to give yourself a chance, hoping the other guys got hit by the wind. I mean, 16's not bad, but on the final day you need more than that?
DAVID TOMS: I did. I sat around and thought if I shot 6 under, I might have a chance. I definitely had my chance to shoot 6 under out there today even lower if I would have gotten something going on on the back nine.
I had a great time this week. I played this golf course a lot better than I normally do. I'm looking forward to coming back next year and see if I can do a little better.

Q. What was it like going up 18 and everybody just cheering for you like that, being a Louisiana guy?
DAVID TOMS: It's fun. It's the only time it will happen for me all year. So that one week out of the other 45 weeks that we play.
It's neat, you know. They kept me in there all week. Yesterday I had a chance to kind of finish way back in the pack, and the crowd kept me in there ask kept me focused.

Q. Did you try to excite the crowd with the purple shirt?
DAVID TOMS: I figured it wouldn't hurt. I wore purple on Sunday at Hawaii this year and it worked out pretty good. Thought I'd try it again, get people behind me, and it came up a little short.

Q. You said Wednesday you didn't think you were all the way back. Does this affirm that you're close to being where you want to be?
DAVID TOMS: Yeah, I think so. I got I a little nervous on the back nine when I had a chance and the crowd was behind me. I was trying too hard. I probably didn't stay focused like I would if I had just won a tournament recently on or whatever. I was probably trying a little too hard.
Maybe it will come. I started feeling good about my golf swing. Started putting today when I needed to. I look forward to the rest of the day.

Q. On 6 you had a 35-footer, is that about right?
DAVID TOMS: Yeah, that was a long putt. I hit a 4-iron in there, pin high left side of the green, and made a nice putt, and that got everything going.

Q. Hard to believe that you've been in the game so long now and you get nervous. When you see yourself on the verge of being in contention?
DAVID TOMS: Yeah, I think so. I know Nicklaus said if you're not nervous on the first day of a golf tournament, you don't care.
It felt good to have a chance, and to get a little nervous and see how I dealt with it. I think I'll do better next time.

Q. They've had a string of first time winners here. But with you finishing so low, Charles Howell is in first place right now. Does this course seem to be getting better a little bit or is that fair to say?
DAVID TOMS: I think guys are starting to play it more, and get some knowledge after the first couple of years. And then I look for it to continue to improve. I sure hope so. With our tournament sponsors, Zurich, doing a great job and stepping up.
I hope guys will come here and support it and get some bigger names. I think you'll see them do well.
I think with the golf course being firm, you have to control your ball and control your shots. And I look for the veterans to start playing well here.

Q. Was there ever a time when you hoped you would convert back to the guy that struggled with the course?
DAVID TOMS: You know, I just really stayed positive all week, even when I wasn't playing well. So I was good mentally this week. It was a matter of just hitting the shots.

Q. Talk about the Players Championship and what this means about getting in?
DAVID TOMS: Well, the deal is all year it seems like I've been trying to qualify for some tournament. Early in the year it was trying to get into Match Play. Then it was trying to get into the Doral tournament, and then trying to get into the Masters. I was always striving to get into a tournament.
I've always had that in the back of my mind. For me this week I read somewhere where some guys had to finish ahead of me to knock me out of the TPC, and I felt good about it.
I went out and played golf, didn't think about it. Obviously I played well, and those things take care of themselves.

Q. Now that you're in Players Championship you can look forward to that. This is the latest you've gotten in?
DAVID TOMS: That's right. Hopefully that's a good thing. I've never played very well there, so. It would be good to play well. There's a lot of points, lot of money, lot of prestige. Being the fifth major, it's held very highly with the players. I feel good about my game. I'm going to go there and hopefully have a good week.

Q. Can you talk about the swing in your game going into the Players Championship and where you are now?
DAVID TOMS: I played good this week on a golf course I don't normally perform well on. I'm going back to Charlotte next week, a golf course I've won on before, and played well there last year. So I feel good about it. To go there and have a good week and build some momentum going into players.

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