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March 26, 2010

Davis Love III


DOUG MILNE: Davis, thanks for joining us for a few minutes after, as we said, a colorful second round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational. No pars on your front nine.
Yesterday, you tied the best birdie/eagle streak of the year. You still are right there up at the top with a 1-under 71 today. Just a few comments on the couple of days so far.
DAVIS LOVE III: Well, it's nice to have an afternoon off to kind of calm down after the last 24 hours of golf. I hit a lot of good shots again today. Made a lot of nice putts, and obviously two nice chip-ins.
But also just a little erratic. You know, just need to be a little bit more consistent. Like I said yesterday, if you hit it in the bunkers or the lakes, it's going to cost you, and I did that a few times today. Made some pretty simple mistakes today that are a little more disappointing than yesterday's mistakes, but again, I made a lot of nice putts, hit a lot of good shots, and obviously made a lot of birdies.
So hopefully keep that going.
DOUG MILNE: You mentioned it's nice to have the afternoon off. After a couple rounds like that, what will you do and what will you work on, think about tonight.
DAVIS LOVE III: I'll hit at least one bucket of balls just to calm down a little bit and get a little bit more confidence in what I've been working on.
But try not to do too much, because it's going to be a tough, long weekend. The course obviously is going to get harder, firmer, as the weekend goes on. So just got to be a little bit mentally fresh for the weekend. I'll play late, obviously, tomorrow, so it will be a nice break and just try to get mentally ready for, you know, it's going to be a good leaderboard and I'm going to have to play well on the weekend.

Q. When was the last time you had felt you were playing this well after two rounds.
DAVIS LOVE III: Hawaii; Sony, I played pretty consistently at the top of the leaderboard all week that week. I was a little more consistent in my game, but I had a good week all week that week, and again, just a couple more fairways and a couple more greens there, and I could have got a win.
So I've just got to be a little more consistent this weekend. Gosh, I feel really good with the putter, especially long putts are all rolling up there looking like they are going to go in. Hit a couple good putts, even on the back nine when I was a couple over but I hit a lot of good putts. I actually hit too many greens on that side starting off. Didn't chip enough in. But I played well in Hawaii and I think I can build on that; that I was right there all week and just be patient.

Q. Did the wind get you on the tee shot on 7? And then take us through the second shot on 8?
DAVIS LOVE III: I was just trying to kill it on 7 and caught it a little heavy and got it up in the wind.
Trevor hits a 7 in there kind of low. I've got to pretty much hit a hard 7. My irons are a little weaker than his. I just got a little in-between clubs and didn't hit a good one.
8, I thought I hit a good tee shot with the right-to-left helping wind and just didn't come back over the hill. Just let the wind get the second shot, too, which, you know, right of that pin is not any good, but obviously short and left of it is worse.
You know, I just didn't leave myself a good second shot in and out of the rough to that pin. You know, the holes like 18 and 8 and 11, you just don't want to be shooting at those greens out of the rough. I was in the first cut. That kind of hurt me there.

Q. Was the ball above your feet on the shot on 8?
DAVIS LOVE III: Yeah, it was above your feet and you want to go ahead and hit it and get it back in there, but like I said, let the hill and the wind turn it a little bit. Still thought it might get over, but was taking a little less club than taking a little more there. But again, like there and a couple other holes,5, just let the wind overturn the ball and get it off the fairway and off the green and it cost me.
But I did hit enough, good, solid shots to feel like, you know, I'm just missing, just missed the fairway there, just missed it by a few yards carrying the bunker at 9. You know, you go in that bunker, you've got a tough shot and then to bury it on the downslope up by the green, you're not doing yourself any favors. You're making yourself scramble. You can only chip-in and get up-and-down so many times. Just keep putting yourself in that position. I made a great up-and-down at 8. So all in all, you know, I got the ball up-and-down pretty good when I had a chance.

Q. Yesterday you were talking about the new attitude of not trying too hard when you're successful to build on that success. How tough is it for you to maintain that attitude in the face of a tough day or any kind of adversity?
DAVIS LOVE III: I always look at the positive. You know, if you would have said Wednesday night at 7:45, whenever I was leaving the course, and said you'll be 7-under after two days and right at the top of the leaderboard, I'd have taken it. It's right where you want to be. You want to be in the hunt.
So I'll try to forget -- I'll remember all of those nice putts and nice chip-ins and go hit a few balls and go to Bass Pro Shops and troll around for some turkey hunting stuff tonight.
I'm good at seeing the glass half to three quarters full. You know, when Trevor Immelman goes and says something about my round today, he's not going to say, well, he buried it in the bunker and he hit it fat on 7. He's going to say, man, he is chipping and putting good, and he's driving it long. That's the way I've got to look at it. I've got to look at it like I'm where a lot of guys want to be and I'm hitting a lot of good shots and just go build on that.

Q. After the second pitch-in, you and Jeff kind of laughed; do you have to laugh at a certain point?
DAVIS LOVE III: After you balloon it up in the air and come up short, you know, instead of him saying something like maybe you should have hit a 6. Well, at least you could chip it in. He called it all the way back from the tee.
I think the weeks that I play well, that's the way I think. I always remember Chip Beck missing a green and being excited because he could go try to chip one in. You've got to have a little bit of that kind of crazy attitude of, you know, I'm I've got an opportunity to chip one in rather than beating yourself up over hitting it bad. And I went up there trying to chip-in instead of, you owe don't make another bogey. I was trying to chip it in, and it works out. That was the best chip of the week so far. That rolled straight in like a putt. Some of them have gone in hard, some of my putts have gone in hard. That was the best -- probably the best shot of the week.

Q. Your front, were you conscious of that many birdies, no pars on the front?
DAVIS LOVE III: Oh, yeah, I was conscious of it. I had a 50-footer on 1 for birdie and I'm like, let's just make a par for once, roll it down there and just get out of here. It was nice to make a couple of pars starting off that 9.
But yeah, I was very conscious of it. You know, trying to birdie every hole and making a few bogeys -- and the bad thing is the bogeys, I was just off the edges of the greens and chipping with 9-irons. I didn't have difficult shots, on 11 I was either going to putt it or chip it on 11 and I chipped it six feet by and missed it. Just simple mistakes that I made.
18, I hit a bad drive in the rough, and then got a little aggressive and tried to knock it back to the pin and made a bogey. I would say that all but a couple of my bogeys are just really silly mistakes the last two days, and that's where I've got to just be a little more confident off the tee and a little more confident into the green, shoot more for the middle, away from the pin, just a little bit, and take advantage of the fact that I'm making some 20-footers.

Q. You may have just touched on this, but is the mental reaction, the mental work, a lot different when you're doing birdie, bogey, birdie, birdie, bogey, birdie, birdie, instead of par, par, par, birdie, par, par, par, birdie?
DAVIS LOVE III: It's easier to be patient when you're making some putts, yeah. You make a bogey and come right back with a birdie, it's a little bit easier to be patient, rather than making a bogey and then 12 pars in a row gets a little frustrating.
You know, everything is a mental challenge. You're making a bunch of bogeys or you're missing cuts or you're right at the top of the leaderboard all the time. Everything is just a mental challenge and not thinking about results, and that's where I'm trying to get is not look at the leaderboards and not worry about what Phil is doing ahead of me or what they are doing behind, just go out and play and add it up at the end.

Q. Staying with the mental side of things, Holmes yesterday said he could hit anything from 30 feet when he was putting and he would be surprised if it didn't go in. You were saying today as far as Trevor saying about your chipping, doesn't matter if you chip it in, that's on the short-side, the short-side of the game, short game, but off the tee, is it the same thing? Do you think that way mentally and how people just stress the short game more than the tee?
DAVIS LOVE III: I hit my best drives, it seems like so far this week on the hardest-driving holes. Like on No. 3, I've hit driver over the corner of the lake right in the middle of the fairway twice, and that's a scary tee shot. I've hit good, solid tee shots on 6 and over the lake, and good tee shots on 11, which is a tricky tee shot. Good tee shots on 16.
Then when I get up and try to be careful on 18 not to hit it too far and don't get it too far right, then I miss the fairway. So I think it's the same. You've just got to get up and pick a good target and hit it. If you start thinking about where not to hit it or start thinking about results, then you get in a little bit of trouble. I think the temptation is to try to guide it out there sometimes on the easier tee shots, and I've missed the fairway, like I said, at like 5, missed the fairway with a 3-iron and made a bogey. That kills your round. I've got to be a little bit more focused on shots like that.
DOUG MILNE: Davis, as always, we appreciate your time.

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