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May 5, 2011

David Toms


DOUG MILNE: David, great round today, 6-under 66. I know you love being in this area. Just a few comments on the round and how you're feeling.
DAVID TOMS: First of all, it was cold this morning, and I just hung in there, made a lot of pars, which if you looked at the leaderboard in the first hour of the round, everybody was trying to make pars. It started to warm up, and I birdied 6, eagled 7, and all of a sudden I'm into the round and playing well.
It was awfully long, that front nine this morning. I think I hit wood four times into holes in regulation. Any time you're doing that, a golf course is playing long, especially for me. Even the guys I was playing with, Sergio made a comment he's never hit so many 3-irons in his life into par-4s. So got off to a good start then and just played solid on the back. One of those days where the golf course I thought was playing pretty difficult. So to shoot 6-under par, I'll certainly take it.

Q. Just to clarify, you hit a fairway wood four times into a par-4?
DAVID TOMS: Well, once into a par-3 on 6, so that was just on my regulation shots. I hit a fairway wood into 3, I hit a fairway wood into 4, I hit a fairway wood into 9, and I hit a fairway wood into 6. But you know, the golf course, it was the opposite wind from a lot of the times that we've played here. We started off with a pretty good north wind today. I knew it was going to be like that. It was like that yesterday in the pro-am, so I kind of knew what to expect.
But by the end of the day, if it tells you anything, yesterday I hit driver, 3-wood into 18 in the pro-am in the afternoon, and by the time I played it just a few minutes ago, I hit a 7-iron. The wind had turned around by the time we got to the last hole. We played 17 downwind and then I played 18 downwind, so obviously the guys in the afternoon are probably going to have a south wind, so the golf course will be totally different than it was this morning.

Q. How do you explain -- you talk about it all the time about being able to compete on certain golf courses. Would this be a golf course you felt like you could be competitive on?
DAVID TOMS: Yeah, I've always had a pretty good feel on the greens here. I don't know why, I just seem to read them pretty well. They have so much slope that you're not really having to try to figure out if it breaks right to left, left to right kind of thing, and I've always felt good about my speed and hit a lot of good shots and always drive it fairly well. On a golf course like this you have to because there's a lot of tight tee shots out there. This is just a place I like. I've played well in North Carolina over the years and just feel comfortable.

Q. What's changed for you and what's changed in the game since you won here?
DAVID TOMS: You know, as far as what's changed for me, I'm just older. I probably hit the ball the same distance as I did then with technology and everything, so the golf courses have gotten longer. This one certainly has gotten longer. I was asked the question out there about being a former champion here, and I'm like, well, they've taken most of the events away that I've won, so there's not very many of them left, and this happens to be one of those, and a really good one. It's a tournament everybody comes to, always has a great field, so you have to beat good players in order to win this event.
I like it here, and I played great today, and hopefully I can keep it up. I mean, I can certainly play this golf course well. But still, I mean, it's going to be -- it's not a short course. It's one where I'm going to have to continue to drive it well, and when I do get a short hole or have a scoring opportunity, I'm going to have to take advantage of it, and then all those long holes just get through there. If you make a birdie, great; if not, you just try to make your pars and keep going.

Q. What were some of the yardages you had in on 3 and 4?
DAVID TOMS: I think the 3rd hole I had about 218 into the wind; and then I had 228 on No. 4; the par-3 was 248, I guess, 6; and then 9 I had 230. I mean, if it tells you anything, some of those holes I'm talking about, the fairway bunkers weren't even in play for anybody in my group. I'm playing with Sergio and Matteson. That ought to tell you the way the wind was and the way the holes are playing. Those fairway bunkers that everybody if you hit a bad shot you're supposed to be in, nobody was reaching them.

Q. That's an upside, isn't it?
DAVID TOMS: Yeah, it makes the fairway wider if you can hold your 3-woods.

Q. You talked about how difficult it was, but yet you shot 66. Put that number in perspective.
DAVID TOMS: Well, I mean, like I said, early it was just about making par. Took my sweater off, put on a vest over there on 5 tee, so it was warming up, and you could start scoring a little bit, ball was going a little further, and I birdied 6 and eagled 7. Just, you know, even though I was making pars I looked up at the board and there were very few guys even under par, and guys that were ahead of me had already played nine holes, so I figured it was playing pretty difficult; just hang in there. And then after I hit that shot at 7 that kind of got me going there and just played solid after that.

Q. What other tournaments did they take away?
DAVID TOMS: Buick Challenge, The International, Michelob Championship I won twice. We don't play La Costa anymore. So I guess the only ones that are left would be Memphis, Hawaiian Open here --

Q. PGA Championship.
DAVID TOMS: PGA Championship, yeah, we still play that, exactly.

Q. You're a guy who's gone through a number of injuries in your career. Looking at how many guys are now sort of on the DL on TOUR, has there ever been a time in your career when you've been injury-free?
DAVID TOMS: I think guys are -- if you just hang out around the fitness vans, you'll know that guys are always dealing with little bitty things here or there. I don't think the human body is meant to be standing straight up for eight to ten hours a day and then bending over half of that time hitting a golf shot twisting your body in all kinds of crazy ways. Guys now swing awfully hard at it, too, compared to say 15 years ago. So that's probably got something to do with it. Just trying to hit it as hard as you can, as high as you can, and then a lot of the rough that we deal with, guys are dealing with things all the time.
Maybe as guys get older, maybe more so than the younger guys, but even you see the young guys in there, as well. I just think that this sport is -- and the thing is, golf -- if your hands are hurting, your elbow, your shoulder, your hips, your back, if anything is hurting it's just a difficult sport to play to me. You know, just little nagging things. You can get a blister on your pinky finger and all of a sudden it's hard to play golf just because of all the feel that goes into golf shots. That's just part of it.

Q. Fairway metals you mentioned, out of curiosity, where is the 5-wood?
DAVID TOMS: It's in a glass case in my game room. My wife gave it to me in that case for Christmas one year about five years ago. It was in my garage in a bag, and so she did that, and I was telling someone earlier that it looks -- the way it was done in this glass case, it looks like it would be like a hickory club or something, but it's a bi-matrix shaft, half graphite, half steel, and it looks kind of funny in the case, but it's in a good, safe spot.

Q. Could you use that same club to reach today?
DAVID TOMS: I don't know, I've heard they moved the tee back, so --

Q. 260.
DAVID TOMS: Great. I had some friends that were there on Sunday playing, and they took a picture of the plaque that's got my name on it where I made a hole-in-one. They didn't say how much further back the tee was. It might be a 3-wood for me this time, who knows.

Q. It was metal, though?
DAVID TOMS: Yeah, and I used the club for years after that. I figured I had another chance to hit another shot like that, but it never quite did, so I retired it.

Q. When you say the game room, what else is in the game room?
DAVID TOMS: A pool table, a couple televisions, and I've got built-ins for all the trophies, so I have like a box with a light over it, all of the trophies that I have, and then there's this one blank wall and there's no boxes, but my builder -- and behind it there are boxes in case I won more they can cut it out. It's all finished out. It's just a blank wall right now, but it can be cut out. The boxes are there with the lights and everything is ready to go. Just have to cut a hole in it.

Q. The 5-wood was obviously a hole-in-one, but that was Saturday?
DAVID TOMS: Saturday, yes.

Q. The wedge on the 72nd hole, pretty memorable club?
DAVID TOMS: Yeah, it was. I mean, I hit a great wedge to get a perfect yardage and hit another so-so wedge to be quite honest. I had a 60-degree wedge from 88 yards and I hit it 12 feet. It would be one of those if it was a par-5 and you're out in the middle of the golf course on Thursday, you would think it wasn't a very good shot. But I made a great putt. I don't even know where that one is to be quite honest with you.
The funny thing about that week was that was the first full shot that I had hit with that wedge. It was a brand new wedge that I had put in the bag that week, and I had had 50-, 60-yard shots but never a full shot with that club, so it was interesting. So I'm standing over that shot, thinking, I'm hoping that Cleveland Golf built everything just right, the lie, the loft and everything is right because I'm going to hit this full shot and I'm hoping it's the right distance. I think it was a 60-degree from about 88 yards.
DOUG MILNE: David, thanks for your time.

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