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May 15, 2011

David Toms


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: We'd like to welcome the runner-up of the 2011 THE PLAYERS. Thanks for joining us for a couple minutes here. I know you're disappointed, but looking at your interview with Jimmy Roberts looks like you're taking a lot of positives out of the week. Maybe some comments overall on the week.
DAVID TOMS: Yeah, I was very happy with the way I held up the last, well, 31 holes I played today, I guess. You know, with the lead or around the lead the whole time, I mean, it's tough when you haven't been there in a while and when you haven't played this golf course well.
So I just, you know, I just kept plugging along, plugging along and made a couple mistakes towards the end, but making that putt on 18 when I had to, you know, that just shows that I can still do it when I need to.
I got nervous a few times out there. I got ahead of myself on 16 in regulation. Seeing KJ had to lay up already I probably should have laid up and hit a wedge up there and made par at the worst, but I felt like I could get it on the green and take maybe a two-shot lead there and put a lot of pressure on him. So that was the mindset, and I just hit a bad shot.
But 18, you know, to make birdie on 18 and hit a great tee shot and it ends up in the middle of a divot, to be able to kind of regroup and hit a shot and make a putt, I'm very, very happy with that. And then, obviously, three-putting in the playoff wasn't what I'd like to do. But I thought I made the first one, and I hit a great tee shot. It was just a couple feet away from just going right down to the hole, and I just wasn't there on the putt.
I was probably thinking ahead and thinking about the next hole, and I just got up there and missed it.

Q. Could you run through the putt on 18, the read? Was it straight in? Did it break?
DAVID TOMS: We were walking up to the green, and I had already had a small victory by hitting the shot I did out of the divot in the fairway, and KJ had hit his chip and I knew he was going to have to -- I don't know. What was that, five or six feet that he had to make his. So I figured even if I don't make it I still have a chance that he might miss to get in a playoff.
Then but my caddie said let's give them something to cheer about, and it was a right-edge putt, kind of downhill, just one of those kind you've got to get rolling. It was the best putt I've had in an awful long time. And to see it track the whole way knowing it was in about with five or six feet to go, it was a great feeling. It's something I can take away from this week to be able to make a putt like that when I have to.

Q. Most guys when they're athletes and they're at the peak of their career their kids are too small to know. Talk about having your son there, he's 13, and now he plays, and watching you this week.
DAVID TOMS: Yeah, I mean, it's a lot of fun. It's so funny, when I'm picking out my outfit for the next day, he's picking out his outfit for the next day. It's funny. Those young kids are looking up to the young guys out here on TOUR, and he follows it all the time. I mean, it's on his phone, it's on his computer, and he's watching The Golf Channel all the time.
It's kind of neat to see, though. When I was really winning a lot of tournaments, he knew about golf and he was around some, but he didn't play it and wasn't into it. But now he is. It would have been nice to win today for him.
He had one of his little friends there and they were following me every step of the way. Disappointed because of that, but he can take a lot of stuff away from this week. Watching his dad out there playing and seeing me under pressure, you know, it's neat. Because if I were to make a bogey or hit a bad shot, you look over and you see him in the crowd and just kind of put a smile on your face and puts it all into perspective.

Q. Has it rejuvenated you a little bit?
DAVID TOMS: Oh, it has, most definitely. Playing more golf than ever, away from tournament golf. It's done me some good; it certainly has.

Q. What did you hit into 18 and can you walk us through that shot?
DAVID TOMS: I think I had 178, which was probably going to be a 6-iron if I would have had a good lie. But you know, it's probably a blessing in disguise because I had to hit that kind of low shot out of the divot, take a little bit off, choke it up. And I hit a 5, and it one hopped back there pin high, so it worked out good.

Q. The putt you missed on 17, was it a good stroke?
DAVID TOMS: No, no, it was just one of those that, like I said, when you have uphill into the grain putts, anybody that plays golf on Bermuda greens, you know what it's all about. You've got to hit them solid.
I actually kind of hit it on the toe and didn't get it rolling, and when I looked up it was left, and it was just a bad putt. No excuses, no spike marks, no ball marks, nothing. Maybe a lot of pressure, but other than that there was no excuse.

Q. With the excitement of the game today and you were talking about your son, what do you see the transition of the new players coming into the tournament?
DAVID TOMS: The new --

Q. The transition, talking about your son and he's watching you. But as the game goes, I mean, the transition of young players coming on to the tournament?
DAVID TOMS: Oh, there's a lot. We were on the back porch for four or five hours yesterday watching it rain, and Manassero was out there and he was talking to my son and his friend. And they're only four or five years apart, and the guy is playing this golf tournament. He can relate to me a lot better than he can -- my son can relate to that guy a lot better. I'm just his dad, you know, that plays golf.
He's watching Rickie Fowler and all these young guys and trying to dress like them and act like them and play golf like them. And that's fine. I mean, I think that's a neat part about growing up on the PGA TOUR, kids that are out here. They get to see a lot of -- go a lot of neat places, see a lot of great courses, meet a lot of famous people, and there's a lot of good role models out here for them.

Q. If this is the beginning of rejuvenation with everything, are you thinking about those Ryder Cups and Presidents Cups and doing that again?
DAVID TOMS: Man, you know, every year that they have one that I am not on, I know what I'm missing. It is a great experience, you know, having been on them before. I'd love to be back and do it again.
I've got a lot of work to do to get back there, but you know, it's definitely worth the time and effort and the hard work to be a part of.

Q. A lot of points this week?
DAVID TOMS: A lot of points. Came close to getting a bunch of them.

Q. Can you talk about the swing of emotions? You make a big putt on 18, KJ kind of wobbles one in there and just a couple minutes later it's over?
DAVID TOMS: Yeah, I mean, it goes fast. I'm sure there was a lot of stuff going through his head. After I made my putt, he's got to regroup and make a great up-and-down. For him, he went from winning the golf tournament to all of a sudden he's got to make a putt to get in a playoff, and then all of a sudden, like you said, it's over.
That's the interesting thing about a playoff hole on 17, a lot can happen really fast in a playoff. You can lose real quick. One swing, one putt, and it's over.

Q. You said earlier about you're 44 and you haven't been in the mix for a long time in this kind of situation. How does it impact you? How do you feel when you haven't been there for a long time?
DAVID TOMS: You know, how does it impact me? Like I said, if I would have won this tournament, it doesn't change my life in any way. Maybe a little more confidence going forward, but that's it. It doesn't really change anything. Maybe exempts me to the Champions Tour, but other than that, no big deal. (Laughter.)
You know, I don't know. I think I'm going to win again soon, and playing great here gives me that confidence. I look forward to the coming weeks. I'm playing next week at Colonial and it's one of my favorite events, probably the favorite event of the year. If I can go in there and take some of the things I did this week, maybe get back in the hunt, maybe I'll feel more comfortable the next time and do better.

Q. I meant like when you're out there and you haven't been there in a long time --
DAVID TOMS: What does it feel like?

Q. Yeah, not being there, what does it feel like?
DAVID TOMS: You know, I was surprisingly very calm. It seemed like even though I was out there for a long time today, it went pretty quick.
And that's kind of what happened when I won the PGA. I remember the last nine holes just seemed like the whole day was a blur. It just went fast. I don't know, is that being in the zone when things go -- I don't know, but I felt very comfortable. I never felt like I was losing it.
Maybe after I hit that shot on 16 maybe a little bit because I was just perturbed that maybe I should have laid up. I was actually in the rough on the side of a hill and needed to hit a cut off a right to left lie, and so I could have laid up with a wedge and hit a wedge on the green. And I just did not take the time to do it. I thought I could hit the shot.
But other than that I never felt like I was out of control ever. I felt like I was hitting the right shot at the right time and playing the smart shot, so I felt very good.

Q. At this stage of your career, you were talking about your son a little bit. It doesn't change your life winning, but coming in second, on TV they showed the disappointment on your son's face. He turned to his mom and was really crushed by it. How much would you have liked to have won this for a memory for your son?
DAVID TOMS: Oh, I mean, more than anything. You know, and the interesting thing, the look on his face was probably like, hey, his dad was leading all day long and then all of a sudden he didn't win.
But he understands. That gives me more incentive to get back and do it here soon.
JOEL SCHUCHMANN: David Toms, thank you.

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