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July 6, 2011

David Toms


THE MODERATOR: I'd like to welcome David Toms. David, you're a past champion of this event, the John Deere Classic. You're having a good year this year, No. 7 in the FedExCup points right now. If you want to talk a little bit about your season and a little about the course and we'll take some questions.
DAVID TOMS: You know, obviously my season's gone well so far. I had a couple hot weeks in there, but overall my stats are pretty solid, and it's been a good year.
Obviously I'd like to finish the year on a high note, have some big tournaments coming up, you know, places I like to play, so hopefully I'll get right up there and contend here shortly.
As far as this golf course goes, it's a good golf course. I haven't been here in a while, and the golf course is -- well, I didn't play particularly well today, but the golf course is nice. It's in great shape. I think you'll see some low scores just like you saw -- maybe not as low as last year, but I think you'll see some low scores because the greens aren't real fast. They don't get away from you, still receptive, and the fairways are running out, so the golf course is not playing overly long.
So it's certainly a golf course where I can play well. It's just a matter of going out there and making those putts and shooting some low numbers and try to get into contention.
THE MODERATOR: Okay. Questions.

Q. (Indiscernible). Have such a perspective of how this tournament has grown. Talk about this John Deere Classic now.
DAVID TOMS: Well, it's obviously evolved over the years. When I won this event, it was opposite the British Open at another golf course. So here you have a tournament with a strong field on a strong golf course with a strong presenting sponsor.
You know, it's a tournament that seems to have its feet firmly on the ground now, and they certainly go out of their way to make the players feel wanted here. And it's another good field.
You know, I just think it's certainly a bigger deal than it once was. I know a lot of great players have played here in the past, but as far as this golf tournament, you know, I think the fields are better now, and certainly a more prestigious event.

Q. You weren't always here. (Indiscernible).
DAVID TOMS: Yeah, I think so. I mean one of the guys asked me in my group today about what I thought about the field here, and I said I think it's a strong field compared to -- you know, this time of year there are so many options, whether guys are playing overseas, getting ready for the time change or the climate change. They might be over in Scotland playing or somewhere in Europe preparing for the British Open, some of the top players.
You have other guys that their kids are on summer break and they want to take vacations and do other things. I mean last week, I took last week off from a great golf tournament on a great golf course because we were at the lake with the kids. Everybody's got their own story and they can't play every week, but certainly there are a lot of good players here this week, so I think it's a pretty solid field.
I mean there's always guys that you want at your tournament. You're not -- even if it's a tournament that's in the spring on a great date or whatever, guys are always wanting certain players, or tournaments are. So overall I think it's pretty strong.

Q. Going back to the tail end of last year and this year you've obviously played much better than the past few years, has it been different mentally?
DAVID TOMS: You know, it's a strange game. It's a game of momentum. It's a game of confidence. Certainly I've battled through a few injuries along the way that can take away from your preparation for events.
I don't know. It's not really anything I can put my finger on other than my overall stats are pretty good. I think maybe I've become a little more patient on the golf course. My greens in regulation stat is better because I have (been) maybe not quite as aggressive. You know, if I look back on the rounds where it got away from me, I might have been too aggressive at times. You know, things like that. So just trying to get better, be more consistent, you know.
And then I've taken advantage on the courses where I needed to play well, courses that are maybe more built for my style of game. You know, we play so many long, soft golf courses now that I need to play well when it's firm and shorter. So I've done a good job of that and being prepared for those events.

Q. Was there ever any temptation to change your swing? I know it's been pretty consistent over the years.
DAVID TOMS: You know, I've tinkered with trying to do this and trying to do that, and made major changes here or there. I would certainly like to hit a ten-yard draw off the tee rather than a ten-yard cut, but for some reason it doesn't work well for me. I've tried different clubs and do different things, and I always seem to go back to what is consistent. Might not always be the flashiest or whatever, but the most consistent, that's the way I'm going to have to play.

Q. David, you've had a couple of (indiscernible). Couple years ago in Atlanta you were (indiscernible) you said very calmly, "you can't do this; you can't make it happen."

Q. (Indiscernible). Has your game come to you this year?
DAVID TOMS: I think so. I've played a lot more golf, casual golf because my son's playing golf now. You know, he's always played, but he's always baseball and other sports. He's kind of decided he wants to play golf full time now, so I've played more casual golf than ever before, so it's probably helped me. More excited to be playing.
You know, I went through a few years where I didn't get real excited for events or didn't get up for those events, kind of going through the motions, I guess you would say. And now I really have felt like I've prepared well every time that I'm out. You don't always play well, but you gotta feel like you're putting in the time, the effort. You know, it's kind of like showing up at the office when you're unprepared for a meeting. That's kind of what it would be like to show up at a golf tournament where you haven't worked on your game and you don't really want to be there. I haven't gone through that at all this year and it's obviously helped my results.

Q. The other quote was given to me, said that guy David Toms, "he says we don't have to play for a million dollars every week," he immediately became a David Toms fan.
DAVID TOMS: Well, I think that, you know, I've always said that it doesn't really matter. It doesn't matter to me what the purse is. That's not something I look at.
I think about places I like to go to, places -- golf courses where I feel like I can have some success because really, if you play great, what is the difference of that -- a couple hundred thousand dollars here or there, as far as what the purse level is. So I don't even look at that when I commit to an event.
A lot of times I have no idea what the purse is until all of a sudden they give you one of those big checks at the end when you win and then you kind of know what you won. That's kind of the way I've always tried to play, because the winning means more to me -- when you get to a career when you've been successful for 20 years on the PGA TOUR, you've got enough -- if you're smart with your finances, that's not that big a deal. It's more about saying that I was able to beat all these young guys, that I was able to win any particular week or play great. And it's more about that than the money.

Q. Some of the smaller tournaments (indiscernible)?
DAVID TOMS: Well, I mean I feel like -- I think there is a better way to do that. I think that to rotate those events. You know, why wouldn't some day the John Deere be a FedExCup event, rotate those around so you get the top players from time to time. I think that could be something we look at in the future when we redo television and so forth and redo our events. I think that would be something to look at.
So certainly I've always tried to support events and places that I like to play, that I like to go to, and no matter the purse level, no matter the strength of field, tournament, whatever, wherever it is, you know, I think that -- you know, there's a lot of tournaments like this one that deserve to have those marquis players from time to time, some way that we can do that. I think it would be big for the community and big for the tournament.

Q. How much (indiscernible) PGA Championship?
DAVID TOMS: You know, I look forward to it. I'm going to try to get back there in the next few weeks at some point to play. I haven't played since they redid the golf course. Obviously now they have Bermuda greens. They've added some length. In fact, I had some friends there and they saw my plaque where I made the hole-in-one on 15. And they said, your new tee box is well back of that, so I don't know what kind of wood you're going to have to hit this next time, but it could be a longer one. We'll see.
I think it'll probably be pretty difficult. You have a lot of shots, a lot of par-3s over water where you have to stop the ball, and we were able to do that last time we were there because it was the soft bent grass that they were having to keep alive, and so the greens weren't out-of-control fast and they were receptive, so I'm sure it'll be a tougher test this time than it was last time, and I'd be surprised if you see the same type of scoring.

Q. Is it hard to believe that it's been ten years?
DAVID TOMS: You know, it all goes pretty fast out here. Every year goes by fast for us I think because you go from place to place and every day is different. You don't have the same 8-to-5 situation every day. Every day is a new day, at least you try to approach it that way, so I think time goes pretty fast for us and certainly it doesn't seem like that long ago.

Q. With the fan base really supporting you out here when it was an up-and-comer tournament, do you feel like that's important?
DAVID TOMS: You know, I had a lot of people say "thanks for coming this year" today on the golf course. And you know, you kind of have to step back a little bit and look at things, and you know, just, you know, I'm here to try to win the tournament.
And people that are out supporting me or any of the other players, you know, it's great to have that, to have people that are out here volunteering to say thanks for coming to our event. You know, they obviously take pride in it, and rightfully so.
So it means a lot that I can add something to the event, certainly playing well this year, and I'm hoping to continue that this week, and you know, get a victory here in the Quad Cities on a different golf course.

Q. With it being such a bigger event than it used to be, do you think people are kind of missing out on that special connection to the golfer?
DAVID TOMS: You know, I don't know. It's obviously a lot bigger golf course, covers a lot more ground. I know back at Oakwood everybody just kind of congregated around the clubhouse area and you could see a lot of golf from a small distance.
So it's quite a walk. I'd forgotten. I was out there, I've got a bad hip right now, and just to walk around this golf course, it's quite a feat just to get from green to tee and to get through it. And we had a nice long five-and-a-half-hour day today in the Pro Am, so it was a physical test as well as a mental test.
Should be a fun week, though. I look forward to getting up there and seeing if I can compete with Steve Stricker on this golf course.

Q. David, you said a moment ago (indiscernible). How much would it mean to those guys that have won more than one major?
DAVID TOMS: You know, I think that would be a pretty neat club to be in. There are a lot of guys that are in my category that have won a major victory, so it's certainly something I'm striving for.
But just to get there, you know, I had a couple chances to win this year. Obviously I was able to do it once, but just to get there it's a great feeling to have that competition, to have a chance with nine holes to play.
I mean it's hard to describe for somebody that's not in the sport that's participating in it, that you're trying to get to a certain level. I mean it's a great feeling, and I just want to be able to get there again, and especially in a major championship and to see how it goes.
I think I would hold up well, but there's a lot of things that go into getting there. So I'll have to have some luck on my side, have to sometimes get that tee time that's maybe advantageous to some of the other players that are there. You know, they might have an early-late, late-early, so you get the break there. A lot of things have to happen, but I certainly feel like I can get there again and it would be great to be able to do it.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks a lot, David. Good luck this week.
DAVID TOMS: All right. Thank you.

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