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July 7, 2011

Davis Love III


THE MODERATOR: Okay. We'll go ahead and get started. Davis, 24 hours later, here you are again. Obviously that's a good thing. 7-under 64 today, off to an incredible start. Just a few comments about the round and then we'll open it up and take a few questions.
DAVIS LOVE, III: Well, obviously a good score to start off the week, and you know, you felt like you had to shoot a good score this morning, nice and calm, and very good greens. And there was some scoring out there, for sure.
You know, not as easy as in years past when it's been wet, but it's good conditions to score today. And got off to a good start with the putter, and other than a couple drives, hit the ball real well and made one nice long par putt on my 17th hole, No. 8, and made some nice birdie putts starting off the round, so all in all a real good day and a great start.
THE MODERATOR: Okay. With that we'll go ahead and open it up for questions.

Q. How tough was the up-and-down on 17?
DAVIS LOVE, III: Yeah. It was, you know, it wasn't that hard. It was one of those you had to just dig it out of the rough a little bit. But I hit a bad drive, pulled it in the bunker, hit a bad second shot, so I was kind of setting myself up for a bogey. Anyway, I did the same thing on that one yesterday.
I usually hit really good shots out of the fairway bunkers. I just had an 8-iron and just pulled it. But I had chipped it down there right where D.A. -- I was just about on D.A.'s line and just a little bit to the right of Paul Goydos's line, so I got two reads on it, and even though it was a 15, 18-footer, it was probably 15 feet, I had a good read on it and hit a good putt.
Like I said, I made one about 10 or 12 feet on the first hole, and that kind of got me going. I putted well. Even the ones that didn't go in, most of them I felt like I hit really good. So it was a good day with the putter. I think somebody out there said I had 25 putts, so it's a good way to start when you're hitting it good.

Q. You said yesterday you wanted to come in refreshed for the next couple of weeks. How do you recharge your batteries when you go home? Do you not play golf? Do you go hunting, fishing, whatever?
DAVIS LOVE, III: Well, I watched my son play a fair amount of golf. I took him to U. S. Junior Qualifying for three days. I watched my daughter ride horses. But I always include fun stuff. I rode my motorcycle to go watch my daughter ride horses in Asheville, North Carolina.
Spent some time at home with my son. We don't miss much, like I said yesterday, around our house. A lot of activities. I went paddle boarding five mornings in a row as my workouts and hit a few balls last week. I think I went out to the course three or four times. So I stayed fresh at least.
But I had a good -- it was a good two weeks. I hated to skip AT&T, but as I said, I got to go on a trip with my son, got to see my daughter ride, and actually my son won a little tournament last week at home with a great final round, and I got to at least see the end of it. So it was a great week to be home and got a lot of work done as well.

Q. What adjustments have you made in your putting because you're putted so well today.
DAVIS LOVE, III: They went in today and all week at the U.S. Open they didn't go in. So I don't know what the adjustment really was. But I did work on speed was really the main thing. I felt like at the U.S. Open I was thinking that they were going to be so fast and you had kind of the Masters or U.S. Open mentality of a better lag, and especially the longer putts, they just never really had a chance to go in. The short ones I missed a few, but the long, 10 to 20-footers I never got them going at the hole.
And that's what I tried to do today was to make sure I had good pace on them. When I practiced on the putting green, I practiced long putts rather than short putts, trying to get the speed of them. Yeah, these greens are really good, and if you hit a good putt, they're probably going to go in, and I think my speed was really good today. Most of them looked like they had a chance.

Q. Trying to make your own Ryder Cup team, is there a chance you might get in your own way as you come down trying to get on that team?
DAVIS LOVE, III: Yeah. I've done that the last three or four Ryder Cups. I got in my own way trying to make the team. Trying too hard. It doesn't matter if it's the U.S. Open or trying to make the Ryder Cup team. I think that's what most guys out here, top players when they don't play well, they're trying too hard to play well, and the mental side of it I think is the hardest part.
We saw that with Rory, looked like he was going to run away with the Masters and got rocked off and mentally went the other way. When you're playing well, everything seems easy. When you're playing poorly, the mental side of it is the toughest part.
So I just have to block it out. Like I did today, I just went out to play with Paul and D.A. They're great to play with, and we all had a good day. So I just gotta make it that simple, just a nice day of golf and go out and play and try to play one shot at a time.
And Rotella's been beating that into our heads since 1984 for me, '85. Get the same lesson every week from him. Think of the process not the result. It's like don't drive fast. Go the speed limit. You know what you're supposed to do. It's just hard to be committed to doing it, and that's what I'm really working on and that'll get me over whether it's Presidents Cup, Ryder Cup or British Open.

Q. What's it like having that first competitive round after the time off? You seem really relaxed right now. Obviously you're playing well. What's you history been in that situation coming off from time off your first tournament back?
DAVIS LOVE, III: Some good and some bad. You know, not really a whole lot of consistency. I tend to do well, though, when I come from doing something more athletic. If I go, you know, and do nothing for a week, which I rarely do, but when I'm not -- when I've come to Hawaii the last few years, all I've been doing is snowboarding and swinging in the mirror in my garage in Idaho, and I come out playing great. The last three years I've played really well, and I've come from a week of snowboarding. Like David Duval used to do all the time. Coming from a week like last week where I was in the water every morning for five straight days before I got here, hit balls less than I was in the water, that's for sure.
And I think it's -- you know, when you're refreshed mentally and you're strong physically -- and my dad told me a long time ago, you know, I felt like I had to practice every day, all day every day, and finally he said, look, you're not going to forget how to play golf if you take a week off. He said you're really good. You're not going to forget. So that told me that I could take -- I did have to work hard, but I could take some time off and get away from it. I still think you gotta do something. Randy Myers pushes us, you gotta in the gym, get in the gym, and last week I kept ducking him because I was so tired from paddle boarding every morning that I didn't want to go to the gym, but I still did my stretching and stuff like that.
I think it's important to be mentally refreshed and physically strong. We've seen that with a lot of the top players lately, from Greg Norman to Tiger. If they're in shape and they feel good, it gives them confidence.

Q. You've picked to come here with a pretty good frame of mind and a lot of confidence. At 47 where is the motivation coming from at this point?
DAVIS LOVE, III: Well, you know, I want to make the Presidents Cup team. I want to make the Ryder Cup team. I still think I can win. I did -- I don't put an age on it. I still want to see how good I can get, whether if I can get back to whatever level or if I can win more than 20.
You know, I heard people talking about getting to 20. 20 was just a stop for me, I would hope. You know, if it's only 20, that's great, but I'm hoping I get a lot farther than that and stay competitive. I saw Jack Nicklaus win at 46, and we've seen Kenny Perrys and Fred Funks and those guys, Vijay still play well late in their 40s. I don't think it's time to -- I'm not going to coast at anything, especially not going to coast at golf.

Q. With the missed greens and missed fairways today, what do you have to do better the next few days? Do you feel like your best round is still in front of you with those mistakes here and there that were made today?
DAVIS LOVE, III: No. You never know how you're going to score. You don't know if you're going to hit 18 greens and shoot even or you're going to hit nine and shoot 5-under. Golf is weird like that.
The worst drive I hit went in the fairway. It hit a tree and came back in the fairway. You know, I hit some good drives that bounced into the first cut, you know. So you never know.
What I am going to do is what I worked on yesterday. I just hit a few balls trying to slow my swing down, and I know the bad ones I hit real quick, and you know, I got excited at 17 to smash one around the corner and hooked it in the trees. And then got excited on 18. Same thing, hooked it in the trees.
So other than those two, and I pulled it a little bit at 8 into the bunker. But other than those I hit the ball real well all day and gave myself a lot of opportunities, so just keep doing that.

Q. What is it about this tournament that seems to fit guys in their 40s, Goydos, Steve, Kenny, yourself?
DAVIS LOVE, III: I don't know.

Q. Is it wisdom?
DAVIS LOVE, III: Maybe you have to have experience to play it. I don't know. You know, I think it's a fun course and it's a fun tournament, and I think, you know, guys like Stricker or Kenny or myself, Paul, we appreciate tournaments like this, you know, and we're excited to be here. And I think we come in with a good attitude.
You know, I know for me, I know for Stricker, I know for whoever, probably Kenny, coming in here you're getting ready for the British, you know, and you're working on your game and you're excited for this week and excited for next week. So maybe it spills over from just being prepared, being ready to go and excited to go.

Q. Davis, you're coming back here for Zach's foundation thing. Is that just a testimony to you guys, it's a brotherhood you have that you all support each other, because I'm sure there are a million other things you could be doing rather than coming back.
DAVIS LOVE, III: Yeah, I could go paddle boarding, I could go fishing, all the things you mentioned.
But Zach, you know, moving to Sea Island, being a big part of our community, he brought McGladrey as a sponsor to our TOUR event that my foundation runs. So I owe him. We don't go, you did mine; I'll do yours. We don't try to balance it out, but if Zach says I need a favor, I'll do it because he was instrumental in getting our TOUR event off the ground. And he still is. Whenever we ask Zach or Jonathan or whoever around home we got a media event or we need some help here or there, they're willing to help us out, so I'm glad to help him.
And we're all inspired by the players before us, what they've done to give back to the game. Just glad to do it. Dicky Pride just told me he's doing a great event in Tuscaloosa. Unfortunately it's the Monday of our tournament, the McGladrey. But we're going to send him stuff to support him because he's doing a great thing. You just don't hear about -- I think we were talking yesterday, you don't hear about the millions of dollars that get raised outside of what gets raised on the PGA TOUR, Brad and Billy and their CVS thing, 12 or 14 million that they've raised in their two-day event. DiMarco does 100, $200,000 at his little event every year.
That doesn't get added into our billions that we give away. So it's just nice to help out, and I look forward to going to his hometown. I know they're all excited about it, and 40 or 50 people have talked to me already about it this week. So it'll be fun.

Q. Davis, last year Paul comes out first round with a 59. Playing with him in the first round again this year. Was there any talk amongst you guys about last year or what he did in that first round or thinking maybe one of us can catch that lightning today?
DAVIS LOVE, III: Well, when I was 4-under through five, I started thinking maybe it was my turn. But at the end he said, that was a fairly good opening round for me. I said, yeah, I knew at least my putt on the last hole wasn't for the course record.
So it was a little joking afterwards, but no, not during the round. Paul made -- he had a nice stretch there where he got it going, and D.A. had except for one bogey, D.A. kind of had it going, too. So we had a good group, and we fed off Paul's knowledge of the course, I guess, his command of the course.
THE MODERATOR: Okay. Well, Davis, great opening round. We'll look forward to seeing you back for day three tomorrow.

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