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August 11, 2011

Davis Love III


Q. 2-under, thoughts on the day? Good start.
DAVIS LOVE III: Yeah, good start. I did give some away. I hit the ball really well today. I got in a few bunkers and got in a little bit of trouble a couple times, but all in all, it was a good, solid day. Any time you're under par in a major, it seems pretty good, until you look at Stricker, then it feels like the John Deere again. I played pretty good, but I'm way behind Stricker.
It was a good start, and the course is in great shape. As long as you're in the fairway and on the greens, you know you're going to have perfect lies and a chance to make birdies. As soon as you get off the fairways, it's going to get tough. I hit enough fairways today to keep myself in the game.

Q. (Inaudible.)
DAVIS LOVE III: Well, they wanted a drivable par-4, so they got it. You know, you try not to make too big a number. But it's extremely hard. It was hard in 2001. I mean, David Toms made a hole-in-one with a wood was the only highlight.

Q. What did you hit today?
DAVIS LOVE III: I tried to kill a 3-iron, which obviously didn't work out. You know, Padraig made a good point. He said if we had that yardage on No. 12, probably half the field would lay up. That's the way it is. If it had been into the wind at all -- you know, we played early. If it would have been into the wind at all, you'd have considered hitting it down there short of the green somewhere and pitching up. Where Padraig missed it was actually good, way short and left in the rough, pitch up the green, and he was the only one who made a par.

Q. (Inaudible.)
DAVIS LOVE III: Yeah, I mean, I saw that, a little bit of leaderboard watching and watching how I was doing. There were some birdie holes out there, but then the last four and a couple other holes -- you know, 8 seemed to get a lot of people, too. I was lucky to get the ball in the fairway there. Yeah, just looked like there was stretches where you could make some birdies and there was stretches where you could have some crashes. I think Tiger, a lot of guys had trouble with that, and that can mess up your whole day.

Q. You've played a lot of golf with him. What was your analysis of what was going on with his game?
DAVIS LOVE III: I wasn't analyzing his game, I was trying to keep it in the fairway. I think him and Padraig and everybody, if you don't hit the fairways on this golf course, if you drive it in the bunkers, the bunkers are tough. You have buried lies in the bunkers off the tee. He went for a green at 12 and he got it up-and-down, but he buried the ball in the bunker with a 4-iron or a 3-iron. I mean, the bunkers are tough. He unfortunately got in a lot of bunkers.
I had a tough -- I hit a pretty good shot into 7 and it trickled into the bunker, and I almost had no shot. They're tough. Fairway bunker shots, you saw us all hitting them fat out of the fairway bunkers. They're very difficult.
If you don't drive it in the fairway -- this is a simple analysis of most PGA Championships: If you don't drive it in the fairway, you're going to have to scramble pretty hard.

Q. There's a lot of focus on 15, but just how difficult of a hole is 18?
DAVIS LOVE III: It's very hard. It's a par-5 basically. If you don't hit a really good drive and a really good second shot, you're not going to have an easy par. I made a great up-and-down out of the bunker. I laid up a little bit off the tee and tried to hit a great shot with my 3-iron rather than trying to hit a great shot with a driver, basically just trying to keep it dry and not do anything too fancy, because if you make two 4s and two 5s for the week, you're probably okay.
But it's tough. I mean, there was a lot of tough ones. I think 8 is tough. The course looks -- I remember the routing. I don't remember the holes because they've changed so much since 2001. 17 looks the same, but a lot of these holes are longer, harder, deeper bunkers. They're tough. A lot of hard ones out there.

Q. What's making the bunkers so difficult?
DAVIS LOVE III: Yeah, they're real soft. If it flies in, it's got a real good chance of burying. If it rolls in, it's going to dig itself in. There's very few that you can just clip them right out of there. I had a pretty good lie and hit one pitching wedge on the green -- two pitching wedges on the green out of the bunkers, but you try to hit a 7-iron out of there, which you have to do a lot, 6-, 7-iron, it's tough.

Q. Do you feel any additional pressure to birdie holes early on the back nine knowing you have a tough stretch coming up?
DAVIS LOVE III: No, you just try to birdie every hole. You know there's hard ones. It's a major. There's a few birdie holes but not a lot of them. You hate to let the par-5s get away from you. I didn't birdie 12. But you take what you can get when you can get it. I never think 8 is a birdie hole, but I got a birdie there. Simplest thing to do is try to put it in the fairway and try to put it somewhere on the green and be patient.

Q. What are your thoughts on the setup?
DAVIS LOVE III: Yeah, I think it's fair. I think it's tough. Obviously it's fair. Stricker is 7-under, so it's doable. I played pretty well and got 2-under, so it's fair. It's just hard. You know, we're used to that. They set it up pretty good today. They gave us a break on a few holes, didn't play them all the way back.
I think all in all -- players are saying they've never seen this good of greens in a major, never seen this good of fairways in a major, so it's a great course, it's just tough.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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