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August 13, 2011

David Toms


Q. Was that strategy on 18 on your approach shot?
DAVID TOMS: You know, I had 190 yards, which is the perfect 5-iron for me, and the pin back right, so it's perfect for my little left-to-right shot and I hit it good. I thought it was going to be really close, and the wind gusted up and the thing barely got over the water, and I had to make a great putt.
But from the fairway, I thought I got it really in there pretty tight. But obviously the way the crowd ooh'ed and ahh'ed up there, was glad to get over the water in the end.

Q. Inaudible.
DAVID TOMS: The golf course is like that. This golf course is like that from the first hole to the last hole and it's a game of just a couple of feet. We have a lot of pins out there that if you decide you're going to hit heat the pin, that you have to be right.
So very risk/reward type of day with the pins they have out there.

Q. As the resident expert here on how to play 18, what's the secret? And Adam Scott mentioned tomorrow it might be a play to lay up?
DAVID TOMS: It might be. Depends on your position. We have played the up tee twice, and I've gone ahead and hit driver just because if I lay back, it's going to be a really long shot and one that I'll have to even have to think about going for the green. And so I've played aggressive the last couple of days and it's paid off.
So depending on tee placement tomorrow, certainly it's a different hole than the last time we played here, a lot of different angles to it: The water is in closer on the left, there's more bunkers on the right, there is a bunker in the lay-up area now. It's a different hole. So go out there and play the best we can this week.

Q. What do you think about Texas A&M going to the SEC?
DAVID TOMS: I hope it happens. They were one of our rivals when I was in college, and it was a lot of fun. I hope it happens. It would be a great addition.

Q. Did you get the most out of your round today?
DAVID TOMS: Early on I hit a lot of quality shots and really didn't get anything going at all, and then got back there on No. 12, hit the green in two and made a long eagle putt, and drove the next green off the tee when they had the tees up and 2-putted for birdie there.
And really the key to my round being a great round was the bunker shot I hit on 14, because holing that, could have made bogey, double, pretty easily; and to hole a bunker shot and made birdie, that was a bonus.

Q. How far away were you on the bunker?
DAVID TOMS: However far the pin -- well, the pin was on the left-hand side of the green and I was in the far right hand bunker so I'm guessing a good 40-yard bunker shot probably.

Q. When you were out there, did any -- did you think about anything from 2001, were you able to flashback to some positives?
DAVID TOMS: Maybe halfway through the back nine when I was rolling pretty good after I holed that shot at 14 and then I walk up to 15 and there's it the plaque standing right next to where we were teeing off and people were saying stuff in the crowd about doing it again kind of thing, and you flashback to this time, or this week, ten years ago.
A lot of memories for sure. Golf course is different. Golf course is much more demanding, so I have to play extremely well.

Q. How close did you come to doing it again on 15 this time?
DAVID TOMS: I hit a pretty good shot yesterday from that spot with a 3-hybrid and landed 12 feet short of the hole and went in the back bunker and today I hit it just short of the green, what I thought was perfect and basically plugged in the zoysia short of the green. So it's been a tough hole for me so far.

Q. How much ground do you think you made up --
DAVID TOMS: It's a good score, I don't know. The guys that hit it a long way, 16 is not that big of a deal. For me is was a driver and a three hybrid today but for the long hitters they are hitting a short iron and not that big a deal.
17 was probably an 8-iron for some of the long hitters. But to birdie 18 obviously you pick up at least a half a stroke on the field to do that.

Q. What is it about 18, I know it's not the same that you won, but it's been good to you?
DAVID TOMS: I don't know. Maybe I concentrate well on the tee shot knowing that I have to hit a good one and just kind of suck it up and do it. That's really all there is. It's a tough hole. And I'm not afraid to lay up. It wouldn't bother me, if I don't hit a good tee shot over there to the right to lay the thing up; I've made four that way, and when it really mattered.
Maybe that's it, the pressure is off, because I know if I don't hit a good tee shot I'm going to lay up anyway, so you free wheel it a little bit.

Q. Did you get much grief for laying up?
DAVID TOMS: A lot of grief at the time until I won the tournament a few minutes later. It worked out. It was smart play.

Q. Does your mind-set change after this round? Do you think you've put yourself in position for tomorrow?
DAVID TOMS: You know, we'll see what happens this afternoon. Obviously it will take a great round tomorrow. But you never know. I mean, that was the goal of the day was to have a good round. I didn't know it was going to be a great round. I just wanted to have a good round to give myself a chance to have that hot round maybe like Stricker did the first day, you never know, to have a chance, and now you know, if I can have one of those days, I certainly will be in the mix.

Q. Do you think with some of the hole locations, a couple of tees moved up, that the course is more gettable today?
DAVID TOMS: Definitely is. It's just like I said, a risk/reward type of situation. There's some pins and some tees where you can go after it, but if you don't hit the shot, you'll pay the penalty.
So you know, I like the way the course is set up today.

Q. How would you describe the bunkers?
DAVID TOMS: The green-side bunkers, no big deal, that you don't have a clean lie, because you can hit a chunk and run type of shot.
Fairway bunkers are some of the most difficult things. Even taking away the lips, because a lot of them have lips; it's just the lie that you get. You can't hit a solid shot.
We were on the fifth hole today and I was about 80 yards short of the green in the bunker and I tried to chip an 8-iron out of it just to -- didn't even -- I never even tried that shot, but I knew that I couldn't hit any kind of a wedge solid. So I was just trying anything to get on the green and I wasn't able to do it.

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