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March 30, 2012

Brian Davis


JOHN BUSH:  We'd like to welcome Brian Davis into the interview room here at the Shell Houston Open.  Just one bogey on his card through 36 holes, including a bogey-free 7-under, 65 today.  Brian, long day for you.  Just comment on some great golf.
BRIAN DAVIS:  Yeah, it was a good day at the office today.  It was tougher this morning because we didn't have ball in hand to start the round and we had the rain yesterday.  This morning was pretty tough.  The ball was flying everywhere.  Got the ball in hand this afternoon, you know, got a flag to go at.  You'll see some low scores out there this afternoon.  It's going to be a low scoring first couple of rounds.
JOHN BUSH:  Talk about your confidence level right now after a really good week last week at Bay Hill.
BRIAN DAVIS:  Yeah, I was lucky enough Mr. Palmer extended me an invitation, because I finished 71st on the Money List last year and Top 70 get on that.  I had a terrible start on the West Coast.  I wasn't in the tournament, but actually took the invitation and had a great weekend, finished fourth and brought some momentum in here.
Even though the course was really playing long today, which obviously, as you know, I'm not the longest but I'm straight, I played some good golf and obviously put myself into position for the week.
JOHN BUSH:  Questions.

Q.  What have you kind of keyed on that dialed you in?
BRIAN DAVIS:  I made a lot of changes in the -- at the end of the last season, lot of the changes.  From start to finish, basically, and had a terrible, you know, West Coast, it just didn't click and I was really struggling.  And saw some signs at the Honda, Puerto Rico was good, then didn't carry it on Sunday.  In Tampa played really well, felt I played better than the way I finished.  Then obviously T-4 last week.  So momentum has been there, it's been getting better, and obviously a couple of good rounds.

Q.  Can you highlight those changes a little bit?
BRIAN DAVIS:  Yeah.  I lost my father at the end of the last year and just a number of things.  You know, changing caddies, sports psychologist, working on getting my swing back where I want it to be and, you know, to improve it as well but get rid of the faults I had.  Just manage my time better, practicing, family.
Took a whole look, you know, everything basically.  Spent a lot of time in the winter with Bob Winters and, you know, just felt really good coming out to start the season and I played awful.  So it was quite hard to take me.  You go backwards, it seems like.
But, it's one of them things you got to stay the course and keep at it.

Q.  Can you talk a little bit what happened to your father?
BRIAN DAVIS:  Yeah, he had cancer and passed away last year.  It was obviously a tough time for me and time to maybe reassess my life and look at what I'm doing, which I did, and it's been a positive.

Q.  How much a role did he play in the game of golf for you?
BRIAN DAVIS:  Everything.  One of those things where I was very close to my parents.  I just had to search for, you know, finding a way.  No one can explain what it's like.  It's one of those things you have to go through and, you know, took me awhile to sort of get through that and, you know, get myself ready to play.

Q.  Playing -- how much more difficult is it, you said you had a good day of golf, to sustain that through 32 as opposed to playing 18?
BRIAN DAVIS:  It's actually easier if you find your mojo early, you're not going to stop and wait until tomorrow.  You can keep playing.
You know, I just -- as I said, this morning was a lot tougher, every fairway I had a mud ball, so the balls were going haywire and a lot tougher.  This afternoon you could be more aggressive, and obviously hitting fairways, I was able to clean the ball and play aggressive shots.

Q.  Your game has been Top 50 player in the world.  Obviously you play at a high level.  How close do you feel like you are to getting that kind of form again, because it's kind of where you're shooting?
BRIAN DAVIS:  It's one of them things the last few years, things going on and I've been around Top 100 in the world, but just not been able to crack that Top 50, and I obviously play a lot.  So it helps in the world rankings, but it was one of those things where it only takes one week out here and everything changes and I just -- as I said, last year I made a lot of changes at the end of the season.
I wasn't -- not that I was playing bad or I was having -- I finished 37 on the FedExCup.  I missed a few things at the end of the season because of what was going on at home.  It's not like I was playing awful, but I just need to step it up and take the next step, and obviously I'm very well aware that I need to start winning, and it's one of those things where you can't force it.  You just got to keep putting yourself into position.

Q.  Which you've obviously done a number of times already.  Is that something that is maybe one of your biggest battles, fight that whole notion of --
BRIAN DAVIS:  Probably the highlight of the off-season and to this season was, you know, taking a look at everything I did on and off the golf course, not just when I play in a tournament.  I think I'm more prepared going forward now this year.  Even though I had a terrible start of the season, I'm more prepared.  You know, when the situations come up, when you get in that position, hopefully I'll do the right thing.
And there's been a lot of tournaments, I haven't given many tournaments away.  Guys have shot low in the rounds to take it away from me.  It's one of those things.  I won in Europe a couple times.  It just happened.  Then I went to Q-School and came over here.  Just one of those things.
I haven't had total control of my game the last few years even though I've done well and numerous second place finishes and played some good golf.  I haven't had the consistency probably mentally as well as physically.

Q.  What's the biggest difference in your mental approach, what was lacking?
BRIAN DAVIS:  Obviously I had three young kids.  As you know, that changes everything, practice time, sleep time, and just everything, really, and just -- it's just a big change in anybody's life.
My family traveled with me to start with, and then all of a sudden, they're not out on Tour anymore.  You go through a lot of changes in a few years and health issues, few things going on.  It was one of those things where just, you know, little bit distraction and you just put in the time and it's not structured in a way that it should be.  It's very hard.
I really struggle when my kids say "Can we go do this" and I should be practicing.  It's hard to juggle that around.  You got to give yourself some time as well, and obviously we took -- looked over that at the end of the last year and changed my practice routines, changed a lot of things.
And even though, as I said, I didn't perform at the start of the year, I was actually happier.  I felt better about everything.  Obviously at the end of the day, nothing matters but results.

Q.  What were some of the health issues that you faced?
BRIAN DAVIS:  With my kids.  I've had a few things myself, but no big deal.  I had a few problems with the kids when they were born and stuff like that. You guys all know if you've got kids, it adds another variable, and when you're trying to travel every week, it can sometimes get tough.  It's one of those things you got to sometimes be able to just walk out of the house and just go do what you got to do.  Time management, as everybody knows.
JOHN BUSH:  All right.

Q.  So what have you done to change your practice schedule?
BRIAN DAVIS:  Be more definitive with my time.  When it's my time, it's my time.  When it's their time, it's their time.  Just draw the line.  That's very, very hard.  I find that very hard to do.  But, you know, it's actually my family life is a lot better because I'm not feeling guilty that I should be practicing or I should be with the kids or I should -- I'm actually in a much better place because of that.
JOHN BUSH:  Brian, we appreciate your time in here.  Keep it going.
BRIAN DAVIS:  Thank you.

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