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June 9, 2012

Davis Love III


DOUG MILNE:  Okay.  Davis Love III.  Thanks for joining us for a few minutes after the third round of the FedEx St. Jude Classic.  68 seems to be the number for you this week.  Third consecutive one.  Just some comments on the round today and how you're feeling before tomorrow's final round.
DAVIS LOVE, III:  Yeah, another 68.  All three a little bit different, but all kind of the same.  Just patient rounds of golf.  A lot of fairways today, and I don't know how many greens, but in that wind it felt like I hit a lot of greens and had a lot of putts.  And not a lot of them were makeable putts, but I had a lot of putts for birdie rather than chipping.  And I think that was a big difference getting the ball, keeping it in play and not playing out of that rough, and hitting flyers all day was a bonus in the wind.
So, it was pretty steady and left myself, I guess, couple par putts that I made and I missed a couple birdie putts.  I guess it all balanced out.  Just kind of a steady day.
DOUG MILNE:  Okay.  We'll take some questions.

Q.  Davis, this is now two pretty good weeks on Tour so far for you.  Talk about what you like about how you're playing.
DAVIS LOVE, III:  Well, like I was saying out there, I like that I'm actually playing.  I got hurt and was at Bay Hill and was out for, I guess, what was it, close to six weeks and missed some tournaments that I really wanted to play in.  It was a big blow not getting to play my 27th in a row at Heritage and then, you know, I was hoping to have a good week at Bay Hill or Houston to get in the Masters and then started worrying about getting in the Players, making it back for the Players.
I ended up skipping Charlotte that I love, just to be ready for the Players.  And then I was kind of rusty at the Players and Colonial, but I think I'm just getting back in the swing of where I was at the start of the year.
Honda, and until I withdrew at Bay Hill, I was playing pretty well.  I was kind of right in there until I got hurt Friday at Bay Hill.
So, just nice to be back playing.  Like Tiger, you're not playing, you go way down the list and get rusty, you know, and then it's just nice to be back and playing every week and -- I enjoyed 36 holes on Monday because I was actually out playing, you know, and wasn't hurt.  It's been a good two weeks.
DOUG MILNE:  Would you clarify the nature of the illness, what it was.
DAVIS LOVE, III:  I tore a muscle in my ribs.  And I played Saturday at Bay Hill, but then I withdrew Sunday morning.  It was too painful.  And then it took me, like I said, all the way to TPC to get back -- or the Players, I'm sorry.  You can tell how old you are.  I can't get over saying that.

Q.  Davis, with kind of a bunched leaderboard you go into tomorrow with I guess you've had 20 career wins.  Where does experience come into play on a Sunday?
DAVIS LOVE, III:  Well, it definitely comes into play.  You have to -- the golf ball doesn't know how many wins you got.  You still got to hit it well and putt it well.
But, you know, I think today I could see playing with -- I saved a few shots because I've been around this place a lot and played in conditions like this.  He's 21.  I'm 48.  I ought to have a little bit of stroke or two advantage on him in a day like today.
He's got a putting stroke advantage and maybe a ball-striking advantage because he's 21.  But I get it back maybe on experience.  So, I'll use that tomorrow, but, you know, no telling, with all those people within five, six shots of the lead, all it takes it one guy getting hot.
Hopefully -- the best way to do it is shoot the low round of the day on Sunday and you're pretty much guaranteed you're going to win.
That will be the goal.  Just go out there and play, play hard, and hopefully we'll get it in.  It will -- we'll be done by -- before the rain and -- but I think it will take patience and experience will help, yes.

Q.  Davis, I know you said earlier in the week that your son gave you a little bit of a tip, little bit of advice.  Does that come into play the rest of the week so far?
DAVIS LOVE, III:  He went and played golf yesterday, so I had to practice on my own, but I did practice, slowing it down a little bit.  And he's good at watching.  He's out there on the range right now waiting for me.  He'll tell me that I didn't hit my putt hard enough at 18.  He's good at pointing out very obvious things.  I do that to him, too.
It's been fun to have him around this week, and he's a good player.  He watches keenly.  Whenever we get done, he asks me -- it's funny, he asked me like three shots about the round yesterday or -- yeah, yeah yesterday, like, what about this and that?
He picked up on, you know, when I wasn't mentally there or when I misread a putt or when I played a wrong shot.  He's very aware of what's going on.  It's nice.  Like my brother when he's out, he can help me, he's watched me play so much, but Drew did tell me something about my driver.
I drove the ball -- I only hit, I guess, two drivers, but lot of really good 3-woods and 2-irons today 'cause I was a little bit smoother than I might have been at the start of the week.

Q.  You mentioned giving yourself chances to putt rather than chipping.  What were you hitting well?  Was it being able to pick the right club in the wind today?
DAVIS LOVE, III:  I got the right club a bunch.  It was nice to drive it where I could hit sand wedges in.  I tore up four golf balls on the front-9 hitting 60-degree wedges.  Would have one of them I had to chip out of the bunker.
Like 6, for example, I hit just bomb 3-wood around the corner and had a 60-degree wedge from 92 yards.  Made a birdie.  Where if you just get it in the rough, you can't get it close to the hole, start playing defense.
I just barely missed the fairway at 12, so I was being careful with my wedge and I hit it in the bunker.  Fortunately I got up and down for par, but if you drive it in the fairway where you got a clean lie, then you can go at the pins or you can get it on the green.
Extremely difficult to hit the greens or for sure get it close out of the rough.  The tee shots were very good for me today.

Q.  Davis, what would a win mean to you tomorrow?  I know you've --
DAVIS LOVE, III:  Be a lot of Ryder Cup points and get me back going, you know.  Like I said, I forget like I started off the year, you know, ready to go and excited about the way I was playing and got knocked back a couple times with injuries.  And the work has paid off, and I'm still hitting it far enough.  I putted really well at Memorial and then the qualifier, so I know that -- I putted well the first day.  I know that I can, you know, I can still do it.
So, just nice to get back into it.  You know, I've had ups and downs the last few years, but I felt like I'm playing a lot better than the results I'm getting.
So, you know, obviously there will be pressure and you want to win.  Is it a big huge deal in my career that I have to win this week?  No.  But, you know, when you get up there at the top, you just -- the whole feeling kicks in.  You concentrate better, you focus better, and my best routines of the day were coming down those last four, five holes.  And I missed a couple putts, but I felt like I was right in like old times, right in the, you know, focused and playing and enjoying it.
So, it would mean a lot to win, for sure.  Anytime you win out here is important, but it's fun to be in it.
DOUG MILNE:  All right.  Davis, we appreciate your time.  Good luck tomorrow.

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