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October 20, 2012

Davis Love III


JOHN BUSH:  We'll get started.  We'd like to welcome our co leader and tournament host, Davis Love into the interview room after 4‑under par 66.  Davis, nice playing out there today.  Got yourself right where you want to be going into tomorrow.
DAVIS LOVE, III:  Yeah.  It's nice to make that putt at the last, and I kept thinking that we were keeping our group together, but I guess we're going to go twosomes tomorrow, not threesomes, but it was fun to play with Arjun and Jim.  We all played pretty well and had some chances and we hung in there when the wind started blowing.  I think that was the big thing.
Seemed like a lot of guys were starting well, but didn't finish well because the wind got going, but Jim helped me a lot on that last putt.  His putt dove at the hole and I played a little more break.  As the day goes on I think they get grainier.  They obviously get slower, but they get a little bit grainier, so we were all kind of slow playing it there on the last four or five holes to try to figure out which way the grain was going, but it was nice to make that last one.
JOHN BUSH:  All right.  We'll go into questions.

Q.  Davis, you said you weren't surprised you were playing well this week.  Were you surprised at all it's coming down to you and Jim?
DAVIS LOVE, III:  Well, no.  When Jim Furyk's in the field you're going to expect him to play well.  This is a perfect golf course.  And David Toms, I don't know where he finished, 8 or 9?  Perfect course or David Toms, drive it in the fairway and good greens.
But you know, long hitters also, obviously on any course, it helps.  I hit a lot of 3‑woods off the tee and makes it a little bit easier, until today.  I hit more drivers today than the last two days.
But no, Jim's played well, and I keep saying he was real close to an All Star hero year, and he showed that today, just came out firing.  He looked like he was going to birdie every hole there starting off.  And when I bogeyed 4, I said, I'm going the wrong way and he's going the right way.  This is going to be tough.
And Arjun was the same way.  He kept missing greens starting off and I kept not making putts and then I finally made one at 5 and it got me going.
But I'm not surprised he's playing well.  No, he's been playing great all year.

Q.  The birdie on 5, what was the value of that coming off the bogey and it wasn't exactly a tap‑in, in terms of going forward?
DAVIS LOVE, III:  No.  I didn't hit a great wedge in there.  You know, the thing I think everybody's figuring out is that you have to play the right spin.  You have to get it on the correct side of the hole because if you're putting downhill sliders with this grain, they're tough to make because they get really fast.  So I knew I needed to get past the hole and try to bring it back up the hill and all that, and I was a little too careful on a lot of wedge shots into the green today.  But that was a big putt, to make one.  I actually hit a pretty good putt the hole before.
But you know, that's kind of a stalled start, if you're 1‑over through four even though 4 and 5 are playing a little harder than they normally do.  We like it down right‑to‑left at 4 and 5; those holes play kind of easy.  But straight in was tough at 4, and that was a tough pin.
They've had some ‑‑ I mean I've actually heard there's been some comments to the officials the pins have been pretty tough.  But you know, 13‑under is leading after three days, so it's not that hard.  But there were some tricky ones today, and that was a good putt.  I really needed that.

Q.  (Indiscernible)?
DAVIS LOVE, III:  I don't know.  It's nice to win, no matter what.  Yeah, I know to be able to cap off would make the year feel a lot better to him.  Plus he's trying, like the rest of us, to keep getting more wins at a late stage in your career.  I know he's working towards 20.  He will get there.
I hope I'm not impeding that.  But I'd love to keep him from it.  But you know, you see it in both of us.  We're both very competitive.  We stay competitive, you know, all year long, and no matter what the situation is, and that's why I picked him for the Ryder Cup team.  He competes hard every time he goes out there and he gives you everything he's got.  He was a great influence on the young players.  I think it would mean a lot to both of us.  It would be a pretty close tie.

Q.  Is it more important given it's been a while since you've won and you're 48 or it's so close after having devoted basically two years of split duties?
DAVIS LOVE, III:  You know, I can separate a lot of things, separate the Ryder Cup with its own experience.  It didn't have anything to do with ‑‑ it shouldn't have had to do a whole lot with me.  It was about them playing and winning, giving them a great experience.
It's nice to now be back to 100percent focus on my golf.  I learned a lot watching them, certainly.  I was motivated from watching them, you know.  I saw things in every one of those players, especially Jason Dufner, how cool a customer he was.  I was thinking that out there the other day, I'm just going to act like it's no big deal like Jason Dufner, you know.
And I was inspired I think is a better word, to go back and play, by being that close to guys that were playing that well and watching them.  I get to watch them some at Wales, but it was different.  I got to stand right beside them or walk right up to them or get close, get involved in their decisions before and after play.  So it was exciting.  So it certainly motivated me.
But people were surprised I played the two ‑‑ or now three weeks after, but I'd had some time off.  I was ready to play.  This has been a weird year for me.  I was out a lot in the spring with an injury, and I missed the Humana tournament at the beginning of the year, tweaked my neck a little bit.  So I haven't played enough tournaments, so it's nice to be back in the swing of things.

Q.  Apologize for bringing up the Ryder Cup.  You talked about on Thursday I believe you and Zach actually were talking about coming up nine when you finished up your round.  Did you and Jim have any conversations at all today?
DAVIS LOVE, III:  No, not much.  We might not have even talked about it at all.  I don't think we did.  We had a lot of conversations, but I don't think we got to that.

Q.  How many players a year ago in any tournament would have been out in the middle of the fairway and said I want to be like Jason Dufner?
DAVIS LOVE, III:  Not many.  Maybe Zach Johnson because he got to spend a lot of time with him.  I always try to be ‑‑ we always wanted to be cool like Freddie, so now we can be cool like Jason Dufner.

Q.  What I wanted to ask you is can you make any comparisons at all to a situation or your feelings going forward with this event?
DAVIS LOVE, III:  Yeah, it's nice to be in the mix, and I played well there.  I would have should have could have won like a lot of guys.  Drew Love and I decided there was eight guys leaving there that should have won that tournament, and Dustin is the one that made the couple putts coming in.
But I played well there.  I had a couple other weeks where I felt like I had a chance, so obviously a little more comfortable here and it's a good spot for me.
Now I feel like I've played my way into this one ready to play, so I'm feeling pretty good about it.

Q.  John's going to kill me, but is it as simple as the putter?  I know you've talked a lot about it.  And you're hitting it well over the last three weeks.  Is that a difference?
DAVIS LOVE, III:  Yeah, making some putts helps a lot.  I missed a few today.  I hit a few that I didn't like, but yeah, I got some to go in.  And I had that a couple days at Vegas and a couple days at Frys, but this week I've felt like this was my best Saturday putting in a while, and hopefully I can build on that.
JOHN BUSH:  Davis, should be fun tomorrow.
DAVIS LOVE, III:  Thank you.

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