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December 16, 2012

Dru Love

Davis Love III


DAVE SENKO:  Davis and Dru congratulations; 23‑under, birdie on the last hole.  Maybe Davis get us started.  Just some thoughts on winning here with your son.
DAVIS LOVE III:  Well, it was exciting.  It was nerve wracking, obviously those last couple holes.  I left that putt short at 17.  I knew that would have made it a lot easier.
Then neither one of us hit a good second shot into 18, so we made it a little tougher on ourselves than we wanted.  But, it was great to leave that putt for Dru so he could make it to win.  He had been putting real well in week.  He just hit a few of them too hard on a few holes.
But he pounded that last one in there and it was just great.  I wanted as nervous on the putt as I was on the pitch.  I was nervous just trying to get us a putt that he could make.
It was exciting.  It was hard on us I think a little bit this week because everybody expected us to win.
We had a couple lulls.  We had three pars in a row yesterday and a couple pars starting off the back today.  I think it was a little harder on us because we just felt like we were a strong team and everybody expected us to win.
So I think we put a little pressure on ourselves on the back nine to keep it going and we didn't quite keep it going.
DAVE SENKO:  Were you aware of what had happened to Larry when you were out there at all, about his putt?
DAVIS LOVE III:  No.  All we saw was when we got late in the back nine some scoreboard watching was going on.

Q.  Dru, you want to talk about the putt?
DRU LOVE:  You know, I don't really remember that much about it other than the fact I was holding on for dear life.  I wasn't quite as nervous over the putt as I was the chip, because, you know, you duff it short and everybody laughs and you skull it over the green.  There are so many things that can go wrong.
I hit it a little low.  Just happy to scoot one up there on the green so we had a look at something in case.  I didn't think anything would go wrong with him chipping.
But, yeah, it was a good read from both of them, Uncle Mark and my dad.  Like he said, I just slammed it in the back of the hole.
DAVE SENKO:  What was it, about seven, eight feet?
DRU LOVE:  Yeah, seven feet; seven or eight feet.
DAVIS LOVE III:  Yeah, probably seven, eight feet.  It was probably 10, yeah.
DRU LOVE:  By the time I get back to school it's going to be a 35‑footer.  (Laughter.)
DAVIS LOVE III:  Unfortunately it was on TV just like the tap‑in yesterday, so...
DAVE SENKO:  Questions, guys.

Q.  Right before you putted, Dru, your dad said something to you.  Kind of smiled nervously and laughed.  What was the advice that he gave you?
DRU LOVE:  I think the thing we were laughing about the most was my caddie, grandfather, my dad and my Uncle Mark and I agreed it was somewhere inside the left edge.  He goes, I think it's going left.
So I turned around and said I was hitting ball outside the right and stood up and started walking to it and they all started laughing.
He said, Just give it a good roll and put it in there.  I had been thinking about my stroke too much all day.  Early I didn't get anything going in the round, so I kind of was second guessing it a lot.
He just told me, Don't worry about it.  Keep going.  You're going to get more putts at it, so just keep your head up and roll 'em in there.  I guess that's what I did.
DAVIS LOVE III:  Brandt kept telling me last week he wasn't being real precise with the reads.  He was just telling me inside left or left half of the hole.  Anywhere on the left side it'll go in.
I was trying to get him just to hit it all day.  He got a little excited there for a while and was hitting his putts a little too hard and a little quick with his stroke, which we all do when we get nervous.
His grandfather said something like, He's not trusting his reads.  I said, No, he's getting really excited.  He's popping 'em.
You know, I putted well for a patch in the middle there and kept us going.  I kept telling him, I'm not supposed to putt.  This whole theory is you putt you then you make it, and then I walk off to the next hole.
But I made a few putts and he had a lot of good iron shots and got us chances for birdies.  We didn't make enough of 'em obviously on the back nine.
But Dru kept hitting good, solid iron shots, putting us on the green.  If I had hit my irons any good at all today we would have a much easier time of it.

Q.  How do you compare the pressure?  You've been in a lot of pressure situations.
DAVIS LOVE III:  Yeah, it's a different kind of pressure.  You know, you start thinking, like Dru said, about what the other guy might do.  You know, I wanted to win for him, not really for me.  I wanted him to have a chance at 18 to win the tournament.
We came close in whatever the last year they had it was, '09, '08.  So I was nervous on the chip.  It was hard for me to get into my routine I guess is the easiest way to explain it.  I kept thinking, Don't hit it too far.  Don't hit it too hard.  Leave him under the hole.
He would hit a putt five feet by, and I would say, Well, don't leave him a 30‑footer.  You start thinking things you don't normally think in a regular tournament.
I hit a couple bad chips thinking, Just try to get it close.  That's not what I think when I'm ‑‑ I'm thinking chip it in, you know.
So it's a different kind of pressure.  I think it's what makes it fun is if you can relax and play and enjoy it, you can shoot a low score.  If you start trying too hard for each other you get in trouble.
For some reason Larry does a great job at it because they're right up there every time.

Q.  Dru, most comparable pressure previous for you?
DRU LOVE:  Absolutely.  The only more pressure I felt was we were playing at school.  Our coach made a bet with us.  If you shot I think it was even or worse on this chipping game, chip‑in‑and‑finish‑the‑putt game, you had to do two extra sets in your workouts.
You know, I'm not in ideal shape here, and I had a five‑footer down the hill, left to right, to shoot 1‑under for the chipping game.  If I miss it, I'm doing two extra sets.  We're already doing three.  I can barely make it through three.
So I tap it down the hill and it creeps in and barely rolls in left edge.  I think that may have been more pressure than that putt.  Gosh.
But, yeah, it's nice knowing that he's right behind you.  Yesterday I rolled a lot putts in knowing he was right behind me; today I knew I was okay if I missed because he was right behind me.
He putted great all day.  Like he said, about the only thing I did all day was hit good iron shots, a few of those.
But the way he was driving it and putting it, all I had to do was get it somewhere on the green and we were going to have a good chance to make it.

Q.  Davis, more pressure watching Dru putt or more pressure thinking if he misses I got to putt?
DAVIS LOVE III:  Like I said, when he missed 'em I knew exactly the line.  That makes it a lot easier.
Again, I was more nervous when we were chipping than when we were putting.  I knew he was going to make it because he had missed a few short ones because he was trying too hard.  I knew that one he would let it go.  If it didn't fly over the hole, it would go in. He hit a good putt.
Yeah, you know, you don't want to think about, Hey, we got a backup plan.  We got a playoff.  We can keep playing.  It wasn't to get into a playoff; it was to win.  I think sometimes those kind of putts are a little bit easier.
Again, the pitch, a little nervous on the pitch.  I was in between clubs on 3‑wood or hybrid coming into the green so I was trying to smash a hybrid.  I was kind of nervous on that one because I knew Dru's was okay, but obviously better to have a 20‑ or 30‑footer for eagle than have to chip.
We were nervous, and we knew all along we were going to have to birdie the last hole or one of the last two.
What did Larry do?
DAVE SENKO:  Putt went in and came back out.

Q.  Like it hit the plastic and bounced hard.
DAVIS LOVE III:  Really?  Dang.  He made a couple on us in '08 that killed us, so...
Their name's on that board a bunch out there.

Q.  Did you guys make consecutive sand saves on the back nine?
DRU LOVE:  They were both up and down for birdie.  I guess 14, 15?

Q.  Uh‑huh.
DRU LOVE:  No, 13, 14.
DAVIS LOVE III:  Yeah, that's right.
DRU LOVE:  He drove in the greenside bunker, and then he hit it in the greenside bunker on the par‑5.  We got them both up and down.

Q.  Discuss that.  That's pretty impressive for people sitting out here at least.
DRU LOVE:  Well, the one on 13 was fairly easy.  You got a lot of green to work with and uphill lie and perfect bunker.  If catch it a little heavy it'll run right to it; if you catch it a little clean it'll spin and stop right next to the hole.
I caught it pretty good and flew it all the way to it and it grabbed up.  That one was just straightforward.
The second one, no green to work with, uphill.  There's not quite as much sand in the bunker as on the one before.
I tried to get too fancy with it and hit it 10 feet by.  He just knocked one in there about two inches, which was easy for me it tap‑in, unlike yesterday on 18.
DAVIS LOVE III:  We would rather be in the bunker.  I tried to talk him into playing one out of bunker on the third hole today rather than pitching it off the dirt.  He wouldn't go for it.
Usually we like bunkers, especially in conditions like these are that are perfectly smooth.  A little bit more feeling like you can hole it or get it close.
Like Dru said, they were pretty straightforward bunker shots.

Q.  How long you been hitting the hybrid?
DAVIS LOVE III:  Yeah, I go back and forth between the hybrid and the 2‑iron.  I kind of wish on that last shot I had the 2‑iron because I could have just hit it right up on the front of the green.  I was trying to get a little cute with the hybrid.
But I go back and forth.  The 3‑wood was too much and the hybrid really wasn't enough.

Q.  Dru, what does this do for you heading back to college?
DAVIS LOVE III:  Yeah, I definitely learned a lot this week.  Having my uncle and my dad right there next to me keeping me in the right state of mind, you know, and really seeing ‑‑ he worked with my dad on the bag for, I don't know, a couple years there and they won a major together, so it's good to see how they do it together and the right way to do it.
I know this isn't quite as big a tournament as the PGA, but you see the way that it's supposed to be done.  So I think seeing that and really learning a lot this week about staying in the right state of mind and attitude, you know, how to read putts.  They read putts great.
So I think just a little bit more fine tuned.  I know exactly what I need to work on, so I think that's what I got out of this one.

Q.  What do you have to work on?
DRU LOVE:  I got to work on my driver.  Driver was all over the place on the front nine.  Bombed two on the back, and both of 'em was five feet behind me.  So I catch one perfect and I get it just by him.
But the driver was all over the place.  I got to work on my stroke.  I got to keep it more consistent.  Yesterday I made a bunch putts, and today I made two or three.  I got to get it more consistent on pretty much everything.

Q.  Along those same lines, I was talking with Mark on the green.  I know you work with him on your swing, but he pointed out you have a much different swing than your dad.  What part of your game do you try to emulate after your dad?
DRU LOVE:  The way he's been driving it.  He's flying it 300 right down the middle.  It's fun to watch.  It's good to watch.  I think the reason he plays so consistent and good is because he's in the middle of the fairway with less than a 7‑iron in on almost all the holes.
Then his routine on his putting and chipping, he's helped me the most, my dad, with the routine and mental side of it.  I think he's really one of the best with his routines and is really mentally strong.  Been working with Dr. Rotella for a while, so I like to emulate that side of it, you know, his mental game and then off the tee.

Q.  (No microphone.)
DAVIS LOVE III:  Yeah, at 19.  (Laughter.)  I hit it a lot like that when I was 19.  I did hit it ‑‑ maybe with my peers I hit it farther obviously.  Didn't hit it the same distance as he does.
But he learned a lot, and he said it perfectly.  Mark O'Meara, I wasn't getting much roll but Mark was hitting them real solid and getting some roll.
And he watch Mark hit it off one hole, and he goes, I want my ball to fly like that off my driver.  Well, Mark hits it with no spin, nice and flat.  Efficient.  He saw was efficiency looks like.
He's played with Stricker, with me, with Mark this last couple months, and now he sees that his ball has got too much spin on it.  He sees how he wants it to fly.
He can hit a 4‑iron farther than me or a 7‑iron farther than me.  He's just got to learn how to hit the driver farther than me.  I think he sees that.
I told him, Mark's got a little bit more experience than you.  At least he see it though.  He sees what he has to do is learn to take the spin off the driver and apply the power to the ball better.
That's one thing, like you said, I've always done well.  I put what I've got into the golf ball.  He loses it somewhere.  We saw it with Sergio and a lot of young guys.  Rickie.  Real flashy, real inconsistent with their driver, real inconsistent with their distance.
As they've matured, the swing has gotten more balanced.  I'm not hitting it as far as I used to, but I'm still carrying it pretty far.  He see that that's the one thing he needs it work on.
He's a streaky putter and just needs to get more consistent.  I would love to be a streaky putter like Dru.  I'm just a consistently average.  (Laughter.)

Q.  Dru, other than congratulations, what do you think the guys will tell you when you get back to Tuscaloosa?
DRU LOVE:  I think they're going to give me more crap than any congratulations.  There was a lot of things out there they're going to nitpick and tell me, What were you doing here and there and, Sweet reaction on 18.
I don't know what I did, but it probably was stupid.  I'm sure they'll find something that was stupid.
We have a couple small things that they'll notice on there that I was kind of talking to them.  When I holed out a putt I'd give our team a hand signal that we all do.  So I'm sure they'll see that and know I was thinking about them.
DAVIS LOVE III:  Yeah, and I was going to give him a high five on 17 yesterday and he just walked off.
So they're already giving him‑‑ the guys in the locker room are picking on him for that one foot tap‑in.
DRU LOVE:  Yeah, I've already gotten all kinds of texts about that.  Justin Thomas sent about 18 text messages in a row, Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, about that tap‑in on 18.
DAVIS LOVE III:  You paid him back with a nice putt today on 18.

Q.  (No microphone.)
DRU LOVE:  If I get to the national championship I may wear that.  It's kind of crimson.  A little flashy.  I guess I can wear it with just about anything.
DAVIS LOVE III:  That belt matches anything, for sure.

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