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December 13, 2013

Dru Love

Davis Love III


THE MODERATOR:  We're joined by the defending champions in the PNC Father Son Challenge, Davis and Dru Love.  Dru, we're gonna start with you.  You sank the winning putt last year.  Just some thoughts about coming back here and playing with your dad in this event.
DRU LOVE:  Always excited to get back.  One of my favorite tournaments just because you get to come out here and get in competition on your dad's team instead of against him trying to outdrive him and beat him.
We're looking forward to it.  I think both ready to go.  Should be fun.
THE MODERATOR:  Davis, thoughts about coming back here?
DAVIS LOVE, III:  It's always a fun week.  Grandpa on the bag an, friends and family coming out to watch and getting to play and Dru in a competition, probably until he gets on TOUR probably the only thing we can play in competition.  It's a lot of the fun and we're excited to be back.
THE MODERATOR:  Comments about each of your games coming in here.
DRU LOVE:  I'm coming off a whole semester of trying to make the Alabama squad, so I've been practicing a lot.  Exams last week.  Haven't been able to do much.
Now that we've been here in this nice weather and getting out of the 40 degree Tuscaloosa weather we're ready to go.
DAVIS LOVE, III:  Yeah, I think we're both a little rusty on the golf course, but both we've been practicing a lot and work, hard.  We're excited to play.
THE MODERATOR:  Open it up for questions.  We have a microphone, so just raise your hand.

Q.  Dru, it's been a year.  How long has that putt gotten and what do you remember about it?
DRU LOVE:  I think it's gotten a little bit longer.  My dad keeps me in check on it though.
DAVIS LOVE, III:  It was about five feet, wasn't it?
DRU LOVE:  Yeah, about three feet.
No, I just remember the pressure and I remember‑‑ I don't remember the chip.  Kind of blacked out over that one.
Once we got over the putt I just remember laughing with family and my grandfather reading the putt wrong and us laughing on the green and just celebrating with my dad afterwards.
Yeah, it's a memory I probably will never forget.
DAVIS LOVE, III:  I loved it because I didn't have to putt it.  He left me hanging a few times during the day and I didn't want it on the last hole, so I was really glad he made it.

Q.  What's the order of how you hit, like off the tee, approach shots, putting?  Does it stay the same?  Are you first all the time?
DRU LOVE:  Great question.
DAVIS LOVE, III:  Yeah, I thought about that all the back nine.  Yeah, his game is a lot different than it was last year.  He's driving it really, really well.
I don't know what the strategy is, to be honest with you.  I think I should probably putt first, take some pressure off me, and then let him...
DRU LOVE:  I don't want that.
DAVIS LOVE, III:  We tried that a little bit the first day last year, didn't we?  I think we go back and forth.  I think you don't want to get locked in.
But I think I'm going to get it in more fairways and he's going to hit it farther than me, so might be better for me to hit first.
Again, it's wherever he feels the most comfortable with the pressure because I'm used to it.  I'm used to standing up there, having the hit the ball in the fairway, going through my routine a little better.  We'll probably play it a little bit by ear.
You put your best putter last in scramble, so I think he should go last.

Q.  When you're out there and playing and you see something he's doing, do you try and help him as you're playing along, or do you almost instinctively want to help him yet you go, Maybe I'll wait till later?
DAVIS LOVE, III:  I've learned to bite my tongue.  My brother is his teacher.  The things he does are the same things that I do.  You get out of your routine, you get a little quick, swinging too hard at it.
I try to help him more with the Bob Rotella sports psychology side of it than the swing.  I know I don't want him correcting my swing during the round.  I just want to go play.  So I try not to correct his.
But we tend to make the same mistakes.  We get a little excited and swing too hard and don't take our time on our putts.
We'll try to keep each other in check.  I try stay away from the golf instruction.  He hits if well enough.  If we just go play, we'll do all right.

Q.  I'm curious, Dru, first of all, how tough has it been this past is semester to crack the lineup on the Alabama team?  Do your teammates give you any sort of joking around or anything about coming here to defend a title?
DRU LOVE:  Well, the first question on the lineup, it's been tough.  You know, we got three of the best amateurs in the world as our top three.  We got a freshman who came in and is blowing it out of water in Robby Shelton.  Our fifth guy, Tom Lovelady, he's really talented.
So it's been tough.  I've been close.  I was a few shots away one time from making it.  I got to play in one, you know, junior college event, one tournament.  They push me really hard.  If you're not working, if you skip a day, you're falling behind.  They push me really hard to get out there and practice and get better.
When I left they all told me good luck.  We hope you go out there and kick butt and show off for Alabama.  They don't give any grief about it.  They want me to play well.  They're pretty supportive.

Q.  Not that it would help you go back and crack the lineup.
DRU LOVE:  Right, yeah.
DAVIS LOVE, III:  No, you don't get any points.
DRU LOVE:  No, you don't get any bonus points.  Not for this one.
DAVIS LOVE, III:  The thing he needs to do is compete, so it's good here, and he's got the Jones Cup at Sea Island which pretty much all his team will play in the end of January, beginning of the February.  So he just needs to play a little bit.
Yeah they had four guys out of 20 on the Walker Cup team.  That's pretty stout.  You know, that's why he's there.  He's got the best coaches and the best team in the country.  They're going to make him a better player.  I keep telling him, you crack that lineup and you're ready for the TOUR.
Their top 3 players arejust ‑‑ I mean, it's just incredible how good they are.  They ten, right?
DRU LOVE:  Won twelve in a row.
DAVIS LOVE, III:  Twelve straight tournaments.  I mean, it's like Saban.  He's not changing quarterbacks until they graduate.  I don't even know who the second string quarterback is.  When you got a top 5 like that it's hard to change it.
And that's why the other young guys are working so hard, because they know they got a chance to play on the best team in the country.

Q.  Dru, outside of your victory last year, what is your best memory of golfing with your dad or watching your dad play?  Davis, maybe same for you about playing with your son.
DRU LOVE:  I think the one I remember the most of his wins is TPC in '03.  Yeah, I remember that shot on 16.  I remember him coming down 18 and being behind the green when he won.
That's probably the most memorable won that I can recall.  Yeah.

Q.  Davis, favorite memory playing with your son?
DAVIS LOVE, III:  Playing with him?  I don't know.  Unfortunately we don't get to play in club tournaments.
I remember when he was really little playing and winning the Disney parent‑child tournament there and looking forward to playing something like this.
It's real competitive now when we go out and play.  He's trying really hard to beat me.  In a regular round, some of my most grinding rounds are just a fun day at home trying to make sure I don't get beat.
Because he will rub it in.  I have won the last three or four putting contests, though.
DRU LOVE:  Last two.
DAVIS LOVE, III:  I was three our of four in one of the contests and then I won yesterday.
Anyway, we're competitive.  If I can beat him, I know I'm playing well.

Q.  Davis, what's your scouting report on your son and how would you compare where he is to where you were at that age?
DAVIS LOVE, III:  I think I had more tournament experience.  He started a little later getting serious about playing.  One summer the AJGA guy said, You really get need to get him in some tournaments.  I said, I don't think he's quite ready.  He's not quite tournament‑ready enough for a big AJGA event.  They said, Come on.  Let him play and we'll give him two exemptions this summer.  So they gave him and exemption and he won.
They came back and said, I think he's ready.  So I think ‑‑ I look at him as like a lot of these kids that I'm around now that my brother works with or you see around Sea Island or like on his Alabama team.  If you just got them through Q‑School and on to the TOUR, like if you put Dru on TOUR and gave him a couple years, he would do well.  Or Trey Mollinex off his team.  Give him a spot and he could do well.
There are so many of those guys that are trying to make the Alabama team or trying to win the U.S. Amateur or making it onto the TOUR.  There are just so many good players.  There are 40 or 50 guys out there right now that any one of them could be successful on TOUR if they can just get there.
I've got friends at home that can't get through Q‑School but they're unbelievably talented players.
Last year I would've said he's got a lot of holes in his game.  This year I think he's plugged a lot of them.  Like Alabama coaches have really pushed him with his short game; gotten better with that.
So he's capable of playing at any level if he keeps working at it.

Q.  Just wondered where your game was and what you're looking forward to in 2014.
DAVIS LOVE, III:  Well, I'm excited to do better than I did the first four tournaments of the '13/'14 schedule.  I'm excited about my game.  I'm getting there strength‑wise.  For my next surgery, watching the progress of Peyton Manning, it wasn't just to have surgery, get back to playing, and you're fine.  It's getting stronger and stronger and stronger over a period of time.
My doctor said nine months to two years.  I'm not even nine months in yet.  Maybe close.  February.  So I'm still working hard trying to get my strength back, and I'm seeing it.  I hit a 5‑iron into 17 today, I'm like, Oh, that was better.  That actually went 210 yards in the air.
And then I hit one at 18 that didn't go far enough.  I'm not quite 100%, so I'm excited about the off‑season, getting ready for next year.  I think I'm going to continue to feel better about my game over the next year.  That's why I want to give the regular tour a good shot this season and not start bouncing back and fourth.
I'm excited about it.

Q.  Going back to Dru being among this group of 60 guys that if you put them on TOUR and left them there a couple years they would do pretty well, when you were at his age, about how many guys do you think could have done that?
DAVIS LOVE, III:  Not nearly as many.  I would say ten or fifteen probably out of‑‑ you know, when you take my group of guys, there was probably 20 that you said, you know, they had the big enough, strong enough game to come out and compete and stay on TOUR.
My dad gave me a ranking like every year of where I stood.  After my junior year he said, If you turn pro you'll win within two years and you'll stay out there for a long time.  I said, Well, I'm gone.  I'll turn pro early.
Nowadays I think he would have told me to wait.  He would've said, You've got a lot of game, but it better be perfect if you're going to go try Q‑School.  There are the Scott Verplanks and Billy Ray Browns and Duffy Waldorfs.  There are a bunch of guys that were ready to play in college before they got out of college.
Every year there are four or five guys that turn pro early and go through Q school.  You've got all the Oklahoma State guys that came out early, Alabama guys.
There is a lot more competition now for the same amount of spots.  Actually probably less spots in Q‑School than when I did it.

Q.  In this kind of who's who of golf field that we've got here, is there someone you tell Dru to talk to about putting or chipping or anything like that?
DAVIS LOVE, III:  Not really about the golf part of it, but just be able to Lee Trevino come walking out on the range and start ‑‑ he just starts talking to Dru, telling him stuff showing him how to hit a wedge shot with a hybrid.
That's what's neat, walking into the party and him talking to legendary players, just getting to hang around and soak it up and getting to play with them.
We haven't played with Larry Nelson, so we've got him tomorrow.  There is somebody that he ought to get to know, a legend in the game that he hasn't really been around.  I'm excited about playing with Larry.  I haven't played with him in a long, long time.
I think that's the biggest part of it, you know, watching them play.  But watching Jack Nicklaus sign a perfect autograph over and over again is a good thing to see, and how nice these guys are to the fans.  You know, how professional they are.
I think that's the biggest thing.  And then making lots of putts for me.  That's important, too.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you very much.  Good luck to you both.
DRU LOVE:  Thanks.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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