What they said: David Tomstext sizeJanuary 19, 2012
PGA TOUR staff
MORE INTERVIEWS: Humana Challenge transcript archive
MARK STEVENS: Like to welcome David Toms. David you got to 9-under with a bogey-free round today. If you want to talk about the highlights and then we'll take a few questions.
DAVID TOMS: It was a good day. I've always thought that LaQuinta Country Club is one of the tougher courses in the rotation because the greens are fairly firm and it's a tight golf course.
But the golf course is in such good shape that if you had birdie putts, you could really start to make them. And that's what I did today.
I had a lot of opportunities, I made a couple of long putts, but I kept the ball in play all day and had just a lot of birdie putts and I made some.
MARK STEVENS: Questions?
Q. That is supposed to be the toughest of the three courses, traditionally, got to drive the ball pretty well over there, was it one thing that particularly got you going over there or was it just the putter??
DAVID TOMS: I played the first few holes, first four holes really, really solid and didn't make any putts at all. I had close looks a couple times, but I just kept saying, well the greens are good, I had bad speed, a bad read here or there and I didn't make them after a couple pretty tough holes there and to be able to play them still even par.
And I birdied the fifth hole, the par-5 there.
And then the 6th hole, another par-5, back to back par-5s Phil made eagle and I had a long putt for birdie, like about a 30-footer for birdie, and he had just made his for eagle and everybody's going crazy. And then I just made my long putt as well and that kind of got the crowd energized. And so it made for a fun day. And after that it was just a lot of solid golf.
Q. And you do have a pairing the first couple of days with Mickelson. Obviously in this tournament it's always been you and three guys. Now you got two pros out there, is that a much more comfortable thing for you??
DAVID TOMS: I think the players probably enjoy that a little bit more. I've looked at some of the pairings and I can tell that a lot of guys are playing with their friends and the other golfers, the guys that are close. And I haven't really had much conversation with Phil since the President's Cup, we have texted back and forth a few times, we caught up on some things that went on during the holidays, because our families are close. So it was, it made for a fun day.
And he actually played pretty solid, other than a couple of wayward tee shots that got him in trouble. But a lot of people are out there, that's probably the biggest crowd I've ever had playing golf here, to be quite honest. So it was nice to play a good round and have people energized and out there cheering for your birdies.
Q. One of your sponsors is Humana, how gratifying was it for you to come out like this so strong on the first day??
DAVID TOMS: It was good. And played with one of their guys, Bill Tait, and we had a, somebody that made a comfortable pairing for me, because I've known him for many years and we played some golf together. So I think it helped him to get comfortable with all the people out there. And then it helped me as well to have somebody that I knew right out of the box and we had a great time. A lot of conversation and it was just a good day.
Q. Early in the season can you predict how you're going to play a tournament, did you know what to expect from yourself??
DAVID TOMS: Not really. I haven't played very well in Hawaii, I felt like I was prepared going into the start of the season and I got to Kapalua and it was windy and seems like you never hit a normal shot there because you have so many uphill, downhill, side hill lies. Kind of lost my swing a little bit.
And then just barely missed the cut last week by a shot. I think I was very -- everybody was bunched up and I just happened to be one of those guys that got cut. So I didn't have a chance there.
But I came here and worked hard on my game for three days and felt like I was had some keys that started to work in the golf swing and putting and so forth. And it carried over to a nice day today.
But obviously it's a start, but when it was a five round tournament, there were, you had to play really well every day, it will be the same here, but you don't have to do it for five days, you have to do it for four so maybe it will be a little bit easier.
Q. And does having large crowds like that make a difference??
DAVID TOMS: I think it could go both ways. When you're not playing well you just kind of want to hide. It's hard to do that with a lot of people.
But if you're playing well, and you know they're behind you and cheering for you, it's kind of like you want to get up there and have an opportunity to make another birdie so they can get into it. And obviously it was a great crowd out there today.
Q. Was there ever a point from the time that Humana took over here that Mike McCallister came to you or one of the other Humana guys and said, you know, what would you think if we did this or what would your ideas be about how to change this thing??
DAVID TOMS: I think they have had a lot of since they started talking about sponsoring an event, period. I think they have had ideas of things they wanted to do and I'm not sure what happened first, if they decided to change the format before they decided to sponsor the event, I'm not sure.
I wasn't behind the scenes to know exactly all that went down, but I think it's obviously nice for them to step up and we have a new sponsor here. And obviously with President Clinton's involvement bringing some more attention to the event, it's a great place to have a golf tournament, and we still have the pro-am format as well. So I think it's a win/win for everybody.
MARK STEVENS: Well thanks a lot, David and good luck the rest of the way.
DAVID TOMS: All right. Thank you.