New Love surfaces
July 05, 2017
By Ben Everill, PGATOUR.COM
Davis Love III and his son DruLike his father before him, Davis Love III passes along his golf knowledge to his son, Dru, who has the same drive to win on the PGA TOUR.
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, WV. – Davis Love IV, or Dru as he is better known, admits it is hard to watch the likes of Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas be so successful, so quickly.
He’s got nothing against them. He just wants to be like them.
You see the son of soon to be Hall-of-Famer Davis Love III is part of their generation. He was a college teammate of Thomas at the University of Alabama. He competed with these guys for years only to be hampered by multiple injuries.
And as such, he’s had to be patient.
“When you're sitting around watching Jordan Spieth chip in to win his 10th time and he's the same age as you it makes you think a little bit,” Dru said as he gets set play the Greenbrier Classic, just his second PGA TOUR start as a professional.
“But at the same time, I just got out of school. I just got done. Jordan only went for one year so he's got four years on me. Do I think I'll win ten times over the next four years? We will see.”
Of course, Love IV has been watching quality golf for a long time. His father has 21 PGA TOUR wins including two PLAYERS Championships and a PGA Championship. Dru was alive for 13 of the wins, and could realistically remember about eight of them.
Now they’re playing against each other.
He also saw other great players in their prime. Life on TOUR is not an intimidating thought for the kid who first beat his dad at age 19.
“He grew up inside the ropes,” Davis says.
“Dru putted for Fred Couples in a U.S. Open practice round, nine holes, and got to hit shots on major championship courses and walk inside the ropes and hang out in the locker room with Tiger Woods.
“So if he comes out on TOUR, some of the things that intimidate guys won't intimidate him. He blends right in. If he gets out here, he'll feel like he can belong and compete.”
And that is exactly what 23-year-old Dru is hoping to do. Having missed the cut at the recent U.S. Open – with dad Davis on the bag – he now is trying to garner as many sponsors invites as he can for the remainder of the season, trying to get enough non-member points for either special temporary membership or more likely a spot in the Web.com Finals.
Dru Love enjoys experience with Dad on the bag
Currently 200th place on the FedExCup list has 57 FedExCup points. Finishing 14th alone this week at The Old White TPC course would bring 57 points. That number will rise over these last seven weeks but Dru knows just a couple of good performances can give him a chance at his dreams.
He’s battled through the pressure of being the son of a legend and feels he’s come out the other side.
“I have a lot of confidence in myself,” he says.
“Sometimes I think you don't get full credit for things you do. You know, shoot 63, and, oh, you're just Davis Love's son; then you shoot 80, and how could you do that? You're Davis Love's son.
“So growing up, in high school you get a lot of that. But none of it at this level. Guys know what it takes to be good and what it takes to get here. Just because my last name is Love doesn't mean I automatically get to be good at golf. I've had it to work at it my whole life and I've had to grind through a lot of things.
“If I can stay healthy, I've proven that I can get good pretty quick.”
While Spieth, Thomas and co have hit the ground running Dru has had to battle through multiple injuries.
He tore ankle ligaments in his freshman year, broke his wrist in a sledding accident the year after and then tore rib cartilage in his debut TOUR event at the RSM Classic in late 2015.
“Then the next year I had a very healthy year and played great. Won a college event and won the state Am. Had a pretty successful year,” he recalls.
But just as things were looking up, he damaged his left shoulder and surgery plus an eight-month recovery followed.
“After I had that surgery I got a little bit down and was a little upset that I kept on getting hurt when I felt like I was doing some good things,” Dru said.
“My dad helped me out a lot trying to stay positive. I think the weeks leading up to having surgery I just couldn't wrap my head around it.”
Davis remembers the angst his son faced but continued to preach patience.
“It was unfortunate, but, again, he's got to look at it like now is my chance, and I'm healthy now and ready to go now,” Davis said.
“He played with Jordan Spieth on a recruiting trip way back, and they looked like they both had the same potential. So he knows how those guys play, and he's beaten them.
“He really knows his game and where he stacks up and what he has to work on. Should give him confidence that he can compete down the road.”
While the pair won’t play in the same group on Thursday and Friday at the Greenbrier this week, they both will be gunning for the win.
And if they happen to be coming down the stretch Sunday in contention – don’t expect dad to go easy on his boy.
“Another kid to try to beat and keep up with,” Davis says of Dru.
“I always remember (my dad) never let up no matter what. He made us compete every time we played golf. It wasn't just go out and goof around and play golf. Made us compete and keep score and putt everything out.
“I still get into him. There are no gimmes on tour, so there shouldn't be any while we're playing on Mondays. It's fun.”
Dru knowingly nods as his father recounts their battles.
“It doesn't matter if it's coming down the stretch Sunday or a Monday afternoon practice round, he's going to try just as hard to beat me,” Dru adds.
“I get it from him. We are both super competitive. And I don't want to lose in anything I do. We've had some good runs at each other the last couple years now that I'm catching up to him a little bit.”
Dru laughs when recalling the first time he beat his dad. It was 2013 at Frederica Golf Club and they both eagled the final hole.
“He looked at me and said, what was that for? I said, 64. What about you? He goes, 65, and turned around and walked off.”
But, if Dru does beat him on the 72nd hole for the title this week… you can be sure dad won’t walk off. He’ll be the first one to congratulate his boy.
Dru Love talks expectation before The Greenbrier