Deutsche Bank interview: Brian Davistext sizeAugust 30, 2013
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MARK STEVENS: Brian, you got it to 8 under, and tie are tied with Phil Mickelson going into tomorrow. If you want to talk about your round and then we'll have some questions.
BRIAN DAVIS: I played great today. From tee to green it was good. Got up and down a couple of times and putted really solid today. And didn't make any mistakes and shot a great round. I'm delighted.
MARK STEVENS: You entered the week 80 in the FedExCup standings, so what your thoughts coming into this week, and kind of talk about that.
BRIAN DAVIS: Oh, the FedEx is great drama. For us guys a lot of volatility. You know you have to play well. I missed a couple of shots last week, you can make some big jumps, and get points in the playoffs. Coming today, I played great. I know what I've got to do not only to advance to next week, but obviously if you can have high finishes you're going to make huge gains. I'm glad I played well and put myself in a good position.
Q. Was putting the best aspect today?
BRIAN DAVIS: All of my game was just really solid today. Just from the get go, I birdied 10, and just everything was good. And it's fun when you can play like that. It doesn't happen that often when you play that well over 18 holes. And you're putting yourself in that position, so it was fun.
BRIAN DAVIS: I missed about a 10 footer on the par 5s, about a 7 foot birdie. And obviously we had an up tee on 8, and a generous pin. So I'm sure it will be back tee and back pin tomorrow. It was only a short iron in there and hit a good shot and made the putt down the hill.
And then on 8 I hit two really good shots to drive, 6 iron. Left myself a curling putt but was delighted to finish like that.
Q. Just curious, Brian, on the 7th hole how you approached that. Did you have any kind of hurt with you or was it pretty still, the conditions, No. 7?
BRIAN DAVIS: Yeah, the wind when we started off the wind looked like it was going to start getting up, when we got to 11 tee, 12. Started to gust up. As the day went on it drifted away.
Q. But on 7, I wonder if you could talk about how much of an impact those cross bunkers make in terms of playing the hole, what kind of strike it is to clear it?
BRIAN DAVIS: It does for me, because the yardage I hit the ball, if you can carry it sort of, I think it's about 280, off the tee, you hit the downslope and get a bit of run. And obviously I don't, because I carry it about 270ish, so I'm pitching in the hill, I lose a bit of yardage. And then I had 240 to clear the cross bunkers. And obviously you want a bit of a downhill lie. You have to catch the ball, if you miss it slightly, the wind was just off the left then, you're going to struggle to get over. Once you go over you don't want to get too far down, the big slope that's there.
Q. What do you leave yourself if you have to play short of the bunkers?
BRIAN DAVIS: I've done it before, obviously when I've missed it in the rough. Usually somewhere in the region of 7, 8, 9, depending on where the flag is because it's such big greens and slopes.
Q. Which is not always what you want for your third shot?
BRIAN DAVIS: No, because it's blind as well. Whenever you can't see the pin, the hand/eye coordination goes out the window. It makes it tougher, the holes. So you've just got to try and play the shots you can.
Q. Have you ever had so many questions about missing a ten foot putt for birdie?
BRIAN DAVIS: No. It's just the way it is. I get used to it.
Q. Beats the alternative, though, right? I don't know if you've been asked this, but with your position on the points list, sort of what is the strategy coming into this week, are you sort of free wheeling it, or do you have any idea where you need to finish today to move on?
BRIAN DAVIS: I've got no idea where I am on the list (laughter).
It's one of them things, we're aware. But it's a golf tournament, you've got to go out and play and you know what you've got to do. It's like a Q School when you have to finish top 25 to get your card. You know what you've got to do. And obviously that is in your mind. But once the gun goes, you're just playing golf. You try to do the best you can. At the end of the day when you get on a hot streak like I did today you've just got to ride it.
Q. I can't tell if you're sensing pressure because you are where you are or no pressure at all?
BRIAN DAVIS: There's pressure every time you tee it up. Of course there's pressure, you want to win every golf tournament. Obviously it puts you in a great position. And more importantly, like any of these things, you want it in your hands, not someone else's. For example, like what happened last week with guys missing out and guys getting in, because of other guys messing up, so you'd rather have it in your hands, because at least you have some control over what happened.
Q. How do you know what happened last week?
BRIAN DAVIS: What do you mean?
Q. In terms of the guys that fell out and fell in.
BRIAN DAVIS: I was in bed the other night and I was watching Golf Channel for about half an hour, and it happened to be that segment that was talking about guys that fell in and fell out.
Q. I didn't know if it was a sick fascination?
BRIAN DAVIS: I might be sick, but not that sick.
Q. Just a follow up, last year, if I'm not mistaken you were probably 70 coming into this week, I wonder again, I know you're playing golf. But when you approach the week, is it different being 81, needing to pick it up a little to get in as opposed to 70, is there any change in mentality?
BRIAN DAVIS: I think it would be harder if you were 60, because 60 is still going to miss out. 70, if you don't make the cut you haven't got a chance in hell of making it. Because of the volatility we have, obviously it's a regular TOUR event, but with the playoffs and the points, it has a massive impact on what happens. Like Phil, if he wins this week, obviously he will be, I presume he'd be No. 1. I remember I'll never forget when Heath Slocum won, at Liberty National, and jumped to about four after one event. You know what's at stake, everybody does their best, and there's a lot to play for.
Q. There were some terrific scores out there. A lot of players can win this tournament. Is this an easy course or great players playing great on the same day?
BRIAN DAVIS: No, it's not an easy course. There's a lot of moisture in the greens. I'm sure they'll firm them up. But you were able to fire on the flags. Even if you have a 5 iron you can stop it.
I've played this golf course when it's firm, and especially on the weekend as you go into Monday. There's some pin positions on some holes that you just can't stop the ball. It's going to release. Today you could fire at all the flags. I think that's why you see low scoring, a lot of low scoring. You're always going to get low scores, but when you get that many you know it's fairly wet.
Q. Do they have the system right or do they need to fix it?
BRIAN DAVIS: No, I think it's good. You're never going to please everybody, are you? From a players' perspective, nobody likes change. You've got a great TOUR and a great thing. But they introduce the FedExCup, and it's created massive excitement. The fans like it. There's a lot going on. And players have to play well in the FedExCup playoffs. You can play well all year, but you've got to step it up in the playoffs if you want to advance and if you want to win it.
Q. What was the confidence level, did you feel like you had a round like this in you?
BRIAN DAVIS: I haven't played that great the last four or five tournaments. I fell down the stairs at British Open and busted my foot. And been limping a few weeks, and body has not been feeling great. I got over that. And didn't play great last week. Nearly made the cut. So I just golf is a funny game. Sometimes you can come in and feel good and not play well. And that's the way it is. But I felt it today and obviously rode it.
Q. Where were you staying at the Open?
BRIAN DAVIS: In a house. I dropped my dinner, as well.
Q. Going up or going down?
BRIAN DAVIS: I was going up, believe it or not. Tried to save the dinner but it was all over the floor.
MARK STEVENS: What was it?
BRIAN DAVIS: I'm trying to think what it was right now. It was Chinese. It was a mess to clear off the floor.
Q. Which foot?
BRIAN DAVIS: Right foot.
Q. Are you influenced at all when you start an afternoon round when you see a whole slew of low scores already on the board, does that change the way you might your aggressiveness or the way you might plot your way around the golf course?
BRIAN DAVIS: This is my, I think, 18th year on Tour. So, no. You're aware, but it's just it's the first round. Obviously if we were going into the last round, you've got a four shot lead, obviously you have to pay attention to what's going on. But, no, it doesn't. Obviously the course is going to get tougher as the week goes on. You know you've got to shoot low numbers every day.