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May 9 2010

10:06 PM

Love proud of strong finish

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When Davis Love III finished off his round of 68 on Sunday, it was the only sub-70 score that had been recorded. Conversely, there had been four of 80 or higher, including one by his playing partner Ryan Moore. "When I hit my first couple chips on the chipping green, I wouldn't have bet that anybody would have ... broken 70," Love said. " But it looks like Tim's going to do it, and fortunately I did it. Actually, I made a lot of great two-putts and made some putts. But I still ... left a few shots. "It wasn't a perfect round, but it was a very, very good round." Love was particularly solid down the stretch Sunday. The two-time PLAYERS champ made a 15-footer for eagle on the 16th hole and a 4-footer for birdie at the treacherous 17th. "I was really calm, no pressure," Love said, his tongue firmly in cheek and laughing. "After I bogeyed 15, I said, you know, I'm going to do the best job I've done all week. I've hit free, confident golf shots, and I really didn't hit a bad one after that. So I'm very proud of the way I finished. "Making the putt at 16 was nice, and 17 obviously is an unbelievable birdie. Almost got it up on top on 18. But I hit four or five really good shots, and I'm proud of that." For the 46-year-old Love, this will be his seventh top-10 at THE PLAYERS. He says the "scary" shots for the leaders over the next hour are the ones around the water. "Your second shots on 16, and your tee shot on 17, and then 18's always tricky," Love said. "So I mean there are bogeys out there, but if they drive it well, they shouldn't have too much problem." Love, who played in the final group last Sunday at Quail Hollow with Billy Mayfair, could help but think about what a difference a week makes. Neither played particularly well -- Love shot a 76 and went from a tie for second to a share of 17th -- and the group was on the clock much of the day. "Like I've said ten times already this year and a hundred times in my career, will I ever learn?" Love said. "But that's why it's so much fun. That's why at 46 I'm still hitting balls, I'm still practicing and still excited about playing because you never figure it out. Every day is different. "This Sunday is so different from last Sunday. It's like night and day, you know. So I'm still learning. It's not learning something new, it's just learning how to do what you know how to do and do it more often." -- Helen Ross
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