Love Playing Again After Emotional Time Off

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04 Bank of America ColonialFORT WORTH, Texas - During the Bank of America Colonial pro-am, several amateurs asked Davis Love III about skipping last year's tournament and last week's Byron Nelson Championship. The answer to both was the same.
 
'Those kind of questions, you really don't want to go into it,' Love said Wednesday, a day before the start of the Colonial. 'I had to be at home this time last year is kind of my stock answer. But we got through a year, and now we can move on.'
 
Love missed both ends of the PGA Tour's Texas two-step and another tournament last year after he found his brother-in-law dead with a self-inflicted gunshot.
 
The one-year anniversary of Jeffrey Knight's death was Sunday, also the final round of the Nelson. So Love withdrew and stayed home.
 
'I wanted to play and had planned on playing for a long time, but then the closer it came to the year anniversary, I felt it would be better for me to be with my family,' Love said. 'It turned out to be a great weekend. I spent a lot of time with the family and a lot of time on the driving range.'
 
Love said he misses his brother-in-law and father, who died in a 1988 plane crash, every day and that specific dates don't change his feelings.
 
'But for a lot of the family (last week) was an emotional week,' he said.
 
Now Love is back at what he knows he does well: playing golf Thursday through Sunday.
 
Love is No. 6 on the money list. Masters champion Phil Mickelson (No. 2) is the only higher-ranked player in the field this week.
 
'I love Colonial,' said Love, with top-five finishes his last two trips to Hogan's Alley in 2000 and 2002. 'I'm ready to play.'
 
Most of the attention at Colonial Country Club last year was on Annika Sorenstam, who became the first woman in 58 years to play on the PGA Tour. This week, the focus is back on the men and the 7,054-yard course Tiger Woods won't play.
 
The world's No. 1 golfer has said Colonial doesn't suit his game and indicated the par-70 course of tree-lined fairways, doglegs and difficult par 3s is outdated.
 
'Sure, you can't hit driver every hole, but who says you have to?' said Justin Leonard, who shot a Colonial-record 61 last year. 'I certainly don't think this golf course is outdated. It's a nice break from a lot of the golf courses that we play.'
 
Defending champion Kenny Perry calls Colonial 'a great old course' that has stood the test of time.
 
Perry knows he will always be remembered as the player who won Sorenstam's tournament. But he did a lot more than that last year.
 
Perry followed his record 19 under par win, his fifth overall victory and first in three years, by winning the Memorial and at 42 becoming the PGA Tour's oldest back-to-back winner since 1990.
 
'It was just a magical two weeks,' he said.
 
But he wasn't finished. He was just getting started on the best stretch of his 17-year PGA career.
 
Perry tied for third at the U.S. Open and then won the Greater Milwaukee Open. He never had won more than once in a year, and went on to finish sixth on the money list at $4.4 million - more than double what he had ever earned in a season.
 
'The pressure's not really on me because I don't really expect to duplicate what I did last year,' Perry said. 'What I did was incredible. It was magical.'
 
Perry quietly got a share of the 36-hole lead last year while Sorenstam missed the cut by four strokes at 5 over.
 
After Sorenstam left, Perry shot a third-round 61. He led by eight strokes going into Sunday, and won by six strokes even after Leonard's closing 61.
 
Perry has three top-10 finishes in 11 tournaments this year. But he finished 59th at the Nelson, his first tournament since missing the cut at the Masters.
 
Love has five top-10 finishes in 10 events, but in the last five has finished in the top 20 only once, at the Masters (sixth).
 
'I feel like my game's real close,' Love said. 'I've been making enough birdies and enough eagles, but I'm just having a bad hole here and there, a bad day here and there, keeping me from winning.
 
'I'm looking forward to this summer, obviously three more majors and a lot of big tournaments coming up. So I'm pretty positive about the year's start.'
 
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