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October 8, 2005

Tiger Woods


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: World No. 1 Tiger Woods, thank you for joining us. Looks like you'll be two shots off the lead heading into the final round behind John Daly, but you're in good position heading into the final round. Three rounds in the 60s. Opening comments.

TIGER WOODS: Well, it was an eventful day, a couple par 4s I drove it on, put the ball under a car and balls in trees and made some putts, hit a couple bunkers, so pretty much saw most of Harding Park.

Q. On 17 what was your thought process? You hesitated a bit, then you talked to your caddie, then you made the selection.

TIGER WOODS: Well, it was a shot that, with the wind blowing as hard as it was and a shot like that, it's better to be in the face of that bunker. But the number was for a 6 iron, 171 hole. If I hit a flat 6 iron, I hit the proper golf shot, it's there. Two holes prior to that, I hit a 5 iron in there 180, and it was pin high, so you figured same kind of way, ten yards less. I just had to hit it flush. I stuck to it, hit a wonderful golf shot and it ended up there just short of the hole.

Q. Could you walk us through what happened on the 18th hole?

TIGER WOODS: Lost my drive to the right, hit the path, ended up in the hospitality area. I don't know where in there, but it was up there somewhere. A guy threw it back. I got my drop from obstruction and hit an 8 iron up there and horseshoed a putt and then tapped it in for an easy 4.

Q. All in all are you happy with that or do you feel like you left

TIGER WOODS: No, I'm very happy with that because today under these conditions it was tough to go low out there. I mean, I could have done a little better on some of the holes where there are a few holes I felt I could drive and knock them down there quite a bit, and I didn't quite get it done. I played most of the holes that were easy, I played them well, and some of the holes that were a little more difficult, I didn't play so well, so hopefully I can clean that up tomorrow.

Q. Were you happy to see conditions so tough?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah. I thought I was hitting the ball well going into today, and I warmed up there, and I got on the golf course and I started off hitting it really well. Then for some reason I started getting the ball to turn over a little bit too much. Still, I stuck with it and tried to get it down there and see what could happen.

Q. Was there any confusion on the 18th tee about what you wanted to hit or where you wanted to hit it?

TIGER WOODS: No, we had the line. More than likely it was not going to hit the fairway, so put the ball in the bunker, knock it left and put the ball on the green because it's almost impossible hitting it straight down there to keep the ball in the fairway.

Q. It's almost unanimous how much everybody likes Harding. I'm just wondering, from a player's perspective, why it's so enjoyable and why so many guys liked it.

TIGER WOODS: Because it's fair and it's difficult and you have to shape shots again. You have to move the golf ball both ways. I think that's something that's been missing from a lot of golf courses that we play. They try and make you move the golf ball either way by adding elephant burial grounds or bunkers or water. Here it's just trees, cypress trees. If you knock it in there, it's not coming out. It's fun to see a golf course where you have to shape the ball again and hit shots. Playing this fast, as well, makes it even more difficult to try and keep the ball in the fairway, even on the green, because the ball is springy on the greens.

Q. Is that also the reason why nobody has been able to separate themselves? Seems like no matter how well you play it's hard to pile up birdies out here.

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, it is hard because you can hit quality golf shots off the tees that run through the fairways and you can't hold the greens out of the rough, especially with the pins you've got out here. You've got your work cut out for you. Downwind holes, you have to take advantage of those holes. Some of the holes that you can drive the ball on the green or come close. I don't know how long the 1st hole is, it's weird, but you can drive the ball on the 1st green, so it's a little different.

Q. Depending on what happens in the last group here, it appears you will not be in the final pairing tomorrow. Does that bother you at all? Would you prefer to be in the final pairing? Is there an advantage to being the second to last?

TIGER WOODS: I always enjoyed being in the final pairing because you have that you can see what's going on. You can also maybe even influence what's going on in the group, too. But being ahead, I can post a number early, if I can make a few birdies, get out running and get it going. I can post a number early and see what happens.

Q. There was a report in the Australian press lately that a business group is trying to put together a skins game in Melbourne after Steve's wedding next April and you will be invited to head it. Do you and your management know anything about this?

TIGER WOODS: I don't. Steinie might.

Q. Wouldn't he tell you if he knew?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, but he's on his way to Dubai right now.

Q. This was a couple weeks ago.

TIGER WOODS: I have no idea. Obviously he hadn't asked me.

Q. Would there be any chance?

TIGER WOODS: I don't know because I haven't been asked. I don't know anything about it.

Q. Obviously, as you see in the tent here, wind is a factor today. How did it change your approach?

TIGER WOODS: Well, marginal golf shots were going to get penalized. Any shot that you over shaped it was not going to end up in the proper spot. You had to hit quality golf shots to shoot low numbers. You look at the guys that shot low numbers, I'm sure they were able to hit the ball really well because you can't get away with too many bad golf shots unless you're putting extremely well. Luckily I was putting well today.

Q. Kind of a bizarre situation out here, the tee shot on 14. Did it take a while to find out how the car was going to get moved?

TIGER WOODS: Well, the head marshal on the hole has the keys, so it's just a matter of trying to find him and get the keys from him so he could move the car.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Tiger Woods, thank you.

End of FastScripts.

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