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September 2, 2005

Tiger Woods


TODD BUDNICK: We welcome Tiger Woods after a 6 under 65 in the first round of the Deutsche Bank Championship. Second year in a row you've started off well.

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I hit the ball decent today. I didn't hit it great but I hit it good enough and really hit my irons well today. Just stayed patient, missed a couple putts early in the round, but finally got it going on the back nine. Made some nice putts on the back nine for birdie, as well as for par. Turned out to be a really nice day.

TODD BUDNICK: Two Top 10s here and eight of your nine rounds have been in the 60s. What exactly is it about this course that you love?

TIGER WOODS: Well, I think the golf course fits my game. Most of the guys who have played well have been some of the longer hitters, and today with it being a little bit softer and the fairways, it's certainly an advantage to get the ball high and out there. Today I drove the ball out there a little bit, hit a couple of bad ones, but overall hit it pretty good. So took advantage of it today.

Q. Can I ask you about the 12th hole, the bunker shot, you seemed like you really thought about that one for a while.

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, if I hit it fat, obviously it's in the hazard, right in the hazard. So I got committed to hitting the ball just to the left of the hole. Really, really made sure I stayed up on it, and just had 153 and I hit an 8 iron, just hit it really flush, and hit it pin high. And left of the hole, which was nice.

Q. What do you mean by that?

TIGER WOODS: Not lowering, not lowering my levels, don't change my levels. If I change my levels, I could hit it fat. That's what that means. If anything, hit it thin. The lip was no problem, not with an 8 iron.

Q. Since you've missed the cut at the Nelson, I don't have your record in front of me, but I don't think you've had anything out of the Top 5 since Nelson, T 4 is the worst. Is this any indication of what you were talking about yesterday of putting things together, you know, first in a day, and then in a tournament, and then over a course of a month, are you an a roll or do you feel like you're on one?

TIGER WOODS: No, I don't feel like I'm on a roll at all. I feel like this is the way should I play every day. That's why I made the changes in my golf swing so I would be consistent day in and day out. So it's not like I go out there and I hit the ball just unbelievable and putt unbelievable to shoot these scores. I'm just playing solid golf.

Q. So you're not on a roll?

TIGER WOODS: No, this is the way I feel I can play every day.

Q. The results would indicate that.

TIGER WOODS: But if you would look at how I've played, I've just played solid and I've putted bad. What if I would have putted well through this very much, what would have happened.

Q. What would have happened?

TIGER WOODS: You can do the stats.

Q. How hard was it to stay I think you really didn't make a putt on the front nine?


Q. Did you just stay patient on that or was it getting to you?

TIGER WOODS: It was getting frustrating because I hit two putts I missed on the high side early, one on 12 and one on 13, both I missed on the high side with too much speed. So just had to be more committed to my speed and focus on my speed a little bit more. The back nine, my pace was really good, except for the second hole.

Q. One of your playing partners today, Carlos Franco, shot 5 under 66, how much did that help you in the round today to have someone who was in the thick of things as well?

TIGER WOODS: I didn't know what he was to be honest with you. Carlos is funny, so he's yapping it up all day and telling me stories. It was pretty funny. "Took me 18 hours here from Paraguay."

"How much did you practice?"

"Oh, when I got here." (Laughing). He's just funny.

Q. Inaudible?

TIGER WOODS: No. 5. That was a big momentum saver because I had just birdied the last two holes. I birdied 3 and 4, and then had that nice putt there from about eight, nine feet for par and I made it and then I birdied the next hole.

Q. What did you hit on your second shot?

TIGER WOODS: I had a swing where I didn't have to worry about hitting a big hook, I could actually start the ball on the right edge of the green. The lie, we were trying to figure it out, we didn't really know whether it was going to come out hot, soft or what so I just hit it hard. There were no bushes in front of me, I had to make a little bit of a flutter on the backswing. But at least I could start the ball on the right edge. I didn't have to start the ball way over the gallery and hit a big hook.

Q. How much do you think the golf course has improved since the first year?

TIGER WOODS: Oh, enormous. We didn't really get the reviews we wanted after the first year. The players had their criticisms of the golf course, and so did I. We all wanted to have a great event so, Deutsche Bank and the PGA TOUR, we all got together and decided what we needed to do to make this golf course and this event even better, so we had to do some changes. We changed quite a few holes, I believe 12 or 13 holes we monkeyed around with. Last year we got some great reviews from all of the players. It's nice to have a nice turnaround like that in the players' eyes.

Q. Inaudible?

TIGER WOODS: Well, my foundation is involved in it and Deutsche Bank has been a wonderful partner with our foundation, so that's one of the reasons why I feel that way.

Q. Inaudible?

TIGER WOODS: I don't know about that yet. But certainly it's nice to have the support of people here to come out and support our event, and this is great for what we're trying to do with the Learning Center.

Q. Inaudible?

TIGER WOODS: I don't know. I don't know. Because those guys own those two events. I don't own this event. I just don't want to head in that direction yet. I just want my foundation to be the leader of what we're trying to do here. It's not me. It's not about me; it's what we're trying to do for the Learning Center a bunch of kids back in southern California.

Q. When the decision comes down to whether Deutsche Bank extends this beyond the four years, how much input might you have and what would you recommend at this point?

TIGER WOODS: Well, we've made some recommendations already. I can't tell you what we're going to do but it's been real positive.

Q. How much input do you think you might have? Will they listen to you?

TIGER WOODS: I hope so. They have asked me questions, put it that way. Whether they listen to my answers or not, I don't know.

Q. How do you decide inaudible?

TIGER WOODS: I have my focuses and my Learning Center right now is one of my biggest focuses in my life and trying to get that headed in the right direction. We want to have that as our platform for what we are trying to do with our foundation. To me that right now is one of the biggest priorities in my life is trying to get that up and running so that we can have a better platform to then try and create that program and grow it around the world, not just in our country. Right now I think we have about 3 million kids in the program right now, and we're trying to get an expansion that's going to happen probably in the next year or two and go overseas from there.

Q. Inaudible?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, it's going to be in February, probably before L.A.

TODD BUDNICK: Let's just go through your birdies, Tiger, starting with 15.

TIGER WOODS: 15, I hit a driver and a 60 degree sand wedge to about 12 feet right of the hole and made that.

18, I hit a driver and a 5 iron pin high about 40 feet away and 2 putted.

No. 3, I hit a 6 iron about 15 feet short of the hole and made that.

No. 4, I hit a driver and a pitching wedge to about eight feet.

No. 6, I hit a driver and a pitching wedge to about three feet.

Then on 7, I hit a driver and 2 iron to the front edge and I believe it was 29 back, 28 back, long putt. I hit it all right, I was kind of trying to hit a smoother one, not a full one.

Q. (Inaudible.)

TIGER WOODS: I had 260 to the hole, so it was more like 2 iron, 3 iron.

Q. Inaudible?

TIGER WOODS: In the air, probably about 25 yards. Sometimes even 30, depends on the conditions.

Q. (Inaudible.)

TIGER WOODS: Sometimes. Sometimes. I've asked, you know, Rick Nicholson, Nike, to see what I can do to bridge the gap to maybe put a 5 wood or a 7 wood in my bag. But I have a problem with having to be able to flight the golf ball with those clubs. I love hitting my 2 iron off tees and hitting it down there low and controlling it, but then again sometimes I'm having a hard time into the par 5 like that of throwing the ball up in the air. I've seen some of the guys hit, like Vijay carries that 7 wood, that he's bent down to about a 5 wood, which is a perfect club for that shot, but I have a hard time with that club now.

Q. At 6 under, a whole bunch at 5 under, did you suspect early on it would be low scoring today?

TIGER WOODS: I saw Tim under at 6 under and Briny was 5 under through 11, so you figure it would probably get to eight. I just had to get going. I was only 2 under through nine. I figure if I shot between 3 and 5 under par on the back nine, at least I could get up there a little bit and wouldn't be so far behind.

Q. Are you surprised to be leading?

TIGER WOODS: Very surprised. I didn't think I would be at six, I thought seven or eight would be leading, especially when those guys were so low so early.

I played solid today. I hit good, quality golf shots all day and I hit a couple loose ones, but more than anything, I was happy with the way I putted today. I had good pace, except for No. 2 when I 3 putted, so my pace was good, which haven't been too good lately.

Q. Just curious, how much you've watched of the hurricane stuff and New Orleans and just your thoughts on that, how is it different than other things that you've been seeing on the telly in the last, say, two years?

TIGER WOODS: It's just unbelievable. Not only the devastation, but how people are behaving, with the shootings and now with the gang rapes and the gang violences and shooting at helicopters who are trying to help people out, trying to rescue people, I just don't understand that whole concept. You figure if anything, they would all come together and try to help one another out, but they are doing the exact opposite.

From that standpoint, I just can't see how the community is doing that to themselves. Try and help one another out. They are all struggling. Offer a helping hand to your fellow man, and it's not happening down there at all. When they are trying to help them out, then they are not letting them help, which that boggles my mind even more. More people are dying because of it, and it's just a very, very sad state.

Q. Inaudible?

TIGER WOODS: Well, obviously I know this event in particular is going to give some of the proceeds to the relief down there, but I don't know what the TOUR is going to do in general. I don't speak for the TOUR and I don't know what they are doing back in Ponte Vedra, but I know this event is definitely going to try and help.

End of FastScripts.

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