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July 14, 2005

Tiger Woods


STEWART McDOUGALL: Ladies and gentlemen, Tiger Woods, 66, leading the field of The Open Championship.

Tiger, you finished 6 under. You're obviously very happy with today's round.

TIGER WOODS: I am very happy. Even though I had it going and finished 7 under through 12 holes, but finishing at 6 is a great start to the tournament. I'm very pleased with the way I played all day.

Q. Do you feel at all that you have the same type of handle on The Old Course that you did five years ago?

TIGER WOODS: I feel like I'm playing really well. I don't know if it's the same handle or not, but it's a different wind, two totally different winds. Last time we played it was off the right on the first hole. This time it was off the left. The outward holes are much harder this year than they were last time. So the inward holes are the easier ones. Two totally different golf courses. I still feel very comfortable out there.

Q. At 7 under through 12, if I'm not mistaken, what's going through your mind there, just keep going? And were you at all surprised at how smoothly things were going for you? You hit bunkers for the first time today. Was that foreign territory for you?

TIGER WOODS: As far as the first part of your question, 7 under through 12, I was just trying to do the same thing, place my golf ball where I needed to place it, nothing changes. Just because I'm making birdies doesn't mean that my game plan changes at all. And I hit 2 iron off of 13. I just tugged it a little bit and caught the bunker there.

And the bogey I made on 16, again, I got it riding with the wind a little too much and tried to keep it low, it got turned with the wind and ended up in that bunker. I hit three bunkers today and was playing those holes 1 over par. It's not a good spot to be in, that's for sure, because these faces are obviously high. But then again, most of your shots you're going to hit into the bunkers are coming in with speed, so they'll run up against the face. It's very rare that you actually have a shot.

Q. 66 is one better that your opening round in 2000. I think it matches the best opening round by a champion in The Open, as well. What does that say about the course's defenses and your ability to match or better your total score last time?

TIGER WOODS: Well, I think the golf course is playing as fast. I mean, you run out of room a lot out there. You have to be very careful of what shot you're going to hit, what kind of spin you're going to put on the golf ball and what shape. You have to really think your way around the golf course.

They used a couple of Sunday pins today early in the week, which we were kind of surprised at. But they thought the wind wasn't going to blow that much so they tucked the pins a little bit more. And consequently it was more difficult to get them close. But I made some putts today, so that never hurts.

Q. How tough was the eagle putt attempt at 18? Huge break, obviously.

TIGER WOODS: Just inside left (laughter). That's the left part of the swale. Actually, ironically, I practiced that putt quite a bit yesterday because for three straight days I kept hitting the ball in the same spot, I kept hitting it right there, I didn't hit it any further, didn't hit it any shorter. I just thought I'd hit a few putts from there for the hell of it. And ironically I had the same putt. I knew the speed, it was a matter of getting the line. And obviously I didn't get quite enough break. But I had the speed right.

Q. Pardon if this question is too personal. Where did your thoughts go during the two minute moment of silent meditation?

TIGER WOODS: You know, obviously it's for me, personally, I was more thankful than anything else because my mom was in the building right across the street from where the bomb blew up. I was very thankful that my mom is still here. It very easily could have been pretty tragic for me personally. I can only imagine what everyone else who was involved, where they lost a loved one or had loved ones hurt, what they might have been going through.

Q. That day of the bombing?


Q. Without going through all the holes, how many holes here today do you think you hit with a wedge into a green after a drive?

TIGER WOODS: 1, 4, 6, 7, 10, 11, that's it.

Q. The other question is, as confident as you were coming in, how much more confident are you now after getting out there and getting through this first round with such a great score?

TIGER WOODS: I've been playing well and it's a continuation of it. My last three events I've really played well. I'm just trying to build on that. So for me it's just like it's nothing that I haven't done in the last three events.

Q. If you don't mind, could I possibly ask you, you mentioned your mother, could you tell us more about where your mother was?

TIGER WOODS: Well, she was vacationing in London. I don't know why (laughter). Maybe because the weather is so great. I don't know. She just had a bunch of friends and family there. She was kind of touring Europe before she came over here.

Q. Was she in a hotel?


Q. Near the bus?

TIGER WOODS: What's that?

Q. Near where the bus was?

TIGER WOODS: You know, I don't know. I've talked to her, but she really hasn't said a whole lot. Typical Mom, you know. You know my mom, "Are you okay?"

"Yeah, good."

"What are you going to do today on the course?" That kind of thing. She likes to change the subject real fast.

Q. How soon did you get in touch with her?

TIGER WOODS: I didn't know. She didn't tell me. I found out from Hank. She doesn't tell me anything. That's kind of how our family is. If you're injured or you're hurt or you're sick or anything, you don't tell anyone. You just deal with life and move on.

Q. What was it like to switch gears from the meditation back to the competition?

TIGER WOODS: I had a hell of a tough shot, so my focus went right to that. I was trying to hit a low skipping spinner where it hit on top and grabbed and released on down.

Q. With Jack Nicklaus at the end of his British career, do you feel that yours is in full swing now?

TIGER WOODS: When I won in 2000 I knew I was exempt on 65 (laughter). I may be here a while.

Q. How about winning it?

TIGER WOODS: You always feel like you should win it. If you enter it, that's why I enter it. You don't enter it to finish in the top 10 or second. You enter it to win, or else why enter?

Q. Did your mother return to the States or did she

TIGER WOODS: No, she's out here following. Did you see her out there? I heard a couple of "nice putts" from her (laughter).

Q. When did you find out?

TIGER WOODS: What's that?

Q. When did you find out?


Q. That she was there?

TIGER WOODS: About mom?

Q. Yes.

TIGER WOODS: Yesterday.

Q. She hadn't mentioned anything to you about it at all?

TIGER WOODS: We don't do that in our family.

Q. But it was quite a

TIGER WOODS: My family doesn't do that. When my dad had cancer, he didn't say anything. When I had my knee surgery, I didn't say anything. We just do that. It's one of our deals of probably being a Woods, I guess. Kind of deal with things and move on.

Q. She thought you might have been interested?

TIGER WOODS: She's here, so everything is good to go.


End of FastScripts.

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