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July 3, 2005

Tiger Woods


Q. To come from five shots back (inaudible).

TIGER WOODS: Well, it was close. My goal was to get to 14 today. I thought 14 would be the number to at least show myself a playoff, if not win outright. I got to 13, and unfortunately just kind of bogeyed 13 and 14 back to back, which brought me back, and I still kept thinking, if I can make three more birdies coming in, post 14, that might win.

Ironically enough, at least I would have showed myself a playoff.

Q. Will you talk about what you did at 10 with that unbelievable tee shot and then 11?

TIGER WOODS: Well, I hit the same tee shot the second day, I just hit the left tree. It was the same shot, same wind, go ahead and move your line over a little bit, and I did, and I was trying to put the ball in one of the bunkers up there and get up and down. Trust me, I wasn't trying to run the ball up that gap. I just was trying to put the ball up there somewhere and it happened to be in the perfect spot.

Q. Talk about 11, a great shot from the rough. Was it a 9 iron?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I almost hit a tee shot. It was a great shot because it kind of got lucky, hit the cart path and got down there. I hit a 9 iron out of there, had 180 to the hole, just tried to get it up and air and let the wind take it, and it worked out good.

Then the putt was just a bomb, you know, I was just trying to throw up a death charge and just not three putt like I did over on 5, and it somehow fell in.

Q. It's such an emotional game, and being tied for the lead (inaudible).

TIGER WOODS: Well, I'm really disappointed, yes, but not overly disappointed. You know, I was not looking good after the first day. You would not have suspected that I would have been tied for the lead on the back nine after what I did the first day.

So from that standpoint, I'm proud of the way I hung in there and grinded it out and got back in contention, also frustrated because I made three bogeys today. Take those three bogeys away, I'm right there. That's just the way it goes.

Q. When that putt went in at 11, do you get the feeling that it's going your way?

TIGER WOODS: Well, I figured I needed to probably make two or three more coming in because Jim was playing, at the time, 10 and 11. I don't know what he did on 9, but those are the three easiest holes on the course. I figured he'd probably birdie two of the three, and even with that eagle I probably would be one back. So I just needed to keep going, keep going, keep pushing it, and it just didn't quite work out.

Q. (Inaudible).

TIGER WOODS: I feel very excited because it's very similar to how I felt after Memorial. I had a good finish there, hit the ball really well, putted better, and went into the U.S. Open and obviously finished 2nd. It was nice to finish 2nd here and hopefully I can win the British.

Q. (Inaudible).

TIGER WOODS: Everything is the key at the British Open. You have to drive it well, you have to position your irons well. That golf course is more penal than people think, especially the new tee locations. It's going to be a lot more penal now because they're bringing a lot more bunkers into play.

Q. What does this win mean do you think for Jim's career?

TIGER WOODS: Well, after what he did last week he should be pretty proud of the way he turned it around. To play as solidly as he did today after not taking care of business down the stretch last week goes to show you how much guts he has, to come right back the week after and win, that's pretty sweet.

Q. Did you have fun out there trying to make a run?

TIGER WOODS: It's always fun, man. It's always fun to get out there and mix it up and feeling the adrenaline rush and trying to win the tournament. That's why you practice. That's why you bust your butt all those hours on the range and putting green and chipping area, and that's why you log in all the hours, to get yourself in that position. It's a thrill.

Q. Is there anything out of the bogeys that you had that fell short for you?

TIGER WOODS: I three putted 5, ran the putt by. Bad speed on the first one but hit a good quality putt on the second one, just misread it, which is no big deal.

Over there on 13, left a putt short, then I blocked the second one.

Then 14, I hit just a beautiful 9 iron right at it. It's one of the best swings I made all week, and it just came up just a little bit shy and didn't end up in a very good spot.

Q. Any thoughts on (inaudible).

TIGER WOODS: I did? I guess that's not too bad. That'll work.

Q. You mentioned the emotion earlier. Do you think that's why the crowd gets behind you, because not only do you celebrate the good, but if it's not, you kind of let it out? The average guy can understand.

TIGER WOODS: If you play golf, you understand this game will drive you crazy at times. It's the same guy hitting something really sweet and then the very next shot you hit it like some idiot. That's just the nature of golf, and that's why we play it, because it keeps bringing us back for that one good one.

Q. (Inaudible).

TIGER WOODS: I'm not retired yet, so I guess I've had a good start to my 20s and hopefully I can have even better 30s.

Q. Talk about 14 in the sand.

TIGER WOODS: I was trying to really get underneath it because I didn't have a whole lot of green to work with. I got under it too much. I basically, if you look at it in hindsight, I probably got a little too cute with it, tried to just get the ball out, let it roll to the hole and left it in the bunker.

Q. Do you walk away feeling like this got away from you or what might have been?

TIGER WOODS: Well, certainly both because I had my chances, you know, the last couple days to really do some damage and shoot some really low rounds and made a few bogeys there that you shouldn't make. But then again, after shooting 73 in the opening round and not looking like I was ever going to have a chance of winning this thing, to actually be tied for the lead at one point, that's pretty sweet.

Q. When you get to be tied for the lead, does it ever cross your mind, "I've got these guys"?

TIGER WOODS: God, no. Jimmy is one of the toughest guys out here. Last week was an aberration. He doesn't do stuff like that. He's one of the toughest guys to beat head to head. If you remember what we did at Firestone, it kind of reminded me of that because you know I'm going to be in for a battle, he's going to be in for a battle, too. It was a lot of fun, that back nine.

Q. If there was one part of the game (inaudible).

TIGER WOODS: Everything, not just one.

Q. (Inaudible).

TIGER WOODS: No, as I said, this year has been either I'm putting great or I've just my struggles. It's not in between. Either I'm rolling them in there from everywhere so I'm just three putting.

Q. Is it speed?

TIGER WOODS: Of course it's speed. You're not going to misread a putt by eight feet. If anything you're going to have poor speed. Poor speed always leads to three putts, not misreads.

Q. What are the qualities that make Jim so tough to beat?

TIGER WOODS: Well, one, he's consistent; two, he's an unbelievable competitor. As I said over here, Jeff, about what we did at Firestone, that was very similar to you know he's one of the best competitors out here no matter what. Last week was an aberration. He doesn't do stuff like that.

Q. (Inaudible).

TIGER WOODS: Two hours.

End of FastScripts.

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