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July 31, 2004

Tiger Woods


JOE CHEMYCZ: A 6 under par 66 today, bogey free round. Tiger, just talk about the golf course and more good play for you.

TIGER WOODS: Well, the golf course was soft. You had to being aggressive. You know you had to make a bunch of birdies today. I was able to make six of them today with no bogey which is nice. You just know that you have to be aggressive on this golf course. That's the nature of this event in the past and this year is no exception. You have to go out there and fire at a lot of flags and make a bunch of birdies.

Q. The way you're playing right now, is this as good as you've played in the last few weeks, would you say?

TIGER WOODS: About the same as I played in the Western Open, I played well there. The things that I was working on started to come together and they came together that weekend, and I played well at the British and played well here.

Q. Just your thoughts about being in contention and also the possibility, looks like you might be playing with John Daly.

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I was running through, I don't think I've ever played with John in a tournament, PGA TOUR event or any event around the world unless yeah, I don't think I have, actually.

So I know that it will be certainly loud if we are paired together, but, hey, you've still got to go out there and be focused and get the job done; that's executing golf shots and making a bunch of birdies.

Q. Does your mindset or confidence level ever change when you're in contention, regardless of how you've played going in or how you've been playing leading up to that? Does your mindset about being in contention ever change?

TIGER WOODS: I think because I've won different ways, that it certainly helps, and I've won not playing particularly well, but I've somehow found a way. Other times I've played extremely well and won that way.

So I've won different ways, so it certainly helps. But I am playing well read now, so it feels good going into Sunday.

Q. Does having guys like Vijay Singh and John Daly up there kind of stoke your competitive fires even more for tomorrow's round?

TIGER WOODS: You know, to be honest with you, I don't think so, just because you have to it's not like a tournament where you can go out there and shoot maybe a couple under par and win the tournament. You've got to go out there and make a bunch of birdies. No matter who is on that board, you still have to be aggressive and go out there and make some birdies, which is different than most TOUR events.

Q. Can you talk about managing a birdie at 16 today.

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, well, it was a not to good tee shot. Tried to hit the same tee shot on my second shot, sliced it out there and didn't quite slice. Hit a nice little sand wedge in there, 108 yards. Tried to hit a flat one, take off the spin and I did that. The putt was just on the inside right from about eight feet and I made it.

Q. At No. 9, didn't you hit it in the next fairway and had to hit over the trees?

TIGER WOODS: I did. My 3 wood, I hit kind of a pop up pull; and I guess it was a fairway hit. (Laughing). I played very conservative, put it in the middle of the green and get out of there with par and I was able to do that.

JOE CHEMYCZ: You got started with a nice up and down from the bunker on 1.

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I hit a nice little tee shot there and hit a marginal 3 wood that pulled a little bit. But had a great lie in the bunker and I could go ahead and kind of fly it up there to the hole. It just spun up there and had just about a foot and a half there to clean it up.

JOE CHEMYCZ: Then a good save at 2.

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, 2 was nice. Pulled it off the tee and tried to hit a hook around the trees and didn't quite hook. Ended up in the long stuff, and actually hit a pretty good shot just to get to where I was at. I was about 15 feet past the hole, and that was a big putt to make, because you didn't want to give it right back after making birdie on 1.

JOE CHEMYCZ: Nice birdie been 4.

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, 4, on the second shot, I hit it a little to the right but chipped I mean, it had a train wreck at the hole because it certainly had a little bit of pace to it. It would have probably been about ten feet past the hole if it didn't go in.

7, hit a driver, 2 iron just on the right fringe and chipped it up there to about two feet and made it.

13, pulled my tee shot left in the trees and tried to hit a 2 iron underneath and hit the gallery stick, kicked it straight up in the air into the fairway and I had 199 to the hole and hit a 5 iron right in the middle of the green and made a bomb up the hill from probably about 30 feet or so.

14, hit a nice drive right up there just short of the green. Chipped it with a 7 iron and had probably about four or five inches.

Q. How does the fun factor compare at a tournament like this where you know you have to be in the 20s to win? It's hard to compare anything to a major but just on a course where you know 4 or 5 wins it and a course like this where you have to be 20 something?

TIGER WOODS: I think it's more exciting for the fans to play, and actually to watch us play an event like this. I've always said that for me personally, I've always been one who has been in favor of the winning score being in single digits. Somewhere around 8 , 9 under par I think is a great winning score.

But you know coming into this event, that's never going to be the case. Robert Wren took it deep here and the guys just keep taking low here. And you know with the greens being this soft and pretty smooth, you just have to make a bunch of birdies, because all of the par 5s are pretty much reachable, and you have two par 4s on the back nine that some of the longer hitters could drive.

So, that being the case, it's not too far out of the way to go out there and know that you can shoot 5 , 6 under par every day.

Q. Recently Ricky Williams walked away from professional football and we had Barry Sanders leave the game early here, all for different reasons. I don't know if it makes you think about your own future, but considering the scrutiny that you go through with your game, does anything like that ever cross your mind?

TIGER WOODS: Walking away?

Q. Yeah, just your future in the game before because whenever you leave

TIGER WOODS: I think the only thing that's kind of frustrating for me is that I was looking forward to in about 22 years that the Senior Tour would have carts but they are taking that away. (Laughter.)

No. Honestly to answer your question, no, I'm happy with what I'm doing right now. I'm excited about going out there and competing. This is what I love to do. There's a reason why I don't play as many events is so that when I do play, I'm able to give it everything I've got. I know that I have to deal with probably more things at tournament venues than most guys do, but that's one of the reasons why, as I said, I don't play as much. I have enough earn energy to go out and play each and every event that I play.

Q. You had an unusually large gathering; did the crowds behave well? How was the gallery today?

TIGER WOODS: They were great, loud, excited. You could hear, certainly, we were I think two groups ahead of Daly. The start he got off to, the crowd was really excited and you could hear them hollering over there because he was just playing so well early.

So, yeah, the crowds have always been great here. They have always been excited, especially around 17. Today was probably the same. They've got the wave going up there when we were walking up to the green.

JOE CHEMYCZ: Tiger, thank you.

End of FastScripts.

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