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June 4, 2004

Tiger Woods


Q. You shot a very good golf round today. What do you think about where you stand?

TIGER WOODS: Anything in the 60s today is going to be a good score. The wind is all over the place out there, not only how strong it's blowing, what direction it's coming out of. It's one of the toughest days I've seen in a while here.

Q. Did you get rewarded pretty much?

TIGER WOODS: I played well. A lot of times you're firing away from the flags just because you don't know where the wind is coming from. It's hard to get a beat on it and be precise.

On 10 today, it was in our face the entire way. All of a sudden I get over the ball and it switches downwind and I've got to pull another club. It's been like that all day.

Q. Was yesterday frustrating? A lot of guys were coming off today saying it was playing better today. You didn't necessarily get rewarded as well. Where do you compare the two?

TIGER WOODS: I played a lot better today, so I'm pleased that I was able to shoot something in the 60s. I'll tell you what, if you go out there and shoot a round in the 60s you've earned it today.

Q. Is the course set up different today?

TIGER WOODS: The pins are a little bit more difficult. We've got probably five or six pins three from the side, which is now kind of the standard on Tour. Out here three from the side with the wind swirling, it's awfully tough.

Q. To give yourself a chance, you're getting yourself back -- tell us about giving yourself a chance.

TIGER WOODS: It's nice to hit the ball in the fairway, but you've got to be so patient. A lot of times I took less club off the tees just to make sure I got it in play and kept the ball below the trees. You can't afford to get the ball above the trees here because it's going to get knocked around pretty good. A lot of these little half shots off tees to get the ball down underneath the tree line, and then the fairways are starting to give it up a little bit and you're able to roll a couple shots out there instead of having it back up like it did yesterday.

Q. You were one of the few guys I saw stop in the downswing. There were a couple of cicadas on 17?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I don't know. It kind of freaked me out a little bit, because they hit you. You can definitely feel it when they hit you. It hit me right on my downswing so I had to stop.

Q. Were you maybe not taking driver as much?

TIGER WOODS: Well, you don't really have to because now the fairways are starting to give it up a little bit. If the fairways were softer like yesterday -- I hit more 3-woods yesterday than I did today because the fairways were not giving it up. You had to carry the ball.

Today the fairways are a little bit faster, you can kind of run the ball off of some slopes and get the ball in the same spot.

Q. (Inaudible)?

TIGER WOODS: Yes or no, because it's like Augusta, they keep changing this golf course. If you remember when Azinger holed out that bunker shot on 18, you go down there now and you can barely see his head. It's so different now than it used to be, and the golf course has changed. They keep changing it every year. Yes, you know where to miss it, but then it keeps changing so you've got to keep learning the golf course every year.

Q. You're trying to win, obviously, for the fourth time here, but you're two competitive rounds away from the next major. Are you happy with the position of your game as we're approaching?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I feel like things are starting to shape up. As I said, I haven't had any setbacks, things have been very positive, and I've got to keep doing what I've been doing. I feel very confident and the things I'm working on are starting to come together.

Q. You alluded to your numbers being good today, and anybody in the 60s, depending on what happens in the afternoon. Obviously you like your position heading into the weekend.

TIGER WOODS: Well, you have to like this. If you shoot a round in the 60s today you've done some good work. I'm very pleased. And the guys in the afternoon are going to have a little bit more difficult time because the greens are starting to firm up a little bit. But overall, the golf course is still playing a little on the soft side. The fairways are still a little bit soft, but they're starting to roll out where you're not going to get mud balls anymore. Yesterday I got four or five mud balls. Today I didn't have any, so that's the difference going into these greens.

Q. Is there a key stretch here or a key hole going into the weekend?

TIGER WOODS: I think you take care of the par 5s here. Jack has made them more difficult, but if you play the par 5s well here, generally you're going to shoot some good numbers.

Q. (Inaudible).

TIGER WOODS: Well, it's a left-to-right wind, and with a left-to-right wind you've got to try to start the ball over next to that water. You want to try to draw the ball to hold it against that wind, but some guys may lose it left, overdraw it or lose it in those bunkers, and he's deepened some of these bunkers, so it's pretty tough.

Q. Was that a cicada on your ball at 17?

TIGER WOODS: No, just a little gnat.

Q. Any thought at all to playing that shot on 5 -- (inaudible)?

TIGER WOODS: That's the only shot I had. Either I go back to where I hit it in from, 2-iron there, or I drop it right there, but I didn't know there was a ball drop.

Q. Would have been a hell of a 4 there.

TIGER WOODS: That would have been nice, wouldn't it? I'll take 5, though, after that second shot.

Q. What happened on 12?

TIGER WOODS: It switched, went straight downwind on me. I'm trying to play up the left side there, and I hit my shot and it went from into the wind straight downwind. Vijay had the exact same thing happen to him. Joey hit it downwind, switched into the wind, and he was happy just to get to the bunker. It's just a tough golf shot right now because it's all over the place.

Q. Do you just like seeing Jack around? He's probably going to make the cut.

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, looks like he will. I hope he does. You can see he's been feeling more healthy. For a few years there he could barely walk, and now he's actually able to make some golf swings, so you can see how talented he still is. He knows what to do. From what I've seen on TV, he hasn't putted well at all. If he starts making a few putts, he can post some good numbers.

Q. (Inaudible).

TIGER WOODS: I never thought they should be. I thought the art of putting is to try and figure out how to try and swing both arms together. Anything fixed, I don't think that's right. Not only a belly putter, but a long putter, as well. That's the art of putting, is to try to figure out how to get your synchronization done with both arms and your hands at the same time. I think it promotes, obviously, a perfect pendulum stroke on the arc. I think the only hard part is to try to get the speed, but if you practice with it a lot, I'm sure you can.

End of FastScripts.

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