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March 28, 2004

Tiger Woods


Q. Let's talk positive. You've been an Adam Scott fan for a while, and I guess nothing he does surprises you.

TIGER WOODS: No, he's been working extremely hard on his game, and you can see that he's playing with a lot of confidence. You know, look at his finishes over the entire year this year. They've been pretty good. He's finished up there in every tournament except for Sony, but that's about it. Every tournament he's really played well.

It was just a matter of time before things really got going for him, and now he's got some challenging holes coming up, but the way he's playing right now he should be able to handle them no problem because there's no wind out there.

Q. Are you flattered at all by the fact that he's, you've seen the frame-by-frames, kind of replicated your swing a little bit? Does that put a little bit of a smile on your face?

TIGER WOODS: When he first came to see Butch, I saw the tapes when he first got there. I mean, it looked just like me. The only difference is that he's a little bit taller than I am so obviously he's got a little bit more width than I do, but other than that, it looks very similar. We have the same kind of faults. We have very similar builds, so it lends itself to swinging about the same.

Q. What's your take on this week?

TIGER WOODS: I didn't quite hit it good enough starting out to give myself an opportunity. I mean, I had a chance on the second hole there and I hit it in the bunker and made bogey. I just could not afford to do something like that. I got it back to 1-under par for the day, and I honestly thought if the wind would have kept up, I thought 9 might have been the total, but the wind laid down and the guys started firing at the flags again. The greens got a lot faster, that's for sure, but when there's no wind out there you can take advantage of the slopes and go right at the flag.

Q. Is it almost better to be missing to one side now? At least left doesn't look like it's in play, which last week it was everywhere?

TIGER WOODS: Exactly. The left ball that I hit this week is actually the proper left ball because it actually starts out to the right and I overhook it. That I can deal with. The two-way miss is not a good way to play golf, so at least I got it singled down to one way.

It's just a matter of staying behind it and trusting it because it's in there. My swing is good if I let it go and trust it, but when I get out there and I see a little trouble and I've got a little wind and have to hit a shot in play, I don't trust it.

Q. How is your leg feeling today? Also, how does this tournament prepare you for the next tournament?

TIGER WOODS: My leg is sore, there's no doubt about that. Hey, I just go ahead and keep playing. As far as this tournament, getting ready for the next one, it's just a great preparation because these greens today, they turned pretty quick today. I thought they might have turned the suction blowers on here and took all the water out of them, they were so fast early on. I was kidding with Paddy going down the fourth or fifth hole, you can almost see your reflection in these greens. They looked so fast.

Towards the end with no wind blowing, they felt like they were slowing up a little bit.

Q. When you talk about confidence and you see that it's so important, when did you start losing a little bit where you weren't sure where the ball was going? Was it this year, was it last year, any one tournament or just gradually?

TIGER WOODS: Just a gradual thing. You can always play with your hands and get away with it, and sometimes that's a blessing as well as something that could be detrimental, too. It covers up a lot of mistakes. You can play from the wrong position for a long time with good hands, and eventually it's going to catch up with you.

Q. You've never been one to make excuses. Did you blow this quad out doing squats?

TIGER WOODS: Back on the range picking up my tee. I leaned over differently than I normally would. I went down with my left leg rather than my right and it crossed over nonchalantly, was going to go hit pitch shots, and it was like, ooh.

Q. You should have said squats.

TIGER WOODS: It would have been a much better story.

Q. That was Nissan?


Q. You mentioned swing changes yesterday, just synopsis of what they are without getting into too much.

TIGER WOODS: A lot of it is the takeaway and making sure I've got enough width and room coming down. I can get into the technical side of it and explain it, but that's basically -- if I get the takeaway with the club with its true loft on the proper angle, it's cake coming down. When I get it off, then obviously I've got to make compensation with it with my hands on the way down.

Q. You've talked about this whole tournament how close you are to getting where you want to be. How frustrating has this tournament been?

TIGER WOODS: It's frustrating in the sense that I wasn't able to really get it going. When I did get it going yesterday, I messed up on 17 and 18 when I could have really put myself in there with a good chance.

Overall, I'm pleased with the things that I'm working on starting to come together. I'm starting to show signs. I just need to replicate it more often. I need to hit more fairways, more proper golf shots at the flags, give myself more birdie opportunities because I'm really putting well, just not giving myself enough looks at putts.

Q. Just going to hang out at home and work on stuff at Isleworth? Are you going to fly up for a sneak preview?

TIGER WOODS: I'm not going to go up there. The only hole they really changed is 11. It's not like a reconstruction of some of the greens or some of the tee boxes like they did a few years ago. 11 is the only change, but the only change is just the tree line.

Q. With The Masters coming up, Nick Flanagan, the amateur champ, says he's picked up the game after watching you win in '97. Do you think that's cool or does that make you feel old?

TIGER WOODS: Both. I don't feel like I'm that old yet, but when you make stories like that -- 28 shouldn't be that old, but it's just amazing that there's so many good young players coming up now in golf, not certainly the guys like Adam Scotts and Charles Howells and Paul Casey and Justin Rose, that generation; there's another generation just behind them that are coming up where there is some pretty good and pretty stiff competition. When they get out here on Tour, they're going to be a force.

Q. Do you think you'll play a practice round at Augusta?

TIGER WOODS: As of now I think we're supposed to play Monday afternoon. Stuey is going to talk to me at home and we're going to firm up the details.

Q. Is he still staying at Appleby's?

TIGER WOODS: I don't know. He was last week.

Q. You said something about blessings and I wanted to say peace and blessings to you, congratulations on your success, and also someone mentioned to me about you wearing a red shirt on the last day of the tournament. Is that what you usually do? Does that burgundy --

TIGER WOODS: I usually wear red. My mom thinks it's some kind of power color for Capricorn, so I don't know. It's my mom's doing.

End of FastScripts.

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