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March 20, 2004

Tiger Woods


Q. Two back-to-back 74s, I know you're disappointed, but is there anything positive that you can take out of last two days?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I'm swinging a lot better, that's the funny thing. I'm hitting my irons terrible but I'm driving it well now. I just need to -- 90 percent of my shots were really good. The things I'm working on are starting to come together. It's just the other ten percent are off the charts. Need TO bring that back.

Q. Has putting been a problem, so many times before if you hit a poor shot --

TIGER WOODS: Well, when you've got 15-footers, that's the closest you've got for birdie and you've got up-and-downs from 20 feet, come on, you know you can't make those putts all the time. It's not that I'm not getting up-and-down. I'm putting the ball in the wrong spots to get up-and-down. You give yourself bad angles, you have no chance.

Q. When you go into a situation like you will be tomorrow, which is highly rare territory for you, do you think of the number of shots that realistically you could come-from-behind or just go play as hard as you can and see what happens?

TIGER WOODS: Well, I'm working on a few things and I'm pretty excited about the things I'm working on. Just a matter of going out there and putting it together like I did the first day. I'm excited about the things that are going on in my golf swing.

Q. Is there a fine line between trying to make things happen and forcing them to happen when the game is not clicking?

TIGER WOODS: The game was just a touch off, but I drove the ball well. I felt like I hit some good shots out there. As I said, 90 percent of my shots are really good. If my other ten percent are not playable, that's the problem. They need to just missing the green on correct sides instead of short-siding myself or just missing the fairway on the correct side. Now I'm leaving myself with no angle into the green.

It's just a touch off. But pleased at some of the things, if I do it right, it's pretty good, and when I do it wrong, obviously it's really bad right now.

Q. Optimism for tomorrow?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I am. Kind of symbolic how the whole day went on 18. I hit just a perfect drive, nice high cut with a fade and ends up in the rough. Kind of sums up the whole day.

Q. Do you remember last time you went back-to-back rounds over par?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I think it was at Augusta.

Q. How disappointing is it not to have a chance to make history with winning the same tournament five years in a row?

TIGER WOODS: Hey, I had tried my best. It's not going to happen, but hopefully I can get it going and play well next week and get it going for Augusta. If I can win that one, I think that will be a little bit bigger than this one.

Q. is your leg bothering you at all?

TIGER WOODS: No. Leg feels good.

Q. What about your neck?

TIGER WOODS: Neck's been sore. I hurt it on the practice round. It's been sore but I'm not -- not where it's not playable. It's just been sore.

Q. Is it sometimes maybe a little twinge or something, a change in the way you can swing the golf club, downswing or whatever?

TIGER WOODS: Actually it's felt all right throughout out the entire swing till the follow-through. By then the ball is gone, so it doesn't really matter.

Q. What's your feeling going into next week? You have one more round here, but do you feel like you've got the time to work on the issues that you have to work on or is it something that might take you until you get to Augusta?

TIGER WOODS: Well, I'm excited about the things I'm working on. I'm really excited about some of the shots I'm hitting. Driving the ball better than I have in a long time. Starting to get any distance back which is great. Just a matter of getting my misses where they are playable again, because when I do it right, it's great. When I do it wrong, I'm just not giving myself the correct angles into the greens or I miss the greens, it's not on the right side. You need to miss the ball on the correct side and I'm not doing that.

Q. Was it just a case of you trying to make something happen?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I was. If I would have hit it just like I did the second one, I was trying to hit a high fade and instead I hit draw. I held it back into the wind and that's what killed it. I was trying to bite off a lot of it and actually it's -- I guess 305 to carry, which is not that far considering the wind is straight downwind. If you get the -- for me if I get ball up in the air and cutting, it's over no problem. Daly is doing the same thing. If you get it cutting, you can carry it pretty easy.

Q. Do you remember the last time you had penalty shots in three straight days?

TIGER WOODS: That's what I mean. When I do it right, it's great. When I do it wrong, I'm not keeping ball in play on the correct sides; hence, I have the penalties.

Q. Anything you can pinpoint on your irons that's causing problems?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, the takeaway, the backswing and the downswing. (Laughter.) Other than that, it's all right.

Q. Other players get asked about you quite often but curious your opinion as to Chad Campbell, person and player?

TIGER WOODS: Chad is very quiet. I've known him since college. He goes about his business quietly. People don't realize that he's won at every level. He won in college, won on the Hooters Tour, won on the Nationwide Tour and now he's out here and he won THE TOUR Championship.

Chad can flat-out play. He's got kind of a flatter swing. He draws the ball. It's just a beautiful draw and sometimes he can really hit it hot, too, just hot tumblers out there. I look for him to do well. He's a wonderful ball-striker. That's what you have to do here.

Q. No repeat winners at THE PLAYERS Championship; anything that you can pinpoint?

TIGER WOODS: That's just one tough-ass golf course, as simple as that. (Laughter).

Q. Is that why it's tough to repeat at majors and so forth?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah. At majors, it's different. The only time we ever play the same golf course again is Augusta, and there local knowledge plays a lot into it. And plus it's a much smaller field, too. Well, it used to be. It's easy to win there more frequently.

But THE PLAYERS Championship, I mean, it's the best players in the world. It's the strongest field probably we play all year. Because of that, you have more players that are skilled that can win the tournament.

Q. You were talking about consistency that you haven't had, do you feel like you've had that consistency this year or the end of last year?

TIGER WOODS: I had it the first day, the first day this week. I really had it. I was so excited about some of the things that I was working on on Tuesday and Wednesday and they were coming together. Went out there on Thursday and I really hit it well. Didn't make any putts, but, man, I hit it good. That, to me, is exciting because I know my putting is going to come around. Just a matter of getting my ball-striking in there where I can give myself enough looks at putts. If I give myself enough looks at putts, I figure I'm a decent putter, I can make a few.

End of FastScripts.

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