Q. Do you think it's taken longer to get your swing path right because you can't grind on the practice tee as much with the knee? Are they related?
TIGER WOODS: A little bit. I won't say all of it, no, but a lot of it is just getting up there and trusting it.
Q. Your practice time, would you say it's diminished a percentage? Are you down 25 percent? How much less have you practiced this year?
TIGER WOODS: It's hard to say because some days I'll get out there and hit a lot of golf balls, but I'll hit a lot of wedges. I won't get out there and pound drivers or pound 2-irons. So it's semi-misleading.
Q. 16, the first shot went through the bunker and it hit the rake and you were kind of tiptoeing on top of the bunker? It didn't look like you saw the ball and it almost went in the hole.
TIGER WOODS: When I hit the shot, it was between 8 and 9 and I just chose a half-nothing 8-iron up there. When I hit it I actually thought it was going to land short of the green and bounce on, and by the time I saw the ball it had already kind of almost stopped. It looked like it had a chance.
Q. Is that when you feel like maybe everything is going right, those things you just can't control, but it's just, like, this is your day?
TIGER WOODS: Well, I did hit a good quality shot, but it's also nice for it to end up as close as it did, kind of both. The one that I got away with was 18.
Q. Second shot?
TIGER WOODS: Well, I hit a perfect drive, hit a terrible second shot, a terrible third shot and a wonderful fourth shot. So if there's any hole I got away with one, it was on 18.
Q. Well, I was thinking of 9 then when you had the second shot onto the green.
TIGER WOODS: My last hole?
TIGER WOODS: It wasn't inside right, I'll tell you that. The putt broke quite a bit. When we were walking up there I was hoping I wouldn't have to chip it, and it was close. I was very close to having to chip it but I had enough room to squeeze the ball up there.
Q. Even though you came in not worrying about this ridiculous slump talk, is there some satisfaction when people see 63 that maybe those people will be off your back? Is there a little smile in you because of that?
TIGER WOODS: Not because of that. It's certainly not because of that. It's because of the fact that the things that I've been working on came together today. That's what you have to keep in mind. You know, one of the things I realize by playing out here, just like I've told you guys, some of the shots I've hit haven't been that great, but you guys describe them as hell of a golf shots. Shots I've hit bad haven't really been that poor, so it's somewhere in the middle. If you get caught up in the roller-coaster ride of the media, how good you are, how terrible you are, how good you are, how terrible you are, you're not going to have a very happy career. That's what the media's job is. The media reports it, the public says it. It's your guys' responsibilities to do that, and some of the things that have been caused isn't because of the fans. You know, the gentleman who asked me that at Chicago, here in Chicago during the U.S. Open, that started the whole thing, and it wasn't the fans who started it, it was the person in the media.
Q. You were 3 for 7 at that point.
TIGER WOODS: Correct.
Q. What is it about this course, this area? The fans voted your victory in '97 as the greatest moment in the 100 years of this tournament. What is it about this course?
TIGER WOODS: You know, there aren't too many golf courses that you come to that you just absolutely love the layout, and I want to play here every year. I thoroughly enjoy it. I grew up playing in the WGA. I played in the Western Junior, the Western Am and finally here at the Western Open. I've gotten to know a lot of these guys, they've been friends of mine, and it's always nice to come back to a familiar environment, especially one that you grew up with. I love this golf course. The holes look and fit my eye, and that's awfully nice when that can happen because you don't find too many golf courses that you feel that comfortable on, but this certainly is one for me.
Q. Why is that? You hear that all the time, Elkington and Doral all the time.
TIGER WOODS: Just the way it is. Some golf courses fit other players, some don't.
TODD BUDNICK: All right, Tiger, let's go through the round. What did you hit in on that one on 11?
TIGER WOODS: I hit a 6-iron in there.
15, I hit a 3-iron to about 40 feet and two-putted.
16, I hit an 8-iron to -- even Jeff could have made that putt.
No. 1, I hit a nice little wedge to about 15 feet past the hole and made it.
5, I hit a 6-iron to about 30 feet right of the hole and two-putted.
6, I hit a 6-iron to about 12 feet, made that.
7, I hit a 60-degree sand wedge to about three feet.
The last hole, I hit a 3-wood up there to about 30 feet and two-putted.
TODD BUDNICK: Thank you very much, Tiger.
End of FastScripts....