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June 20, 2003

Tiger Woods


TIGER WOODS: Man, I just didn't keep it going. I got it going early and I had a couple, two, three, whips there, but off the green, so technically it's a 2-putt. Golly, to have it go in like that and to give it all away with just poor putting, that's a little frustrating.

Q. 18 was like a microcosm of your fortunes lately: Almost, but not quite there.

TIGER WOODS: I hit two of the best shots I've hit all day. I hit a drive, a beautiful high 3-wood, maybe just a yard right and I get down there and I have no shot. Only thing I can do is maybe hit the flag as it goes by and maybe that will stop it.

Q. How do you feel about your game going into the weekend?

TIGER WOODS: I feel pretty good. I've played nine holes well each day. I just need to keep it going longer than that. It's getting better now. It's not just playing two or three holes and then leaving me for a couple holes. It's staying longer. I'm starting to get more into the rhythm. The things I've been working on are starting to come together now. It's just a matter of getting up there and just trusting everything.

Q. Your tee shot on 7, was that further than you shot or did you miscalculate the yardage?

TIGER WOODS: Sort of. It has to get past the corner or else you can't see and granted, I did pull it, but you have to get a club where you get past the corner. Obviously, I didn't choose the right club.

Q. Do you feel like solid play here is a springboard for the rest of the year?

TIGER WOODS: I've been playing solid all year, I really have. It's just a matter of stringing some rounds together. If you look at my weeks I've played lately, I've played two or three good rounds and one kind of that hurts me a little bit. And that's just because of the things I've been working on are not quite there yet, but they are coming. They are getting close. Just a matter of time before it all comes together.

Q. What happened with the bunker shot on 9?

TIGER WOODS: I didn't really have a shot. I just tried to hit the flag and maybe stopped it within 15, 20 feet. That's about what I did.

Q. Do you feel like these first two rounds are better than some of the ones you've played here previously?

TIGER WOODS: I really haven't hit the ball well when I've come here and played. When you don't hit the ball well, especially driving the ball well -- if you don't drive the ball well here you're not going to shoot a very good score.

Q. How do you maintain being positive when you keep being asked what's wrong?

TIGER WOODS: Because there's really nothing wrong. There really isn't. That's the thing that people don't really understand that. Golf is not easy. I've had some pretty good success this year.

Q. Do you have to remind yourself or do you shrug that off and say, "I know what it's all about"?

TIGER WOODS: If there's anyone who is going to know it's going to be me.

Q. How are the greens?

TIGER WOODS: Uphill putts, it's hard to make yourself hit the putts hard because the downhill putts are so much faster than they look. Conversely, uphill putts are that much slower. Yeah, it's really hard to release the blade that hard, that much.

A couple times, I kind of gagged it up there and left it pretty short.

Q. Four shots is a pretty comfortable position with two rounds to go.

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I'm looking all right. I'm right there with a chance and hopefully we get in all 72.

Q. Does that play in your mind, the weather report?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, it does. I think it plays on everybody's mind. You want to get up close to the lead as possible if not leading. If you're leading, do a rain dance. (Laughter.)

I'm right there with a chance. I just hope that we get enough holes in where I get to have a good shot at them.

Q. Are you a little disappointed with yourself, on 1, were you where you wanted to be, right below the hole?

TIGER WOODS: I ran the putt by about four feet. That's not a very good putt, especially when Flesch just hit a beautiful putt there a few feet by the hole, so I saw the pace and had a perfect line. I went ahead and hit a terrible putt.

Q. Did you see Scott at all?

TIGER WOODS: He came up to us on the putting green. We were watching him warm up and he was flinching when he was warming up. There was no way he can go.

Q. Can you still appreciate this golf course in this soggy condition?

TIGER WOODS: It's different. The fairways are certainly wider. The pins, I've never seen them this difficult, but they have to be or else the guys would be 15-under par. So the Tour has done a very good job of setting the course up where, because it's as soft as it is, they have had to really hide the pins and they made them pretty difficult for us.

Q. Is this rough almost like what you expected to see last week?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, it really is. A couple spots here, if it's laying downgrain, you can get a club on it with no problem. But if it's laying into the grain, you have no chance. You don't have a prayer. Last week, I hit a couple balls in the rough where I could have hit 3-wood out of there. You don't even fathom doing that at a U.S. Open. I think it's just because of the weather they have. They just weren't able to grow the grass.

Q. Are you increasingly comfortable with your driver?

TIGER WOODS: I've been comfortable hitting. It's just a matter of getting into the rhythm of swinging it enough times. Most of the golf courses we play don't allow me to hit the driver very often, maybe two or three times, max. This golf course, because it is soft as it is, I'm hitting more drivers because of that or else I normally would only hit one or two drivers on this golf course.

Q. Why driver today on 10?

TIGER WOODS: With the pin being on that side and the wind right-to-left, it's perfect for me. Because when I'm a little speedy, so I had to hit that full, I usually lose it a little right which means the wind is going to help me out. So I aim at the middle of the green, go ahead and rip it and more than likely, I probably lose it up against the wind, which should hold it, which it did, and put it right in the bunker. I had an easy shot.

Q. After 36, what's the best thing you can say that you feel best about after 36 here in terms of your game?

TIGER WOODS: Everything is solid. Just a matter of keeping it going. I got off to beautiful starts last two days and just haven't been able to string up the back nine the way I need to. Just a matter of keeping things going because I feel like things are really starting to come together now.

End of FastScripts....

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