Q. What are the speed of the greens?
TIGER WOODS: They're quicker. They've been double cutting and rolling them. They're definitely picking up speed.
Q. Just talk about the way you rolled the ball. A couple of putts you didn't like, but you also made eagle putt, it was a beautiful putt, you rolled in a long one at the par 3. Just talk a little bit about the way you're rolling the ball.
TIGER WOODS: I felt I was hitting my putts on the right line. I just hit them with bad speed. The putt -- those two putts I did, the putt I made on two was, I thought was a pretty good putt, because I needed to make that one just to keep the momentum going. I just won the first hole and put a little heat on him. And I made that and the third hole was just lagging it down there. I wasn't trying to do anything special, just trying to lag it down there and get out of dodge, and it happened to go in the hole.
Q. Tiger, you said he was not swinging it well at the start. Did you sense an uneasiness or nervousness in his play?
TIGER WOODS: You just -- he just got off to a bad start. He had a pull hook off the tee at first. The second hole, I don't know, it looked like he had a shot to get to the green. He hit the tree coming out and it hit the water. The next hole he hit a pretty good shot. And it happened to hit on the fringe and skipped over the back. And he never seemed to get going, never seemed to get the momentum going, and when that happens, you've got to keep putting the pressure on him.
Q. From Torrey to Riviera to here, is there getting marked improvement in your game?
TIGER WOODS: That's usually what happens, as you get -- I took a huge layoff, and it took me a little while to get back to the rhythm, but I feel like I'm back now. I'm back in the rhythm of playing.
Q. Even at Torrey, you had that phenomenal last three rounds. Is it a different level?
TIGER WOODS: Without a doubt, yeah. I have a better sense of where the club's at. The only really, really bad day I had, which I thought I should have played a lot better was last Saturday, because I felt I was playing good going into that round, and then I just couldn't feel where anything was going.
Q. It's probably my turn to ask the Dubai question.
TIGER WOODS: Don't know. Tomorrow.
Q. Ernie is playing.
TIGER WOODS: Is he? Okay. Good for him.
Q. With how well you play in each match, how comfortable is that feeling instead of having to be fighting something, going into matches like this, when anything can happen, are you much more comfortable the way you're playing now?
TIGER WOODS: Certainly, when you go out and you have control of your game, on a difficult golf course like this right now, it definitely gives you a lot of confidence going into each and every match. It's not like I'm going around and slapping it around, and shooting four or five over and winning matches. I'm actually going out there and playing some pretty solid golf.
Q. Does it help to win big, because it's possibly 36 holes tomorrow and Sunday?
TIGER WOODS: It's always nice to win big. It's always nice. You don't look at the fact that it's 36 tomorrow, because you don't know. You've got to take care of business first in the morning, before you get a chance to take care of business in the afternoon.
Q. Tiger, that 8-iron shot you made on 15 yesterday, you said you didn't have that shot two years ago. Is that part of what makes this game so exciting to you, because you're still adding things to your game?
TIGER WOODS: I had it two years ago, in 2000. I played all right in 2000.
Q. The question is, is that what makes the game so exciting? Are you still adding things to your game? Do you watch tapes of the older players, and say I'm going to try that and add that shot to my game?
TIGER WOODS: Yes, but no. You take bits and pieces. I still watch the guys out here that have shots that I'd like to be able to hit better, that they're pretty good at, and why do they do it, the angles that they come in, the positions that they're in, and you just kind of figure out -- a lot of times you can't physically do it. I don't have the body structure to do it. You move on, and try something different.
And that's what's a lot of fun for me, to go out and experiment, what can I do to get a little bit better. And I thoroughly enjoy that. I thoroughly enjoy going out late in the evening and hitting shots at home, trying to figure how can I get that much better.
Q. Scott Hoch is up in his match, I think a few holes. If it's Scott, just a couple words about him.
TIGER WOODS: Scott's a wonderful match-play player. There's no doubt about that. He drives it very straight. He's also one of the best iron players we have out here on tour. From tee to green, it's going to be a tough match.
Q. Were you surprised Stephen didn't play better?
TIGER WOODS: You know, I was surprised that he didn't get off to a better start. Evidently he might not have felt it, just had one of those days. And when you're playing an opponent, that I kept putting the pressure on him, too, that's tough when you don't quite feel right, you're not hitting the shots as precise as you normally do. And it's tough when that happens.
Q. When is the last time you've lacked any confidence holding a club in your hands?
TIGER WOODS: Lacked confidence?
Q. Yes. You seem so confident with every shot you're going after.
TIGER WOODS: I feel like I can hit just about any shot, just a matter if I can pull it off at the time. If you had asked me on last Saturday, it would have been a different answer, you know.
Q. So it's very rare?
TIGER WOODS: It happens. You could be playing like this and all of a sudden you hit a two- or three-hole stretch where you don't feel right. And that happens. That's part of golf. We all feel that way. I know -- I believe in myself and what I can do. Sometimes I just can't do it. That's part of playing golf.
Q. In 2000, you got to the finals here with Darren, but this year you seem to be basically even really playing better than that. I think you seem to be -- there's never been a doubt on what's going to happen on each hole as you go out there. Do you feel like you're playing better in this event today, this week, than you were when you got to the finals if 2000?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, yeah definitely.
Q. You don't know if it's going to be 36 tomorrow, but if everything goes well for you, it will be a long -- probably -- hopefully, it will be a long weekend. How much does your conditioning really help on a weekend like potentially you're going to face here?
TIGER WOODS: That's one of the reasons why I work as hard as I do. I don't say that I don't work hard in the gym, I think I do a pretty good job of that. I feel like I'm in pretty good shape to handle that kind of stuff.
End of FastScripts....