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February 27, 2003

Tiger Woods


JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Thank you, Tiger, for joining us again for a few moments. Great win today over K.J. Choi. A lot of bad conditions out there today. Why don't you just kind of talk about the round and the slow play, because of the weather and then we'll go into questions.

TIGER WOODS: Okay. Yeah, the weather wasn't too good out there today, especially early. It was windy and all of a sudden became rainy. The rain was hit and miss, which was even worse, because you had to take off your gear, put it back on, take it off, put it back on. It was just a day of patience out there. You had to go ahead and deal with the conditions the way they are and accept them, and above all keep the ball in play. Because you know if you miss the fairway, put the ball in the deep stuff, you can't get to the green. And I tried wherever I could to get the ball in play. And I did an all right job, not a great job, but an all right job at it.

Q. Tiger, what are the variety of shots you have to play in conditions like this?

TIGER WOODS: I played some different ones, I tell you that. I hit -- last hole I had 120 to the hole and hit an 8-iron in there. I had a couple of holes where I had 150, 155 and I hit 5-irons. You've got to take off the spin or it's going to come ripping off the green. And you just play different shots. You accept it and you have to do it.

Q. Do you enjoy that and feel that maybe it separates players?

TIGER WOODS: It's fun to do it if you have ball in hand. It wouldn't be a whole lot of fun if you had to play it down today.

Q. Did you play as good as the score indicated?

TIGER WOODS: I played pretty solid today, yeah. I hit two 5-irons back-to-back over there on 12 and 13 -- sorry, 3 and 4. And that got me going, and from there I didn't really -- I didn't mis-hit a shot from there on in. I may have put it in the wrong spot, but I hit them flush.

Q. You hit 256 yard 2-iron in those conditions?


Q. Did you?

TIGER WOODS: No. I don't know where I did it.

Q. You got on to the par-5?


Q. Yes, what did you get on there with?

TIGER WOODS: I was only 240 to the front.

Q. Wrong distance. 240, 2-iron?

TIGER WOODS: When I was playing it was down, left-to-right. So just hit a flush one, I know I could get it to 240. There's no way I could get it to the hole, I was just playing to the front.

Q. Any tournament, not making a bogey in two days has got to be pretty satisfying?

TIGER WOODS: When you're playing in conditions like this, you don't want to ever give your opponent a hole. You know if you go out there and don't make any mistakes, you're more than likely going to win the match. And that's what I tried to do the last couple of days, is not really put myself in danger of making bogey. I did a couple of times today and had to make some good par putts. But you have to do that when the conditions are like this, because it's very easy to make a few bogeys and get on that train.

Q. The 4th and 5th holes, TV had closeups of you, it was really raining like blazes then. You had -- you looked like huh swallowed something bad. Were you just unhappy or just concentrating so much or was the weather just making you miserable?

TIGER WOODS: I don't know what it was, but I was focused on what I had to do. The shot I hit on No. 8, I never saw the ball, never even saw it because, one, I made contact, so all the stuff that I'm -- I'm playing in almost casual as it is, and water is flying, and water is coming down, and I never saw the shot. And I just listened for claps (laughter).

Q. Were you a little surprised that they didn't stop it just officially?

TIGER WOODS: I assumed they would have stopped it if it was a full field event. When you only have 16 groups out there, I think that's why they didn't stop it.

Q. You were also playing -- the point was made that if this was stroke-play, and a different course, but you're playing in that little position against one guy, so you're both playing under the same situation?

TIGER WOODS: That makes a big difference, too, it really does. If someone would have gone out a lot earlier or even this afternoon, and not have to play in these conditions, he would have had a tremendous advantage, never had to play in this stuff. And the guys ahead of us, two groups ahead of us, I don't know who David Toms was playing, they barely got to the fairway on the 9th hole. It was blowing and it was raining and it was tough.

Q. It was Riley. Do you know off the top of your head if you won a tournament shooting the best score each day?

TIGER WOODS: I've come close. The U.S. Open at Pebble on Saturday I had the second lowest score next to Ernie.

Q. Is that kind of the frightening thing about this tournament is not knowing when your one round is going to be and who you're going to get?

TIGER WOODS: It's just the way it is. I think a perfect example of that when I played the Dunhill Cup with Daly and O'Meara in 98. I went out there and I was 16 under, I think for my three matches I played, either 14 or 16 under. And my last match I shot even par and lost, and Daly never shot a round better -- par or better. Every round he shot was over par, and he won every single match. It's just the nature of playing match play. It's just different.

Q. The shot that you hit in with no spin where it's dead like on the last hole, where you have a partial follow through, did you have that shot when you turned pro?

TIGER WOODS: No, I didn't have that shot, not for my swing plane I had. Playing my swing there was no way you could play that shot.

Q. Is that the last two or three years? Can you talk about when --

TIGER WOODS: That's one of the reasons why I evolved -- my swing plane to where it is now, to hit different shots and be more consistent. To be able to keep the blade open longer through impact has definitely given me more variety of shots, especially in these conditions.

Q. Tiger, it's been three weeks now, and you didn't go anywhere, but are you officially back now a hundred percent?

TIGER WOODS: No, I won't be a hundred percent for a while.

Q. Do you still do the icing and all the exercises?

TIGER WOODS: Yes. I'll be doing it that for years.

Q. I just need to check on Dubai, we've had a number of withdrawals today. Have you made your decision today?

TIGER WOODS: I haven't made my decision yet.

Q. Today?

TIGER WOODS: Check tomorrow.

Q. You're taking the spin off because the greens are so wet or because the fairways are so sloppy?

TIGER WOODS: The greens are just that soft and that wet. On the 9th hole I had -- I wanted to hit 4-iron, but trying to hit a half nothing 4-iron is kind of tough. So I went with a 5-iron, and ripped it back 25 feet. Hitting a 5-iron out of the first cut of rough. That's why you have to play those kind of shots, because it can happen any time.

Q. What do you know about Steven Leaney?

TIGER WOODS: I know he's got a hell of a golf swing. He's got a beautiful golf swing. And he's had a lot of success in the past year. So the way he's playing now is going to be a great match.

Q. Who would be the most ominous opponent in this field right now, you as the top seed or Kevin Sutherland?

TIGER WOODS: You don't know, that's the thing. You don't know. And I think that's the beauty of match play is that you just flip a coin.

Q. As much as you say that's the beauty of match play, flip a coin, if you can keep not making bogeys, the odds are pretty good?

TIGER WOODS: You can still get a boat race, someone can shoot seven or eight under, and not make a bogey, and someone can shoot three or four under, and you're packing your bags.

Q. I don't know that anyone is shooting 7-under there?

TIGER WOODS: They can go in this condition right now, with no rain, and have to deal with, someone could do it.

Q. Tiger, physically how much heavier are you today than say four or five years ago?

TIGER WOODS: You're trying to call me fat? (Laughter.) My plumpness is up to -- no --

Q. You look like you could play linebacker?

TIGER WOODS: When I first turned pro, I think I was 158. And now I'm 185. So I've put on a little weight.

Q. Body fat?

TIGER WOODS: I haven't tested it had lately, but it's single digits.

Q. I don't know if you're aware, Mr. Rogers passed away, did you watch him growing up or anything?


Q. Mr. Rogers?

TIGER WOODS: Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood? Did he?

Q. Do you have any fond memories of watching him growing up?

TIGER WOODS: I didn't really watch him. I watched Sesame Street. So, no, I didn't really watch his show very often.

End of FastScripts....

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