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August 15, 2002

Tiger Woods


JULIUS MASON: Tiger Woods, ladies and gentlemen, in at 1-under after the first rounds of the 84th PGA Championship. Tiger, if you would not mind going through your day today and we'll go through birdies, bogeys, and go to Q&A please.

TIGER WOODS: Okay. Overall, today I hit the ball pretty good, except for my driver. Didn't really drive the ball particularly well, sprayed it left and right. Didn't really have a good feel for it. But everything else is pretty good. Kept it in play, other than that club, and really felt like I controlled the flight of my shots pretty good today. Made a few putts, which was nice, especially on these greens, with how quick they are. They are not exactly easy to read, either. That was good. I started off on the back nine. I birdied 11, I hit a driver, 3-wood just short of the green and pitched up there to about a foot. On 12, I had 3-wood and 6-iron to about 80 feet and made that. Then I hit driver, pulled left again, hit an 8-iron over the green. I flubbed my chip there and missed about a 12-footer for par. Then on 1, I hit driver again, pulled it. Pitched up a 9-iron and then it rolled over the back. Actually ended up in someone's old divot; whoever played there early in the day had taken a divot, and ended up right in his divot. I protected too much and flubbed that one, too. I hit a good putt, left-to-right, short about two inches, from 25 feet. No. 4, I hit a 7-iron up there about six feet and made that for birdie.

Q. You saved par on 2?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, 2 was nice. I hit a 3-iron off the tee. I hit a 9-iron right at it, and I don't know how it came up short, but the wind is just playing tricks out there. Evidently, I didn't get the wind that I thought I was supposed to get, ended up short, in the bunker, and didn't hit a good bunker shot and then the putt from 15 feet -- I really hit a good putt there and snuck it in the left edge.

Q. You often use colorful language to describe your game. If you had to describe your driving in a colorful way today, how would you describe it?

TIGER WOODS: Blue. (Laughter.)

Q. Blue?

TIGER WOODS: Exactly. It wasn't very good. It was frustrating, because I felt good over the shots. The only shot I didn't feel comfortable over was 9, my last hole. Every other drive, I felt good over the shot and I just made a bad swing. No matter what I tried to do, I tried to hit with that club, I just seemed to get out of rhythm. I got the club stuck behind me and I would flip it left or hang on it and hit it right.

Q. After consecutive bogeys, is that putt on 2, does that sort of stop the bleeding, turn it around?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, that was huge. It was nice not to go over par. I was playing -- as I said, I wasn't driving the ball well with my driver, but I was playing well. I was hitting good shots, I was hitting putts, and all of a sudden, it looked like I'm 2-over par and now I'm 2-under par. It's one of those things that just happened so quickly and you just say, bear down, make this putt and get out of here and try to stay in the round. I really pured that putt, and as I say, snuck it in on the left.

Q. Is the wind hard to figure here on the prairie, as opposed to the sea?

TIGER WOODS: It's so tough out there to figure out. Because, one, it's changing it's intensity, but it's also its direction. So, you're playing two holes going the same direction; one is playing in the wind and one is playing downwind. It's just tough to figure out. You know, you just somehow have to be committed to your shot. That's the hard part.

Q. You're very good at self-analysis, just maybe an analysis of your game after today and how important to get in with a red number?

TIGER WOODS: As I said, I felt like I played well, other than my drives that I hit with my driver. Other than that, I really played well. I hit the ball solid, crisp and made some putts. The only thing that was frustrating was I was not able to get my rhythm on my driver, but to end up at 1-under par today, with these conditions, I mean, that's -- I'll take that. Anything under par today is going to be a good score.

Q. On the first hole, with the weather moving in, did you think you would even get off a shot and how strange was it after leaving the course, after having just one shot?

TIGER WOODS: I'll be perfectly honest with you, I didn't see it coming. I didn't look that way. I was focused on going down 10. They blew the horn and I had not looked back to see how the weather was. I saw it was cloudy when we were warming up, but I was just trying to get focused on my game. I had never looked in that direction. It did surprise me that they blew the horn. I didn't know what it was for and David said there was lightning in the area and I looked back and said, "Yeah, let's get out of here."

Q. When your driver betrays you like this, how much does your practice routine today and tomorrow determine how much you will bring that club into play during tomorrow's round, or would you wait until the round before you make a strategic change, as far as that club is concerned?

TIGER WOODS: I know what I'm doing wrong in the swing. It's just a matter of trusting it and getting the reps in, which I'll do this afternoon. My takeaway wasn't as sound as it should have been against the plane of my swing. My backswing was off. When that gets off, either I get defensive and hit it left or I get defensive and hit it right. I can't really let it go from where I'm at. I just need to go out there and get some reps in. Once I get the reps in, I should be all right. That club, I felt like I swung the club well.

Q. I watched No. 8 all day, the little par 3, and it was giving players fits all day. You played it short and left; is that the play all week at that hole, no matter what the wind is doing? There was some double-bogeys there, bogeys, a lot of players were not even hitting the green.

TIGER WOODS: 3 there for four straight days, I'm sure you will pick up ground on the field, yeah. I'll take 12 there for the week, in a heartbeat.

Q. On 17, you were lining up a putt there and Stevie came over and said something to you and you guys started cracking up just as you were lining it up. What was going on there?

TIGER WOODS: No, I can't. I'm sorry. (Smiles). It's one of those inside joke things, but it was pretty funny.

Q. Do you do anything different when you're playing golf in the wind, ball position, stance? What advice would you give other people in a similar situation?

TIGER WOODS: I think you just have to play each shot individually, whether it's -- you've got to stay in the moment. You've got to hit -- if it's into the wind, obviously, you've got to hit it flat, left-to-right, hold it or right it. You've got to make your decision. The hardest thing today with the winds the way it was, it was all over the place, was getting committed to your shot. That's one thing you can always tell yourself, you've got to be committed to it. Whatever shot you're going to play, just hit that shot. Even if it's wrong, you'll feel better about the fact that you hit a good shot, even though it might not end up in the spot you want it, if you get committed and feel a good shot, at least you'll feel good about it.

Q. If you had not hit the marshal on No. 1, do you think it would have gotten to the crosswalk, if you hit a better shot?

TIGER WOODS: I didn't know I hit the marshal. Did it hit the marshal? Well, that will leave a nice little imprint. At least he could have kicked it out a little further than that. (Laughter.)

Q. Said the greens are hard to read. What is it about them that's so difficult?

TIGER WOODS: It's that a lot of the putts are coming -- if you have long putts, they usually come up over knobs and break in two or three different directions, and what makes them tough today is that the wind is blowing, and you have to play wind on putts. On greens this fast, that's something you don't always want to have to do, but you've got to do it. I hit that putt on 16, the wind blew me and then blew my ball and I was lucky just to end up just a couple feet left of the hole. I thought it, for sure, was going to be even worse than that. But that's what can happen out there.

Q. Were you surprised your driver was not going straight, because it appeared you were hitting your targets in practice and on the range.

TIGER WOODS: I was, and as I said, that is frustrating, because I've swung the club well, except for that club. I didn't get my rhythm, and I didn't trust it from there. So, yeah, that is a little frustrating. I'll fix it this afternoon.

Q. Because you've gone through your whole pre-round routine and you didn't see the storm coming, is it more disruptive to suddenly have it halt? Do you think that contributed to the driver?

TIGER WOODS: No, no. That's not even close to being it, sorry. You know, the driver, just one of those days, one of those days. At least the good thing about our delay is that we hit one shot and we had the entire round to go. So, it's like starting out -- basically, playing par 3 as your first hole, down the hill. That's what I told Stevie, that's how we should play it, par 3, 150 yards, let's move on. It was a lot more difficult if you're deep into the round and you've got to come back and play nine holes or something like that. That's a lot more difficult than it is to get started and play.

Q. Everybody on TOUR has experience on this, but what do you do during a three-hour delay?

TIGER WOODS: We ate a lot. (Laughter.) Ate breakfast three times. Lunch wasn't out yet.

Q. You play just about everywhere there's a golf course in the world; Asia, Europe, New Zealand. Have you ever seen 'squiters (mosquitos) bigger than the ones they have got here?

TIGER WOODS: One place, Alaska. That's the only place I've ever seen them, where they will take you back and they will feed you to a brown bear. They will just pick you up out of the river and drop you over to some bear.

Q. For somebody who is so committed the mechanics of the golf swing what do you make of Furyk's action, is that something wind would not even mess with today?

TIGER WOODS: It certainly is unusual, his action. But you know what, though, I think -- it is repetitive for one, but no one gives him credit for enough credit for how tough he is mentally. He's tough and everyone out here know it is on TOUR. Down the stretch, he's not going to make a mistake. He's as tough as nails, and he's got a great short game and putts well. His swing is a little funny-looking, but it's always in play. He seems to get the ball in play with a left-to-right little fade out there, and he never seems to really make a bad mistake.

Q. Justin Rose has come in at 3-under, speaking to someone who has enjoyed considerable success in the PGA and given the conditions, how good is that score?

TIGER WOODS: That's good. If you can shoot something in the 60s today, you have to be very proud of yourself. And especially for him, he's never played the PGA, this is his first one. My hat is off to him. That's a great score.

Q. David Toms had a real struggle today. Can you give us your impression of his round and if he was frustrating playing with heavy hitters like and you Ernie?

TIGER WOODS: No. He was frustrated the fact that he could not hit the ball where he wanted to hit it, and that's -- he just had a tough day. It looked like he was kind of struggling off the tee. He made a some good putts but missed a few, too, which is not like him. I'm sure he'll go out there this afternoon and fix it off the range. He's a great champion.

Q. This is your first trip to Minnesota. Can you give us your impressions of the galleries; seems to be Tiger-mania is at a pretty fevered pitch around here.

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, they are certainly loud and excited. It's always nice to play in front of fans that are appreciative of your efforts in hitting good shots. The galleries out there today, they were not screaming off of tee shots just because they got airborne. You had to get the ball in play and then they clapped. That's always nice to play in front of people who are knowledgeable about the game of golf.

Q. How many times did you hit the driver today and how many fairways did you hit with them?

TIGER WOODS: How many times did I hit driver today (counting)...

Q. Seven.

TIGER WOODS: There you go. 2 for 7. Hit it on 11 --

Q. 11 and 3 were the fairways.

TIGER WOODS: 11 and 3. Yeah, you're right.

JULIUS MASON: Thanks, Tiger.

End of FastScripts...

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