Q. For a lot of the fans here, this is the first time they've ever come to any golf tournament. Given your movie star status and the weather, is that thing disconcerting, where the fans are trying to vie for your attention while you're playing? I'm curious about how your reaction to the fans has been so far.
TIGER WOODS: They aren't quiet, I'll tell you that. If I don't have a hearing problem, I might have one by the end of the week (laughter.) You come off these tee boxes and they scream right in your ear, yeah. And eventually you just -- you don't hear it anymore, because it's so loud.
Stevie and I were talking about this today again; that it's pretty impressive that they can yell that loud (laughter.) I know I can't, but that's impressive, the fact that you can hear them four or five holes away.
Q. Has that ever happened on any other tournament or is this the first?
TIGER WOODS: Westchester.
Q. Growing up in southern California, how do you learn to play in bad weather like this? Do you ever purposely go out to prepare and play, practice in bad weather?
TIGER WOODS: I used to do that all the time.
Q. And preparation so you can hit shots: Coming into an Open, do you hit more practice shots out of the rough like this? So if you could address those two points.
TIGER WOODS: Growing up in southern Cal, obviously we didn't get a whole lot of this, but when we did, I used to love to go out and play in it. That's something I loved to do was play in bad weather, because we didn't get hardly any of it. Only bad years we were probably El Nino years, or Santa Anas (wind) coming in from the desert. Those are the only two bad weather conditions we ever had.
The only hard part was trying to convince my mom that I could go out and play without catching a cold. That was not easy. I had to do a lot of convincing and a lot of BS-ing.
The rough, you hit a few shots out of the rough, but you try not to because you don't want to go in there. You just want to get a good mental frame of mind of putting the ball in the fairway. But you do hit a few shots out of the rough here and there, just to try to get the feel of it, but that's not go something you want to get accustomed to.
Q. There's been a lot said about you thinking your way around the golf course; there's probably been no one like you that's been able to think their way around the course in a championship. Are there any crutches you use mentally or things that help you get along? Like with the fans, that would be a perfect example, something you do to block this out or mentally keep yourself tough throughout a tournament?
TIGER WOODS: You know it's a long day. And under these conditions, it's probably going to take about six hours or so. Maybe just under six hours. You know you have a long day ahead of you. You've got to save up your energy and apply it to each and every shot and try not to waste any energy. You know that the shots are going to be difficult. You try and get as committed as possible; that's the only thing I try to do. I really focus on each and every shot and give it my best.
And after that, it's over and done with, move on, and do the same thing on the following shot.
Q. I assume most of the tournaments you wait until you get to Sunday and see where you stand and go from there. If you were to have a lead of five or six or more strokes going into Saturday, would you start changing the way you approach the final two rounds?
TIGER WOODS: No, you don't, no. This golf course is set up so that I'm really not going to be able to change anything. Just have to go out and play it the same way, especially now that it's raining, getting longer.
Q. You had a lot of great saves and a lot of strong shots out of the rough, but your chip on 17, was that probably your best shot of the day. Did they squeegee that green before?
TIGER WOODS: I don't know. I don't know if they squeegeed it or not. That shot, it was a little greasy, but I got away with it. I hit a really good one, though. The lie was not very good; it was going into the grain. And as I said I just try -- if I miss it, miss it short and it will tumble down, and it came out absolutely perfect and landed soft and trickled down toward the hole.
Q. Best shot of the day?
TIGER WOODS: Best shot of the day? It was pretty good. Either that one -- I actually hit a few today.
Q. More on the rough; your aggressiveness coming out of that thick rough was a key yesterday. Can you talk about it today? And also your 3-wood, more comfortable with that today?
TIGER WOODS: I don't know if it was necessarily that I was more aggressive out of the rough. I think I just -- I got some good lies out of the rough. I had a couple of bad ones. For instance, on the first one, I didn't draw a very good lie. I only had a pitching wedge in my hand. And I knew I could advance it at least towards the green and get it pretty close, and it came out perfect and got on the green and made birdie. I got some good breaks with some lies today.
And my 3-wood, this is my backup 3-wood I used today. It's my No. 1 backup. It's something I always travel with. I always travel with backups, a few clubs here and there. And this one, I could put it -- it doesn't matter which 3-wood I use. It still feels the same.
Q. Given the conditions out there, do you think that it's going to be difficult for anybody to make up a 4- or 5-shot deficit?
TIGER WOODS: It's going to be difficult, there's no doubt about it. In any U.S. Open, it's always going to be difficult to make up shots because it's not easy to make birdies. You get rewarded for making pars. Sometimes par is a good score. And this golf course is getting that way, where par is a really good score.
Q. If this thing plays 7,214 in dry weather, what do you think the yardage is in weather like this? And in this weather, is this the ultimate grinder's day?
TIGER WOODS: I think so. You've got to adapt your game, hit some different shots. The golf course is getting more wet and the fairways are getting more wet, so you can catch flyers from the fairway, and you've got to play that -- that's another factor you've got to add into it.
This golf course would probably -- it is playing longer, but the thing is, also, it's blowing out there. So now you get it going downwind, you can get there to some of the holes, for instance, 13, some of the longer hitters will be hitting iron in there, if they can keep the ball in play.
So maybe, I don't know, a couple hundred yards longer, maybe a little less than that.
RAND JERRIS: Thanks very much for your time.
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