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March 2, 2002

Tiger Woods


JOAN V.T. ALEXANDER: Thank you, Tiger, for joining us. Tough day out there with the wind again. Why don't you make a couple of comments about your round.

TIGER WOODS: I played well all day. I hit a lot of good shots today. Hit some good putts today that didn't go in and also played some beautiful par saves as well. I hung in there and wasn't able to make the birdie putts on the back nine like I really would have liked to, but that's all right.

Q. Good saves today?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, some good saves.

On 6 made about a 15-footer for par there.

8 I made about another 12-footer for par.

And then on 11 I made about 8-footer for par.

Q. What did you do on 8 to get yourself in that position?

TIGER WOODS: Drove it in the right bunker up against the lip, hit it in the left rough, hit it in the back bunker on the downslope, played a heck of a shot just to get to twelve feet.

Q. Are you playing well enough to win or how much help do you need from Ernie?

TIGER WOODS: I am playing well enough to shoot a low round. I just need to go out there and do it. Hopefully I can get off to a good positive start tomorrow and play that way the entire way around.

Q. Surprised that he doesn't do this more often?

TIGER WOODS: He's got all the talent in the world - no doubt about that. He's been playing well the last few months all around the world, just a lot of fans here in the United States haven't seen it. But he's played well in South Africa, played well in Australia.

Q. The team thing in Japan?

TIGER WOODS: Yes, he played well there, so he's played well a lot of different times.

Q. Give us a little insight on Ernie's temperament and personality. Is he as laid back all the time as he appears?

TIGER WOODS: He's pretty laid back, but he gets a little hot, a little frustrated, a little competitive which is good. You don't really see it, but if you are out there you can hear it a little bit if you are inside the ropes next to him. But otherwise his body language doesn't change.

Q. There has been some suggestions over the last couple of years, especially the way you had played that maybe Ernie lacked the desire to meet a challenge. Did you ever see any of that?

TIGER WOODS: No, I think that his priorities changed in his life. He was so focused on golf and then he had a beautiful little girl and obviously that's going to be more of a priority than golf. I think that's what transpired.

Q. Safe to say you guys have had more great theater in golf than any other person, I am not saying rivalry necessarily but in terms of producing some really --

TIGER WOODS: I think I have consistently played against of all the other players, Ernie probably more down the stretch. More frequently I guess, a lot of times.

Q. Anything on the ladies tees on 18 there?

TIGER WOODS: How about that, what? I don't know why that was. I was wondering why I saw some of the guys when we were over on 8 some of the guys down there that far, I thought they either hit a shot in the right trees had to pitch out or something, but I didn't see the tees up there like that.

Q. What was the distraction backed off a couple of times?

TIGER WOODS: Somebody took a picture as I was setting up before the ball from the gallery. Second time a baby started crying, and third time I ripped it.

Q. What did you do to make the baby cry?

TIGER WOODS: I guess I was setting up over it, which is a distraction.

Q. What kind score do you think it will take tomorrow to catch him?

TIGER WOODS: I really don't know. I just know that I need to play well and shoot something obviously on the low side. Something I don't know, mid-60s or so, somewhere in there but a lot of it is based upon what the wind does. If we're supposed to get some showers tomorrow, wind is probably going to come out of a different direction so it might be a challenge or it might come out of the east like this, who knows.

Q. You have played with a lead like this before, can you talk about what it is like mentally going into to a round having pretty much everything to lose?

TIGER WOODS: It's a good feeling, tell you that. (Laughs) it's a darn good feeling but when you have a lead like that just got to go out there and play, play the way you have been playing. Just go out there and execute golf shots nothing really changes, go out there and continue to hit solid golf shots and especially if this wind blows you are really going to have to bear down.

Q. Is it at all frustrating that you are playing well and yet the course is pretty much being tough on every player out there except for one, that separation?

TIGER WOODS: Well, if I could have just made a few more putts last couple of days, I would have narrowed the gap a little bit but obviously Ernie is playing beautifully - only played two bogeys in three rounds, and today to make 8 birdies and under these conditions he's played better than anyone out there in the field. I think low score today, I think, was--

Q. 69. He was next lowest.

TIGER WOODS: 66, to beat the field by three shots when leading the tournament, that's pretty solid.

Q. Just from a driving and ball-striking aspect was today's round -- if you put it there tomorrow, would that be good enough if you putted like you want to putt?

TIGER WOODS: I think so. Yeah.

Q. I have got a bad memory. Didn't you take one away from Ernie when he had a pretty large lead in Europe couple years ago?

TIGER WOODS: No, Johnnie Walker Asian Classic, I think it was 1998, I was 7 back starting out the day. I bogeyed the second hole to go 8 back.

Q. Ernie was leading?


Q. Would you like for him to be reminded of that or do you think he's quite aware of it?

TIGER WOODS: I think, you know, knowing Ernie, he's going to go out there and play. What's transpired in the past is irrelevant. Got to go out there and execute golf shots here and now.

Q. That was a playoff, right, and you won?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, actually Ernie made a great putt on the last hole from about eight feet for par to get into the playoff. Then we played the 18th hole twice and I made birdie on the second time around.

JOAN V.T. ALEXANDER: Thanks, Tiger.


End of FastScripts....

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