June 16, 2001
Q. Do you think No. 9 owes you a few shots?
TIGER WOODS: No, you can't think that way. I hit a poor tee shot and I was lucky to end up in the first cut of rough. And I hit a bad shot and really got a nice break, there. It was on the green, rolled back, up against the lip. I made a good bogey there. I made a big putt there to make five. And I felt that even par at the turn, that's not too bad. You get it going on the back 9. And I was able to hit some good shots and made a couple of putts.
Q. Do you feel better about your chances of maybe making a run tomorrow?
TIGER WOODS: I think just the way I played overall. I hit a lot of good shots today, and I hit just so many beautiful putts that just didn't go in, they were just grazing the edge. That's just the way it is. I just sat in there a little bit and watched some of the coverage, and a lot of guys are doing that, too. They're just missing on the edges. It's tough out there, because the greens are drying out, they're getting a little speedier, the slopes are magnified now because of the speed.
Q. You obviously have no idea how far you'll be behind, but is there a number you might realistically, say, "Okay, 6 back, 7 back, 8, 9, I have a chance"?
TIGER WOODS: All depends on what the conditions are tomorrow. I think if I go back and play the way I did today, and I make a few more putts, who knows, I might have a chance, but I need to go out there and do what I can, and that is to try and execute golf shots the way I know I can.
Q. Do you know how many people you may have to catch?
TIGER WOODS: I don't think that's relevant right now. I'm 4-over par for the tournament. I just need to make a run, and get myself back up on that board.
Q. Tiger, one of the reasons you were obviously such a heavy favorite, you were playing well coming in here, winning five of the last six. In other words, that first round, were you surprised -- golf can do that to anybody, obviously, any given day, but now you look back, and you say "What happened"?
TIGER WOODS: No, that's the beauty of our game. That's why we play. That's one of the reasons why we all play, because you're going to have days when you're not going to have it. When you do have it, and you do play well, you appreciate those days. I've played well, for the most part. And I've just had a few bad shots this week, haven't really got the breaks that I've needed, and as I said, in order to win you're going to have to get lucky. This week I really haven't had the breaks go my way, and that's just the way it is. You can't complain about it. You've got to accept it and move on and understand that it all evens out in the end. But going through that when you're not having the breaks, it doesn't always feel the best.
Q. You're smiling right now, but is there frustration deep inside? We know you're a very committed person, your results show that. Inside what are you feeling when you see yourself so far behind, a very unusual position for you?
TIGER WOODS: Not that far behind, only eight back. In a U.S. Open that's not really as much as you might think. If I was playing in the Bob Hope, eight back, you're not looking too good. But I think being eight back as of right now, it's a tough spot, but, you know what, if I go out there and play, a good, solid round tomorrow, you never know. I'm really not that angry at myself, because I've tried. I tried as hard as I could.
Q. Tiger, every day your scores have lowered, does that indicate your game is getting a little better every day?
TIGER WOODS: Not necessarily. I'm just scoring better. Today I hit the ball better. The first couple of days I really didn't hit it all that great, but I hit it good enough to get myself around, and I made a lot of par putts.
Q. The greens in regulation, for example, the first day greens in regulation were not good, they've gone up every day, that's indicated that you're playing better?
TIGER WOODS: I think also I drove the balls in more fairways today and that allows me to control my golf ball into the greens. As you know, these greens aren't exactly big. And with the slopes in them and the way they've got the pins tucked you need to hit the ball in the fairway to have a chance at some of these pins.
Q. Are you more comfortable with this course with your swing, the third round?
TIGER WOODS: I feel like I'm hitting the golf ball better, and that's what I need to do. I was able to do that today. I hit the ball nice and crisp and solid. And I hit a lot of beautiful putts that just didn't go in, they just grazed the edge. And that's just the way it is.
Q. Tiger, are you ever amazed at all the attention the galleries, and all the attention you get?
TIGER WOODS: To be honest with you, I'm not in the other groups, I don't know how the other galleries are. In my gallery it is a little louder and a few more people. But they're very nice. The people here really appreciate good golf shots, and it's pretty neat to play in front of that.
Q. Tiger, several players talked about how tough the course is getting with it drying out, getting faster, does that make it difficult for anybody to shoot 62, 63, something really low on the last day?
TIGER WOODS: I think if you play well you can shoot a low number, but you really need to play well. And you really need to make a few putts. You just need to have everything come together. And hopefully I can play, as I said, just like I did today, just as solid and make a few more putts.
Q. You've played golf for so long, you know there are going to be days and tournaments you're not going to play well. The expectations of such, because you have played well, when you have a tournament you say, "Hey, it's golf", because you've played so many years you understand that?
TIGER WOODS: I understand that you really can't be too disappointed if you try as hard as you can. And you guys know me pretty good. I don't dog it. I give it everything I have and no regrets. And that's one of the reasons why I play that way, so I can feel that way in the end.
TIGER WOODS: It could have been a good one. It could have really been a good one. I hit a lot of good putts that grazed the edge. I think it could have been four or five shots lower. But that's the way it goes.
Q. Do high expectations bother you? Is that something you welcome? The public seems to think when you're in a tournament you are going to win. Is that a burden, is that something you welcome?
TIGER WOODS: I expect the same of myself. If I enter a tournament I expect to go out there and give it everything I have, and hopefully come out on top, and that's why I play. I play for the wins. And, unfortunately, you don't win that many times in our sport. Your winning percentage is very low. When you do win, it does feel pretty good.
Q. You're still in contention, is that what you're saying, basically right now, you feel you're still in contention?
TIGER WOODS: Well, yeah, anybody that's within ten shots of the lead can still win the tournament. Anyone knows that going into a U.S. Open. Paul Lawrie proved that at the British Open. He came from ten back to win. It can happen. You need to have everything go your way. When Johnny Miller made up a lot of shots at Oakmont, shot 63 in the final round. It can be done. Hopefully, tomorrow I can get out there and post a good one.
Q. You said yesterday you were inspired by what Brooksie did. Seeing how the course is now, you're not willing to concede that a 64 isn't still out there for somebody if they play well?
TIGER WOODS: You know, the guys are, as you know -- the guys out here are so good that at any given time when someone gets it going, they can go low, I don't care how difficult the golf course is. The guys are that good now. That's the fun of it. Hopefully, I can be one of those guys who gets it going. I'm not that far off.
End of FastScripts....