March 23, 2001
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FLORIDA
Q. Does Stanford have a chance against Maryland?
TIGER WOODS: I think we've got a great shot. What do you think?
Q. What do you think?
TIGER WOODS: (Laughs).
Q. How was your day?
TIGER WOODS: I didn't really hit the ball as good as I did yesterday, that's for sure. I scored better. Made some nice putts. Just really grinded my way around the golf course. It's playing tough out there right now. The wind is howling. It's swirling in the trees, and the greens are definitely firming up and drying out.
Q. Any advantage to the guys teeing off early?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, right now, definitely, because it's not easy out there. A couple of the shots I hit today were -- I thought, were pretty good shots, and the wind just absolutely slammed. Some of the shots I hit went right through it. Definitely a day for patience. No doubt about it.
Q. Do you think the winning number might be coming this way rather than going lower?
TIGER WOODS: It all depends on -- if it stays like this for the next two days, it could be like how '99 was. David shot, what, 147 on the weekend and picked up ground. You don't see that very often. That might be how it is on the weekend here, but they had less rain going into that event in '99. Here, we got some rain, the greens are still a little receptive, but they are starting to dry out .
Q. I doubt you'd like to see it like '99. I don't think anyone would. It was a ridiculously tough weekend, but would you prefer to see things get a little bit tougher?
TIGER WOODS: You know, the problem is right now the fairways are soft. So if you drive the ball in the rough and you try and run the ball up through the gaps, which you can do, the ball is just kind of embedding and picking up mud. So it is imperative that you hit the ball in the fairway. You've got to keep the ball in the fairway. And now your task kind of starts trying to put the ball -- waiting to put it on the greens.
Q. Your two tee shots -- (inaudible) -- I guess you really can't be two displeased over 36 holes?
TIGER WOODS: Other than that, I really played well for the first couple of days. I didn't really play as good as I did yesterday, but I hit good, solid shots. I know how this golf course plays. I know where to miss the golf ball and I was able to do that. My lag putting just carried me around the golf course.
Q. 17, there's no place to miss?
TIGER WOODS: No place to miss. I'm trying to play a nice little arm shot. Hold it back up in the wind and keep the loft on the club and I just kind of upshot it. Obviously, when you do that, it is not going to get there.
Q. What did you hit?
TIGER WOODS: A little eight.
Q. Last couple years, that hole has gotten you more than you like. Is it a coincidence, top player in the world --
TIGER WOODS: There's no place to bail out to. You've got to step up there and hit a good, solid shot to keep it the right distance. And right now, with the wind up like this, it's important that you really hit it with the right trajectory. I didn't do that. I spun it up in the air. Tried to hit an arm shot, hold the body and keep the loft on it and I was not able to do that.
Q. Mental game here is so important that you have to stay focused and you have to be committed to your shots. What happens on 17 or anywhere else on this course if you don't?
TIGER WOODS: I think -- most of the holes, I mean, you really have to miss -- understand where to miss it first. From there, depending on what kind of shot you're trying to play, play it according to that. A couple of times, I'm not even trying to put the ball on the green. I'm trying to put it short of the green or left of the green and it is just an easier shot. Like yesterday, 15 I thought was an easier putt from down in the bowl than I thought it was over to the right 15 or 20 feet, just because the wind was coming downwind; you could easily put the ball off the green and into the bowl. So, you know you just have to understand where you put it, where you feel comfortable putting from and just really pay attention, because one bad shot here and there on the wrong side of the slopes, you're going to make bogey.
Q. Can you compare 17 here and 12 at Augusta? No place to bail out, swirling wind, club selection, but one is Amen's Corner and one is-- (inaudible) -- a triple, do you have any feelings one way or the other?
TIGER WOODS: The thing at Augusta, you have bunker, you have green that's not a green. You have some short grass that you can hit the ball long left and still pitch and get it up did. I don't really see a whole lot out on 17 here. (Laughter.) That's just my opinion.
Q. Do you dislike a hole like that? You have to play it, but that type of thing, does it sort of get in your mind and "ruin" the golf course?
TIGER WOODS: I think the golf course is such a tough track to begin with, and that hole stands out, obviously, because of what it is. And I think it is wonderful for the fans to watch, but I think any player who plays out here who actually understands the game, I don't think they are really going to say they like it, just because it is not really, I guess, a so-called traditional golf hole. It is out on an island where you are playing a short shot, but still, you've got to have some room to miss it. And with the pin locations like today, it's to the slope on the right, and that's not a whole lot of room to work with. Because of that, I think that a lot of guys are not going to say it is a great hole.
Q. You came back and made birdie the next hole. That must have helped a lot?
TIGER WOODS: I hit a good 3-wood down the right side and just hit it too far, and I was in the rough and hit a wonderful 7-iron out there to the green and just buried about an 8-footer there. It was nice to get it right back, and I birdied the next two holes. So I got it right back, and then plus one.
Q. What are your options on 18 tee? What goes through your mind?
TIGER WOODS: Well, the problem right now, I would like to hit a 2-iron off that tee, but with the fairways as soft as they are, they are picking up mud. It makes no sense to hit a low 2-iron out there because it is not going to roll anywhere. That means you've got to hit it down there with 3-wood or driver. For me, driver, I'd have to take it over the water. 3-wood, I could still actually start the ball on the edge of the water and still be in the fairway. So that's why I've chosen 3-wood the first two days. I know Johnny's questioned my play on there, but he doesn't have to play the second shot. (Laughs).
Q. After your second pro round, for you personally, does this course test you as much as any course you play all year?
TIGER WOODS: This golf course, obviously, rewards a player who is playing well. With no wind, this golf course, you can really go low. You can shoot a good number, just like with what Greg did, shooting 24-under par, what whatever he shot. You can do that around this golf course, if there is no wind. You add wind into it, with these greens, it's quite a test. I mean, just to make par -- as you're walking away on most of the holes with pars, you are pretty happy.
Q. You talked yesterday about if they moved this, and the possibility of scheduling conflicts with the Euros and whatnot. Backing it up by extension, what would that do to a place like Bay Hill where the guys are coming over here to get ready for the run up for this and the Masters? Would it not sort of hurt those others by extension?
TIGER WOODS: I think so. I think it would hurt them. But I think a lot of the players play there because, obviously, the person who is involved in that tournament. Very similar to Memorial as well as -- and Dallas. With those three gentlemen who are involved in those three tournaments, I think that's one of the reasons why you see those three tournaments get some of the best fields. And that's just out of pure respect. I think if they change it you're still going to see some of the players play, but I don't think you're going to get quite as an international field, which you could get.
Q. What were you thinking at half-time last night?
TIGER WOODS: I was asleep is what I was thinking.
Q. Were you watching?
TIGER WOODS: No. I had to go to bed. I got up early this morning for the round. I figured we could handle them.
End of FastScripts....