March 22, 2001
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FLA.
TIGER WOODS: I felt like today I played beautifully. I hit a lot of good, solid shots, putted great. Unfortunately, didn't really get a whole lot out of my round today. That happens. The golf course is playing extremely difficult, with this wind coming in all of the different directions. To be able to pick the right clubs and trust it and execute it, I did that most of the day, and I felt very pleased about that under these conditions.
Q. What happened at 18?
TIGER WOODS: I was trying to hit a nice shaper down there, trying to hit a nice shaper -- hold it back up against the wind. Unfortunately, I laid the shaft down a bit. I tried to arc it off and hit a nice draw back up against the wind. Unfortunately, I laid the shaft down, as I said, and flipped it.
Q. Did you have any breaks today from the wind?
TIGER WOODS: Well, it would either calm down and pick up and then come out a different direction. It was tough to try to pick a club and trust the wind that it was actually there. For instance, we played No. 13 dead downwind. We played No. 14 straight in our face, and that's the same direction. It's just hard to pick a club.
Q. Do you think as the week goes on, if there is no more rain, the greens will get baked out again?
TIGER WOODS: I think they are definitely shaping into that right now. No. 15 green is already kind of burnt out on the front left, and it is rock hard there. I think that's just an indication to how the week could progress if this wind stays like this. If we get a cool breeze with low humidity, it will dry these out very quickly. It's very difficult. I think the golf course is going to keep playing harder and harder as the week goes on, just because of the fact that now, I think the fairways are going to start drying out, which means the fairways are going to play a little bit more narrow.
Q. Duval obviously had to withdraw from the tournament. Do you feel for what he is going through right now?
TIGER WOODS: Unfortunately, he is in one of those situations where he has not caught a break yet. Unfortunately, he's in a rut, a bad rut. But David is, I think, very positive and very upbeat about the fact that he was swinging well, until the injury. You know, as soon as he gets it healed, I'm sure that David will start hitting it good just like he was right before he got hurt.
Q. How does this compare to how it played in the past years?
TIGER WOODS: I don't think we've played under these type of swirling conditions that often. It's usually just out of one direction. Today it was just coming off left and next -- is coming off the right. It was just very difficult to play. The golf course is a little soft, but it is drying out, and it could be very difficult come the weekend.
Q. Barring what happened on 18, it seemed, again, like your putting was burning, burning. Looking like they might go in. Did you feel what might have been a mid 60s or upper 60s round --?
TIGER WOODS: Overall, I really hit the ball beautifully. I hit it great, read the lines the way I wanted to. Putts just did not go in. That's the way it goes. You've got to step up there, be committed, release the blade. I was very pleased the way the ball is coming off the blade. From there, if the putts go in, great; and if they don't, oh well. I was happy with the pace of my putts. If you look at my putts, they all finished no more than a foot and a half past the hole, which is what you want. All of my light putting were tap-ins or kick-ins. That's what you want.
TIGER WOODS: Under these conditions, you know it's not. You know if you short-side yourself on these greens, with as difficult as some of these pin locations are, you are not looking very good. so you've got to shape the ball, put it in the right spots, use your slopes if you have them to your advantage, and that's what I did most of the day.
Q. Is your knee bothering you at all?
TIGER WOODS: No.
Q. Faldo called this a survivor day. Is that a fair assessment?
TIGER WOODS: I've seen this golf course worse. '99 really wasn't too good on the weekend.
Q. Do you have a number in mind yet?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah. I can go out there and birdie every hole for the next 54 holes, I think I'm looking all right. (Smiling).
TIGER WOODS: I think it is. It's a pretty big test to try and trust -- trust what you see and what you feel. Obviously, if you can get, like, for instance on 17, I probably should not have done what I did, but I went ahead and hit it anyways. I felt the wind crop up a little bit out of my left a little harder. I went ahead and scooted the ball back in my stance and tried to hit the ball another three to five yards further, which I should have just backed off and went back, put the club in the bag and chipped an eight. But you just have to trust your feel and go ahead and hit it, and it's not exactly the easiest thing to do under these conditions.
Q. What were the pin placements like out there today?
TIGER WOODS: I think extremely difficult today. They were tucked in the corners and they were hidden and -- which they should be. This is a big tournament. With the greens as soft as they are, and they are starting to dry out, but they still are a little bit receptive. You need to go ahead and hide those pins a little bit.
Q. Did you change clubs twice or go back to the first club on 17?
TIGER WOODS: I pulled nine, went back to eight because the wind popped back up, then it came more across. And I went back to nine, and right when I hit it went back in my face, and straight in my face. That's why I did what I did.
Q. Will it be an advantage to play in the morning tomorrow?
TIGER WOODS: All depends. If it blows in the morning, then it is no advantage. You can get anything.
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