November 11, 2000
NELSON LUIS: We'd like to welcome Tiger Woods into the pressroom. His second consecutive day with a 69 to get to 7-under for the tournament. Looks like you had some fun out there today.
TIGER WOODS: I don't know about that. I was able to grind it around today. I didn't really play that great on the front nine; only hit three greens. But I was able to walk off 1-under par after the first nine, hitting only three greens. I grinded my way around the golf course, was able to put myself in a position to win on Friday.
Q. I have to ask you: Great moment on the 17th, your shot into the green. Lovely reaction from the crowd. What were you thinking before you hit that shot, and what did you think afterwards?
TIGER WOODS: What was I thinking before? Well, I made sure I strengthened my grip a little bit so the ball was definitely going to go a little bit further. Got the club down in front with some loft, was finally able to get the ball up in the air. I hit three good shots in a row there. They've gotten over the water, but they just haven't stayed. This time, the ball stayed on dry land, and I just wanted to have a little fun with it. It was a neat little moment.
Q. How far was the shot?
TIGER WOODS: I had 180, and I hit an 8-iron.
Q. Yesterday, Nick Price suggested we dig up that hole. Would you agree with him?
TIGER WOODS: I wouldn't be against it. (Laughter.)
Q. I saw you say something after you got the first putt in 17. You were saying something. What were you saying at the time, after the first putt?
TIGER WOODS: Well, I wasn't really encouraging myself at that moment. (Laughing.) I hit a lot of putts on the back nine that I left short, right in the middle of the hole, and that was another one. It was breaking right down the gut of it, and I was just talking to myself.
Q. What do you know about Hidemichi Tanaka?
TIGER WOODS: You know, I've played in front of him and behind him. I've seen him play, and he hits the ball great. I mean, he hits the ball a long ways, especially for his size. He can really move it. He's got a wonderful swing, real relaxed attitude; and obviously, he's playing some wonderful golf right now.
Q. If we've done mathematics correctly, this is your 50th round, par or better. Your thoughts about that?
TIGER WOODS: Well, you would think that that would be a daunting, if not almost impossible task, given the fact that we had to play three major championships in there. Three majors, usually you're going to struggle. Especially, one's the US Open. It's hard to shoot par or better four straight days at a US Open. But somehow I was able to do that. I've just kind of grinded my way along there and have been able to pull some good numbers.
Q. Yesterday Tanaka was saying one of the goals in this tournament was having an autograph of you. What do you think of that, a player who comes to do that? Now he's leading the tournament.
TIGER WOODS: Well, it is kind of funny. But he's, as I said, he has a wonderful attitude. He's out there nice and relaxed. He's going out there and just playing his own game. That's what you need to do around this golf course. So far, he's been able to do that very well.
Q. How would you say you've played this week compared to your other tournaments since your five-week break?
TIGER WOODS: I've hit the ball this week better than I have the previous three. I haven't really putted quite as good. I've hit a lot of lips, but nothing really has gone in. But I've struck the golf ball much more crisp than I have been over the past three weeks.
Q. Is it fair to say with that comment that maybe the best of Tiger Woods is still to come this week?
TIGER WOODS: Well, hopefully. All I can do is go out there and try your best. Some days, you try as hard as you can, and it just doesn't happen. Other days, it seems very easy. But no matter what the case is, I'm going to go out there tomorrow and give it everything I have, and hopefully things will go my way.
Q. How good was the crowd for you? Did they influence you out there? There were a lot of people following you.
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, they were very polite, very supportive. It's nice to have that kind of environment to play in.
Q. I just want to know, what have you learned for all these years in Spain? You have come here several times. What have you learned? What is your opinion of Spain? What have you seen, if you've seen something?
TIGER WOODS: Well, I think it would be ignorant for me to say that I've seen a lot of Spain. I've only seen this part of Spain. I haven't seen any of the other major cities or what Spain has to offer. I've only been down here, that's only playing two previous golf tournaments on this golf course; that's it. But I've enjoyed it. I've had a good time. The people have been very nice to me; and hopefully, I can see more of Spain as I travel around the world a little bit more.
Q. How often have you played in South America?
TIGER WOODS: I have never been to South America.
Q. So this World Cup --?
TIGER WOODS: Will be my first time in South America.
Q. Have you ever played with any of the Argentinians anywhere on your travels?
TIGER WOODS: Is Angel Cabrera from Argentina? I've played with him a couple of times, I think that's about it.
Q. What's your assessment of what you've seen of him, of his game?
TIGER WOODS: He hits it long. He's got that oversized Ping driver; he just beats it. He hits it out there and goes, finds it, and plays very aggressive, which is neat to see.
Q. He hits it long, even in your terms?
TIGER WOODS: He does, yes.
Q. There's been a lot said about 10 wins in a year. Before the year started, when you laid down some of your goals, which was a bigger one: $10 million or 10 wins?
TIGER WOODS: $10 million will come with 10 wins. That's just a by-product. If you go out there and you play well week in and week out and you win 10 times, the times that you don't win, I'm sure you're playing well enough to finish high enough to be able to make some money. This year, I've been able to do that so far.
Q. Is that on your mind at all coming into this week?
TIGER WOODS: No.
Q. Not at all?
TIGER WOODS: It can't be. If you start thinking about 10 wins, you start losing your focus on trying to hit the draw off the tee, hit a little holder against the wind coming in the green, position of the ball below the hole. You start losing all that, and you can't afford to do it.
Q. Was it on your mind on Wednesday?
TIGER WOODS: No. Good try, though.
TIGER WOODS: (Smiling.)
Q. Question for people who live here in Spain, you've been here in the Ryder Cup two consecutive years now in the World Golf Championships. When will they see Tiger Woods over here in Spain again?
TIGER WOODS: That's a good question. I don't know. I don't know what my schedule is even for next year. I don't know what I'm playing and where I'm going. Right now, I know that I'm playing, this is my fourth out of eight weeks in a row, and that's what I'm focused on right now. Then after the end of the year, I'll sit back and take a look at my schedule for next year and see where I'll be going. Hopefully, Spain will be on the calendar.
NELSON LUIS: Let's quickly go over your card.
TIGER WOODS: Birdie after 4. Hit a driver off the tee and 5-iron to about 18 feet; 2-putted. Bogeyed 5. Hit a driver off the tee, a pitching wedge just over the green; chipped out to about 4 feet, and missed it. Birdied 7. Hit a driver off the tee. Hit a 3-iron to the right of the green. Chipped up there to about a foot; made that. Birdied -- what else did I birdie? 13, I hit a driver off the tee there. Hit a sand wedge to about 12 feet; made that. 17, a driver and 8-iron to about 18 feet, and 2-putted.
Q. Your best save?
TIGER WOODS: I made two big putts on 8 and 9. 8, I drove in the left trees, punched it out, dropped it in the bunker, bounced it out to about 10 feet; made that. Then on 9, I drove it in the left rough, hit it again to the right of the green -- one foot in the bunker, one foot out, chipped it up there about 10 feet; made that again for par.
Q. Can we know your schedule for next week? Where are you playing?
TIGER WOODS: I'm playing in Thailand. Thailand, Hawaii, Los Angeles, and Argentina.
Q. When you're playing a round, how do you feel you still are having the control of the round? You keep concentration?
TIGER WOODS: Keeping concentration throughout the round?
Q. How do you do that?
TIGER WOODS: I just focus on -- it's very simple. I focus on the shot at hand. That's it. I focus on trying to hit one shot at a time, and that's as simple as it gets. Trying to concentrate on what I need to do.
Q. One question about the golf course. Is the green on the greens more of a factor in the afternoon? Is it something you have to deal with in the afternoon more than the morning?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, they got a little spiked up on a couple of the greens today, and that's one of the reasons why I tried to just die the putts at the hole. I didn't want to run it by there 3, 4 feet on these greens. They're getting a little spiky, so you had to be very careful on your speed and make sure that you got the ball around the hole so you had easy tap-ins.
Q. What do you feel you have to do tomorrow, you need to shoot to win the tournament?
TIGER WOODS: I don't know what I need to shoot tomorrow. A lot of it is based upon what the weather is. If it's windy like it was yesterday, then we don't really need to go that low. But if it was calm like it was the first day, then obviously you're going to have to make a lot of birdies.
End of FastScripts....