November 4, 2000
LEE PATTERSON: Maybe a couple of thoughts about today and as you head into tomorrow.
TIGER WOODS: I thought it was a good day. I moved up in the standing. That was the whole idea. I played halfway decent the front 9, hit a lot of good solid iron shots, couple of good tee shots. Made a couple of putts, but the back nine was a little more erratic, didn't really drive the ball quite as well, and consequently made a couple of mistakes.
LEE PATTERSON: Any questions?
Q. A lot of your putting this week has been, you know, almost there. Today you seemed to have a better pace and a better read on the putts. I wonder your thoughts there, please.
TIGER WOODS: I just felt today I was releasing the blade a little bit better than I have the first two days. I just allowed the blade to go ahead and turn over and for some reason I was making the ball roll better. Putts that were kind of borderline were sneaking in instead of lipping out.
Q. Can you describe "halfway decent"? You are leading the golf tournament.
TIGER WOODS: If you look at it, I hit a couple of pulls off the tee, 3-putted, it was just -- had two lucky breaks on the back nine; hit two drives straight right, hit trees, they came back in the fairway the first cut. So I mean, those could have been bogeys easily, just one of those things where I really wasn't as sharp as I needed to be, but I took advantage of my opportunities when I had them, and made those birdies.
Q. Would you say that you got as much out of your round today as you have had any time this week?
TIGER WOODS: No doubt about it. Today was one of those rounds where I really -- didn't feel like I was hitting the ball well, but it was good enough where I was in play initially on the front nine; then from there I felt pretty good with my irons. I just needed to get the ball in play. That was the struggle all week, actually, all day.
Q. You and Vijay have accounted for all the majors this year. It seems you all had a spirited match in the Presidents Cup. Your thoughts on going head-to-head with him tomorrow.
TIGER WOODS: Well, you can't forget Phil and. You can't forget Ernie as well. Those are two wonderful players and it is going to be up to Vijay and I -- hopefully we can get off to a good solid start and maybe separate ourselves, but that is hard to do on this golf course because the course is playing so difficult with these pin low days, they are tucked in corners over knobs and it is just real hard to get to.
Q. Without making a real big deal about this, The Presidents Cup and the "Tiger Who stuff," you were not clearly not amused. Did you ever say anything to Vijay or did you ever talk about it with him? Did he ever apologize, should --
TIGER WOODS: No.
Q. Should he have?
TIGER WOODS: That is just his deal.
Q. Just following up playing with David, I mean, David did not play particularly well today. Do you bring out the worst in him?
TIGER WOODS: Well, with -- I think David had one of those days where shots that he hit were borderline, ended up terrible. I was exact opposite: Hit some borderline shots, ended up great. The lie he had over there on 7 was just brutal. I mean, that is just one of those lies where it looked like someone stepped on it. It was just that bad. He couldn't advance it. His next shot wasn't that great. I mean, it is just one of those things where anything that could happen did happen. Horseshoed it on 10 after hitting a good second putt. It was a tough day for him.
Q. Can you talk about your (inaudible) first four holes? It looked like you hit everything about perfect.
TIGER WOODS: I felt pretty good starting out. I hit some solid shots and didn't really have to make some long putts. Longest putt I had to make was on the first hole. But I felt, even though I got off to such a great start, it really wasn't feeling that great. A lot of it was just timing and just kind of, just basically playing by timing and feel. Didn't really have the club in the right position at all. Consequently ended up catching up with me.
Q. Would you play the 15th again for us, why that shot and that shape on the tee and then the second shot in, what the lie was, what you were thinking?
TIGER WOODS: On 15, if I hit the driver like I did yesterday, with the damp cool conditions I couldn't take out the right bunker. That is why I hit the driver yesterday because it was downwind off the left. I knew if I hit driver I could take the bunker out of play. If you miss the ball over that bunker there is no rough over there. It is thin. It is dried out, which means you can get to the green if not front right bunker, no biggy. Today it is playing longer. If I hit 3-wood off the tee, that brings in the left rough through the fairways - like I did on the first day, I hit a good tee shot down the left side, actually left middle of the fairway, just ran right through in the rough so figured hit a low 2-iron, carry the knob in the fairway, just let it feed on down there, and that is what I did. Hit the 4-iron up to the right, had a halfway decent lie and hit a good flop-shot.
Q. It was a halfway decent lie? On TV you couldn't see it.
TIGER WOODS: It was halfway decent for here.
Q. What do you use on that?
TIGER WOODS: 60.
Q. This wasn't much of a rain, but it was kind of a soaking-type continuous rain. Did it change the course any or do you think it will soften the course up just a little for tomorrow if it continues?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, it definitely softened up the golf course. The greens putted slower. The putt I hit on 18 I knew just trying to hit it about two feet further. I still came up short and David made the comment that he thought he hit it way too hard and it just barely got past the hole. It changed the green speeds coming in. We had to be very careful on some of the putts. Unfortunately it cost me on 17.
Q. Did you hurt yourself on 14 tee ball?
TIGER WOODS: No.
Q. Looked look you pulled something.
TIGER WOODS: No. It has been bugging me months.
Q. Looked like you were -- forget it I am glad you are all right.
LEE PATTERSON: Cliff.
Q. Just for the difficulty of this course how many more courses do you feel you have played this year were more difficult than this one, and I guess, you say you like difficult play - I am curious if you are enjoying the challenge of this particular setup?
TIGER WOODS: I have always been one even when I was a little boy playing junior golf I have always loved playing the hardest golf courses because I think that is when it is the most challenging. I don't enjoy having to go out there and have to shoot mid-20s in order to win. That, to me, is just not fun. It is not the challenge that I like. I like to go out there and grind away and knowing that par is a good score. If you go out there and you hit good shots you can make a couple of birdies. If you shoot 3-under par everyday around this place or 2-, 3-under, you are right there in the ballgame. You know that. Most tournaments now you shoot that and you get passed.
Q. How many more courses do you feel you say were more difficult than this one that you have played in this year?
TIGER WOODS: We got lucky at Augusta obviously, Pebble Beach, St. Andrews, we got some good weather there. If we got some bad weather, it could have been terrible. Got lucky at the PGA that the wind didn't blow, got the rain during the week which softened the greens - practice rounds we couldn't hold sand wedges, it softened it up to the point where we were able to stick balls. If the wind blew there those greens, (laughs) it will be interesting. But there are obviously the four majors and maybe one or two more here and there.
Q. You have a pretty stout record having your share of the lead or the lead outright going into the last round. Are you able to explain that?
TIGER WOODS: I think I just enjoy playing in that position. I enjoy having the lead because I have always said if you have a lead, that means that you can afford to make a mistake. The other guys have got to come get you. If you don't make any mistakes, shoot the same score, you win. That is kind of how I look at it even though it is just -- it is silly common sense, but that is kind of how I approach it.
Q. By other guys make mistakes (inaudible) do you have that same sense or more of an aggressive type --
TIGER WOODS: Well, depends on the situation. I think nowadays in our time, you can't quite go out there and shoot even par 1-over, 1-under and win. You are going to have to shoot a little bit lower than that. If you look at the final rounds of most major championships now, they are not one with even par anymore. You have to go out there and shoot under par.
Q. Did David have to take an unplayable at 14?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah.
Q. Up against the tree?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah.
Q. That is one of the holes where yours bounced out?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, bounced right back out on the fairway.
Q. Did you see a reaction in him then? Did he say anything to you about your breaks and my bad breaks?
TIGER WOODS: We didn't really talk a whole lot out there. I was over here and -- I actually I was over here and he was over there. It was just one of those days where, you know, we just never really were able to hit the same fairway so we could talk, we were always -- one is in the fairways one is in the trees and switched it.
Q. Talk about the important of driving on this course (inaudible) --
TIGER WOODS: Any tough course driving is an important factor. Any time -- I have always felt that playing in Bermuda rough is more important to drive the ball well than it is playing in, 4, 5 inch rye because at least 4, 5 inch rye you have a chance of stopping it. Coming out of Bermuda rough, you don't know what you are going to get - one comes out hot, another one comes out soft. It is really tough. It puts an importance on driving. Didn't do it very well today.
Q. You seemed to have a penchant for following of up bogeys with birdies. I think you probably lead the bounce-back stat. Talk about your mindset after a bogey, does it change at all, are you a little more aggressive or are you just thinking, all right, just get it in play and then it is just a natural result of the same type of philosophy that?
TIGER WOODS: If you make a bogey it generally makes you bear down a little bit more because of the fact that you let one slip away you don't want to go back-to-back. That is the worst thing you can let happen. Back-to-back, okay, if you bogey, par, bogey that is a little more acceptable. When you go bogey, bogey that leaves a terrible taste in your mouth.
Q. Four of your birdies in the front were set up by sand wedge approaches. The USGA for the last few years has been concerned about classic golf courses becoming obsolete because athletes are bigger and equipment is going farther with balls and the clubs. Do you have the same concerns that they have, where do you fall on that issue?
TIGER WOODS: I have always felt that you can't change the players. The players are definitely going to get bigger and stronger and they are going to become more athletic. Only thing you can change is equipment, and make it more standardized, which the USGA is trying to do. They are trying to limit it to what it can do, the spring effect. But the guys are -- just even if they had the old equipment, you still are going to have guys who are going to become bigger and stronger and hit the bull further than the guys who are just out here on Tour who aren't that big and it is just the way it is.
LEE PATTERSON: Thank you.
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