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August 21, 1997

Tiger Woods


LEE PATTERSON: Maybe just real quick, a couple of thoughts about the round and answer any questions.

TIGER WOODS: Questions.


Q. What part of your game, what was really working for you, what facet of your game?

TIGER WOODS: That worked today?

Q. Yes.

TIGER WOODS: Probably my putting. I putted really well today. Made some key putts on 8 and 9, keep the round going, kept me at 2-under. Those are some putts that you need to make. I was able to make them and have some positive momentum going to the back 9 and made some good up-and-downs on the back 9 as well. Just, overall, it was probably my putting that carried me through.

Q. I noticed you were in kind of a love/hate relationship with your putting at times. It seemed there were some putts that seemed to be kind of makeable; that you were kind of dissatisfied with, 11, for instance.


Q. I noticed you gave that the ball a raspberry after it didn't go in. Was that kind of a spur-of-the-moment thing?

TIGER WOODS: Just one of those things where if you hit a good putt -- I hit two good putts in a row, both on 11 and 12, and none of them went in. They both lipped out pretty good. There is nothing you can do about it. Just part of the game. You have to understand that, move on. But, the key to those two putts, even though I missed them, I hit them right where I wanted to. That is nice when you can do that. And, granted, they didn't go in, but I still felt like I made a perfect stroke ball, started right on the line, just didn't go in. That is just the way it goes.

Q. Granted, it is early, but what does it feel like to see your name up back on the tomorrow of the leaderboard at a tournament with such a great field?

TIGER WOODS: It feels pretty good because I played well today and under these conditions if you play well, you are probably going to be at the top of the leaderboard, up near the lead, just because the day was so hard, the conditions that we had to deal with.

Q. Your thoughts on 18 after the ruling, why you decided to go for it there instead of punching out? What did you see?

TIGER WOODS: I had an easy shot. It really wasn't that hard. My only concern was could I cut it enough -- I knew I could get the ball up over those trees. I had a good enough lie where I could. Now, could I actually cut the ball enough with that wind to miss a tree next to the green? I don't know if my ball hit the tree or not, but according to my flight, I think it did. If it didn't do that, it should have been on the green, if not back left.

Q. So there was never any thought to punch it out at all?

TIGER WOODS: I had a perfect lie to do it. If I had a bad lie, I would have thought about it. But not with that bad lie.

Q. What was your distance?

TIGER WOODS: 8-iron, 175 to the hole.

Q. Your first bogey was on 13. Your second shot, what did you hit there and you were trying to cut it a little bit?

TIGER WOODS: Well, I had 195 to the hole and coming out of the rough we were debating whether to hit 6 or 7 because if I hit 7, the ball doesn't fly from the rough; more than likely, I'll be lucky to get to the green. If it does fly, it should get up on the top tier. So we hit a little 6 trying to carve it around there, around the tree. That is exactly what I did, but I caught a flier and it flew well over 200 yards.

Q. What was the longest second shot you had into a par-4 club-wise today?

TIGER WOODS: I hit 5-iron today.

Q. Which hole was that on?

TIGER WOODS: Somewhere on the front 9.

Q. You were a little bit more erratic today, parts of the rough you weren't in yesterday. What was the reason for that? What happened today?

TIGER WOODS: I didn't quite hit my driver as well as I would have liked to. I didn't turn over very well. With these crosswinds, if you don't turn the ball over in the wind or keep it down, it is going to ride it and get in the rough. That is exactly what happened. Then occasionally I would overdo it, like I did on 18. I turned it over too much. Try to hold it into the wind and pulled it left.

Q. The courses that are long for a lot of these guys out here are not long for you. But, did this course seem long to you today?

TIGER WOODS: This course was a lot longer than it was yesterday. Long for me? Well, some of holes played pretty long, but the key to the golf course not playing as long as it could was -- we never really had a tee shot that was dead in our face. All the winds were coming across and because of that, we were able to either ride the wind. I rode the wind a lot trying to get my ball down there I am sure a lot of other players did as well.

Q. You mentioned over the past two weeks you have played a lot of golf, sort of fatigued in a way. Playing against competition in this field, do you feel like you get up a little extra for that?

TIGER WOODS: You have no problem against getting up for a big event. That is not a problem. But, people tend to forget this is my first year on Tour. I have never played this much golf. And, of course, I am going to get in lulls where I am not going to have my energy as high as I would like to. And, this week is -- I haven't had a problem this week because, one, it is a big tournament and, two, I have been playing well.

Q. In the NBA they might say that is "Hitting the wall." Have you felt that you hit a wall, not stopped you --

TIGER WOODS: Not necessarily. I have had ups and downs because, to be honest with you, I have never played this much golf. This is a long season because of that and the fact I am not used to that, I have had some lulls in my game, and you can just look at my finishes. You just see them right there on paper. And, just one of those things probably going to take me two, three years to get accustomed to playing this much golf, especially scheduling, when I need breaks, and how long I should take off.

Q. I think it was on the second or third hole you landed into the trap. You looked like you were mad at yourself, but you recovered. I know you ran into a couple of troubles, also I think on 16, that type of thing, but you recovered again. How do you bounce back with something like that?

TIGER WOODS: Well, you just got to focus all your attention, all your energy, to the shot at hand. And, that is what I was able to do. The shot on 2 wasn't that hard of a bunker shot. I was more disappointed at not hitting the ball into the bunker, but leaving it that far short. Greens running away from me and I thought it's not that hard to get it to the green and I would leave it eight feet short. 16 was the best up-and-down I had all day. The shot I had to hit, pretty hard, pretty aggressive with spin on it, kill it in the slope; then have it stop on the green.

LEE PATTERSON: Just go over the birdies for us, 2 and 4.

TIGER WOODS: 2, I hit driver off the tee. I hit a 4-iron into the right bunker. Blasted out eight feet and made that. Number 4, I hit driver down the left side, hit a 6-iron to about seven feet short of the hole and made that.


TIGER WOODS: 14, I hit driver off the tee. I hit a sand wedge to about twelve feet short of the hole and to the left. And I made that. No. 15, hit 5-iron to about twelve feet again, to the right of the hole. Made that. 17, I hit 2-iron off the tee, a 7-iron to about four feet. Made that. 18, I hit driver into the left trees, hit 8-iron left of the green, and blasted from the rough to about 18 feet and 2-putted.

Q. 16.

TIGER WOODS: 16, I hit driver off the tee. To the right in the right rough on the downslope of the ladies' tees, and hit a 4-iron. Hey, man, ladies tees are way out there. (LAUGHTER)

Q. How far would you estimate the ladies' tees? Do you have the distance there where the ladies tees were?

TIGER WOODS: I really don't. But they were out there. I hit a 4-iron off that slope. Hit it bad to the right. Hit the cart path and further right. Had a clear shot, but had a bad lie and had 114 to the hole just trying to get the ball to the hole, if not beyond, and I came out of it, put the ball way right up in the hill where the people were. Chipped it down there from about 20 yards and made about a 3-footer.

Q. The third club, sand wedge?


Q. Nick and Greg were in here earlier. They were asked about the changing of the guard. Do you feel that way, that so many golfers under 30 have won so many Majors this year?

TIGER WOODS: Definitely. Not only Majors, but tournaments in general. You look at from last year to this year how many people in their 20s have won. It is just all cyclical. It is going to happen. Everything runs in cycles. When I was watching TV, I was looking at the Kites, the Watsons, the Wadkins, and all those guys coming through and playing really well. Before them, it was Jack and Arnold and now, it my generation. We have Ernie, Justin, myself, Phil, Tim Herron, Stankowski, just goes on and on.

Q. How do you feel personally about this tournament being sold out for the first time, how do you feel?

TIGER WOODS: I think it is great for the game, no doubt about it. It is great for the tournament because I think they deserve it. With this field here, you should sell out every time.

Q. How did your little thing with Aretha Franklin come about --

TIGER WOODS: I have no idea.

Q. -- this morning?

TIGER WOODS: I have no idea how it came about. She just showed up. I was in there stretching. They said "Aretha is here." I finished getting stretched out; then I went out and said hello.

Q. Does she have a golf swing?

TIGER WOODS: She is working on it.

Q. (inaudible)

TIGER WOODS: I seriously doubt it because fairways were so wet out there that any ball that hits on that downslope is not going to run very far and yesterday I absolutely killed the drive down there, hit a high draw right off the bunker used the slope when I still had 295 to the front. But, I have been here I guess three years ago when I played and it was firm and I took a go at it because I ran all the way down to the bottom and that can happen but not this week.

Q. Did you reach that time?


Q. It has been said, one of the things you are not in a lull, you are not feeling bad here because you are playing well. Are you playing better now than you played at the end of last week, or at the end of the PGA?

TIGER WOODS: I played well all of last week. I really did. I just didn't putt well at all last week. I could not make the putts that is going to get you in contention. Like I did today. Making those putts on 8 and 9 today, I never did that last week. And, consequently, I am down on the board because of that. You look at Davis and Justin, they made all those putts and that is exactly what you have to do in order to win.

Q. Since the last week, PGA was over, and the major season was over, have you thought -- have you critiqued your own play?

TIGER WOODS: No, I haven't. I have critiqued them after each and every major but after that, I am done. I have learned my lessons and moved on.

Q. Did you learn a lot of lessons in the last three particularly?

TIGER WOODS: I learned lessons at every tournament. No matter win or lose, I learn a lot because if you don't learn anything from any experience that you go out here and playing then you are a fool. You really are because you can always improve and granted some tournaments, even though I won, I was still disappointed in my play. Granted some tournaments I lost, but I was happy the way I played. It is just the way it works out. But, I have learned a lot. I have learned more than anything where not to miss shots because at the British Open I hit three bad shots that cost me some; a lot of shots and at the PGA, same thing. Hit some real loose shots. You can't just do that in Majors and win.

Q. Do you think looking back that has been more attitude or execution?

TIGER WOODS: I think it is more execution than anything because I was playing well, but I still am fighting a couple of things in my golf swing and occasionally they pop in there and I hit that loose shot and at The Masters this year, I did it on the front 9. I was fighting a couple of things, but luckily, I fixed it going into the back 9 on Thursday, was able to carry that all the way through the week. So I really didn't have any kind of mechanical problems. But, when you are out here playing Majors and you are having a mechanical break down, it is not good.

Q. You talked about the other day about the importance confidence has in your Match Play philosophy. I am just curious whether a good start like this sets you up well for a 72 hole stroke-play format as well getting off well?

TIGER WOODS: Getting off well in terms of getting off to a good start is key. But, the difference is Match Play and stroke play, I still got to go out there and play three solid rounds in order to win, for stroke play. In Match Play, you can struggle and still win a match and vice versa, but -- and it is a lot different where after today's, I shot 67 and beat my guy, no big deal, let us go on tomorrow. But tomorrow I have got to figure I have got to set myself up for Saturday and set myself up for Sunday. It is just a totally different outlook. But, nonetheless, getting off to good start does help.

Q. 8 and 9, do you have your distances please?

TIGER WOODS: 8, 10-footer for par. 9 made about 20-footer for par.

LEE PATTERSON: Anything else?

End of FastScripts....

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