August 21, 1996
Q. How do you feel? How did you play today did you think?
TIGER WOODS: I played all right. I wasn't as sharp as I was in the qualifying. My putting wasn't there at the beginning, but it came around at the end.
Q. Talk about the little half wedge or blade chip shot you made that got you going?
TIGER WOODS: That was basically the turning point of the match because from there, even with the speed I hit it, it was still going to probably go off the green. And if that happened, I got about 10-footer for par where I can lag it up there, and if I miss, I'm one down. But instead I made it and I went one up, and that was huge, especially on a par 4 where I can use my length.
Q. What did you think when you hit the chip? Did you think you made it or it went over the green?
TIGER WOODS: It either hits the hole or is going off the green, one of the two. It went right in the center and it was very nice.
Q. You were angry with the approach shot, was that the wrong club or too hard?
TIGER WOODS: I just hit it too hard. You can hit it anywhere on that green except for that top. I don't care if I leave it 50 yards short of the green. It's an easier shot than over the green. That's the only spot you can't put it on that hole, and I just happened to put it right there.
Q. I know you're used to the large galleries and the followings, et cetera, but still does that tweak your nerves just a little bit? Is that a comfort knowing that most of the people are out there encouraging you, just all the people following you on your round today?
TIGER WOODS: I think it's great they all come out. They supported both of us. I think it's neat because you can never lose a ball. (Laughter.) A lot of times we play weekend rounds and we lose a lot of balls, because there's no one there to find it. And the people all around find the balls.
Q. You know that's going to be like that the rest of the way, then?
TIGER WOODS: That's great.
Q. Do you feel you got a pretty good break on 16 with the drive?
TIGER WOODS: The drive? Yeah. It wasn't a very good tee shot. It went very short off to the right and it came back in, so I had a shot at it.
Q. Your game around the greens was awfully good today. It seemed like your approach shots were where you wanted them to be. You set yourself up for birds or eagles, especially on the back 9?
TIGER WOODS: The back 9, I settled down and found the slot in my golf game. In the front 9 I couldn't find it. I was a little off. It was just enough that my putting stroke wasn't quite there, but it came around when I needed it and I made some good putts.
Q. When you say you're off, do you think to yourself it will come, be patient or that front 9 when you were struggling a little bit? Are you thinking what is going on here?
TIGER WOODS: I knew exactly what I was doing. It's just a matter of not doing it. From there that's where the learning experience takes over. And you're struggling a little bit, just be patient, it will come around. You know what to do, just do it. Once I started to do it, I started hitting the ball more crisp, my putting stroke smoothed out.
Q. Talk about your approach to match play knowing that it's like one step at a time. Mentally, that's different than medal play. What's the different approach? How do you kind of set yourself knowing what's in store for you for a week?
TIGER WOODS: As you just said you have to take it one stage at a time. You can't look forward to the finals on Sunday. You just have to say I've got a tough match tomorrow. I think I play Jerry Courville tomorrow. He's a great player. You've got to take it one step at a time. You can't skip ahead or you're going to be packing your bags. That's one of the things that I've really focused on, I'm very intense. Hopefully it will work. It's worked so far in the past and hopefully it will continue on.
Q. Is it tough not to look ahead sometimes just a little teeny bit when maybe you're away having dinner or you're closing your eyes to sleep at night? Do you think about that third one once in a great while?
TIGER WOODS: You do, and it does cross through your mind. But the problem with doing that is that you start looking more anxiously to that moment and forget the work ahead. And the work I have to do is I've got 18 holes tomorrow against a very tough competitor. I have to focus on that on each and every match. I've always done that in the past. It wasn't like that at first. When I first started playing match play I didn't know how, but as I started to learn that's how it is.
Q. How do you like having all eyes on you for this whole week?
TIGER WOODS: Well, that's fine. It's okay. I've had it at the last U.S. Am, where everybody was saying back to back, and this week is the same.
Q. Tiger, assuming your tougher matches in the last couple of amateurs have been against those guys that are a little older. Can you speak to that, why they're so tough?
TIGER WOODS: It's very simple. They're more experienced. They've played so many more rounds than we have comparative, age-wise. Also don't forget when you're at that age, you also have gone through so many experiences that you know not to give up. A lot of college students seem to sometime just quit; not all, but some. But if you push them to a certain limit they'll fold and quit. A lot of Mid-Ams don't, because they've gone through that experience and have learned from that. They're awfully hard, awfully tough players.
CRAIG SMITH: Tiger, any small moment of apprehension when you got to 6 and went down.
TIGER WOODS: Not at all. There's a lot of holes left. That's only one hole. Unfortunately, I didn't make the putt. I knew he was going to make that putt. I just needed to make mine.
Q. You missed short putts on 12 and 13. What were your thoughts? You had another about three- or four-footer on 14. Was it hard to get those other ones out of your mind?
TIGER WOODS: No, it was very simple. It was a ball and a half on the outside and hit it, simple as that. The putt I had on 13 -- is 13 a par 3? 12. The putt on 12, you have to breathe on it and it's going to get to the hole. And it's hard to start the ball on the line when you have to start it so easily.
Q. I guess I was thinking 11 and 12?
TIGER WOODS: 11 was just a bad putt. But 12 was just a joke how fast it was. You saw how hard he hit his putt. It went at least 6 feet by. I kind of breathed on mine, and from there it's just following the green from there.
CRAIG SMITH: Tiger, bring us up to date on your caddy, Brian. Tell us who he is, why the change?
TIGER WOODS: Well, Brian Bell is my best friend from home. He came up here to watch the tournament and lo and behold he's caddied for me. I felt that Jay was better suited to his clinical work, clinical psychology, where he can help me more from that aspect. He can observe better. When you're on the other side of the ropes, you're caught up in the emotions and you can't observe very well. He made some observations today and I'm sure he'll tell me. We'll talk about it tonight and go over it and hopefully I'll be better tomorrow.
Q. So Brian will caddy for you the rest of the week?
TIGER WOODS: Correct.
Q. What's Jay's last name?
TIGER WOODS: Brunza, B-r-u-n-z-a.
Q. Do you feel like there's anyone out there that can even beat you in match play? I know it's been a while since you've lost.
TIGER WOODS: Yeah. Anybody who's playing me. The reason being because match play is a type of format that if you get it going bad, you can lose very quickly or even if you play your best game you can still lose. The best player doesn't always win. That's the neat thing about match play. And it's a strange format because of that. You've got to be very tough internally, because there are going to be some swings in the match, whereas normally you're focusing on playing your own game. Now you're playing the golf course, the other player and your own game. You have to play all three at once, and it's awfully hard.
Q. When you speak of mental toughness, have you seen anyone who's been as mentally tough as you? Would you put your mental toughness up against anybody's?
TIGER WOODS: Yes, I would. All the experiences that I have gone through have definitely toughened me up and I've learned, especially from other players. Other players and other experiences that they've gone through and have told me, it's been a great help, especially at the tour level. As I always said it's an honor and a privilege to play with Nicklaus and Palmer, where they can talk to me about things like that. They share a lot. And it's kind of neat how they always want to share knowledge with you. It's always fun, too.
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