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September 1, 2006

Tiger Woods


JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Thank you, Tiger, for joining us for a few minutes here in the media center, right where you started from.

TIGER WOODS: Well, today it was nice to get off to a quick start. I birdied the first hole. With the weather as windy and swirly as it was today, it was nice to be under par early and obviously under par after nine. And then the wind started dying down a little bit on the back nine, so you could be a little more aggressive on the back nine and go after some flags.

Q. (No microphone.)

TIGER WOODS: That was a nice save there. I had just a terrible drive and terrible second shot, and the third shot wasn't very good either. It was nice to make about a 12 footer there for par, considering I hit three bad shots right in a row. And then I got it going after that.

Q. Tiger, are you tired at all with your scheduled?

TIGER WOODS: No, I feel good now.

Q. (No microphone.)

TIGER WOODS: Well, it was just nice to have a shot, because I just thought that 3 wood was just a perfect shot right through there. When I saw it roll back, I thought for sure it went in the hazard when it rolled back. I didn't think it rolled in the bunker. When I walked up a little closer I could see it had gone in the bunker. I thought the shot would have gotten to the green, as good as I hit it. Evidently not. But I had a good lie. I was on the upslope, so I could fly the ball up on top and just let it trickle down and it came out really nice.

Q. (No microphone.)

TIGER WOODS: As I got over the shot, the wind was off to the left. And the more I got over the ball with it so far below my feet, I kept aiming further and further left, because the last thing you want to do is lose it to the right. I was aiming left. I was aiming right for the trees. My commitment wasn't for that line. Now all of a sudden I have to rethink my shot here. So I backed off and made sure I had enough loft on it coming down so I could get the ball above those trees, because my line had changed.

Q. (No microphone.)

TIGER WOODS: Right on over the top of it, right at it. I clipped one little leaf there. It went over the top.

Q. What kind of yardage of a sweep was it from where you started?

TIGER WOODS: Left edge of the green. The lie the way it was, the ball was that far below my feet. I couldn't really realistically draw the golf ball from there.

Q. You talked yesterday about how the course is playing. Can you give us your thoughts about the conditions and with the thought about some rain that's supposed to come in late tomorrow and Sunday and how that might affect the course and the way it is?

TIGER WOODS: I'll tell you what, we got the great break. This by far is the good end of the draw, to get it. We'll probably get all 36 holes in on time for us. The other side of the draw is going to struggle with theirs.

What I heard earlier is two inches of rain coming. Guys are going to get hammered in the afternoon. Hopefully we can go out and post a good round tomorrow and get it in and then sit back and wait, because when this golf course gets a little wet, it gets really long.

Right now it's the not playing 7,400 yards, it's fairly quick, but as soon as it gets some water on this thing, it gets really long and quick.

Q. A year ago, I forgot what you opened with, a 65 or 66, but it was one of the easiest looking rounds you've ever played and then the rest of the week you tapered off quickly. Where are you now a year later, having put together so many rounds consistency wise, is the swing what you're producing?

TIGER WOODS: I got a lot out of my round today. I played very conservatively on the front nine because of weather, but I'm in control of my golf ball. It could be a little better.

Q. You've had this great run, but there's also been a lot of discussion the last week or so of you being the greatest athlete of all time. I wondered, if you weren't playing golf, you got into this so young, what kind of stuff you were playing when you were young, what you would have liked to have played and what you would have done?

TIGER WOODS: I ran track and cross country. That's what I did.

Q. No baseball?

TIGER WOODS: I played baseball and threw my arm out. I had a tear in my rotator cuff so I had to stop that. I stuck with running. Running was easy for me. I was always, as you know, thin and light, I was like a 1 iron, so it was pretty easy.

Q. Do you have a favorite athlete?

TIGER WOODS: Without a doubt. Edwin Moses. I think it was 116 yards, or whatever it was, straight, very impressive.

Q. When you were a kid, did you look at I don't know if you were an NBA fan or an NFL fan and say, "I wish I could be..."?

TIGER WOODS: It would be just like the commercial, "Be like Mike."

Q. Until you met him?

TIGER WOODS: Good point.

Q. Just kidding.

TIGER WOODS: I always wanted to be able to dunk one time in my life. I can still get rim, but I can't get the ball over the top.

Q. How far did you have on that shot on 18? Did you think at all of not going forward?

TIGER WOODS: Yes, I thought about it, a fleeting thought. I had 240 to the front, 260 four to the hole.

Q. You had to cut it like 20 yards or 30 yards?

TIGER WOODS: It was going to do it on its own. That's the thing. I didn't have to cut it. It was going to do it on it's own and rely on the wind. I was in the middle of the fairway where Tim was. It was a pretty easy shot. But where I was, I think it was a little bit more interesting.

Q. Was the wind that bad? I was trying to figure out why was it the direction part that was so hard?

TIGER WOODS: Are you talking about early in the round?

Q. Yes.

TIGER WOODS: It was just all over the place.

Q. It wasn't severe, you just didn't know where it was coming from?

TIGER WOODS: It was coming from all different directions. Say you played No. 1 downwind. No. 2 wasn't guaranteed to be into the wind. Actually it was more off to the left than into the wind. Two holes that parallel one another. It just kept changing when you got into those trees.

Tim got fooled a couple of times today. I got fooled once. The front nine was interesting. Once we got on the back nine where it was a little bit more open, the breeze stayed consistent. The front nine when it got into the trees, it did some very interesting things.

Q. Do you always play conservatively like that?

TIGER WOODS: If it's blowing like that you don't know where it's coming from. There's no sense in firing at every flag when it's three or four from the side. You don't have any margin. The greens are plenty wide, but short siding would not be a good thing.

Q. (No microphone.)

TIGER WOODS: No. It was pretty good golf today. But I did beat him the other day. It was nice. The trick is, he got me the first 15 times, but when I got to 16, that was it.

JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Thank you, Tiger.

End of FastScripts.

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