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August 26, 2006

Tiger Woods


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Tiger Woods, thanks for joining us here, third round 71. Tough day for you, but you fought back on the back nine and just one out of the lead heading into the final round. Maybe some opening comments.

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I mean, it was a tough day out there today. I didn't really have it with my ball striking, my putting, some of my chip shots weren't very good, either. But I did hole two, which was nice. Overall I was just lucky to keep myself in the ballgame. Davis had a chance to run away with it today when he got to 11 under par, but the lead is at 9 now and I'm only one back, so it's a big positive.

Q. What specifically was going wrong, especially in that four hole stretch?

TIGER WOODS: I hit it left, I hit it right, my speed was bad, pulled a couple and blocked a couple, putts. Other than that it was

Q. Did you have trouble with distance on the second shots in? It seems like you flew a couple greens.

TIGER WOODS: It was terrible. My distance control was bad all day. I was short, I was long, I was left and I was right.

Q. Did I see you holding your back?

TIGER WOODS: No, it wasn't my back. It was an elephant running over my bag. The whole field just ran over me there (laughter).

Q. Second one into 3 was off, too, where you chipped in?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I was trying to hit the ball high and I hit it low.

Q. Same thing over here on 16?

TIGER WOODS: On 16, same thing, trying to hit the ball on a nice high cut and hit just a low bullet. That's not going to work on hard greens, but it's going to rain tomorrow so that shot should be okay.

Q. Where did it land on 5? Did you hit it that hard?


Q. You were way back on the green.

TIGER WOODS: It landed on the crest way on top and released down the hill.

Q. As well as you played 4, did you see this coming?

TIGER WOODS: I didn't warm up well today. I was getting away with it to that point, and the three putt, obviously that wasn't the swing, but my speed wasn't very good, either, on the greens.

Q. Did you get any sense that Davis started playing very freely as you were in a bit of a free fall?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, why not? He had the lead in the tournament and he was hitting it well, and all you need to do it just continue what he was doing. He was going to have the lead and he was going to move ahead with it, and he did that, to 11 under par.

Q. Rules official on 7 told you to get it up a little bit?

TIGER WOODS: On 7? Yeah, he just told us to pick up the pace. We were just falling behind.

Q. What kind of response did you get from your friends and whatever about what happened yesterday on 9 at the end, phone calls, things like that, anything?

TIGER WOODS: I was getting a lot of grief (smiling). I can't use the word they were using. Yeah, I was getting it pretty good.

Q. In what way?

TIGER WOODS: In a good way, good, fun way.

Q. Given your tough day, are you surprised you're just one back of the lead?

TIGER WOODS: Oh, I really shouldn't be one back. I didn't hit the ball very good and, as I said, I didn't control it. My speed was off early on the greens.

And I said earlier in the press conference here, it's a huge positive to be only one back, as poorly as I played today. Davis, as I said, could have easily run away with this thing. He got it to 11 under par, and if he birdies three more coming in, he'd have a huge lead. But it didn't work out that way.

Q. If Joel were to tell you that you haven't made four bogeys in a row in nearly ten years, would that surprise you?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, usually it's two or three bogeys and a double in there somewhere (laughter). I get to the same score eventually.

Q. At any point in a day like this, you have the reputation of being really solid on the mental side of your game. Do you say to yourself, okay, here's an interesting challenge, I'm far back but I'm still in it, I've made four bogeys, now what can I do to have this not go completely south?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, my body took me out of the tournament and my mind will bring me back in it. That's what I tried to do today.

I didn't hit the ball good and my speed wasn't good early. That was all physical mistakes. But the mind is powerful enough to tell the body what to do, it'll do it.

Q. Did your mind also say it's a darn good thing this isn't Sunday?

TIGER WOODS: No, I was just trying to get back to even par for the day. If I did that, I thought I would probably be two or three back, which was fine.

Q. Did you ever have a feeling it was getting away from you because at one point I think you were 5 or 6 under and Davis was 11 under?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I was five back at the time. I was at 6 and he was at 11, so as I said, if I got back to even par, and even if he made a couple coming in, I would still be right there with a chance going in to tomorrow. I just didn't want to shoot an over par round today.

Q. You said you didn't warm up at all today. Would you elaborate on that, please?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, my shape on my shots weren't very good, my trajectory control wasn't very good. I was just off, just had one of those bad days at the wrong time.

Q. It looked like you were trying to work things out. How difficult is that to play in a tournament trying to work out a swing issue?

TIGER WOODS: Especially when you've got multiple things you've got to work on. It wasn't like it was just one little thing and it's fixed and let's go. It was a few things that were off today. I'll do some rehearsals tonight and hopefully be good tomorrow.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Tiger Woods, thanks.

End of FastScripts.

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