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July 8, 2006

Tiger Woods


JOHN BUSH: We'd like to welcome Tiger Woods into the interview room, 5 under par 66, nice playing today, Tiger.

TIGER WOODS: Thank you.

JOHN BUSH: Good day for your bounce back, and that's probably a big part of the round. After the two bogeys you had an eagle and a birdie. Just comment on that.

TIGER WOODS: It's nice having two par 5s after my two mistakes, after making a bad bogey there at 10. It's nice to have the same putt I had last year actually on Sunday, about the same putt, broke about the same amount, so just tried to rely on that for the read.

Then made a mistake on 14, stuck it in the ground and hit a 7 iron straight right, made bogey there.

I made a nice 4 because I had to lay up on 15 and made about a 15 footer there for birdie.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about just being out here for a couple days and getting some more rounds under your belt and what that's meant for your game since you haven't played in a while?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, it's nice to actually make some putts and piece together something out there because obviously my last tournament I didn't do that, and then the tournament before that has been a while.

It was nice to actually see the ball go in the hole again. I got some momentum going yesterday early, didn't continue it, though, but today I did for most of the day; I made some good putts out there today and hit the ball certainly hitting the ball better now, which is nice.

Q. Can you talk about what happened on No. 10 on that drive? You almost hit it into the Buick tent on the right hand side.

TIGER WOODS: It wasn't on purpose (laughter). It definitely was not on purpose.

I was trying to hit it hard and just made sure, just whatever you do, don't hit the ball left. If I hit the ball left in those trees, I had no chance of making birdie. So if anything, put the ball in the right bunker there, and I hit the ball right of the right bunker, and consequently I kept making mistakes from there.

Q. A couple of good long range sessions this week. Have you been grinding on the range more this week than normal, two and a half hours one night and I think maybe three yesterday?

TIGER WOODS: Well, it's light compared to at home.

Q. Well, in a tournament.

TIGER WOODS: Well, I haven't really played a whole lot, so it's kind of hard to say.

Q. But in the past, is this

TIGER WOODS: You've got to do what you've got to do. If you have daylight and you've got some stuff you can work on, it's nice to be able to do that and have little sessions like that.

Q. Just to follow up, after that round on Thursday, did you have a little bit of the did you have a little bit of the "red ass," so to speak, and wanted to get out there and see if you could grind that out of your system?

TIGER WOODS: I knew what I was doing wrong but I couldn't stop it, and in order to stop it you've got to log in the reps. You've got to put in the hours. It's just a matter of doing the reps properly and enough times where it gets more engrained and you feel comfortable, and hence I can carry forth with it the next day.

If I just put a light session in, then I just felt like that wasn't going to be good enough for it to remain intact for the next round, so go ahead and continue putting reps in, putting reps in, where it feels more and more comfortable, and by the end of the night I felt like I had it good enough where I could put together a good round the next day.

Q. Not many people have a death in the family and then have to answer questions about how it's going to affect their life or their jobs and that sort of thing. Does that get old after a while, that every kind of aspect of your life gets analyzed, regardless

TIGER WOODS: Yes (laughter).

Q. Can you expound on that a little bit?

TIGER WOODS: No (laughter).

Everyone wants to say nice things, which people have done, and everyone also wants to analyze everything, too. I think that goes with the territory of being in the position I've been in on the PGA TOUR.

Q. Yesterday you kind of shocked me when you said you didn't think your iron play was that good. Today I thought it was just as good if not better. How did you feel about it?

TIGER WOODS: It was better today. I hit the irons better today. I didn't quite drive the ball as well as I did yesterday, but I certainly hit my irons a lot better today, which was nice.

Q. It seemed like warming up today, it was more like, for lack of a better term, a lesson rather than a warmup. Are you doing that right now as you're going through this process?

TIGER WOODS: It's just two days. As I said, I have to engrain the things that we're trying to work on. As soon as that's solidified, then you won't see those things anymore, then you can just go ahead and warm up and go. As of right now, I've got to do a couple extra things.

Q. Maybe to follow up on that train of thought a little bit, you've been practicing, each day you've made some improvements. Are you close enough, ready enough to win a tournament already?


Q. How do you sense that or know that, when your game is that close?

TIGER WOODS: I'm two back right now (laughter).

Q. Phil has been saying this week I think he pretty much views this tournament as a tune up for the British. How do you look at this?

TIGER WOODS: Well, right now I'm trying to get a W. I've always felt that's the best way to prepare for any major championship is to go in there with a good, positive feeling. I'm not playing next week, and he is playing, I think, Loch Lomond, so I'm sure he's going to go prepare there and try and get ready for the British over there.

Q. What did you say to Rich Beem there on the 18th green after he sank that chip?

TIGER WOODS: Well, I can't say it in here. I can tell you later (laughter).

Q. Do you have a sense of what the winning score will be, what you're going to need tomorrow and how low it's going to go?

TIGER WOODS: I figure probably leading by the end of the day it's going to be 11, 12, 13. Being where I'm at, I'm still going to have to post a pretty good number tomorrow to give myself a chance with a few holes to go. It's just a matter of hopefully there won't be too many guys that run off on that back nine where I've got to leapfrog over a bunch of guys.

Q. Can you talk about going out to see the juniors from your foundation yesterday? I guess talk about the day, and was it a nice little reprieve after the round?

TIGER WOODS: That was some kind of cool to see those kids out there grinding away and competing and playing a match like that, but then also walking and talking and having a great time, and that was the whole idea behind it, to experience something like that where they get to have pretty diverse cultures coming together from two different continents. You know, I think hanging out with each other all the time, I saw them out here this week following, and seeing them just talking back and forth, and that's what made it really neat because a lot of times in team events that doesn't happen; you're on one side of the fence and I'm on the other, and we're never going to cross. But the whole idea of this event was for us to have unity, and that's why it's called the Friendship Cup.

Q. Did Ernie give you a call after the results?

TIGER WOODS: No. He'll razz me when I see him, unfortunately.

Q. Rich Beem said that he just had a lot of fun playing that round today, that he really enjoys playing with you. Was he a fun person for you to play with today, and does that help make it a little bit more relaxing?

TIGER WOODS: Playing with Beemer is always fun, it really is. We always needle each other all the time. Whether we're playing with each other or not, we're always going to give each other a needle every time we see each other. This time we got to do it for four straight hours.

JOHN BUSH: Thank you, Tiger.

End of FastScripts.

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