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February 24, 1999

Tiger Woods


LEE PATTERSON: Sir, good match. Just a couple of thoughts about that.

TIGER WOODS: Well, I hit a lot of good shots today. I hit a lot of good shots at crucial times in the match. Helped around the turn at 9 and 10, as well as 12. And just able to hang in there and beat a great champion.

Q. Shot at 9 was big; after Nick was on the green, you hit it in there stiff; that was a hole that he could have wound up winning and gone up 3-up. Is that among the most important?

TIGER WOODS: That is why I said 9 and 10, because if I make par at 9, looks like he has a good up-and-down chance. But if I am able to put a little heat on him from the fairway, make him look at a ball up there pretty close to the hole, I figure, you know, my ball sneaks out there with a halve, if I am lucky, I might get out there with a victory. I was able to squeeze a winner out of that hole. Then on 10, I thought 10 was more important because he finally hit really two great shots, hit a great tee shot right down there and hit a 7-iron up there to about eight feet; never left the flag stick the entire way. I was able to counter him, put 8-iron up there about a foot.

Q. Did you feel like you were in pretty much control of that match from start to finish today?

TIGER WOODS: Well, I wouldn't say control. I was hitting a lot of good shots. I was just trying to put a lot of pressure on him. I felt like the match was definitely going my way when I hit; made birdies on both 12 and 13. Hit a good shot on 13. I was able to putt first and put a lot of pressure on him. He made the putt and then he missed his; so I felt like, yeah, now I got a good lead on the match.

Q. There was a reference on the telecast about an incident (inaudible) --

TIGER WOODS: On 14, par 3, as Nick was in transition from backswing to downswing, a phone rang right in his downswing. It was right behind the tee boxes. The guy was just right there. Nick flinched; hit it right up in the trees off the tee box, so it was a shame that that happened. People just need to turn their phones off, or not even bring them. They are not even allowed on the golf course.

Q. Did he say anything to you, Tiger, when he backed away from his putt on 14? Did he say anything to you, or was that a fan?

TIGER WOODS: That was when the (laughs) when a cameraman for ABC, yeah, the guy took up his tripod; started walking off, and Nick had a crucial putt to make.

Q. A lot of the top names lost today: O'Meara is losing. Do you feel lucky to have gotten through this first round or relieved or what?

TIGER WOODS: Well, I wouldn't say lucky. Lucky is not the word. Relieved is definitely the right word. It is always nice to get a win underneath your belt and get some confidence going to the next day; especially when you are able to beat a champion such as Nick Faldo. And I was able to do that today.

Q. Did you feel like you had your A-game or your B-game?

TIGER WOODS: I played all right today.

Q. Obviously, Nick is not at the top of his game. Did you think the thing that was important was to kind of jump on him early; not give him --

TIGER WOODS: Like on the first hole today, yeah, he didn't hit a good drive off on the right side. He got a bad lie in the bunker. Hit it in the left bunker off the -- just short left. I figured I need to put a little heat on him; put it in there pretty tight. I did. Put it up there about ten feet, and he didn't get up-and-down. Had a concession birdie there. I birdied the next hole; so to get off to a birdie-birdie start does make you feel pretty good.

Q. I think the announcer on television said that he thought you said 10 when you hit it stiff, that you said that. What is that all about?

TIGER WOODS: No. That is when I said that is what Match Play is all about.

Q. You said that on the course?

TIGER WOODS: Yes. Ebb and flow of match play; a guy looks likes he has got momentum, you take it away from him.

Q. Any thoughts on playing Bob Tway now since he dominated Watson?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, he played well. Playing right behind me and I saw the majority of his shots were right around pin-high and Tom was kind of not hitting it all that great. So, I need to go out there tomorrow and hopefully get off to a good start; put a lot of pressure on him early and hopefully maintain it.

LEE PATTERSON: Why don't you go over your score card.

TIGER WOODS: Birdied the first two; hit driver and sand wedge to about ten feet. Had a concession birdie there. No. 2, driver and 6-iron about a foot short of the green and 2-putted from about, oh, about 35 feet. Had a concession; hit it up there about six inches. Bogeyed 3. Hit it left of the green, chipped up and missed about 8-footer there. Birdied 9. I hit a driver, a sand wedge and 8-iron to about eight feet, made that for birdie. On 10, I hit a 3-wood and 8-iron to about a foot. 11, hit 7-iron pin-high right of the green. Chipped it past the hole about eight feet. I missed that. 12, I hit a driver and a 5-iron over the back edge, putted it down to about from about 25 feet. Putted to about eight inches, that was a gimme. And 13, I hit a 3-wood off the tee; sand wedge to about ten feet. I made it.

Q. Obviously, Tuesday you were mentioning in here when somebody asked you about Brian, you have been 4-0, you have had a lot of success with him. If everything goes well this week is it going to change the situation that you have with Mike Cowen now?

TIGER WOODS: No, Brian is going to be on the bag a few times this year. Just trying to get him some money for medical school. It is not cheap going to medical school. And be able to have an opportunity to help out a close friend like that has been so good to me, that it is pretty nice to be able to do that.

Q. You had made this decision prior to over a week ago for this week?

TIGER WOODS: No, I made a decision last week. Middle of last week.

Q. Will Fluff be on the bag at Augusta?

TIGER WOODS: I don't know. Probably, yeah.

Q. Are you more anxious about tomorrow's match as you were about today's match or does winning kind of give you some confidence?

TIGER WOODS: Am I as anxious? Probably more anxious about tomorrow's match. It just nice to be able to get one match underneath your belt and to get fired up about the next one.

Q. How is your mom's knee doing and are you looking forward to watching her walk 36 holes on Sunday?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, that would be nice. But mom's knee is doing great. It is healing quite well. To be able to be out there just walking, it is pretty tough on her, but she is doing it just like my dad was in 1997 at Augusta, he shouldn't have been there, but we have that mentality in our family.

Q. Talking about giving Fluff a break. Is he okay with that?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, he is fine with it. Yeah.

Q. I wondered how you thought Faldo played overall?

TIGER WOODS: Nick played in spirts, I think. He hit some shots that he doesn't normally hit early in the round. Then the middle of the round, he turned it around and seemed like he never really missed a shot and then towards the end of the match he hit a couple of loose ones again.

Q. Anything that you are looking to prepare for tomorrow that would have been different from what you saw out there today?

TIGER WOODS: I am quite happy with the way I hit shots today and the way I putted, made some good key putts, but tomorrow I just need to go out there and have the same game plan, just go ahead and put a lot of pressure on my opponent and keep hitting a lot of good shots and make the key putts when I have to.

Q. Do you think you have a little bit of an advantage pressure-wise having played now the last few years with the crowds and the intense personal pressure around you, maybe over someone else that you are playing against someone in this match format?

TIGER WOODS: I don't know. I think that is a question you have to ask them. I have had this since I have turned pro and I have had to deal with it everyday, so, I don't know. It has become normal to me.

Q. A couple of years ago you went low on Sunday, you and Mark, I think you both shot --


Q. Knowing that you can go low here on this course, does that have anything to do when you are out there say if you stumbled on a hole? Match Play, it is different, obviously.

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, it is. You are a little more aggressive at times, but you know, I think this is one of the golf courses, if the greens are good, you can shoot some pretty good numbers. It is just that traditionally the greens have always been kind of spongy because of all the rain we get early in the year. Now that is not the case, a little drier, a little firmer and they are definitely rolling better. It is nice to hit good putts and you know halfway it is in the hole. If it is not going to kick out of the hole before, oh, God, just please don't kick out of the hole.

LEE PATTERSON: Thank you, we appreciate it.

TIGER WOODS: You got it.

End of FastScripts...

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