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April 7, 2001

Tiger Woods


Q. I heard you before saying that you were grinding, plodded your way around the course, didn't really do anything fantastic, but yet, here you are with a 68. Could not have been all bad?

TIGER WOODS: If you watched the round, the putts I had starting out the day seemed like every putt broke about ten feet. It's just one of those days where I didn't hit it that close, until I got to 7. I hit it to about a foot and a half there. But I didn't really do anything great. I did, as I said, just plodded my way along. I missed a few fairways. Got the ball on the green, just 2-putted and moved on. That's basically how I played -- or how I have played all week.

Q. Discuss the bogey at 12 and what that kick-started you into the next three holes, because you went birdie, birdie, birdie after that?

TIGER WOODS: I had 141 to the hole. The wind was in my face. We were trying to hit the ball about 45, about four yards past the hole a little bit over to the right. The wind laid down. I should have backed off the shot, but I went ahead and hit the 8-iron, just like I normally would, and it went too far. Then, I wish I -- I wanted to putt the next one, but I could not. There was a sprinklerhead in my line and I could not do that. Then I'm in a sandy lie, a lot of sand, I'm thinking, well, I could play this ball in the water so I kind of fatted it up on the green and yipped the putt to the right, tapped it in; good 4. Moved on to the next hole. I just wanted to hit a good drive somewhere up there, which I did. I ripped a 3-wood. I probably hit it more solid than I should have. I had 185 to the hole. Hit an 8-iron that carried about 200.

Q. You said that you didn't do anything great. Is it maybe more important to try not to do things that are great, but things that are just good and solid?

TIGER WOODS: I think with the conditions, especially starting out, with it being pretty windy, it was just trying -- it was really hard to try to get a feel of where the wind was. You know it's up there, but what it's doing at the green and what it is doing on the tee or in the fairway could be two different things. It was just a challenge. I just didn't really try to do anything, as I said, special. Just tried to put the ball in play there, put it on the green, make a putt if I could. If I didn't, just 2-putt and move on.

Q. Could not quite see what you were doing on that second shot on the third hole. I heard pine, cone, tree, what all was involved with that there?

TIGER WOODS: Everything you said.

Q. Leaning against the tree?

TIGER WOODS: Leaning against the tree. Left leg against the tree. Pine cone is on the inside part of the ball and I had 95 yards to the hole, 79 to the front, and I just -- I hit a pitching wedge, because I could not make a swing forward. I had to try and -- drive in to the left side; there was a tree in my way. I just tried to come over the top and scoop -- yip it up there somewhere and I was able to kind of half-fat it up there and landed it short of the green and rolled on. I then 2-putted about 40 feet.

Q. Could it have gone anywhere?

TIGER WOODS: If anything, it was going to go short left. I made sure of that. I did not want to hit it to the right, I tell you that. With that pin, right of the green was not good.

Q. What Phil is going for tomorrow, what you're going for tomorrow, being paired together, maybe it's about time you started sharing. Do you feel like sharing?

TIGER WOODS: I think more than anything, probably competing with him. (Laughs). That's the fun of it. We're going to go out there tomorrow and compete. We're going to enjoy doing it. I know that there are a lot of other good players at the top of the board who have a wonderful chance of winning tomorrow, if they just play a good, solid round. So I'm going to go out there with the intent of just trying to keep the ball in play and put it on the green so I have, hopefully, some uphill putts.

Q. Is this the way you would have scripted it, one-shot lead, playing against the No. 2 guy in the world?

TIGER WOODS: No. (Laughter.)

Q. How would you have scripted it?

TIGER WOODS: Ten. Why limit yourself to ten? If you're going to dream, might as well.

Q. 13, birdie; 14, birdie; 15, birdie on Saturday at the Masters we should all plod so well. Was there any amount of excitement, any feeling of taking control of this tournament?

TIGER WOODS: No. (Laughs).

Q. Care to elaborate at all?

TIGER WOODS: You know, 13, I hit two good shots. I hit a really good putt. Didn't go in. I left it just short. 14, again, two good shots. This time, converted. 15, I hit two good shots into the green. Went just over the pack, tough chip. Kind of hook-spun it up there to about two feet and made that. I really hit good shots, yes, but they were not -- they were not stoning. They were not kick-ins. I still had to make putts.

Q. At the same time, Cabrera and Mickelson, they are both making double-bogey. This doesn't get your juices flowing at all?

TIGER WOODS: You know, because, I understand what the danger is out there. I understand that you have to execute the golf shots. If you slip up just a little bit -- it can be a marginal shot, like on 13, you just pull it just a fraction, it's a good shot, catches a tree limb, kind of goes down left, anything can happen. Like I was playing with Iloken the first couple days, first day, he hits a really good tee shot, caught the top of the limb, kicked out in the fairway and had to lay up. Could have easily gone the other way.

Q. Can you plod and half-fat some shots up there tomorrow and win?

TIGER WOODS: Hopefully. I didn't really -- I hit the ball pretty solid today. Granted, I did hit a couple bad ones here and there, but they were not too bad.

Q. And tomorrow you can play the same -- if you play the same kind of round --

TIGER WOODS: It all depends on the conditions tomorrow. I know where the pins, because of the dots, but it all depends on if the winds is howling or not. If the wind is howling, then it is not as easy as people think it is. Obviously, if it is calm, with the greens being this receptive, you can use the slopes to your advantage and get a couple balls in there tight.

Q. The historical implications of tomorrow, are you thinking about that at all or are you just totally shutting that out?

TIGER WOODS: I haven't thought about it. I'm kind of thinking about my swing right now. Going to go to the range and work on it. Sorry. (Laughter.)

Q. Come on. Give us something better than that. This is something a lot of us may never see again in our lifetime if you win again tomorrow. Has that entered into your mind?

TIGER WOODS: I hope you live a little longer, then. (Laughter.)

Q. You and Phil have been paired together on Sunday before and you have done well and he's done well. What is it about him that's going to be difficult in terms of tomorrow?

TIGER WOODS: Well, I think -- Phil is obviously, as everyone knows, is a wonderful player. He's a great player. Hits a lot of wonderful shots. Got a great short game. He's obviously had a lot of success since he's been on TOUR. There's a reason for it. He's a great player. Tomorrow, Phil and I have a wonderful chance, but you can't go out there and just think it's Phil and myself. If you look at that board, there are some guys who have won some serious tournaments around the world, and it's going to be a lot of fun. I'm going to enjoy it, and I'm sure Phil is, too. Same with the other guys with a great chance of winning.

Q. Sometimes, like when you played Darren Clarke at La Costa, he was joking around with you a lot and you had your game face on, you didn't joke too much. Are you and Phil going to be interchanging comments or be quiet?

TIGER WOODS: I'm sure we'll talk a little bit here and there. But obviously, we have our own different styles of playing, and I -- I like to talk a little bit here and there, but, you know, not -- I'm not a chatterbox. I will talk every once in awhile. Phil is kind of the same way.

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