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November 10, 2006

Tiger Woods


RODDY WILLIAMS: Tiger, you equaled the course record, 64; has to be more like it today.

TIGER WOODS: Well, yeah, I hit the ball a lot better today and hit the ball close enough and I made many putts and got it rolling there on the front nine. It was kind of nice. Missed a few actually. And it's kind of scary to say when you shoot 8 under par, but I did miss a few out there. It was a really nice day actually to put together a number like this to get myself back in the tournament.

RODDY WILLIAMS: Front nine really got your tournament going, and now you're very well placed going into the weekend.

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I'm only two back right now with 36 holes to go, so I'm in good shape. Just got to continue making birdies.

The golf course, you know, with good shots, you can make some birdies out there. So you can see by the scores today, quite a few guys took advantage of the conditions and shot some good numbers.

Q. You now have your routine on the PGA Tour; perhaps you're not the leader on the first day, but the next three days you go up and up and win the tournament. So how do you expect, there are two days left, so how do you expect your final score or your final standing on this tournament? Are you confident of winning this tournament?

TIGER WOODS: No, I feel like I made some improvements from yesterday to today, and hit the ball I thought pretty clean today, which was nice. I gave myself some really makeable putts, which I didn't do yesterday.

Yesterday I was struggling quite a bit, you know, trying to get my distance control and shaping shots. I was pretty much one dimensional yesterday. I could only hit the ball one way.

Today I was able to shape the golf ball both ways and really felt like I was in control of it all day today. Hopefully I can do the same thing on the weekend, and, you know, again, make many birdies because that's what you're going to have to do to win this tournament.

Q. Sorry if you were asked this on Wednesday, we weren't here. You famously like coming out to this part of this world and not all Americans would. Any thoughts on the changes of scene over the past couple of years, and perhaps going forward coming back yourself a couple of times, especially with guys like Joyti doing well this week?

TIGER WOODS: I think if you look at just the overall field this week, it's pretty impressive the names that are here. The changes they made to the golf course have been tremendous from last year to this year. It's hard to believe the greens, it's the same golf course, because the greens last year were soft and receptive and a little bit bumpy. This year they are fast and really slick.

Again, the fans have come out and supported this event, and it's great to see the game of golf growing here in China. It's made tremendous leaps and bounds over the past few years, and I'm sure over the next decade it will be amazing to see what happens.

Q. On your second hole, you were very upset with your second and third shots, and then suddenly everything changed. So what happened, what were your thoughts and what made the change?

TIGER WOODS: Well, it was embarrassing the shot I hit on the second hole, the second shot. I thinned it. I was lucky to even get out of the bunker. I had 8 iron in my hand. It's an easy shot, perfect lie. I hit it so bad, hit into the face and it bounced out, rolled down the fairway and easy shot with an 8 iron again, hit it way right, put it on the green. But it was just two poor shots with an 8 iron. That's just not acceptable.

So, enough was enough and it was an easy par 5 and I made five instead of making four there. I just was so far behind, I can't afford to let holes like that pass by. I have to take advantage of the easier holes.

I got it going there on No. 4. Hit a good iron shot in there, made the putt, and then from there, just hit some really good golf shots.

Q. Yesterday Federer came over and watched you a few holes and you two met afterward. Did that really kind of help out your performance today?

TIGER WOODS: Well, I don't know if that helped out or not, but I've always well, just this year, I've gotten to know Roger and he's become a good friend of mine. And for him to come out and watch, it's awfully nice. I know he's busy getting ready, so he took some time out and came out to support his friend. We had dinner last night and it was very nice of him to do that. He's obviously very busy starting to prepare, and this is a big championship that start on Sunday. He's a great guy. There's not too many people in this world as nice as Roger.

Q. I know that Byron did 11 in a row on the PGA Tour, but if you win this week, do you consider in your mind it's seven a row?


Q. You did miss a few today; as you say, pretty scary to think, but how low could you conceivably have gone today, do you think?

TIGER WOODS: I don't know, maybe another two or three, maybe. I mean, I did miss a couple. But when you 3 putt from 15 feet, that's a missed opportunity, and then a couple other ones that lipped out.

Q. How do you compare your form today with your form before you took your layoff? You won your six back to back tournaments; is your form as good or better than where you were six weeks ago?

TIGER WOODS: It's close to what I was at AMEX. But AMEX, I had it dialed in pretty good. That was probably my best ball striking week all year. If you compare it to that, that's my best ball striking week I've had all year.

It was nice actually to hit some shots again, yesterday I was one dimensional. I could only hit the ball one way. Today it was nice to be able to fix my swing where I could maneuver the golf ball and control it either way I wanted to.

Q. Now you are going to play with Retief Goosen the last two round, and you've played with him many times. I want to know, how do you think of him?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, Goose is he's tough to beat when he's playing well. He played right in front of me. He missed a bunch of putts out there today. He could have shot a really low number today. So obviously he's swinging better. He's working with a new coach and I think things are starting to come around for him. I think if you were to ask him, this year probably hasn't been up to his expectations, but he's turning things around and getting things organised for this year and into next year.

Goose is going to be one of the guys you're going to have to beat to try to win this championship, but there's a bunch of guys up there right now. Hopefully I can keep improving, keep making birdies.

Q. You played very well today and I want to know if it's because your strategy changed from yesterday, the 7th hole and the 16th hole, and 8th hole to go for the green?

TIGER WOODS: 8, even if I teed it up with my driver, I couldn't get there today. I had to lay up.

As far as No. 7 and No. 16, yeah, I laid up on both those holes just because of the pin location today. No. 7, because the pin was deep and on the left, even if I hit driver up the left hand side, because there's a mound there, I'd be trying to hit a really short shot off a tight lie to a downhill pin. It didn't make any sense because I didn't have an angle. Yesterday the pin was right in the middle of the green, so even if I hit in the left in the swale, I still had plenty of green with no slope.

And on 16 today, again, the same, because the pin is over on the right, and short, if I hit the ball in the left, and put the ball in the fairway there, try to stop the ball on the downslope before it rolls off the green down the hill, it would have been a really tough shot. I saw K.J. laid up today and he spun off the slope and he was down in the bowl, and that was one of the harder shots I tried in the Pro Am, practise shots. So I didn't want to be down there. So I figured it would be safer to lay up and have a proper angle into the flag.

Q. What's wrong with your caddie's arm? (Laughter)

TIGER WOODS: He got into a little bit of a wreck racing, and his let's just say his wrist was not where it's supposed to be.

Q. Tell us about your eagle today.

TIGER WOODS: Well, yeah, I hit a good drive down the right hand side. I had 224 to the hole and I hit a 4 iron basically as hard as I could and it came off perfect and landed on the green and I had about a 10 footer there for eagle, right to left, and made it.

RODDY WILLIAMS: Tiger, thank you very much and good luck this weekend.

End of FastScripts.

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