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July 6, 2007

Tiger Woods


Q Are your putting woes cured?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I hit it about as good as I did yesterday. Only difference is I made a few more putts. I felt that -- I did some altering on my putter last night. I didn't bend it, I just put some lead tape on it and made it a little bit heavier, because the greens were a touch on the slow side and had more of a weighty putter.

Q. How much time did you spend on the greens last night?
TIGER WOODS: Probably about 45 minutes.

Q. Is that more than normal?
TIGER WOODS: Really not that long. It was just trying to get a feel for how much lead tape I needed for the putter, so spent a little more time there.

Q. Did you do anything like that at Doral?
TIGER WOODS: No. I changed my stroke at Doral actually and I didn't want to do that here. Considering that we're going to be playing probably potentially, well, for me, two slow tournaments in a row, this one and the British Opened, decided to try and change things up so that I could keep some kind of continuity going for two tournaments in a row.

Q. The tournament is just halfway, but do you feel like you got yourself back in it?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I feel like I at least gave myself a chance where if I play two good rounds, I have a chance of winning the tournament, instead of having to play one great round or even two great rounds to get myself into that same position.

Q. I saw you out there with Charles joking around.
TIGER WOODS: We were talking about a bunch of different stuff today. Chuckie wasn't feeling too well today, so it was nice for him to gut it out and give it his best.

Q. People were anxious about making the cut, talk about relief or whatever it is to make to the weekend.
TIGER WOODS: Well I was just trying to get myself back in the tournament. I didn't know what the cut was going to be. I was just trying to get to even par, 1-under par for the tournament. That's what I was going to try to do. It was nice to get it to under par, so now I feel like I did some good work today.

Q. Talk about the crowd today.
TIGER WOODS: I'm shocked, honestly, to see this many people here, especially so early this morning. When we teed off this morning, fairways were lined. Everyone was out there, just ecstatic to watch golf, and this is a great sports town and they are coming out supporting this event.

Q. Still in the tournament?
TIGER WOODS: I don't know what the lead is now. Last I saw, they were at 7. Lot of golf left, hopefully tomorrow I can play a cleaner rounds than I did today and make just as many putts, which would be nice.

Q. Talk about 15 --
TIGER WOODS: It was an ugly 5 but still a good five. Pulled my tee shot there. I laid up, hit just a horrific third shot and flop shot was actually just pure luck. I was just trying to get it on the green and just happened to stay up on the top shelf. I didn't want to have that go to waste by missing a makeable putt and I was grinding pretty hard on that putt to make it. Knocked it in and birdied last three.

Q. You've had the Claret Jug three times; what's the coolest thing you've done with it, any stories?
TIGER WOODS: I can't -- honestly, because of the consumption, I really can't remember. (Laughter).

Q. Making a cut is something you barely think about, but your own tournament, heading into today, was that weighing on you?
TIGER WOODS: I was just trying to get myself to even par and if I got to under par, it would be a bonus. That was the goal because I didn't think the lead would get too far. Maybe 8, 9 at the most. I figured if I could be -- if I was nine back or eight back I would be fine, so that was kind of the goal starting out the day and ended up one better.

Q. Is there one hole that you felt like, "Okay, I'm back, I'm on my game?"
TIGER WOODS: Not necessarily. I mean, I hit -- I made that good save on 6 for bogey, and then I just tried to keep that positive momentum going and I hit good shot after good shot on last three holes, and lo and behold, three birdies in a row.

Q. How do you win this tournament?
TIGER WOODS: How? Well, going to have to play a little bit better than I did yesterday, and probably hit the ball a little bit cleaner than I did today and make just as many putts.

Q. Sticking around for the weekend, what do you expect the conditions to be?
TIGER WOODS: I was surprised the greens were this soft. It rained obviously yesterday, but the greens were still pretty receptive and we were hitting 6-irons and 6-irons were kind of coming back a little bit. That's a little unusual for this golf course.
I think if we can dry them out a little bit over the next couple of days, I don't think the scores will be going too much lower. And with the wind being up like it is right now, it will be a pretty good test, because it gets in these trees and starts swirling and it gets hard to pick out which way it's coming from because it will do 180s on you. You can hit a good shot and just get just a completely bad break.

Q. What are your most prevalent recollections of Carnoustie last time out, and what do you expect?
TIGER WOODS: It was hard. It was really hard. I've never played a golf course as hard as that golf course was set up, and as unfair as it was set up, as well.

Q. What do you expect this time?
TIGER WOODS: I don't think -- the R&A, I think they probably learned a lesson from that setup.
I remember No. 6 stepping off the fairways nine yards wide in a lay up area. That's not a real big lay-up area when you have to hit a 4-iron to that lay-up area. So it was a very interesting golf course that, setup.

Q. Given a fair setup, how do you like that golf course?
TIGER WOODS: I think it's a great golf course. I played two Scottish Opens there, '95 and '96 and I thought it was one of the best golf courses I've ever played. Lo and behold, we come back in '99 and it was not that way anymore.

Q. In general, if you had to pick between the British Open and the Masters, which is your game more suited for? Which do you think you have a chance to win more of, I guess, in your career?
TIGER WOODS: Well, I feel pretty comfortable with both. British Open is only tournament where it's hit or miss on the tee times. I mean, you can get the good side or bad side. There's usually a distinct side. At Augusta, it's usually pretty even for all four days.
If you play well at the Open, sometimes it may not be good enough because you just may get the wrong side of the draw.

Q. Is there one you enjoy more than the other?
TIGER WOODS: I always enjoyed the British Open, I always have. My first one was at St. Andrews so it doesn't get much better than that.

Q. When you were here for Media Day, you talked about how you wanted to get the rough up. Your thoughts, is it to your specifications?
TIGER WOODS: It is. Half-a-shot penalty, if you drive the ball in the rough, it's probably 50/50 whether or not you can get the ball on the green, if you can advance it probably to the green or just short of the green, but whether you actually get it on, it's actually a different story. A lot of that is dependent on whether the ball is sitting downgrain or not. If it's sitting downgrain, yeah, you can probably get the ball on the green.

Q. Talk about the galleries, obviously you know it's very hard to follow you around, is there anything in particular that struck you, the crazy things you've seen?
TIGER WOODS: I usually have my head down, so I don't know. You're going to have to ask them that. I'm usually trying to plot my way along the golf course and usually have the blinders on.

Q. (About preparation for the tournament).
TIGER WOODS: I had plenty of time to prepare. I played Tuesday practice round and Wednesday Pro-Am which is pretty much standard for all of us out here on TOUR. Everything has been fine. It's been basically a normal week except for a couple more obligations here and there. Other than that, it's been very normal.

Q. How that you're wearing two hats this week, as opposed to some other tournaments where you're not so involved, now that you're done for the weekend, will you try and assess where things are with the event and get a little more involved, or will you keep your own routine that you usually do?
TIGER WOODS: No. We have daily meetings. So I'll get probably -- I think Greg and I need to talk -- there you go, he's here already. We're going to have to talk about a couple of things and see how things are.

Q. Is there anything that stands out or anything that really concerns you?
TIGER WOODS: No. I think things have been so fantastic. Everyone has done just an incredible job, everybody who has been involved in this tournament has put on a fantastic tournament. Honestly, 116 days to pull this off is pretty remarkable.

Q. Can you talk about the momentum going into tomorrow birdieing the last three?
TIGER WOODS: It's always nice. It always makes dinner taste a little bit better and always makes you feel as if your day ended correctly. Even though you may not have played well all day, if you seem to birdie the last hole it kind of puts all that kind of away somehow. But to end up on 3 was even better.

Q. Is your goal to have this be a fixture like Jack's tournament or Byron's or Arnie's?
TIGER WOODS: Of course. That's our goal. Our goal is to stay in this area and make a home of it, and that would be our goal and hopefully we can make that happen.

Q. Is your philosophy going for the win now?
TIGER WOODS: Well, I'm back in the tournament and hopefully I can shoot another round in the 60s tomorrow and move my way up the board.

Q. Your assessment on the crowds so far on the tournament?
TIGER WOODS: Definitely exceeded my expectations. I didn't think this many people would come out. Especially this early in the morning, I never would have envisioned seeing this many people come out. I wouldn't have got up that early to watch me play.

Q. Do you see yourself sitting up on the veranda, fired up?
TIGER WOODS: I would have been tipping back a couple then. Byron never did that.

Q. Do you feel you have anything special to prove --
TIGER WOODS: You know, people speculate all the time, whether it's my knee surgeries or my marriage; now it's my kid. I've been in I think two media slumps I think so far. So, you know, I think I've done all right in my career through all that.

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