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August 10, 2007

Tiger Woods


KELLY ELBIN: Tiger Woods, ladies and gentlemen, in with a round of 7-under par 63 in the second round of the 89th PGA Championship. With this round of 63, Tiger becomes the 21st individual to shoot 63 in major golf championship history. The score also equals the course record set by Raymond Floyd in the opening round of the 1982 PGA Championship.
Tiger, congratulations on what had to be a pretty special day.
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, thank you. It was the ideal start today. I was 3-under through 5 and it just turned. I hit some nice shots out there today. And probably the nice putt I made on 12, that was a big putt after hitting two shots stiff up to 9 and 10 and hit a good one at 11 and then put one in the bunker there and made about a 35-footer there for par.
Just kept the momentum of the round going. And then from there I made a couple more birdies, which was nice.
KELLY ELBIN: Tiger is also the 10th player in PGA Championship history to shoot 63.
If you would go through the eight birdies and one bogey, please.
TIGER WOODS: The first hole I hit 2-iron and 8-iron to about six feet and made that.
The fourth hole I hit a 3-iron off the tee, 9-iron to about, oh, 20 feet short of the hole, made that.
5, I hit a driver, a 6-iron and a sand wedge to about eight feet, made that.
Bogey 7, hit a 4-iron off the tee in left rough, 9-iron in left bunker. Blasted out to about 12 feet and missed it.
9, I hit a 4-iron off the tee. 8-iron to about a foot, made that.
10, I hit a 5-iron off the tee. 9-iron to about four feet, made that.
13, I hit a 3-wood and 7-iron in the front bunker, blasted it out about two feet and made that.
14, I hit a 5-iron just off the green, pin high. Chipped in with an 8-iron.
15, I hit a 4-iron and a 7-iron just right of the hole. And made about 20-footer down the hill.
KELLY ELBIN: Before we get to questions, Tiger's previous low in a major golf championship was 64 at the Open championship in 1997.
Open up with questions.

Q. Tiger, you own a mountain of records already. And you said on television immediately after that you were cognizant you were putting for another record. But how special would that have been to have shot 62, and also did this make a statement for you this year? Was that a statement round for the season you've had this year?
TIGER WOODS: (Smiling) no, I was just trying to get myself back in this tournament. And lo and behold, here I am. 62 would have meant I had a three-shot lead instead of a two-shot lead.

Q. Tiger, after having not won a major yet this year, the two where you finished second, although you contended, you were grinding, admittedly, in those, how do you feel to put a round together where you seem to be really, really in control today?
TIGER WOODS: Well, funny thing is I felt almost as good yesterday with my ball-striking. I just lost the round a little bit there in the middle part of the round.
I never got it back. As I said yesterday, I hit the ball better than my score indicated. And I felt good about today because I hit the ball well yesterday. It's just a matter of doing the same thing I did yesterday. Maybe cleaning up the round a little bit, not so many mistakes. And make a few more putts and I did that today.

Q. Tiger, amid all the allegations that Southern Hills was a Tiger tamer, how did it feel to put that to rest and also how did that last ball not go in?
TIGER WOODS: As far as the first part, I finished 12th in the U.S. Open. It's really not that bad. And my dad had a heart attack, was placed in the hospital in '96. So those are my two appearances. I really can't say it's really that bad.
But as far as that last putt, I was trying to make it. And I hit it a little bit firm and I thought I made it, because it was breaking at the end. I knew it broke a lot more at the end than at the beginning. Started diving.
Evidently didn't want to go in.

Q. Digression a little bit. There was a memorial service for Bill Walsh today at Candlestick/Monster Park. They read a telegram from you during the ceremonies, and I just -- you've discussed before, you and Walsh had sort of a special arrangement, you knew each other when you were going there and he sort of advised you. Could you discuss that just a little bit?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, Coach was -- he was still the coach my freshman year. And he was in there all the time. It was an honor, it really was. I could go in his office any time. He said, Just stop by. You're in the area at the building, just stop by any time, come up and see me and we can just chat.
And he had his door open. I mean, that, to me, was incredible, because, I mean, here he is Super Bowl champion coach. Hall of Famer. He's got so many different things to do. He would sit there and we'd talk for two hours about anything.
He was, in a sense, basically a father away from home my freshman year and kept in touch quite a bit after I left college and turned pro. He was just a great human being.

Q. Did you know about --
TIGER WOODS: Did I know about his sickness and leukemia? Yes, I did. We talked about it at length sometimes, and he was as positive as always. He knew he was going to beat it. Even though we all knew that it was going to be hard to beat, he still kept an upbeat attitude. He came down to my Learning Center opening, even though he wasn't feeling 100 percent. He still made the trek down there. And it was special for me to have him there, there's no doubt.

Q. On the sand save right before the sand shot, you went over to that shaved bank area, kind of checking it out, then you pitched it back to the back of the green. Were you leery it might take a dive if you hit it straight out of there?
TIGER WOODS: The problem is, as you saw, it was buried. And I figured if I went out to flag, if I didn't hit it perfect, it was going to end up in the rough. Now, if I went to the right and rolled it down into the short stuff, I have an easy pitch back up the hill. But the problem was it was actually steeper on the right.
And I might bring the water into play. And I didn't want to do that. So I figured, you know what, just trying to hold the bunker shot (smiling) and if it comes out a little bit hot, it would be in the deep stuff or even the short stuff. But I wanted to go further right, there's no doubt, and put the ball in the fairway cut down there and then chip back. But it just brought the water into play because it was a little too steep.

Q. You dropped the putter on 18 after that putt. How would you describe that emotion? It looked something between surprise and disappointment. It wasn't really disgust, I don't think. What was your emotion there?
TIGER WOODS: Mad (smiling). I hit a good putt. And I thought I made it. It would have been nice to have gotten a record and got a three-shot lead going into the weekend. But it was still -- it was -- the good thing is I hit a good putt. And that's the important part. It just didn't go in. Nick Price did the same thing at Augusta in '86 and hit the same kind of putt and it horseshoed as well.

Q. In all of the rounds you have played, how highly do you rate that one?
TIGER WOODS: High, there's no doubt. I hit the ball really well and there was a nice little stretch there at 9, 10, 11 where I hit some really good shots. And I just felt that, you know, all day I was in control of my shots today. And I was controlling my trajectory.
The hard part was making some putts out there because the greens were not smooth. They were pretty bumpy. Luckily I left a lot of putts below the hole where I could take a pretty good rap at them, trying to take some hops out of it.

Q. As hot as it is, did you run or work out this morning?
TIGER WOODS: I worked out, yeah.

Q. The past history of Southern Hills, the past six majors, the midpoint leader has one. How do you account for that and is that a good omen for you?
TIGER WOODS: Well, it continues. As far as -- it was six in a row, is it? Just one of those things. I just think that this championship, it is the deepest field to be playing all year. For some reason the guys have just continued -- just continued to play well. Hopefully that will be the case for me.

Q. You mentioned on TV the putt at 12 that kind of held the round together, just how big was that going in the stretch, 13, 14, 15?
TIGER WOODS: Well, I just hit it stiff on 9 and 10, and then landed right next to the hole on 11. Three great iron shots in a row, then all of a sudden I tug one on 12.
And bunker shot actually stayed on the green, which was a huge benefit. And then I saw the putt -- I saw as it rolled down there it broke a lot from right to left. I said, well, just make sure you get it up to the hole.
And when I hit the putt, I hit it flush. It was just a matter of it taking a break but took its time breaking. It didn't really want to break. But at the very end it snapped and went in.

Q. Could I get your comments on your playing partner tomorrow, Scott Verplank?
TIGER WOODS: Yes, Scotty's a friend of mine and I'm looking forward to it. He played just another good round of golf as always. He hits the ball very straight and also one of the best putters out here. That's a great combo to have out here on this golf course because you have to drive the ball in play. As we all know, he's one of the toughest competitors and all the health issues he's had to deal with over the years, it's pretty remarkable that he's been as competitive as he has been over the years.

Q. After a personal best round in a major, you don't seem brimming with satisfaction. How satisfied are you?
TIGER WOODS: I'm very satisfied, Tom. I'm just really hungry (smiling). I just want to go home and go eat. That's the only reason why I'm pretty mellow right now. I ate a banana on the way in here and that wasn't enough.

Q. After a round like this, what do you do preparation-wise where it appears you're doing everything correctly? Are you afraid to touch a club, you might screw it up in preparation for tomorrow's round?
TIGER WOODS: No, I'm not going to go out there and practice. I didn't practice at all last week after my rounds because it was hot and humid. Conserve my energy and make sure I'm fired up and ready to go for the next round for tomorrow.

Q. For other people, this is like a highlight moment in sports that we'll always remember. For you as a sports fan, what would be a moment or two that you watched, even on television, that sort of brought you up out of your seat, gave you that sort of "oh, wow" kind of response that people got from you today?
TIGER WOODS: There was a lot of different ones. Just what sport? It's pretty much anything and everything. We've all seen it. Whether it was from Gretzky or Jordan. Whomever it may be. It's amazing when guys get it going and it's fun to watch.
I always think it's fun to watch if they're performing that way at the championship game when the title's on the line. Some guys just seem to take it to the next level, and that's fun to watch.

Q. How much stock do you put into your record of 7-0 in majors after leading 36 holes?
TIGER WOODS: Certainly does give you confidence, there's no doubt. I know what to do. It's just a matter of going out there and doing it. We've got a long way to go. We're only at the halfway point. A lot of holes to play and I need to continue to do what I'm doing. I know there's a lot of guys playing well, and hopefully I can play a little bit better.

Q. When you're going over your birdies, it was 2-iron off the tee, 3-iron, 4-iron, how much is the dog legs, how much is it the ball carrying in the heat, and how much does that fit into your confidence when you can hit those clubs off the tee?
TIGER WOODS: I've been hitting 4, it goes 240, 230. 5-iron, between a 5-iron and 6-iron off of 10. The ball is going a long way. 3-under 2-irons because it's so hot and you get the right wind. You have to have the right wind to hit these that far.
And it's just the way the golf course is playing. And I just play it to my spots just like I did in '01, just I'm hitting it a little bit better than I did in 2001.
KELLY ELBIN: 2006 PGA Champion, Tiger Woods.

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