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August 11, 2007

Woody Austin


KELLY ELBIN: Woody Austin, ladies and gentlemen, in with a 1-under par 69 in the third round of the 89th PGA Championship. Woody is at 3-under par, 207 through three rounds, and is in third place.
Nice playing, 69 with only 26 putts. Looked like the short game might have bailed you out a little bit, huh?
WOODY AUSTIN: The chipping was definitely key today. I drove it really bad. I drove it in the rough. I proved you can't drive the ball in the rough and play this game, except unless your sand wedge is pretty good.
KELLY ELBIN: Woody only hit four fairways the entire day.
Go through the birdies and bogeys starting with the birdie on 5, please.
WOODY AUSTIN: I hit a decent drive there down the right side. It went through the fairway into the fairway bunker, didn't have any shot there, kind of had to just hit an 8-iron up over the tree and I had 180, 186 yards in I think for my third shot and I hit a 6-iron in there about ten feet right of the hole about an inch off the green and I rambled that one in.
And then No. 10 I missed the fairway to the right for about the umpteenth time of the day, and I hit it just over the green in the back bunker which was pretty much dead for that back pin placement. And hit a good bunker shot to about ten feet, didn't make that.
And then I started to hit some good iron shots after -- I played pretty good after that. I hit some quality irons into 13 and 14 and didn't make them.
Then 15 I hit 7-iron in there about five, six feet below the hole to the right and ran that one in.
And hit a beautiful drive on 16 and hit 8-iron in there about four or five feet on there, made that one.
Then unfortunately on 18 I just didn't hit another good drive. I hit it just in the first cut to where I could at least go for the green, but I just didn't have a good enough lie to get it up in the air high enough to keep it on the green and hit it just over the green and didn't hit a good chip and missed it from about eight, ten feet from there.
KELLY ELBIN: Let's open it up to questions.

Q. In the morning you look up there, there's 65 and 66s, and then the afternoon it became kind of a grind for everybody. Do you think the conditions just changed a lot or got hotter?
WOODY AUSTIN: Well, the greens are finally -- the greens are getting worn out. I had a pretty good spot on the last hole, even though I hit the chip too hard, I was below the hole putting uphill. I had a landmine to go through. So that's just the problem you have being late, when the heat gets to the greens, they're starting to get thin. So all the spike marks, everything -- it's hard to make putts now.

Q. You're in position going into 18 of course to par and play with Tiger tomorrow. As it turned out, it will be Ames there. Do you think it will be easier playing not with Tiger tomorrow to win or does it make a difference to you?
WOODY AUSTIN: No, I'd rather be in his arena, actually. Did Steve make birdie on 18, I guess?

Q. Yes.
WOODY AUSTIN: Well, that stinks. If you ask anybody, you don't want to be in front of him or behind him. You'd rather be inside the arena with all that goes on around him. So from that standpoint I'm pretty disappointed that I'm not inside that arena, because there's just so much commotion that goes around him. There would be a lot of guys running up and what have you.
But as far as -- I personally don't get caught up into -- I'm nervous if I'm playing with Joe Schmoe. So it doesn't matter if I'm playing with Tiger or whoever. I'm trying to win the golf tournament, that's what's scary. It's not scary playing him. It's scary trying to win the golf tournament.

Q. You said on TV that you anticipate Tiger's going to shoot well tomorrow, that whoever, if anybody has a chance, they've got to go low. How low do you feel like they're capable of at this point?
WOODY AUSTIN: The first two days, if you asked me the first two days I could have shot what he shot yesterday. I mean, I got a little lambasted yesterday for the way I felt I played. But I could go through his round yesterday and I outplayed him at least four or five shots and he beat me by seven. So I could run down that -- I could run down his round because I watched it. And I had it inside him all day long, and he beat me by seven shots. So if I have his round and I play that way, then I think I can shoot 63, also.
Now, obviously with the nerves and whatever that's going to go into trying to win my first major, the odds are a little bit tough. But if I play that way and I do that, then, yeah, I can go as low as anybody.
KELLY ELBIN: For the record, Woody's best finish in the PGA Championship was a tie for 16th last year at Medinah.

Q. I know on the second hole you had a great approach, five, six feet, missed the putt. You didn't show any outward frustration, really, for most of the day, was today a good day as far as your emotions?
WOODY AUSTIN: Well, like I said, all anybody harps on is the bad stuff. I've always said when I play bad, if I hit bad shots, I understand that. I'm not going to get down. What I get upset about is, like I said, if I go through my round the second day and go through Tiger's, for me to lose seven shots and outplay somebody, I'm supposed to be happy. No, I'm not supposed to be happy.
Today I played horrible. It was embarrassing the first 12 holes the way I played golf. It was embarrassing.
So I had no reason to be outwardly upset, other than just talking to myself, saying, At least hit a golf shot today. But like I said, it's harped on -- it's funny because especially when you talk to a lot of us players, the amazing thing to me is watching him play golf yesterday, because I watched just like anybody. He birdied the first hole. He makes that 20-footer on the fourth hole. He hits his drive on No. 5. The same line I hit mine today. Through the fairway to the right. What was the first thing he did? He slammed his driver onto the ground.
That's his competitive fire is what it's called. He's competitive. He is aggressive. If I do that, I am a loose cannon. I can't control myself. I'm not competitive?
One of the quotes they always say "nobody likes to make a bogey worse than Tiger." Well, we all like making bogeys then, I guess. What I don't understand is he is looked at -- and I'm not -- he never says a word. This has nothing to do with -- I'm just saying the way it's looked at as far as me, he's looked on as -- or I look at it like when Rich was asking me yesterday about the putter and all that, it's like I am not good enough to get mad. He's good enough to get angry all the time. Why? What's the difference between -- he's won 70 some times in 12 majors. I've never won a major.
Why can he get mad more than me but it's competitive fire as opposed to somebody who's too hard on themselves? I don't get it. That's all.
KELLY ELBIN: Woody Austin, thank you very much, in at 3-under par.

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