June 14, 2008
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA
Full Audio Interview
RAND JERRIS: It's a pleasure to welcome Tiger Woods to the media
center. Tiger with a round of 1-under par 70. 3-under par
for the championship. Tiger, two remarkable shots on 13 and
17. Which was more surprising for you?
TIGER WOODS: Well, I hit two perfect tee shots, right? Is that what you're talking about?
Well, the one on 13 I hit just a terrible drive over to the right and
I had a 5-iron from 210 front. I was just trying to put the ball
in the back bunker. Just, whatever you do, just put the ball in
the back bunker, just can't leave the ball short to that pin.
And it landed on top of the green and I was surprised it even
stopped. It somehow landed soft enough where it stopped.
And then Robert's ball was, his mark was down there off the right-hand
side and Stevie and I read it and we were saying, well, if you hit it
just above that, if you die it on the high side of that that should be
about right. And I said, well, if I just get speed right I
should get inside three feet, if I just die it around his mark.
And it went in.
The one on 17, that was again another poor tee shot to the right, hit
a 7-iron up there on the left tongue of the bunker there, and the
pitch I hit it too hard, came out hot. And one hop and went in.
mean, realistically, I should have probably had about an 8-footer
coming back down the hill, but got away with one down there.
RAND JERRIS: Walk us through 18.
TIGER WOODS: 18, I hit a big cut off the tee, got it in the fairway and actually the second shot was perfect because we we're on the range practicing just a soft little shot for 16, actually. And because when we're warming up the wind was more out of the west. And I didn't think I could get a 3-iron there to 16. We were practicing hitting little soft 5-woods and I just so happened to have 227 to the hole, which is about the number we had on 16 that we were practicing this morning, or this afternoon. And I hit the same shot, carried it to the middle part of the green and made the putt.
Q. Is that status for you to be able to do something like that
when obviously you have got some limitations and you never know when
you're going to feel that knife jabbing you in the leg to be able to
sort of -- you're almost kind of faking it out there at times?
TIGER WOODS: Just trying to get by. I didn't hit the ball well. I didn't warm up well today. I didn't hit the ball well warming up, particularly crisp and clean. I was trying to, even warming up, I had a two-way miss going so I was trying to clean that up where at least he had just a one-way miss, just miss it one way. Whatever that is, miss way left or way right, whatever it is, just miss one way. Went on the golf course and again had a little bit of a two-way miss, but not as bad.
Q. Considering your grimacing, certainly there was one shot in
particular, one tee shot where you seemed like it really grabbed
you. And your ball striking, are you amazed at how well you've
managed to score and how that putt goes in on 18 and you chip in, I
mean does it ever get old?
TIGER WOODS: Second part of your question? No.
No. No. I just keep telling myself that if it grabs me and
if I get that shooting pain, I get it, but it's always after
impact. So go ahead and just make the proper swing if I can.
Again, warming up I didn't warm up particularly well today. I
again had a little bit of a two-way miss and tried to organize that
throughout the day, tried to miss it one way, try to go if anything,
overshoot shots, hit big hooks or big cuts, one way or the
other. So I didn't have an opportunity to hit a double cross.
Q. The old line about golf is: It ain't how, it's how
many. When you play a round like this do you care about anything
except the scoreboard?
TIGER WOODS: No, it's all, that's what it's all about is getting the ball in the hole in as few shots as possible. And I was just trying to manage my game, stay in there. It's a U.S. Open. Guys aren't going to go low. And even though I got off to such a poor start again today I just hung around, just get back to even par. I was just trying to get back to even par, either for the tournament or for the day. The day would be great. But even if I finished at even par for the tournament it wouldn't be a bad thing either.
And then all of a sudden things started turning.
Q. Could you also give us the length on the chip-in and the
putt. The birdie, the eagle putt?
TIGER WOODS: Chip-in was probably -- pin was on 11, so I guess probably about 30 feet.
The one on 13?
Q. 13 and 18?
TIGER WOODS: Those, that was a bomb. That's all. I'm
guessing at least 50, 60 feet.
Then 18 it was probably about 40 feet.
Q. How many times today did you consciously manufacture a swing
in anticipation of the knee problems and looking forward, how much of
a consideration is that going into the final round?
TIGER WOODS: I didn't really try and manufacture anything today I was just trying to play the proper shot. As I said, the one on 18 tee was just trying to get the ball in play. Because I had hit one left, I hit one right, I was just trying to just somehow squeeze cut one out there in play. And I did that.
But if pain hits, pain hits. So be it. It's just pain.
Q. Are you having Stevie help you read a few more putts this
week? It seems like he's doing more?
TIGER WOODS: I am, yeah. Good point. Because normally I don't here. But these greens are at a different speed and they're breaking a little bit more and these slopes are accentuated just a little bit more and I just wanted to make sure on some of these reads that I'm not off.
Q. Did you do anything mentally just to kind of block out the
pain and can you get through 18 more holes with that pain?
TIGER WOODS: I'll be fine.
Q. You've been in the press room on Saturday nights at the Buick
with a lead going into Sunday. Does this feel any different now
that it's June and it's the U.S. Open?
TIGER WOODS: Slightly.
Yeah, it does. It does. This is our national
championship. Even though we're, this is the same venue we play
the Buick Invitational, it definitely feels very different. Just
like it did at Pebble Beach. That's where we play the AT&T
and then we played The Open there and it's two totally different
feelings, even though it's the same venue.
Q. Kind of a forward-looking question, given the crazy
histrionics that you were just pulling and the fact that they quite
likely might put the tee up to 277 on 14, could you talk kind of in
broad brush strokes about the potential for craziness down the stretch
tomorrow? You had two eagles in the last six holes and a chip in
birdie and a drivable par-4, which is not the way the U.S. Opens
generally play out.
TIGER WOODS: Correct. Mike and the staff has really, they have really mixed it up on us this week. And it's been hard to get kind of a reading of what the scores are going to be for the day. Usually when you go out there it's the kind of thing where you kind of know what the score is going to be at the end of the day. Here they mixed it up. Today we played No. 12 up. 13 was up again. I'm sure that 13 will be back tomorrow. And probably 12 will be back. I don't know if we're going to play number 3 up again. That was kind of a shocker the first day. Hitting just a wedge in there.
Then obviously 14. 14's going to be just a, you got to read how
the tournament's going, where the pin is, where they're going to put
it, how the wind's blowing, but it's definitely not the USGA that
we're kind of accustomed to.
Last year's at Oakmont was they tried to -- well since Winged Foot --
they tried to give that graduated rough and that more of a go this
year. And I think that's a pretty neat thing because it baits
guys into going for it more than they probably can hit.
Only difference is for this year is that the tees have been mixed up
and it's been a really hard to get a feel for what, as I said, what
the score's going to be at the end of the day, what you need to get
Q. You have to actually think.
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, it's been very different. Usually it's, every other U.S. Open, except for Pinehurst, it's been driver and if you happen to miss it, so be it, just a wedge down there and try and get up-and-down. Or lay up to a number that you feel good about.
Here you're definitely thinking. Do I have this lie, will it
jump, will it not jump, where do I place it. It adds a lot to
Q. Two part question. I wonder if you could walk us
through your deliberations before your drop on 13 and were you tempted
to order anything when you walked by the concession stand?
TIGER WOODS: Second part, no.
was just -- I didn't know it was a concession stand, it was just a
white building there. I was looking at -- I had an opportunity
to go either side of the tower. Either to the right or
left. Went to the right side and the grass wasn't all that
great, on top of that I would have to try and carry that barranca on
the right-hand side. If I didn't get a good lie I didn't know if
I could carry that.
So I went left. And if I happened to draw a poor lie there, at
least I know I could wedge out to the fairway, bottom of the hill, and
try and make par and move on.
Happened to catch a good lie that I could probably get to the green
and maybe somehow steal a 4 out of there.
Q. Can you talk about the crowd reaction after first the eagle
putt and then the second one, what that was like, because you were
more subdued that time. Were you just protecting your knee there
or just, oh, here we go again?
TIGER WOODS: It's all spontaneous. 13 I went nuts and 18 I was just like, "Sweet."
That's it. I can't tell you what's coming. It's just one
of those emotional things. Whatever happens, happens.
Either way. It just keep going in.
Q. I just have a quick two part question. On the chip in
on the 17th it looked like you almost had no weight, that you were
putting no weight on your left knee. Was that a result of the
pain in your knee or was that a result more of the angle of the shot? p>
TIGER WOODS: Just the lie. Yeah.
Q. And how does your knee feel today in relation to say
yesterday, because visibly you seemed to grimace more, there seemed to
be a little difference in your gait today.
TIGER WOODS: It's more sore today.
Q. More treatment tonight?
TIGER WOODS: Hope so.
If I get out of here.
RAND JERRIS: Tiger, thanks for your time.
TIGER WOODS: Perfect. Thank you, guys.
End of FastScripts