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March 13, 2009

Tiger Woods


TIGER WOODS: I haven't hit too many shots pin-high and I haven't played like this in a while in a tournament. At home it's one thing, but getting out here in a tournament, it's a totally different thing.

Q. 10 seemed to take the wind out of your sails. You were perfectly positioned in the middle of the fairway and you ended up making a bogey. Obviously you were trying to make birdie.
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, tell me about it. I was right there in the fairway. I was not committed to the second shot. I was in-between clubs and tried to hit a little 3-iron in there, and I just felt in the back of my head, I think a 4-iron would have been the best club to hit. Land it short and run up, and if it doesn't run up, you have a easy pitch. Just hit a feather 3-iron in there, didn't hit it very good, hit a terrible bunker shot, raced the putt by and blocked the next one.

Q. In terms of your psyche, how difficult is it to bounce back?
TIGER WOODS: I figured if I shot 5-under from there on in, I would be in good shape. Obviously I didn't do that. So certainly frustrating.

Q. There was a bunch of pictures of you rubbing and moving knees and body parts; is everything okay?
TIGER WOODS: My right ankle is a little sore, that's about it. It's just stuff from -- I haven't walked in a while (laughing). It's just different. I tell you what, I need that cart.

Q. You seemed happy with your tee shots, I think you missed one on the front, but on the back you didn't miss a tee shot.
TIGER WOODS: This is the way I've been driving it at home. I've been driving it well. It's just a matter of, I need to continue getting rounds under my belt and getting the feel of hitting shots, and shots off the tees are pretty easy because you can hit them whatever distance you want. Shots into greens are totally different story, especially when the wind is blowing like this. I just need to get a little bit more of a feel for that. It's coming around. I felt better as the day went on.

Q. On 8, is there any contemplation to go for that one?
TIGER WOODS: I can't. I can't get there. It's 250 into the wind to the front. Over water, there's no way I could have carried that far. I would have had to probably bailed left and then had an impossible pitch.

Q. When you're in a situation like you're in right now, coming back and fast-tracking it in a sense when you had time off?
TIGER WOODS: Say again?

Q. Fast-tracking your preparation for Augusta, is patience a difficult thing for to you control or not?
TIGER WOODS: You want to shoot good rounds, yes, but also, I need to make sure I continue progressing.
Today felt a lot better than it did yesterday and yesterday felt a lot better than it did in Tucson. I'm starting to get a feel for being in that environment again, and it's starting to feel better and better.

Q. What does it make you feel when you hear Phil Mickelson say," it sucks that Tiger is not up there going head-to-head with me in the weekend, and he would rather it be that way.
TIGER WOODS: Me, too. Me, too. As of now, what am I? Ten back? That's not a very good spot to be in.
Hopefully tomorrow I can shoot a good round and at least give myself somewhat of a chance going into Sunday. Depends what the leaders do; if they run off and hide, it's a totally different story.

Q. Obviously you have had tournaments where you have actually won from this position, do you draw on that, or is it just a matter of playing tomorrow and seeing what you can get out of it and then playing Sunday?
TIGER WOODS: Well, any time you're trying to make up that big of a deficit, you're going to have to get off to quick starts, and also have help. The times that I come back from that deficit, say at Torrey Pines, the guys didn't play well who were leading the tournament.
I need to play well and I need to have help, and that's the problem when you are so far back, is you are not really in control of your own destiny being that far back. If I shoot a low round tomorrow and the leaders go out and shoot a low run, it's hard to make up ground that way.

Q. Do you know anything about Prayad Marksaeng; do you recall anything about the Asian Honda back in '97?
TIGER WOODS: I don't, I don't remember anything about him there.
But I've seen him a bunch of times in Europe, and anytime I've gone over to Asia, we've been not really paired together, but usually in front of me or behind me.
So I tell you what, he's done from where he's come from and what he means to all of the people in Thailand; obviously my mom talks highly of him. It's pretty incredible he's been as successful as he has been considering his starting point.

Q. He's low Thai in the field this week.
TIGER WOODS: That he is. That he is. I'm low Cabilinasian.

Q. Going home tonight and thinking about it, do you still think about it in terms of your comeback and this being a bump in the road in terms of Augusta and the majors?
TIGER WOODS: You try to but it's not easy to do. I try to get myself into position to win this tournament. I need to go out there and shoot a low one tomorrow and see where it puts me.

Q. In the patch play and so far this tournament, are you satisfied? Have you reached the expectations that you wanted before?
TIGER WOODS: You know what, physically, I'm just happy as can be, the way I feel. I thought I would be more sore day-in and day-out. I thought recovery would be a little more difficult than it has been. But waking up feeling great. So all the training that I've done and rehab that I've done has paid off. It's just a matter of getting my feel for the game out higher at this level than it is playing for five bucks at home in Isleworth.

End of FastScripts

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