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September 26, 2009

Tiger Woods


CHRIS REIMER: We want to welcome Tiger Woods to the media center here, a third-round, find yourself in the final group with not only a chance to win the TOUR Championship, but also a strong chance to win the FedExCup. If you could, maybe some opening comments on today's round.
TIGER WOODS: I hit the ball well all day today, and as I was telling Roger earlier, it was amazing how I had about four or five putts today that the grain was kind of going up the hill, and I didn't know which one to play, do I play grain or do I play slope. I got fooled a few times there. A couple of putts went up the hill with the grain, and other putts got slung on the slope. Just one of those days where I just happened to be in some interesting little spots, even though I had pretty makeable putts.

Q. If it ended now, you wouldn't win the tournament obviously but you'd win the FedExCup. Would that be kind of weird, or how would that make you feel?
TIGER WOODS: I'd much rather just win the tournament, and the FedExCup will take care of itself. As of right now, I'm two back and have an opportunity to win the tournament, and that's what I'm going to focus on tomorrow.

Q. In the last group do you ever find yourself looking at the player that you're playing with, and do you ever see them studying you?
TIGER WOODS: Of course you see what he's doing. I mean, you're right there with him. You always enjoy being in the last group because then you can understand what the guy is doing with you, and on top of that, if guys make a few putts early and get going ahead of you, if you birdie the same holes, it's a moot point. So you have the ability to look at what they're doing ahead of you but also observe what the guy in the group is doing, as well.

Q. They put the Playoffs, the FedExCup together hoping to get the big names kind of at the end with a chance to win all the money, and that's pretty much what's happened this week. Does it make it any more exciting for you to have all kind of the big names, the best players right there at the top on the final day?
TIGER WOODS: If you look at it, these are the same guys who have played well all year, so it's not really a shocker to see the same guys up at the top of the board. They've been doing it all year. KP has won a couple times this year, and most of the guys have played well. So that's what you're going to get. These guys have been the most consistent, and they've played the best all year, and here we go.

Q. Was it the grain again on that par-saving putt on 7 that you had?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, that's another one right there. The grain is going up the hill, and do I play grain or do I play slope? I played grain on that one. It didn't take it, the slope took it.
Paddy did the same thing. We talked about it going to the next tee. It's hard to read putts like that when the grain is going straight uphill and how much do you allow for the grain to hold it going against the hill. And we both read it wrong.

Q. You're playing with a 49 year old man tomorrow who still pounds it out there at amazing lengths. Is he a bit of a marvel, I guess, at this age that he's still doing the things that he's doing? He's older than Vijay and Vijay looks like he's running out of gas a little bit.
TIGER WOODS: I have to say, it must be Kenny's work out routine. (Laughter.)

Q. What's the difference between the two? I mean, clearly one guy is a gymaholic and the other guy is just kind of a Lietzke type.
TIGER WOODS: Well, one has obviously worked extremely hard on his game his entire life and has certainly won a lot of golf tournaments. I mean, Vijay has won many more tournaments than KP has, not just here in the United States but all around the world. I think that's a tribute to his work ethic. He's really worked hard.
And KP, golf is not his number one priority, his family is. He has other interests off the golf course such as racing, which he loves to do, and certainly that takes time away from his practicing. I mean, he doesn't really -- KP, I think he's made, I think, a resurgence over the last few years, I think just because he's seen that 50 is coming up.

Q. Is it possible if Kenny worked as hard on his game as Vijay has, he wouldn't be as good because that's not in his makeup?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, probably. You could probably say the same about Lietzke. Bruce worked hard in the off-season, would he have played better or would he have played worse. Both guys work the ball only one way, so it's very easy to come back to the game of golf when you only hit it one way.

Q. For the guys that are behind you that are trying to win, Kenny and a couple other guys, their hopes for the FedExCup are based on you not playing very well tomorrow. I would take it you don't like their chances very much, do you?
TIGER WOODS: Well, as I said earlier, I'm just focused on winning the golf tournament tomorrow. I'm two back. Even though I had a one-shot lead, I shot under par today and got passed. Hopefully tomorrow I can make a few more putts and then get it rolling tomorrow.

Q. When you see guys making moves in front of you today, Mickelson and a bunch of guys, Kenny, are shooting low scores making birdies, how hard is it for you to stay patient and just stick to your game plan?
TIGER WOODS: Well, I was near the lead, if not one back or tied for the lead most of the day. At one point I was three back until I birdied 15. You know, it's just one of those things where you have to understand that not a lot of guys are between you and the lead, and granted, some of the guys who played good rounds were playing themselves into the tournament. I was already in the tournament, and just needed to hit a couple more putts and I would have been right where Kenny is at. I felt like I did what I wanted to tee to green, I just didn't make enough putts today.

Q. Can you talk about the bunker shot on 18 and how big a shot it was?
TIGER WOODS: It was a pretty good shot. That was a pretty good one, because the sand is so heavy here. There's so much sand on the faces, which makes it -- you have to hit the ball so hard, and my intent was actually to hit that ball over the green. That's how hard a shot I was trying to hit, because if you played just a normal bunker shot, it's going to come up short, so you have to take the chance of -- internally dialing it up and saying, look, I've got to really hit this ball hard. I've got to hit it over the green, and it should be pretty good.
The same thing happened on 9; I was up on the face again, and there's so much sand there that I play it like a normal bunker shot and I came up well short.

Q. Just kind of along those lines, I would reflect back to 7. When you get rough like this, there's some thinking that it's sometimes better to be in the bunker than it is the rough. Is that not the case this week?
TIGER WOODS: Not this week, no, there's so much sand here, and the way they've raked it up, there's -- it's sitting down, and there's a lot of little crevices out there that your ball can roll into. The ball is just not sitting up like it would in most bunkers, it's sitting down. At least in the rough you feel like you can -- the majority of the time here this week get a good lie where you can get it to the green. Some of these fairway bunkers are a little sketchy where you can get the ball in the green or not.

Q. Have you had any conversations with Fred Couples about who you'd like to partner with at the Presidents Cup?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I'd like to play with a few guys. I'm really good friends with Stricks, and obviously Jim and I played together for years. Sean I haven't played with. I played with Lucas a few times but never in a team competition like this. There are a few guys I'd like to tee it up with, certainly.
CHRIS REIMER: Tiger, thank you.

End of FastScripts

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