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August 7, 2011

Tiger Woods


Q. How do you size it up after four days now?
TIGER WOODS: You know, I had it in spurts this week. I hit it really well, and then I'd lose it and get it back.
Today was a good example of that. I hit it well starting out, then completely lost it there, and tried to piece it back together at the end. I found my putting stroke at the end, too, which was nice. But it was -- again, it was in spurts this week. I'm still struggling with my alignment and trusting the fact that the ball doesn't shape as much as it used to. I don't cut the ball as much, I don't draw the ball as much, the pattern is much tighter. It's weird when I look up the fairway or look at the flags; I'm used to seeing the ball move a lot more in my lines, so I'm still fiddling with that.

Q. When you go to Atlanta, are you encouraged going down there? Are you still not sure where it is?
TIGER WOODS: Absolutely encouraged. I hadn't played. I mean, this is my first tournament since, what, April, so it's been a while.

Q. Nike putter today, and will that be the one you're going to use Thursday?
TIGER WOODS: It was today. I don't know about Thursday, but it was today.

Q. You've been talking the last couple days about the change and hitting it straighter, so to speak, rather than moving it. What's the reason for that with you and Sean doing that? Is that just --
TIGER WOODS: It's just what happens when you swing properly. The ball just doesn't curve as much. I'm compressing the golf ball. My angles are better, and the deviation is less. But I have a hard time when I get out there because what my feel says is for the ball to shape that much, and it doesn't, and then I start fighting it.

Q. After 72 holes, Thursday obviously a nice solid round, did you ever during the weekend go, this is just not clicking, my confidence isn't improving each day? Did you worry at all out there?
TIGER WOODS: No, no, I just keep plodding along. You have to understand, I'm fresh. I haven't played. So it's nice for me to get out there in this competitive atmosphere no matter how I was playing just to figure out how to score because I haven't been forced to score.
At home playing money games with my buddies is just not quite the same. Being out here and being forced to have to post a score, hit shots, that's a different deal.

Q. How close are you to figuring that out as you go next week?
TIGER WOODS: I've just got to keep playing. It's just something that comes over time of just playing and getting the feel for it.

Q. Given the fact that you haven't played for so long, are you looking at just adding events, maybe Greensboro, to get into the FedExCup if you don't make it?
TIGER WOODS: No, I'm not playing that week, no. Family obligations.

Q. Do you think any of your buddies will have fun with the fact, hey, you're in the Top 125?
TIGER WOODS: On the Money List or FedExCup? I don't know which one, sorry.

Q. Next week is a major but do you wish you had another tournament before you went into a major?
TIGER WOODS: It would be nice, but hey, I've got three days, so I'm going to worry about these three days and apply it accordingly and be ready come Thursday.

Q. How is your leg after four straight days?
TIGER WOODS: It feels great. It's a different kind of feeling.

Q. You always planned your schedule pretty much, obviously majors, big tournaments. Do you need to consider what you're going to do in the fall at this point? Obviously next week is next week, but do you think we'll see you more in the fall than we ever have?
TIGER WOODS: It depends on how I'm doing in the Playoffs.

Q. I mean beyond the Playoffs even.
TIGER WOODS: Well, I'm going to Asia and Australia, so that's a time commitment right there.

Q. Sean said that at the top of your swing when you don't go violently away, you get into a good position and into the position he likes you in. Is the fact that when you're spraying it left and right that you do jag it a little bit too fast back and not get to the top?
TIGER WOODS: A lot of times it's going back to how I start off. It's obviously not trusting the alignment, then my grip creeps over to where I used to have it, and again, it's old patterns. When I was working with Hank, I had to get all the patterns out I had with Butch; when I'm working with Sean, I have to get out of the old patterns I had worked with Hank. It's just part of that process. I haven't played, so for me to get my playing feel, my playing skills, it's a different level than it is being back home.

Q. But is it harder, Butch to Hank or Hank to Sean? Hank to Sean is the hardest one in terms of --
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, because it's very different. But then again, it's also very similar to what I was when I was a kid. Some of these patterns are what I used to feel as a kid, which was great, but getting there differently. That part I'm kind of getting used to.

Q. You're obviously very impressed by Ishikawa. What are your thoughts on that? Did you think it was just a matter of time before he put himself up there in a big tournament?
TIGER WOODS: The kid is only 19. It's hard to fathom. He's been around a little bit. He's only 19. Give this kid another decade, this kid is going to be unreal. He putts it like -- he putts the eyes out of it. He makes a ton of putts. He usually drives it on a string, and he's learning how to flight his golf ball down better. So you can see him working on the range trying to hit different shots. Because when I first played with him at the British Open, it was just one shot, it was just straight up. Now he's trying to bring the ball down, shape it a little bit more, an he's learning. He's 19. As I said, give him a decade, and he's going to do great things.

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