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January 8, 2005

Vaughn Taylor

Tiger Woods


Q. Any adjustments today? You had some chances.

TIGER WOODS: I did. I had some great chances early and again didn't make anything. And then I shook the one in on nine from about a foot and a half that got my confidence going. (Laughing.) And then from there I hit actually some good shots but also made some nice putts on the back nine.

Q. Talk about 17, what happened there?

TIGER WOODS: I went down on the shaft on a driver and just hit a nice little peeling cut and in the book it says it's 370 when you get down there. I didn't think I could hit it that far, not with a little choke-down, cut driver. But evidently it rolled out and it got me.

Q. Have you been hitting driver every day?

TIGER WOODS: Driver every day. I've driven down there short of that spot every day.

Q. You only had one bogey until the middle of the back nine today and then you picked up a couple. I know you're disappointed in not making the birdies, but overall, your game, are you pleased and is this a good way to go into the year?

TIGER WOODS: I've hit it great all week. I could not be any more pleased with the way I've been striking the golf ball, the way I've controlled every golf shot this week. Even little shot that I've generally struggled with in the past, I've hit them up there and made some really nice golf swings on it. I just haven't made anything this week. It's just one of those frustrating weeks on the greens.

Q. When you were real good in 2000, '99, do you look up and see Vijay Singh and say, "Now I know what they are looking at"?

TIGER WOODS: Well, I can course it, yes, but also I figure if I put my name up on that board, too, then I've got a shot at it. If I could have just made some putts this week, I would be right there. I just haven't made anything.

Q. Can you talk about 15?

TIGER WOODS: 15, I had a 2-iron in there and tried to hit a nice little cut off there. I pulled it just a touch and every day, the wind has knocked our golf ball over too far to the right. I kind of played and overadjusted a little bit and didn't clear.

Q. Did you ever find it?

TIGER WOODS: No, it was in the stuff.

Q. If you get the Kona winds, you're going out early 7:10, threesomes, split tees, a whole different ballgame tomorrow?

TIGER WOODS: I was here on Sunday and came out and played on a Monday a little bit and that's what we had. I killed a driver and a 3-iron the first hole, a little different conditions than we are playing now.

Q. What did you hit today?

TIGER WOODS: Today I hit just a little chip 3-wood and a wedge in there. So it's obviously a little different conditions. And on 2, today I hit a 7-iron and the other day I hit a 2-iron probably about as hard as I could and just rolled it on the front edge. So obviously two totally different conditions.

Q. You've said in the past, though, bad weather might bring you back in. I remember last year you were hoping; so it might be an advantage.

TIGER WOODS: Well, there really isn't that much difference in the tee times. So it's not like I'm going out there really early and a big difference in the times. But I still need to go out there and post a good round. If I can 4- or 5-, 6-under par on that front nine, anything can happen on that back nine. You can shoot 6-under par with no problem on that back nine, but I need to get off to a good start tomorrow.

Q. If it is wet and there are the Kona winds, how much does that separate the leaderboard?

TIGER WOODS: Most of the guys on the board all bomb it. I think the only guy up there who doesn't hit it long it probably Weirsy. Jonathan slings it out there. I played with him yesterday. He drove it a long way. Weirsy is exceptional with the wedge so that makes up the difference right there.

Q. Given the way you are hitting the ball this week, are you confident you can put a low one together?

TIGER WOODS: You know, if I could put -- if I make putts, I've had so many putts inside ten feet this week. It's just been unbelievable, I haven't made more putts.

Q. Are you any more confident with the greens than Thursday?

TIGER WOODS: No. (Laughter.) Only time I'm ever happy is when it's downgrain, downhill and I can actually roll the ball again. When I have to hit the putts this hard I struggle. I have not putted well out here, and the year I won I hit it exceptionally well. But just one of those things where I have to make adjustment. I'm just having a hard time making the adjustment having to hit the ball that hard with the putt.

Q. Anyway that can change tomorrow?

TIGER WOODS: I'm trying. And sometimes I've actually gone too far and got a 20-, 30-footer and can't take a run at it but trying to get the ball above the hole.

Q. Can you imagine in Jonathan playing with 1, 2, 3 in the world, what do you think about his game, I'm trying to find an adjective: Eccentric, rebellious, different, unique? What is Jonathan like?

TIGER WOODS: One of a kind.

Q. They are going to change the greens after this tournament in April, how welcome will that be?

TIGER WOODS: I may be the first one over here to help them out. (Laughter.)

Q. They have already done it up on the putting green?

TIGER WOODS: On the putting green, yeah. It's a lot faster. It's a lot faster than the greens on the golf course.

Q. Is it awkward to go from that green out here?

TIGER WOODS: I don't hit any putts downhill on that putting green. I hit every putt uphill trying to make sure that I get a feel for how they are flat on the golf course, because once you get on the golf course, it's two totally different speeds.

Q. 17, was it in the high rough?

TIGER WOODS: It was in the hazard.

Q. When did you realize it was a little bit too much?

TIGER WOODS: When I got down there and the guy put the flag down.

Q. And your thought was?

TIGER WOODS: Well, in the book it says 370 and I don't hit a chip driver 370.

Q. What's going through your mind when you see him putting the flag down and you know it isn't Stewart?

TIGER WOODS: I probably said a few things to myself. When you hit a chip-cut driver, you're not supposed to hit it that far.

Q. You're good.

TIGER WOODS: Evidently.

Q. Stanford beat Arizona.

TIGER WOODS: Did we? Again? Nice.

Q. First time all season.

TIGER WOODS: We beat them last year. Made my whole day. Thank you.

You must be pleased with your position?

VAUGHN TAYLOR: Yeah, I am. I'm pleased. I played well. I'm in the middle of the mix.

Q. Any intimidation?

VAUGHN TAYLOR: You know, it will be different tomorrow if I get paired with some of those guys.

Q. The tee times tomorrow have been moved up, the weather change, how do you think that's going to affect?

VAUGHN TAYLOR: Well, the wind is probably going to be the biggest factor. The course is going to play totally different.

Q. A lot of players have been having trouble with pace this week, the greens being so grainy, can you talk about the unique challenge of these greens?

VAUGHN TAYLOR: They are tough. You can get some down little, downgrain that are really fast and you can turn around and get up there and then they are really slow. It's really tough. I'm getting better each day on them. They sped up a little bit but tomorrow they will probably be a little faster

End of FastScripts.

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