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January 28, 2006

Tiger Woods


JOHN BUSH: Steady progression so far this week, 5 under 67 today. If we can get you to comment on the round for us.

TIGER WOODS: Well, today was good. I didn't start off hitting the ball well, but got it around from there with a lot of good shots. Made a few good putts, but overall I felt like I really controlled my golf ball out there today and at least I put myself into position going into tomorrow.

JOHN BUSH: The putt on 16, huge momentum for you.

TIGER WOODS: That was huge, it was. I had just played 15 and last thing I wanted was to drop a shot right there; 4 iron left, only spot you can't put it is left and I did. I hit what I thought was a really good bunker shot to leave myself par. It was a pretty simple putt inside left and hit it firm. It kept the momentum I had built on the back nine and I birdied 17 to keep it going.

JOHN BUSH: Can you take us through real quick.

TIGER WOODS: 6, I hit driver just in the right rough,.

5 wood tried to squirt down there and left it just short of the green. Pitched up to about four feet and made it.

7, I hit the ball in the right rough, pitched up and hit a pitching wedge to about 20 feet short of the hole and missed it.

9 was driver and 3 wood into the right bunker. Blasted out to about four feet and made it.

10, I hit a driver and a 60 degree sand wedge to about six or seven feet past the hole and made it.

13, I hit driver and a 5 iron in the front bunker. Blasted out to about four feet again and made that.

15, I hit a driver and an 8 iron to about eight feet and made that.

17, I hit a 5 wood off the tee and a 7 iron to about eight feet again.

Q. Inaudible?

TIGER WOODS: No, I wouldn't think so. The only reason why well, I just feel comfortable with the lines out here on this golf course. Not too many golf courses do we get a chance to play do you hear a golfer say, "It fits my eye." Well, this is one of those courses for me. I feel very comfortable here. A lot of those shots, as I said, it just fits my eye. I feel very comfortable playing here, and I think consequently my finishes have been high because of it.

Q. Do you feel like

TIGER WOODS: Oh, yeah, it's my first event coming back, haven't played competitively in six weeks, playing out there is a totally different story than hitting out here, or you hit a bad shot with your buddies.

Q. Thursday

TIGER WOODS: It does fully come, especially when you haven't played in a while, the rhythm, the flow of the round, just getting into the competitive spirit again. It probably took me probably six or seven holes where I felt comfortable with the rhythm of the round.

It's hard to elaborate on it, but that's about it. Once I got back into it, I was fine.

Q. After six or seven holes?

TIGER WOODS: The first day. I mean, once you get into the competitive spirit for the tournament, you're in it and it's fine. But if you're taking a long layoff, it usually takes a while for you to get into the flow, how your body is feeling, the yardages you normally would hit in tournament play versus at home, all of these different things and the thought process that go on to hitting a golf shot.

At home I have an 8 iron and 155 to the hole; well, I fire at the flag. Here I want to hit it six feet left of the flag or eight feet left because there's a bunker over here or the wind is not in the right direction. Just the thought process changes a little bit.

Q. How many courses do you think fit your eye as well, and how many would you say Torrey, can you compares it to any others out there?

TIGER WOODS: I feel pretty good at Augusta, too. (Laughter).

Well, St. Andrews is not too bad, either. Those courses seem to obviously I feel very comfortable there. I could be playing poorly going into an event, and once I get there it seems like I just feel comfortable there.

Q. Inaudible?

TIGER WOODS: You're trying to I think it's you have to rely on your experience, it's your first tournament back, you probably shouldn't expect to hit. But like I said, get once you get in the competitive flow, I think you start doing what you're capable of. When I first came back, I didn't know what to expect in 2003. So had expectations to get them to what can I do, what can't I do and once I determined that, we can go all out to that point.

Q. Inaudible was that anything similar to Thursday?

TIGER WOODS: Same thing. I just don't trust it, and hit some good shots

Q. What you did on Thursday night, is that something you see yourself doing a lot inaudible?

TIGER WOODS: So far, I'm carrying the ball further than usual with the shaft and that's significant. But once you get it into the competitive spirit of the round, you hit different shots and I wasn't meaning to hit those shots. After that you start slowing down, keep it in play and that wasn't working either.

Q. Do you think that you're able to inaudible?

TIGER WOODS: Well, I think that may play into their minds on that, I don't know but I feel comfortable there. And I'm excited about being there, I haven't been there in a little while, and so it's been nice.

Q. Talking about the fairways running and that's one of the reasons why the course plays hard, why does this course bring out best players? You've won three times; Phil has won three times.

TIGER WOODS: I think it's just the quality of the golf course, because of the shape of the shots that you have to play, and on stop of that, you really can't miss a lot of shots here, and that's on the South Course. The North Course is a little different.

The South Course you'd better have the ball striking up there. You know, it's just that some of these pins now, they are so close to the edges, you have to be pretty precise. If you do miss it, you're going to pay the price, and I think good ball strikers are going to do well here. You look at the past, once they have made the changes especially, look at the winners have generally been really good ball strikers.

Q. Do you feel with the top players playing each other come Sunday that things might happen more so inaudible?

TIGER WOODS: It's just you've got to go shoot a good number, whether I play with Phil or Sergio or whoever I play with. This leaderboard is so bunched and there's so many guys there with a chance, and I can't sit there and think, you know, all I did is beat him and I won the tournament. That's starting to weed itself out after about 14, 15 holes because there's so many guys there with a chance. You just have to go out there and play your game and see what happens and see if you're in position to focus on one person; or maybe you maybe trying to catch up or maybe leading and protecting, I don't know.

Q. Inaudible?

TIGER WOODS: No, just got to go out there and play.

Q. Was there a shot that you had today inaudible?

TIGER WOODS: I hit a really nice iron shot into 8. It's a hard 7 iron right at it, I mean, just a nice golf shot. Ended up short, hit the ridge and came back and it basically was a nice golf shot. After that I hit some good shots.

Q. After playing one tournament inaudible?

TIGER WOODS: Augusta. (Laughter).

Q. Inaudible?

TIGER WOODS: Firestone, right? (Laughter).

Q. Inaudible?

TIGER WOODS: It gave me one well, two shots. I can still hit the ball semi low with a 5 wood off the tee, but more importantly it's a shot that I played on 6 today. Drove it just in the right rough. Had not a very good lie at all, had an opportunity to use 5 wood and run it right down the fairway. If I'm stuck with a 2 iron in the bag, I don't have that opportunity. I'd probably take a 4 or 5 iron and lay it further back and try to get up and down from 80, 90, 100 yards.

Q. Is it in your bag all year?

TIGER WOODS: Not all year, certain tournaments. Last year I put it in play at TOUR Championship, but I didn't use it in Japan because I used a 2 iron a lot off the tees. The par 5s in Japan were driver and probably either 3 wood on one par 5, or the other one was like an iron, a mid iron, so it wasn't that bad so I didn't really need it there. But certain tournaments, yeah, it will be in the bag.

Q. The two majors with inaudible?

TIGER WOODS: Putting more like single digits

Q. Inaudible?

TIGER WOODS: I've always had I guess from the time that the tour inaudible that was my 3 wood and I never carried a 5 wood. I didn't have a 60, but I carried a 1 iron until I was 14, and then switched from there to the 60 and then I haven't changed ever since and now I'm getting older and have a senior club in there.

Q. You talked about the rhythm of your game, was there any one shot like that 7 iron that you felt you were on target today?

TIGER WOODS: I think after that shot, I hit a bunch of quality shots and I just got into the flow of hitting shots. And that 7 iron was a I hit a good one over on 3, another really good, quality shot. But in between I hit a bunch of bad shots so it was kind of nice to get that good one in there.

Q. Coming into the back nine inaudible?

TIGER WOODS: Well, yesterday I stumbled coming home and I made it a point today to not have that happen, try to bear down a little bit harder. Once I made birdie on 13, that wasn't going to happen today; wasn't going backwards. Yesterday I got to 7 under and had a bunch of momentum after I made eagle and then I stumbled and kicked myself in the foot with 14 and 16, two careless bogeys. That can't happen when you're trying to make a run on Saturday.

Q. For a course that suits a person's eye, what can the USGA can do to take that away?

TIGER WOODS: Well, I'm certain they are going to make the fairways narrower and have the rough four feet tall. But once you get on the golf course, they changed Pebble quite a bit from when we play the AT&T and when we play the U.S. Open, but the lines are still the same. The misses aren't quite as there. The lines are predominately the same.

The only thing that I remember ever being a big change was when they changed 18 at Pebble. Used to be a bullet to the right and still be in the fairway and all of a sudden they brought it in right to the trees.

JOHN BUSH: Thanks, Tiger.

End of FastScripts.

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