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August 12, 2005

Tiger Woods


Q. Talk about the second shot on 17.

TIGER WOODS: What a wonderful bounce that was, wasn't it? I hit a nice 3 wood up in the air. That's about all I could do, and then I figure if it lands on the green, it's over the back, no big deal, I can pitch back up and try and make a putt but not a shot like that where it kicks up against the face. I couldn't do anything. I was trying to play so either I put it up on the face so I had some kind of angle with an uphill lie or get it in the rough or even in the other bunker just so I would have an angle. I hit a decent pitch, it wasn't a great pitch but decent and hit a wonderful putt, just didn't go in.

Q. Did you know you were back in the tournament than protecting the cut at that point?

TIGER WOODS: Well, I figured if I birdied go birdie eagle or something like that because 18 is pretty accessible pin, you know, I'm right there at 1 over par looking pretty good. Then all of a sudden here I am back at 5 over par, even for the day. Now you've got to suck it up and hit two good golf shots, and that's what I'm really proud of.

Q. Is there some point in the round where your swing started to feel comfortable and in rhythm?

TIGER WOODS: What's funny is I hit it pretty good all day. The fairways I missed early, well, except for 3; 3 was a bad tee shot, lost it to the right. But other than that I kind of basically overshaped it, which is not a bad deal. I can straighten that out, just overshaping the ball.

But all day I felt pretty good with my golf swing. My putting was a different story. I didn't putt well early at all, at all, bad speed, bad line, everything.

I ran a putt by, which you shouldn't be doing that. I'm trying to roll it down there and if it falls in, great, have a nice simple tap in, put the pedal to the metal past the hole and it ends up in kind of a heel print. I tried to hit up on it to get it up and rolling and I pulled it when I did that, so that was out.

Next tee shot I flared it to the right and made bogey there.

Q. How conscious of the cut are you through the round, of what the number is?

TIGER WOODS: I didn't know what the number was to be honest with you until 18. Stevie told me I needed to make birdie on the last hole. I said, "All right, I can do that." But other than that I was just trying to get back to even par for the tournament. That was my whole goal throughout the day, get back to even par. If I would have birdied 17 like I was supposed to and maybe eagled 18, I would have been 1, which would have been great. I've been kind of sneaking up towards it.

Q. How about when the tree came down on No. 4?

TIGER WOODS: How about that?

Q. When the branch fell.

TIGER WOODS: You know, I feel sorry for the gentlemen that got hurt there, but if hypothetically, if I don't dump it in the water and play resumes at a normal ways, you guys would have been right underneath that tree (laughter).

Q. Thanks. I guess we owe you one.

TIGER WOODS: I'm not saying anything (laughter).

Q. On 14 did you think at all about taking the flag stick out, the toed putter where it hit the cup and bounced out?

TIGER WOODS: No. You mean 4? 5?

Q. Was it 5? Okay, 5.

TIGER WOODS: Sorry. No, I needed all the help I could get with that shot. Trust me, if it doesn't hit the flag, I mean, it's 30 feet past the hole. I got a great break there because I hit the flag.

Q. Do you know what you need to do to get yourself back into this?

TIGER WOODS: I need to shoot something that gets me into red figures for the tournament after day's end tomorrow, somehow. And then see how I end up and see what the number I I'm going to have to shoot come Sunday, but I need to get into red figures. I need to shoot a great round tomorrow and hopefully I can do it.

Q. (Inaudible).

TIGER WOODS: 269 front, just tried to hit a soft one up in the air until it lands and goes over, 7 iron.

Q. What was your target at 4? Were you middle of the green, were you aiming at the pin?

TIGER WOODS: No, I was aiming probably about two steps left of the flag. The wind was coming off the right, hit a straight ball into the wind, take it left of the flag 15, 20 feet and just putt over there. I hit a decent shot. It wasn't that bad. I was kind of surprised it came up short.

Q. (Inaudible).

TIGER WOODS: Front edge I had 175. That was all I kind of cared about, just fly it over that and just scoot back there.

Q. What a relief that once that putt goes in, you and Stevie were kind of joking around.

TIGER WOODS: Oh, yeah.

Q. Tell us a little bit about that.

TIGER WOODS: Well, it's just that I mean, I messed up by I three putted twice out there today, or I just didn't get anything going. I hit like for instance, I hit a beautiful drive into the wind on 13, and you figure 315 into the wind, you can't possibly get to that bunker and I end up under the face.

17, it did what it did (laughing). I mean, it was just nothing really kind of went my way today.

We're done with the round, and we were talking about it kind of up 18, we were trying to just we had to disappoint you guys. You just couldn't write that article (laughter). I had to do it, sorry.

Q. You've always been proud of your grinding. How proud are you of your play today with everything that went wrong?

TIGER WOODS: (Laughing) I grinded my butt off today. I didn't get anything as I said, either I messed up by three putting a couple times. I didn't get any momentum going. That was frustrating. I finally made two birdies back to back, which was great. I finally got some kind of positive feeling going, and now we get something rolling, and what happens on the very next hole, drove it up against the face. Wow, okay. It's one of those things you've got to stay patient, stay in the moment and keep grinding. You never know what can happen. And it turned out well.

Q. Did you even consider laying up on 17? Was that even a thought?

TIGER WOODS: It wasn't a big 3 wood. I mean, that's the thing. It was blowing downwind off the left a little bit, and it was just a smooth 3 wood. It wasn't a big ripper. It was only 269 to the front, and today I hit two 3 woods that went 315 off the tees. It wasn't a big one. I just had to make sure I got it up in the air. Any kind of bullet obviously I can't carry to the front with any low ball. If it gets up in the air it should land and roll to the back.

Q. Did you and Steve talk about what happened on 18 yesterday at all overnight or today or anything?

TIGER WOODS: We saw each other this morning, I told him what I saw on TV this morning, that was about it. Other than that, nothing.

Q. On a day where you're not as consistent as you want to be, do you contemplate playing cautiously?

TIGER WOODS: No because I'm feeling good. My swing is well. If you look at the way I hit the golf ball, if you're out there all day and watching the quality of golf shots I'm swinging well, take advantage of it and get it down there and fire at the flags when you can if you've got a good situation, a good number.

If you're swinging well, yeah, be aggressive. If you're not, then obviously you've got to back it off and be more conservative and try and plot your way around that way.

Q. You have an early tee time tomorrow. Do you think that might be an advantage considering the scores that were posted early today?

TIGER WOODS: Well, I'm 12 back (laughing). I'll be setting the pins for Phil and the boys, make sure the dew is swept off and making sure everything is nice and neat. Yeah, I'll be out here early.

Q. How many times did you hit driver today?

TIGER WOODS: Every hole except for two times.

Q. Every hole but twice

TIGER WOODS: Three times, sorry. I hit three 3 woods.

Q. Are there things that you can take from past times or is it just a different animal?

TIGER WOODS: Well, I've snuck in before and I've won the tournament, but if there's any tournament that you can kind of move your way up the board, it's a major championship. But a lot of it is dependent on what Phil does over the next couple of days. If Phil goes ahead and shoots two good rounds on the weekend in the mid 60s, he'll probably win the tournament.

But this golf course is only going to get tougher. Hopefully tomorrow under easier conditions, softer conditions, I can post a low one and at least get myself some type of hope going into Sunday and see where we stand.

Q. (Inaudible).

TIGER WOODS: No, at the time when I got to 7, I got to 7 early, so I said, you know, just make sure you stay patient and try and make four or five birdies on this back nine and it can be done. You just might sneak in an eagle on 18 with the pin where it was. Just make sure I got three or four before I got to 17, and I did that. I got 3, and then 17 happened and I made bogey there. I accomplished what I wanted to accomplish by getting to by making three birdies before I got to 17, and then I had to birdie 18.

Q. Did you think there was any possibility that Stevie might have stepped on the ball yesterday?

TIGER WOODS: Well, I saw the videotape just like all you guys saw, and if you look at it, he walks three steps closer to actually point out the golf ball, so he wasn't even near it. It's just one of those things where unfortunately the ball was embedded in there somehow. We don't know whether it was a marshal who did it five minutes ago, prior to that, or it was some photographer, it was some marshal, it was some we don't know, that's the thing. We don't know.

Q. But you're certain it wasn't him?

TIGER WOODS: No, he wasn't walking in the hazard. He was walking out of the hazard and the ball was in the hazard.

Q. (Inaudible).

TIGER WOODS: Well, I also said, too, if it gets downwind fairways firm up that someone might have a go at it. Whether you get there or not is a different story, and today the fairways were as fast as we've seen them, and it was blowing straight downwind, which I hit a good one down there and the ball rolled out. If it doesn't roll out, I can't go for it.

Q. The tee was all the way back, though.

TIGER WOODS: The tee is all the way back on every hole.

Q. Is this one of the craziest majors you've been involved with? You get here, somebody is in your parking space, you've got trees falling, embedded ball rulings? Do you want to come back to Jersey?

TIGER WOODS: I haven't lost a ball yet like I did at Royal St. George.

End of FastScripts.

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