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May 5, 2005

Tiger Woods


Q. How was it out there?

TIGER WOODS: It was windy, swirly and very difficult today. It was tough to get the ball close. The greens, even though there was a little bit of rain, they were still pretty quick. You had to try to stay below the hole if you could, and boy, if you got above the hole -- (inaudible).

Q. Were you what you call a grinder guy today?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I came out just a little bit on the rusty side. I didn't have the rhythm of the round. I had taken three weeks off, not really competitive, but once I got back into the rhythm of the round I started feeling really good over the shots and I started shaping them, putting the ball in the right places, and I got it back, and all of a sudden I threw it all away at 6 and 7 but got it back in the end.

Q. You said you were a little rusty. Were you taking too much time off?

TIGER WOODS: It wasn't a physical rust. It was more of just trying to hit golf shots in tournament play and shaping shots. You can play for money at home, but it's not the same as getting out here and playing out here.

Q. Tell us about the last putt on the last hole.

TIGER WOODS: I've had that putt for par. I made a putt for par like that so I had some good memories there and I tried to make that, just the same stroke as I did last year, and for some strange reason it went in.

Q. Vijay and Sergio and you all played back-to-back-to-back. Did you notice the huge crowd on Thursday for a regular tournament?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I haven't seen it like that in the sense that we haven't really been paired like that before. Usually they have myself or Vijay opposite or Phil opposite, opposite in the brackets. For some reason we're all right there together. You can certainly hear roars going off because all the galleries were pretty condensed.

Q. You hit a 3-wood 321 at one point. Why are you hitting the ball so long?

TIGER WOODS: I guess I'm in decent shape, and I'm hitting the ball solid for once, that helps. You know, these fairways are a little like landing on trampolines. You get the ball lying on the correct knob, you can run this ball out there a long way. A couple times if you land the ball on the downslope you're going to get 60 yards of roll, but if you don't, you're stuck way back there. That's the advantage of having a little bit of length. You can land the ball on the downslopes and run the ball out there.

Q. (Inaudible).

TIGER WOODS: 3, pitched out sideways, I hit a rope hook up toward the gap.

Q. How far was that?

TIGER WOODS: Two feet.

Q. What did you hit there?

TIGER WOODS: 7-iron.

Q. Did you think that was your best option?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah. I could have tried to play the rope, but the problem was playing the rope hook it brought the rough into play. I just felt more comfortable throwing the ball up. The gap was big enough.

Q. (Inaudible).

TIGER WOODS: There's no doubt about that. You clip a tree there, you can make it 6 or 7. Nothing like making a nice little 4 and moving on.

Q. What's the secret to regrouping and going birdie-birdie?

TIGER WOODS: A good drive and a good pitch and a good putt. You've got to stay focused. With the conditions like this I kept reminding myself to stay focused and be as patient as possible. You're going to make mistakes when the wind is like this, and unfortunately I made a couple of mental errors and it cost me a couple shots, but regroup, move on and suck it up and get it done somehow.

Q. (Inaudible).

TIGER WOODS: Especially since I was 2 over early and the wind wasn't settling down, either. Just fight back and get it back to 2-under par, it's a nice feeling to have.

Q. Where did you make your mental mistakes?

TIGER WOODS: A lot of them were on 7. Firing 6 past the hole, two-putt from 30, 40 feet and move on, and I didn't hit it. 7 brings the water into play and I can make eagle, but unfortunately I bring the water into play.

Q. (Inaudible).

TIGER WOODS: Not one that stands out right now.

Like you said, on No. 3, committing to my tee shot as much as I needed to be. I tried to take something off that driver and hit a little smoothie out there and I wasn't as committed as I needed to be for the shot I was going to play.

Q. (Inaudible).

TIGER WOODS: I was in the fairway, and it kept going downwind into my face, downwind into my face. Again, I didn't get committed to my spot, and consequently I didn't fire the ball at the right spot. I played for a downwind, it was kind of gusting, but more than anything it was the commitment to put the ball left of the hole 15 feet and move on. I just didn't quite do it and paid the price for it.

Q. (Inaudible).

TIGER WOODS: Well, it's fair. It's a golf course that is fair and then on top of that it's one of those old, traditional golf courses. We don't get a chance to play these type of golf courses anymore. We keep going to stadium courses every week. It's nice to play an old, traditional golf course where it looks like they just put a golf course on top of the land. They didn't bulldoze and a whole bunch of different things to create a golf course, like this was meant to be here.

Q. (Inaudible).

TIGER WOODS: You'd have to lengthen this golf course a lot. It's too short for a U.S. Open. We're going out there and playing right now, even with firm and fast, as I'm sure U.S. Open time will be firm and fast, hitting driver and wedges too many times. The USGA wouldn't accept that. They want us hitting 5-irons and 4-irons into greens, so they would have to lengthen this place.

End of FastScripts.

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