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February 24, 2005

Tiger Woods


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: You've beat Nick Price on a day where I would assume you wanted to get through the day with a win.

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, today was most important to get off to a quick start in match play. I was able to do that. Nick gave me the first hole and I was able to stick it out. It was a nice little quick start.

Q. We've had variance in how the course was. Some guys said it was "disgusting," other guys said it was fine, knowing what happened. How did you see it?

TIGER WOODS: I didn't get a whole lot of roll out there. I hit some good drives. It was playing muddy. There were a couple of times Nick and I both decided not to take casual water, because there was nowhere to go, might as well play it. It was kind of funny, I don't know what my footing looked like, but I saw his footing on No. 9, the par‑3 (laughter), he was drawing water, you could see it. But where else are you going to go?

Q. Were you putting with your 7‑iron?

TIGER WOODS: Like I said out there, it's worse than putting on waffle irons. It's all the same height there. Nothing rolls the same. You can hit good putts and look great and hit good putts and look like an absolute idiot.

Q. Did you have to tee it up any higher on 9 than you normally would for a par‑3?

TIGER WOODS: I played on the back of a divot, so that's what I kind of did. I didn't really have to worry about that.

Q. Would you be able to play if this was stroke play?

TIGER WOODS: No, because I think there would have been too much of a disadvantage between morning and afternoon.

Q. If this had been Wednesday and you still had a day to play with, do you think they would play if the course was like this and we hadn't had the wash‑out?

TIGER WOODS: There's a chance, but it's match play; you're only playing one guy.

Q. Did it take some of the length advantage away from some of the longer guys?

TIGER WOODS: Without a doubt. They put the tees way up. I've never seen so many tees up that far. For instance, on the 4th hole, everybody in my group, Jimmy, Nick, Stevie, all thought I hit a nice shot. It gets up in the left rough, because you're not used to seeing it go that far on that line. That line is normally pretty good. But it's different now. The lines were different; you had to remember how you used to play it back in '97 or so. So it was certainly interesting.

Q. Padraig Harrington was talking about gearing down a couple of irons for hundred yard shots. How were you doing with those? What did you do to take the spin off and how many of those did you have?

TIGER WOODS: Most of them, really. Anything under 150 yards I probably geared way down. A couple of times from 140 I hit a 7‑iron. 120 yards I hit an 8‑iron. 110 yards, 9‑iron. So that was kind of the way it is.

Q. You might be playing Charles Howell next round. Have you played him in this before?

TIGER WOODS: I've never played Charles in this match, this event.

Q. U.S. Amateur?

TIGER WOODS: U.S. Am at Pumpkin Ridge, I think in the quarters I think I got him. We both look a little different than we did then (laughter).

Q. He's skinnier. He's lost weight.

TIGER WOODS: Chuck's been playing great this year, got off to a good start. He finished pretty high in a couple of events. It will be a tough match if I get Chuck tomorrow.

Q. What was the longest putt you conceded?

TIGER WOODS: Probably about a foot and a half. You saw what happened on 12, that putt. That was an easy little kick‑in normally on good greens, but here my putt kind of hopped up the hill and horseshoed it.

Q. Looked like you said something to the hole after you missed that.


Q. What exactly was that?

TIGER WOODS: I can't really repeat it in here.

Q. Do you think over the last two weeks that ‑‑ there's obviously going to be a lot of talk about mixing up the West Coast Swing or making some changes. Is it just too quick a reaction or is there some merit to it?

TIGER WOODS: I think there's some great merit to it. These ‑‑ February and March are the two wettest months. I grew up here, and February is generally the wettest month you'll ever have. And we're playing on golf courses that just don't handle water very well. All of Southern California doesn't handle water too well.

We got unfortunate this year, we had one of those El Nino years like back in '98. We got hosed on a couple of tournaments. You have to feel bad for some of the sponsors, like Nissan, putting up 6 mill, and not getting any exposure.

Q. What would you do to fix it, Commissioner?

TIGER WOODS: I've always thought the season was too long. End it Labor Day. Then we can start the year a little bit later, so we can actually enjoy New Year's for once. Play in Hawaii, play in Florida and then come back here. And we can play Atlanta right before Augusta; that's preparation for Augusta with those greens and how fast they are.

Q. What about the PriceWaterhouseCoopers Fall Finish?

They're so locked in, though, Florida is ‑‑ California they've got this booked in, and Florida has got ‑‑ they don't want the tournaments early, because they have the tourists down here. It isn't like saying, hey, we can move it. It would be great if you played in Pebble in September, but you can't.

TIGER WOODS: You run into the problem with Florida being saturated. I don't know if the LPGA goes there pretty soon. They've got the Seniors there. South Florida is pretty much saturated with the Shark Shootout and Doral and Naples with the Senior event. A bunch of tournaments in Florida. So it's hard to move it. But I know they're considering moving THE PLAYERS to May. So I don't know what they're going to do with Wachovia and the Byron. That will be interesting.

Q. Given the fact that you've won a couple of times here and then you face this kind of condition this year, would you like to see them move the tournament away from LaCosta because you guys face a wet course every single year? You've won twice here, so obviously you can play it, but is it just fair for everybody or should they move it because it's too wet?

TIGER WOODS: I don't think it's fair for the sponsor, I don't think it's fair for the fans. If you notice, these years we haven't gotten the spectators that we did the first couple of years when it was dry. I think the year Maggert won it was a lot drier than it is now. When it's wet like this, it hurts everybody. And I think it would be more fair for all of the spectators and the sponsors and the players if we played under dry conditions. But where do we find dry conditions? Probably not at Carlsbad or LaCosta in February.

Q. Given this is an outdoor sport, are you surprised it doesn't happen more often?

TIGER WOODS: We face it all the time in the summertime, it's just thunderstorms. Those come and go. But West Coast rain this time of year, it lasts for days. I'm surprised at Pebble it wasn't rained out the last two years.

Q. That's because you didn't come.

TIGER WOODS: Good point.

End of FastScripts.

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