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September 4, 2004

Tiger Woods


JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Thanks, Tiger, for joining us for a few minutes here in the media center.

Great finish to your round today. You had that bogey on 16, but you came in with four birdies on the last six holes. So you must be pretty happy with that, and also great position going into the last two days.

TIGER WOODS: Well, today was a great way to end the day, with a bomb on 17 and a nice little birdie from the fairway on 18.

Overall, I thought I played decent. Didn't play as well as I did yesterday, but controlled the ball where I missed the ball properly. Didn't make any putts on the front nine, but I got it going on the back.

Q. How would you compare the conditions yesterday to today?

TIGER WOODS: Certainly faster. The golf course is much faster. The fairways are faster. The greens were much harder. 18 was kind of a fluke having the ball spin back that much. But, you know, most of the greens were starting to repel golf shots.

Q. After you have a good round in round one and set yourself up for the rest of the tournament, is your mindset for round two obviously you want to play as well as you can, but more to maintain or at least be in a good position going into the final two round?

TIGER WOODS: No, my goal starting out the day was trying to get at the pin and put it to double digits. Came up one short but still very happy to be where I'm at. Probably, more than likely probably won't be leading, but we're right there with a chance going into the weekend.

Q. Obviously you want to win this tournament, and with the Ryder Cup is coming up, is there anything that you work on in particular that you can carry over that's particularly good this week?

TIGER WOODS: It's the same thing. I've been working on exactly the same thing since, what, middle of this year. I'm just trying to -- it comes and goes. You've always got to, unfortunately, keep working hard on it.

To answer your question, I haven't changed anything. I'm working on the same exact thing. I'm just doing it better.

Q. Talk about 17.

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, that was a little luck, wasn't it? I was just trying to just 2-putt and just get out of there and try and go birdie 18. That was my mindset and I just happened to throw a depth charge up there and it went in.

It was 58 feet and three inches? Really? I'll go 60 feet, honestly. (Laughter.)

Q. 16, the tee ball that was a tough shot coming off and you decided to putt.

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, just trying to make sure that the worst score I was going to make was 4. If I hit a good putt out there of and it rolls up, then I'll make 3, but just try to eliminate the high number there. And if I get cute with a sand wedge, don't get it on the green, you can make 5. So I took that out of the equation.

JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Tiger, can we go through your round, starting with No. 2.

TIGER WOODS: No. 2 I hit a nice drive down there, hit an 8-iron to about 15 feet and 2-putted.

No. 4, hit a drive in the hazard to the right. Then hit a 6-iron up on the green and 2-putted about 20 feet.

13, I hit a pitching wedge from about 130 yards. I hit it short of the green and bounced it up from the right rough and made about a 9-footer there.

15, hit a good drive down there -- actually, it wasn't a good drive. Lost it to the right a little bit. Hit a nice 9-iron up there just left of the green and chipped in from about 15 feet.

16, I hit a 6-iron to the right and 2-putted -- well, once I got on the green. Used the putter three times in a row.

Q. The players that you've talked to, are they happy with the changes on the course?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, the players are definitely pleased with the changes. All of the changes have been positive. Not one negative comment on the changes.

Last year, the golf course wasn't mature, and on top of that, we had, you know, collection areas on 2 and 18 where all of the balls tend to funnel in there with a budge of divots. Guys laying up in divots, it just wasn't fair. Some of the greens were just way too severe.

Q. Is the course playing any different than last year? Even with the changes, the scores reflect it's probably about the same.

TIGER WOODS: I think the golf course is playing more difficult this year just because it's firmer. The greens are certainly faster and smoother, but I just think shots are getting repelled now. Especially some of the newer greens that they redesigned are really firm. You can hear them from the fairway. So you know that they are a little bit hard.

Q. Tiger Woods today as compared to the Tiger Woods six, seven, eight years ago, is that concentration level still there all the time?

TIGER WOODS: Definitely.

Q. Can you look ahead to December and talk about the Target World Challenge which will also benefit the Foundation?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, it will be at Sherwood again. We've had a great run there. I think it's been fantastic for the Foundation because I think we've raised probably close to 1.5 million each and every year, sometimes a little more, but it's been great. Because then we are able to do something like the Start Something Program with Target, and then with my Learning Center, we are able to do things like that, as well as give money away to other charities around the country.

Without that tournament, we would not be able to allocate the funds that we are able to do.

Q. Inaudible?

TIGER WOODS: We have a committee that does that.

Q. You've obviously played well, even though you haven't won in a while. Being in the lead yesterday and being in the lead so far yesterday, what does that do for your confidence?

TIGER WOODS: It feels good. It definitely feels good. It feels good to be up there. But more than anything, it feels nice to be able to play well, controlling my ball flight. Because the shots I missed today were misses I could deal with. They weren't misses like at Firestone where they were off the planet or two fairways over.

These shots started off on-line; I just overdrew it or overcut it. That's a nice problem to have because you can always fix that. If the ball is starting off on-line and if you just overdo something, that's okay. The shots that I was hitting there (Firestone) were not starting anywhere near the line I was looking at.

Q. The battle for No. 1, does that have any effect on your game or do you feel your play will take care of it?

TIGER WOODS: Winning just takes care of it. That's always the goal, any time I tee it up, is to win. No. 1 ranking, it takes care of itself just by winning tournaments. If you win consistently, you don't have to worry about it.

Q. How important is it to have a tournament like this in the Boston area to get this market for the PGA?

TIGER WOODS: It's great. They had one before and now it's great to come back here again and have an event like this on a -- this is an underserved market, really.

We have a couple of regions, probably three regions on our tour that we could serve a little bit more: Here; probably the north Midwest up there, Minnesota, they always come out in droves there; as well as the Pacific Northwest, we really don't have anything out there either.

It was great to come back to a market like this, and Boston, it's not too far away. Looking at the crowd that came out, they are huge in the practice rounds. It was pretty neat to have them all out there.

It was actually really surprising is that they are so respectful of golf shots. I would figure after they have had a couple, they would be a little louder, but they have been great.

Q. You said you were on the committee for your tournament in California. I don't know how much pull you might have here, but would you talk to them about staying here after this year; is it definitely in favor of?

TIGER WOODS: It's definitely in favor of. We would love to continue our relationship here with this community. Basically, you want to build a connection with the community, and that's what we are trying to do here.

Yeah, we would love to stay.

JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Thank you, Tiger.

End of FastScripts.

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