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June 17, 2004

Tiger Woods


TIGER WOODS: The greens were really firm, and there were a lot of pins -- a lot of falloffs. If you're going to make birdies, you're going to have to make 15- or 20-footers. I played with ma her today and he made a lot of those.

Q. (Inaudible).

TIGER WOODS: You know, you look at these pin locations, they're right on the falloffs. All you need to do is just get a little aggressive with it and put the ball on the short side and now you're really having a hard time making par. I played away from a lot of the flags, put the ball 15, 20 feet so I can leave myself an uphill putt at it. It was tough. I mean, it was really tough out there.

Q. (Inaudible).

TIGER WOODS: It does. It eliminates guys who hang the ball well as well as guys who have never been there before. You've got to have a lot of patience at a U.S. Open. Our whole group got some really funky bounces out there in the fairway and you've just got to stay patient. Everyone is going to be dealing with the same things.

Q. Are you confident where you are at this point, understanding we're only through one round here?

TIGER WOODS: There's an awful long way to go. We haven't seen the wind up yet. If that ever happens, if it ever comes up, this golf course is pretty tough. We saw the dots for tomorrow, and they're just as tough if not tougher than they were today.

Q. (Inaudible).

TIGER WOODS: You know, it is impressive, but you look at the way he's been playing, it's just norm, isn't it? He's been playing great golf for a year and a half now. It's just a continuation. He's hitting the ball further than he ever has, but I think more than anything he's putting great. He's rolling the ball better now than when he was in his prime.

Q. (Inaudible).

TIGER WOODS: It's not the setup at all. It's playing on a links golf course like this with a lot of mounds in it, and the fairways are really firm. You're going to get some good shots that end up in the rough.

Marrow and Chad and myself, we hit some good shots out there that should have been in the fairway but didn't end up there just because of the funky bounces you're going to get. That's part of playing links-style golf courses.

Q. (Inaudible).

TIGER WOODS: I really don't know how many times I hit my driver, probably six times or so.

I drove it all right. I hit probably three poor drives. I lost them to the right. But other than that, I really hit some good shots that didn't end up in the fairway. They got some bounces. It's just the nature of the golf course.

Q. (Inaudible).

TIGER WOODS: I did, didn't I? I hit a lot of balls in the bunker unfortunately. Some of those are poor shots, but some of those are trying to miss the ball on the correct side so I have ample green to work with, and I just overcooked it. At least I missed it on the correct sides. That's the most important thing.

Q. Your thoughts on seeing a course that requires so much creativity, is it fun?

TIGER WOODS: It's great. We played here in 95. I think that's the first year they really experimented with the chipping areas here. They didn't have as many as they do today, but I think it's fantastic to be able to use your short game again instead of missing a green, automatic lob wedge and try and hike it out of the rough.

Here you've got to think about what you're going to do. You can use the entire golf bag around the greens and that's the fun of it. That's why we love playing Augusta. That's why we love playing British Opens, because it brings that creativity back.

Q. (Inaudible).

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I was over in the fescue I believe it was on the 3rd hole on the left, yeah.

Q. (Inaudible).

TIGER WOODS: I don't know. You know, I'll tell you what. When I first played here last week, I really had a hard time remembering a lot of the holes, maybe just because of -- I didn't stay here for very long in 95.

Q. (Inaudible).

TIGER WOODS: I mean, it's never going to stay that way. I had a great stretch where I was playing fantastic golf. Hey, when you're making a lot of putts and hitting the ball good, that's a fun little run to be on. I carried that for about four or five years, and it's been a nice little run.

Of course you know guys are going to get better, they're going to improve, and that's the nature of how all sport is.

Q. Can you imagine doing what David Duval is doing?

TIGER WOODS: No, I can't, but he's probably doing the right thing in a weird way. Yeah, he's coming back to a U.S. Open that's going to be tough, but if he were to come back at another tournament he would have been the story line the entire week, but because there's so many story lines he's flying under the radar and it's easier for him to come out and compete and play, and that relieves a lot of pressure on him.

You know the U.S. Open is going to be tough, and if he plays poorly, a lot of guys are.

So of all the tournaments to play, I think he's probably doing the right thing.

Q. Were you happy with your patience out there today or did you have to fight for patience?

TIGER WOODS: No, I was extremely patient. I know how to play U.S. Opens. I've been down that path where, yeah, you're going to get frustrated because you get some bad bounces or you hit a bad shot, it ends up in a bad spot and you end up chewing yourself out, but you've got to stay in the present, focus on the next shot and stay committed, and that's the key and I did that the whole day today.

End of FastScripts.

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