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May 13, 2004

Tiger Woods


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: World No. 1, Tiger Woods, thanks for joining us. First round 65, one shot off the lead. Talk about your day, 24 putts, so a good day on the greens for you.

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I did putt well. I hit the ball pretty good today, and I gave myself some looks at some putts, and I made a few. Got off to a great start. I was 2-under through 3 on TPC. That's not a bad deal if you can birdie No. 3 there, so that was a great start.

Q. Tiger, how much carryover from Sunday at Wachovia, you played so well, are you staying with the same thing?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, just working on the same things.

Q. But it's carried you on over?

TIGER WOODS: Not really, no. Two totally different conditions. Today a lot of shots were hit flat and chipped, and at Wachovia we were trying to get the ball up in the air because those greens were undulating, so two totally different things.

It was nice to play that well after three weeks off, and then to have something positive after Saturday happen there on Sunday, and then I just kept working on the same things the next three days, and today I felt pretty good about the way I played.

Q. I know you don't dwell on tournaments, win or lose, but did you look at Charlotte as a positive because you played good golf or a negative because you didn't hold onto the lead after leading after 36?

TIGER WOODS: Knowing me, you know it's both. It's always a positive when you play that well after taking three weeks off, and some of the things I worked on were starting to solidify. But it's also disappointing the fact that I didn't win. I felt I was playing good enough to win. I gave myself a chance there after two days and then just did not play well at all on Saturday and put myself behind the 8-ball come Sunday. But I played really well on Sunday, and I was close. So from that aspect, it was a nice positive.

Q. You've had a ton of great rounds here on Sunday. Just talk a little bit about coming out of the chute. Were you motivated because you knew all the great players were in the field and you felt like if somebody didn't get off to a good start they could be way behind before Sunday even got here?

TIGER WOODS: No. I knew that once we started playing, I was surprised at how soft the greens were. We played yesterday and the greens were pretty -- a little bit firmer than they were today, but all that rain certainly made them a little bit softer. It was windy out there but you could be aggressive. You could fire those balls back into the corners and you knew they weren't going to hop over the back. In years past, if it blows like this, the greens always get baked out, but that wasn't the case today.

Q. You had some quotes in the paper this morning about Colonial. Were you saying that course just doesn't fit your game?

TIGER WOODS: You could say that.

Q. 16, the chip, how soon do you know that's going to come up short?

TIGER WOODS: I probably knew about eight feet from the hole. You could see it just didn't have quite enough because once it gets up towards the hole it actually goes back uphill, and I could see once it started turning that it didn't have enough momentum to carry it up the slope again, but I'll take it.

Q. What was the wind doing on 3? Was that against you?

TIGER WOODS: It was down off the left going straight down the fairway.

Q. So how did you play it?

TIGER WOODS: I hit driver and a wedge and made about a 12-footer.

Q. Could you clarify your relationship with Hank Haney? Is it a friend? Is it a teacher? Is it Mo's guy who happens to look at you on the range at Isleworth on here?

TIGER WOODS: Well, he's my friend. He's always been a friend ever since college golf, actually the coach at SMU, it was a time I was still in college playing, and Hank and I were talking about golf swings -- I love picking guys' brains, whether it's Hank or Butch or Lead or anybody. I love Bob Torrence, always got good stories about the golf swing from him. It's always nice to be able to pick someone's brain about the golf swing, and Hank has always been that since college for me.

There are different ways of looking at the same things. That's one of the things that you get from all the different teachers. They're trying to accomplish the same thing in a different way of wording it, and that's one thing that it was nice to hear something that Hank said about my golf swing, and I've -- some of the stuff I throw out, some of the stuff I'll try, and it either works or I'll throw it out later.

Q. This labeling him as your so-called new teacher is inaccurate?

TIGER WOODS: No, no. I will bounce things off of him, I'll bounce things off of him. Cookie, he's at home all the time. We're always asking questions. Whether or not we actually go ahead and use it is a different story. One of the things I've always said, even when I was working with Butch at the time, 90 percent of the things I hear, I'll throw out. 5 percent of the things I hear I'll try and throw out, and then 5 percent I'll try and I'll use. It's just one of those things where you try to get a feel for what's going to work. Some of the things Butch and I would work on, I would say that's not going to work and I'd throw it out. That's not going to work on the back nine on Sunday.

Q. You guys played nine at Vaquero. Was that more of just him as a teacher or a friend going along that day?

TIGER WOODS: I was just playing with Mo and looking at Mo's swing. Mo has been working on a few things and hasn't been feeling all that comfortable with his game. I asked Hank one question about my takeaway, where it was, and that was it.

Q. Do you feel like you had an excellent tournament at Wachovia, great start here, do you feel like you're back in the flow?

TIGER WOODS: The flow of what?

Q. In the flow of shutting up some of the criticism that has been coming your way the last few weeks.

TIGER WOODS: You know what, there's always going to be criticism. I remember back in 2000 when I was winning quite a few tournaments at the time, 99 and 2000, the question was am I bad for the game because I was winning all the time. Now I get the criticism, why aren't you winning. I've always gotten it. That's just part of the deal. You don't play golf for anyone else but yourself and your family, and that's what I do.

Q. Given the potential for bad weather tonight and tomorrow, how important was it to get off to a fast start today?

TIGER WOODS: Well, it's always great to get off to a good start on the TPC here, but I'll be honest with you, I didn't think we were going to tee off. It was looking pretty ugly. We saw a couple bolts come down and I was shocked that we didn't get pulled off the golf course, but obviously the weathermen knew something we didn't, so that's why we're playing golf and they're doing what they're doing. It was great to get off to a good solid start. Now we get to go to the easier of the two golf courses but you've still got to execute over there. The rough is deeper than it's ever been over there.

Q. What makes Cottonwood easier?

TIGER WOODS: It's shorter. I think you have less dangerous shots on Cottonwood. What I mean by that is some of the -- you don't have the creek running through the golf course on that side. You do on a couple holes but it's really not in play. Missing the greens aren't as penalizing over here as they are on TPC.

Q. How familiar are you with Peter Lonard's game?

TIGER WOODS: Pete I've seen quite a bit. I've seen him over at Keen's Point where he lives down in Orlando. I've been over there playing his golf course and I'll see him working on his game. I know he's made a huge transformation in his golf swing and his build, and he's one heck of a player. I mean, he's solid, hits the ball a long way. You can see how strong he is. I know that he's done a lot of good work.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: If we could go through your round real quick and then we'll take a couple questions. Did you hit driver on No. 1?.

TIGER WOODS: I drove it on 1 and I hit it just short of the left bunker, pitched it up to about 10 feet left of the hole and made it.

6, I hit a driver and 8-iron to about a foot.

9, I hit a 3-iron off the tee, pulled it left in the left rough, hit a wedge to about 25 feet, made it.

10, I drove it out to the right, tried to pitch through the trees, caught the rough coming out, tried to hit a flop shot over the bunker, hit it long, 18 feet past the hole and two-putted.

On 11 I hit a 5-iron off the tee, and then I hit a pitching wedge to about 18 feet right of the hole, made it.

On the par 3 I hit a pitching wedge to about eight feet right of the hole and made it.

15, I hit a 3-wood off the tee just in the left rough, hit a 6-iron off to the right, easy chip, chipped it up there about four feet and missed it.

16, I hit a driver and a 3-wood over the green and pitched it to about an inch.

Q. Do you think you drove it better than that 6 for 14 fairways hit stat might indicate?

TIGER WOODS: Yes, definitely.

Q. Your misses were close to the fairway?

TIGER WOODS: Definitely. Basically I had one really bad golf shot today, and that was on 10.

Q. That was the one right?

TIGER WOODS: Off to the right. That was the only shot. The other ones I just overshaped, which is, as I told you guys last week, that's an easy fix. Any time you're overshaping the golf shots, that's an easy fix. The one on 11 -- the one on 10 was just not a good swing.

Q. With all that you've learned about your swing over the years and all the information you've taken, is there ever a danger of getting too much information or does all the information you get ever complicate the game for you or does it simplify matters?

TIGER WOODS: Well, that's why I told you, I throw out about 90 percent of the stuff. I hear a lot of the different things, whether it's from other players or teachers or whoever it may be. I throw out a lot of the stuff because that's just not going to work for me with my game, my build and the way I like to swing the golf club.

So as far as overcomplicating things, no, because you kind of have an innate understanding of where you want your swing to be, and there are things that other people try and teach that there's no way I can do that, especially on Sunday afternoon with everything on the line. That's what you work towards, and you try and understand what's going to make me hit the golf shot Sunday afternoon with everything on the line, and some of the stuff that -- no, I'm not going to do it.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Tiger Woods, thank you.

End of FastScripts.

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