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February 14, 2004

Tiger Woods


TIGER WOODS: It was a struggle. I didn't feel comfortable on about every single shot on the front nine. I didn't hit the ball on line, let alone the right shape. But then I hit a good drive on ten and I felt comfortable for the first time. My set-up felt better, then all of a sudden my feel started coming back and I hit some real good shots on the back nine. I just could not make my putts.

Q.: It's tough to make birdies out of the rough, isn't it?

TIGER WOODS: Oh - it's brutal, isn't it? Especially when you're not able to put the ball on line.

I can understand if I'm missing the ball, over sweeping or whatever but I could not put the ball on line, let alone try to hit a nice little draw or fade. I had a two way miss on the front nine, that's not good. But I felt good on the back nine, I'll get some good work in this afternoon and hopefully be ready by tomorrow.

I really drove the ball pretty good on the back nine

Q. So looking to tomorrow, what do you have to do to pressure the leaders

TIGER WOODS: Get a quick start on the front nine. If I played like I did on the back nine today, on the front tomorrow and get it going early. The way this course is playing, depending on pin locations tomorrow, they are brutal, they are sometimes kind of tough, tougher than last year. Last year we had soft greens, this year, greens are a little firmer. If I can shoot a low round tomorrow then I might have a chance.

Q. Tiger how much of this for you is either rust or a competitive situation for a while

TIGER WOODS: Well, I hit it great on Tues and Wed then all of sudden on Thursday it kind of left me a little bit. Again, it's a matter of getting comfortable. When I get comfortable I can hit some good shots. It's just that I haven't been able to feel comfortable on each and every shot. I had a two way miss going early and that's not how you want to play this course. Especially the back nine. You want to hit some good shots going home. You have to get the ball in the fairway to have enough chances at birdie, you never know, but you have to put the ball in play.

Q. You can't do it out of CBS TV compound

TIGER WOODS: No, no, no

Q. Can you play yourself back into comfort?

TIGER WOODS: It's practice and this back nine today was a positive move in the right direction. I didn't feel that good at all on the front nine. All of a sudden I felt a lot more comfortable with my shots. I hit solid ones with the correct shape I wanted to hit a fade, I hit a fade. I wanted to hit a draw, I hit a draw. I only hit one bad shot and that was on 15 tee.

Q You tend to go long on this course, how hard will this be for the US Open

TIGER WOODS: Well, considering the USGA is going to make it a par 70 and the rough is going to be a lot, a lot higher than this, I'm sure that if we get normal wind, par will win easily.

Q. Are there some holes out there are unfair as far as the course and green setup

TIGER WOODS: No, the only I thought was questionable when the first built it number 4 with the front left pin, you know as long as they are fast like they are this week, then it's fine. Last year when they were really soft and the first year when Ollie won, we couldn't stop them, we would fire to the right it would bounce of the hill come back and we would be putting up the hill 40 feet. If the fairways are fast then that hole is fine, if the fairways are soft than that, it's another story.

Q. What about number 3, the way it is set up

TIGER WOODS: It plays short. you play to the front third of the green, take your 2 putts and move on. If you can make a 30-footer, so be it.

End of FastScripts.

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