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October 22, 2003

Tiger Woods


TIGER WOODS: About time we got some nice weather - there is no rain, no humidity. It has been perfect.

Most of our tournaments obviously are not at home. We don't have home matches. In Orlando we have two; which is nice so it is nice to be able to be at home and not have to search for the remote. You know where it's at.

Brian has been through it all with me. We won a Tour event together. We won the last U.S. Amateur together. We won a few big ones together, so it has been nice.

The course is still the same. Everything is the same.

Brian and I have been best friends since 7th grade. So we go all the way back.

Same old things, just trying to get the club in front of me. I feel pretty good about my swing. I hit it really well at Amex. Working on the same things.

I think the cut is probably going to be 8 or 10 under this week. (Laughs). It will be low this week, so last year I thought I shot, I think, it was 8-under last year after two rounds, I thought, well, I really played well today because the wind picked up and couple of 6-unders. So if the wind doesn't blow around here this week, the greens being even better than they were last year, I think the guys will just tear this place apart.

Just consistency. As you know I do not ever bag it. You have to fight. There are days when you feel terrible. You wish you were in other places because you are playing so poorly but you somehow figure out a way to score. That's name of the game, get the ball in the hole. There have been days when I have been very lucky to make the cut. I have made some big cuts and somehow just squeaked it out. This year at Augusta, I had to get up-and-down the last hole. Buick a couple of years ago, I had to birdie the last hole just to make the cut. There are times when I probably should have missed. Been very lucky as well as I also worked my butt off too.

I do not like them. I never like them. It doesn't really reward good ball-striking. It's just a putting contest. When you get a golf course like a U.S. Open where you have got to hit the golf ball, manage your game, think about where you are going to place, that's when it becomes more fun for me. It becomes more of a chess match. Here you are basically firing at every pin; especially the first two days because of the Amateurs, they have softened the pins up. Instead of being 3 and 4 form the side, they are 8 and 9 from the side. You fire at just about every single flag. Major Championships, you don't ever do that. You fire maybe at one or two a day, if that.

I've won here twice. I have played well. Just one of those things where you don't have to like it, just play well.

That's not how our Tour is supposed to be played, six months later, it's not right. Either you cancel it or you go ahead and award a winner. They have actually had 36 new champions there before so I didn't agree with that decision, but, you know, obviously I am not on the board.

It's just sentimental, it's going back to your posture, your balance, alignment, making sure things are lined up because when things are lined up, it also becomes easy. When you have things out of whack in your setup obviously you are going to start off in the wrong direction and the easiest things to control in the game of golf is your setup; that's a very easy thing to do. But if you are off a little bit that sets the whole game off, your backswing is off then your downswing has got to compensate for that. The root of most of my evils all begin in the setup.

TIGER WOODS: This year has been one of those years where I have won 1/3 of my tournaments. People say I have had a terrible year

I still don't understand why people look at it that way. Granted it I didn't win a major championship this year, that's disappointing. I tried. I had my chances.

Like to accomplish that. I'd take more pride in the Vardon than anything else because that goes to show you that you have been consistent the entire year. The money title can be a little eschewed if you have played 30 tournaments, just outplayed everybody. I take great pride in that Vardon. Worse I have ever finished in the Vardon Trophy ever since I have been on Tour is 2nd. I am very, very proud of that. As you know, I played more of a tougher schedule some of the tournaments and you had to be pretty solid in that and my scoring average I take great pride in that because that goes to show you that you fought the entire time and you have had your bad days but you somehow gutted it out and kept it low as possible.

Top 50 players. Probably the deepest it's ever been. Players are getting so good, so consistent now, I mean you look at the top 50 players you can't really say why is that guy in the top 50. Before you might have questioned that. Now you go, everyone is solid. Everyone has enough game to be there and they deserve to be there.

Last year it was first-time winners. This year it's more of the guys who have been around the block, guys over 40, veterans, might be one of those years just like last year, one theme.

I won't say it's me. I would have to say it's each other. If one person does it like when Jay has played last year and this year, I think that feeds off of the guys in that same age bracket think well, I can do it too. So they all get in the mix because one guy shows that he can be consistent at a high level for an extended period of time; not just one week here and there. Jay has played well for two years, I think that gives a lot of energy to the rest of the guys in the same age bracket.

It is a lot of fun to help kids. It's fun to see the smile on that face when they hit that one good shot. You can help them out in that one way. Being able to socialize and talk to them a little bit, and that, to me, is a lot of fun. I thoroughly enjoy doing stuff like that.

I think it's great for anyone who can help out a child in a positive way like that. If you are a pro or a good amateur, there's nothing wrong with going out and helping a kid along the way.

Off-season? I have like four weeks off between my tournament and Mercedes. So that's not really an off-season. My schedule is such that I take breaks throughout the entire year, I take four weeks off here, I usually take three to four weeks off after Augusta; then I take four weeks off after Deutsche Bank this year, so those are my kind of breaks. We don't really have a true off-season.

It takes a told on you. Takes a lot of energy to play events. From a competition standpoint it takes a lot of energy. Then you throw into the mix all of the responsibilities that I have and it starts to wear on you after a while. Would I like to play more? I would enjoy playing more but it takes too much out of me. I have cut down my schedule each and every year to a number I feel pretty good at, where I can have enough energy to play at a high level every week I tee it up. I have played in 1997, even a little bit of 1998 I was worn out because it just took too much out of me.

It was good in the sense, yeah, it forced me to let my body just heal, but I was driving everyone nuts around me. Sitting around and doing nothing not competing, that's what I like to do. I just couldn't get out it and compete and for me, watching Ernie go out there and shoot these low numbers and I could barely hit a 7-iron at the time when he was shooting those scores, it was painful to hit a 7-iron meanwhile I couldn't compete with anybody at any level out here. That was frustrating. When I came back I didn't think -- there was a lot of hesitation in my head about how my knee was going to hold up, but somehow I got it going and had a great start.

Probably Torrey because Augusta was pretty easy. Inside left, just hit it firm. I missed this one off the green. That kind of thing. But at Torrey I had to start that putt outside the hole, right to left, not exactly easy to do, 6-footer.

I was playing well at Valhalla. I was really playing well, putting well and just about every putt I hit from inside ten feet I made that week.

This tournament, I have got the easier of the two courses tomorrow, I am playing the Palm course. This forces you to think a little bit differently than you normally would. When you play a tournament such as this, or maybe a Las Vegas or a Bob Hope you know that you are going to have to make birdies and play aggressively. Fire at a lot of flags. I don't normally do that, but at this event and like other events that I play like this, you have to be aggressive. Especially when you see up there on the board through nine holes some guys are 7-under. Through 18 holes -- last year I think 17-under I think after two days. You have to make birdies.

(Question inaudible) he's not happy about how he's played this year not at all. First he has been at the highest level for him not to be able to put it together, seemed very frustrating because, as you know I have played countless rounds with the guy, and he may hit it great on the practice rounds, he may hit it great on the range but he has a hard time stepping up there and trusting what he's worked on and take it to the golf courses. That's been very frustrating. Then his hallmark has been his putting. He's putted great his entire life. All of a sudden now he's lipping putts out, not getting the maximum out of his rounds, you go out there and hit it well you don't make any putts, you turn a 65 into a 70. That's the big difference. That's a huge difference. For him now he's starting to putt a little bit better working on his putting quite a bit and his stroke is now releasing like I remember him doing, and we are going to go back home and hopefully I can still take his cash.

My biggest goal was to actually have a place to play the following year. I had no status anywhere in the world and I wanted to maximize my events and obviously I felt that I have never really given myself a legitimate chance of playing on the Tour. I played one tournament here, taken six months off, played amateur golf, junior golf, say I will come to the Tour. I kept telling myself, if I play in a rhythm, play enough in a row, then I would get used to it. Just as I do amateur golf. I had a pretty good amateur season that year, college season, played all the time. If I play at the same level I will get used to playing out here. Barbecues going on, more people walking, we never had any of that stuff in college. A lot of different distractions. I could handle the golf part but all the other stuff I thought my derail me but once I got rolling and started playing well that set-off the momentum. Each week I got a little better and better

I just wanted to survive that first week, somehow just make the cut and get a positive start for my career. And I did that. I birdied my first hole, I was so excited about that. I didn't play very well the rest of the week but I made the cut and finished down at the bottom, but it was a cut made. It was money in a positive direction because I had no money before, now I got a status on the Tour, I am on the money list. From there I started to keep building on it, I think I went up to Canada and I finished 12th there or 13th. Then obviously Moline, I finished fifth. Then I went to DC I finished third there.

(Inaudible) I would make the top-30, get into THE TOUR Championship if I won the event.

But if I finished second I won't get in. So I had to win the tournament to get in THE TOUR Championship.

End of FastScripts.

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