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July 4, 2003

Tiger Woods


JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Thank you, Tiger, for joining us for a few minutes. You started out with three quick birdies and you hung on and are still in pretty good position going into the weekend.

TIGER WOODS: I got off to a pretty good start, hit a little 8-iron on 1 to kick in and birdied 3 and birdied 5, so I got off to a perfect start, just didn't quite keep it going. I didn't hit the ball that well coming in. I didn't drive it very good, but the only good thing is I was really putting well, I just didn't give myself a whole lot of looks at birdies.

Q. We always hear announcers talk about how hard it is to follow a really low round with another one. Besides the fickle nature of golf that you talked about yesterday, is there any other reason for that?

TIGER WOODS: You know, it's just hard to explain. You know, some days golf can be, as we all know, one of the easiest games we've ever played, and then the very next day it's, like, is this the same person. That's the challenge of it all. I certainly didn't feel as good over the shots today like I did yesterday. A couple times the wind crept in there and gave me a little indecision and consequently I made a poor swing, and that's the hard thing about golf. You know, you've got to go out there and hit good quality shots, and I didn't do that today.

Q. Was the second on 13 one of them?

TIGER WOODS: Oh, that was just a terrible golf shot. I'm trying to line the golf ball 15, 20 feet short of the hole, skip it up there and if it stays short it's perfect. You've got an uphill putt, you don't want to be above the hole, so I hit a nice little pull hook with my 9-iron into the bunker. I hit a good bunker shot, it pulled out, and then I blocked the putt. I wasted a nice drive there, too.

Q. Were the problems with the driver the same thing that you had (inaudible)?

TIGER WOODS: I don't think I've ever hit a shot coming over the top. If there's going to be one problem, it's going to be either stuck and flip or stuck and hold it. If I time it well, it's cool, but it feels like crap. It looks good.

Q. 16, was that a sane shot, or were you taking an aggressive line there and did you just miss it left?

TIGER WOODS: I was trying to hit a sweeper in there. I was trying to line the ball right of the hole and I lined it just left of the hole. Actually it's probably not a bad spot, it's just straight up the hill. I thought if anything I'd be on the fringe and I'd have the easiest putt of our group, but it rolled off and I had an easy chip reminiscent of the chip I hit on 18. You're looking right down at it. I mean, kind of one of those chips where if you don't hole it you're going to be disappointed.

Q. How much better do you sleep tonight making that putt on 18?

TIGER WOODS: A lot, a lot. I'll start off with my nice tee shot there. I was all set up mentally for a 3-wood, and then the wind changed and instead of going right-to-left it came right back in my face and 3-wood wasn't enough. I went back to hitting driver and I wasn't committed. Then I fatted my 9-iron out. Then I hit the wedge and it flew too far, but I hit a beautiful putt.

Q. How much break did that putt have?

TIGER WOODS: Not too much, two and a half feet (laughter).

Q. You always say how you're accustomed to weather because of Florida and everything, but wasn't it a little muggy out there today?

TIGER WOODS: The only difference is I'm not sitting in my cart and wearing shorts. I think that's the biggest difference. For some reason it's not as humid as it is in Florida, but it just feels like it's hotter. We get temperatures that are hot and humid, but it just feels like it's a lot more humid.

Q. Is this the kind of a round where a few years ago you might have been more disappointed with a 70 than you are now? You know how this game goes.

TIGER WOODS: Not the way I played. If I would have played better and still shot this number, I would have been pretty hot. But the way I drove it on the back nine and some of the iron shots I hit in there, yeah, you're a little bit disappointed. I'm a little disappointed I didn't get more out of the par-5s on the back nine. You just drive the ball in the fairway and they're playing like par-4s, and I didn't do that. So that was a little disappointing. I hung in there and I didn't shoot myself out of the tournament and I kept myself there at the top of the board, so overall it was still pretty good.

Q. How is the knee holding up?

TIGER WOODS: The knee is good. The knee is very good. It's as strong as I've ever been. All that rehab is actually paying off.

JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Can we go through your front nine? You already took care of No. 13 on the back nine.

TIGER WOODS: Didn't I just do that, kind of? First hole, hit 8-iron to about a foot.

Third hole, hit a sand wedge to -- pitching wedge to about 15 feet left of the hole, made that.

I hit a 4-iron on the green on 5 and two-putted from about 30 feet.

7, I drove the ball in the hazard right of the fairway, actually got up-and-down for bogey.

9, hit a driver and a 3-iron in the left bunker, blasted out to about two feet, made that.

Q. Conditions. Yesterday obviously after the rain it was pretty benign out there and you took advantage of it. How is it out there today, and is it going to get tougher for those playing in the afternoon?

TIGER WOODS: We found it tough today. The wind is blowing but it's also swirling a little bit. I said out there earlier to the TV guys that on 17 we played the hole off the tee straight downwind, and my second shot was straight in my face. You know, just like on 18 the indecision from going 3-wood to driver, it was first down off the right and then it comes straight back in my face, and it's tough to read. If you hit the ball at the wrong time, you can hit a good quality shot and look like an idiot.

Q. When you have that kind of indecision going through your mind, is there a way to flush that out or is it something you can't --

TIGER WOODS: I should have been more committed on the shot and I should have backed off and reset it and gone through my routine again, but I figured I feel pretty good over the shot right here, so I'm going to go ahead and swing, and it wasn't a very good swing.

JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Thank you, Tiger, for joining us.

End of FastScripts....

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