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June 19, 2003

Tiger Woods


TIGER WOODS: I got off to a straight start, I was 5-under through ten. I really had some chances there to increase it, but sort of went the other way.

Q. On 17 you looked really perplexed on that one.

TIGER WOODS: I didn't see it going right. I saw it going left and I hit it right center, and right where I was looking, and it moved right. So that putt, that makes you a little frustrated, especially hitting it right where you want to at the right speed.

Q. After all what happened last week and all the talk -- this is your best start.

TIGER WOODS: I feel as it if -- I told you guys the last week I was close, I was very close to putting it together. Today it's an indication that I'm heading in the right direction. Just kind of keep it going, trust that you get into a rhythm and make some shots. Today I strung some holes together which I haven't been able to do. Usually it's been a couple good holes and then a couple holes off, hit some bad shots and get back on the train again. This one I kept it going for a while.

You know with the fairways being this soft, you can go ahead and hit driver. Normally I would never swing as many drivers, but as soft as it is, go ahead and take a chance and put the ball down there and get yourself in scoring position. Because if you put yourself too far back with these pins, you can't get the ball close because the ball is ripping off the greens. Then you've got to hit -- I was hitting 8-irons from 125 yards just because the greens are so soft.

Q. 3-wood --

TIGER WOODS: 3-wood puts me right on the front edge of the green. I pulled it and looked where it landed, if I hit it straight at it it's going to fly at the front edge of the green. I heard all the guys in the gallery jeering when I pulled it, but if I hit driver I'm flying the green. 3-wood was the perfect club for me today.

Q. Was there a shot or a putt that you made early on that you felt kind of got you going?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, the first hole. I hit a good shot in there. I wasn't firing at the flag, trust me. I was firing probably about two yards left of the flag and I lost it just a touch about pin-high and I hit a good, solid putt right in the middle of the hole. It's nice to get off to a good start, especially on a tough flag, No. 1 being top right, that's a brutal flag. If you miss it just a little bit long like Scott did, tough shot and it joust rolled a little bit by.

Q. What club?

TIGER WOODS: 6-iron.

Q. Between now and the British, how important is it to string a few rounds like these together just for the sake of confidence?

TIGER WOODS: I know you guys may not believe me or not, but I feel like I'm close to putting it together. It's nice to show some positive signs and not just have it stay together for only three or four holes.

It's nice to be able to put together a nine, and then you've got to put together a couple nines and then you've got to put together a couple rounds and take it piece by piece. That's the direction I'm headed. It's good to see that.

Q. As docile as the course that's played today, would you take four days of these conditions with the soft greens to help yourself?

TIGER WOODS: No. Probably the guys in the afternoon tomorrow will face what we faced today. The greens are a little tough with all of the heel prints around the holes. You have to be very careful on your 2- or 3-footers; those are some pretty tough putts.

But the soft conditions, it makes it tough out here because the flags, they are in places I've never seen them before. They have to, because if they were expecting rain today, if we had gotten rain, the PGA did the right thing.

Q. More pins on shelves than you have ever seen?

TIGER WOODS: Without a doubt. Like the pin on 14, I have never seen it up that high. You feel like you take one step off you'll fall back.

Q. Is there any reason not to go at some of those pins?

TIGER WOODS: Playing probably two or three yards short of the hole. If it gets to the flag, so be it. Just hit it, rolls back, and you've got a 15- or 20-footer up the hill. That was my theory.

Q. You made your feelings quite clear relating to the notions of a slump. Do you see that as a compliment as you're the only one -gone earth with that?


Q. You've raised the bar so high.

TIGER WOODS: Sounds like people talk about that don't really understand the game of golf. If you understand the game of golf and you've been out here long enough to see all of best players in the world, you'd understand that what I've done this year and the past year, doesn't add up to that.

Q. How important is it to take advantage of the par 5s?

TIGER WOODS: Not only the par 5s, but there's a stretch of holes until the middle of the round, you get 5,6,7, 10, you've got to play those holes under par. If you don't you're going to get past.

Q. How is your knee?

TIGER WOODS: It's not the walking that makes my knee sore. It's actually the swinging of the golf club. So the walking part is actually the easy part.

End of FastScripts....

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