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March 20, 2003

Tiger Woods


TIGER WOODS: It was tough out there, it really was. The winds gusting, it's getting pretty hard to shoot a good number. The greens are firming up. They are still a touch on the slow side but they are definitely drying out. The greens should be, but if we get no rain, should be awesome by the weekend.

Q. When did the wind start?

TIGER WOODS: It's been picking up in intensity as we played.

Q. Is it tough to get close to the hole today?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, because one, you don't want to short-side yourself because there's so much trouble here. On top of that, it's hard to gauge the strength of the wind. When you are dealing with the ball springing on these greens, it's tough. Some greens are spring and some greens are backing up.

I hit a ball on 10 that backed up about 12 feet which is unbelievable going downwind. And some greens, you're shooting it out there and it's landing like a trampoline.

Q. What happened on 18?

TIGER WOODS: I hit a decent 2-iron down there. I hit a pitching wedge in there but it was a little dicey. I didn't mean to land it that short. I meant to land it to the hole and let it skip past and take a putt at it but landed it short of the hole and somehow it stayed out there and hit a good putt.

Q. 2-under, are you happy with that today?

TIGER WOODS: Even par or better is a good score today the way the course is playing. It's tough. If you drive the ball in the rough out here, you're going to pay the price. You can't hold the ball on the greens. A lot of these bunkers, if you're cross-wind or into the wind, the ball is probably going to bury, which makes it even that much more difficult.

Q. Jack and Arnie go off in 15 minutes. Just your thoughts on that?

TIGER WOODS: I think it's pretty cool. I think it would been better if they would have been paired together. I think it would have been a lot of fun. I was giving Curtis a hard time, I was like, "You probably are the oldest one here, so you should have been there with them." (Laughing).

Q. With the war going on, how much is that in your mind? Do you get updates?

TIGER WOODS: When we're playing, we're playing, that's it. Just got to go out there and do the best you go, and obviously I'll get some updates now that I'm done. I really want to win this tournament.

Q. Did that girl give you a little start when she ran out like that? She gave your security guys a start.

TIGER WOODS: She's been doing it a couple years. This is the third year -- she usually gives me flowers in the Pro-Am and she did again this year. She's just a little sweetheart. She just gave me a little American flag. It's really cute.

Q. How much room did you give yourself on your approach on 18?

TIGER WOODS: I didn't mean to land it there. I tried to hit it at least flag high-and let's get to the back of the green and hopefully have it come back down off the slope. I did not mean to land it short of the hole. I had 156 to the hole.

Q. Did you sweat until it landed?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, bu there's nothing you can say, you can't really say "get down," "get up," you don't really know.

Q. (Inaudible.)

TIGER WOODS: I found probably about seven or eight. Some of them weren't mine.

Q. (Inaudible.)

TIGER WOODS: Some holes were softer. I threw the ball back about 12, 15 feet on 10 going downwind. You don't know, that's the problem. Some of the greens are really firm and some greens aren't. They are starting to dry out which makes it a little more consistent. 16 is an absolute rock right now. That's probably the firmest green on the whole golf course and that usually isn't the firmest green on the golf course.

Q. What happened an 17?

TIGER WOODS: I hit just a soft 6-iron. It was 222 to the hole and I don't want to hit 7, from 2200. But that's the perfect club. Vijay, just a little soft 6 and I tried to do the same.

Q. In terms of tough conditions, how hard does it make it?

TIGER WOODS: I think if these greens get baked out, if this wind stays up like this, it could be one of the tougher golf courses we'll face, except for the majors.

I didn't hit the ball close to the holes because it was really tough to get it close with the wind flowing as hard as it is and the greens are kind of on the trampoline side, it's really hard to gauge how much it's going to release on the greens and it's hard to get it close.

But you've got to take care of the par 5s here, especially with my length, and I really didn't do that. I parred two of the par 5s with a 4-iron and 5-iron. You just can't make mistakes like that.

Q. Surprised to see a name like Verplank up there?

TIGER WOODS: No. Fairways are definitely running. He hits it so straight, it doesn't really matter. Just hit driver on every hole, just like Scott Hoch did. I'm sure he'll probably whip out driver just about every hole and just rip it down there.

Q. (Inaudible.)

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I feel pretty good. My practice sessions have been going pretty good. Just excited to get back out here and compete. It's a lot of fun.

Q. Hard to believe this is the last day of winter.

TIGER WOODS: A little different than Denver, isn't it. (Laughing), yeah.

Q. Do you think you can name any guys who have 3-Peated in a major?

TIGER WOODS: In a row? Three in a row? Same major --

Q. Six guys have done it.

TIGER WOODS: Six guys have done it. I'm probably going to have to go back. Probably going to go to -- obviously Walter Hagen, PGA. Probably have to go back to the British Open, Junior and Snead both did it -- my history is not too good, is it.

Q. Not many people can do it.

TIGER WOODS: That's all I've got.

Q. Peter Thomson, British was the last.

TIGER WOODS: Oh, really? Didn't he win like five out of seven or something like that? He did all right. (Laughter.)

End of FastScripts....

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