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February 26, 2003

Tiger Woods


JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Thank you, Tiger, for joining us for a few minutes. Good match today over Carl Pettersson, 2 and 1. Why don't you make a couple of comments about your round.

TIGER WOODS: Today I just went out there and I really played solid golf today. I hit no bogeys, three birdies, and didn't really put myself in danger of making bogey at all today. I hit a lot of fairways and just tried to keep the ball on the greens today, because that was a chore. The ball spinning back as much as it could have. Had to hit some pretty easy shots out there, 150 yard 6 irons, and things like that. So it was a heck of a test out there.

Q. Did that first hole kind of put you in the frame of mind to expect anything?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, it's match play, you know? I gave him a perfect read, though.

Q. 16?

TIGER WOODS: I had a putt that probably looked like it would win the match. Then it looked like I could lose the hole. That's match play. It can swing like that, that quick. And you've got to always expect your opponent to go ahead and make that shot, so you're never really surprised. He made it and I had to suck it up and go ahead and bury that putt. I knew if I made that putt, I'd probably win the match.

Q. If this was a four-day event, how did you play today differently to how you would play if it was the first day of a four-day event?

TIGER WOODS: I wouldn't play any differently. I would play the same. I didn't take that many chances, because the wind is blowing so hard. You had to keep the ball in play, because in the rough you can't get to the green. I hit a borderline tee shot on 1, kind of pulled it over in the left rough. I only had 111 yards to the green, I didn't even sniff getting it there. I hit it as hard as I could. You have to keep the ball in play today. And it's difficult, with the pins being tucked as they are, to be very aggressive.

Q. Are you any closer to a decision on Dubai?

TIGER WOODS: Am I getting closer? Yes.

Q. Which direction are you moving closer to your decision?

TIGER WOODS: I'll make a decision in the next couple of days.

Q. Jim Gray said something, you said this is something you thoroughly enjoy, but it takes a lot out of you. Is that because you sort of worry about each hole as you play it, more than in a stroke-play tournament?

TIGER WOODS: You don't get into the situation generally until maybe Sunday afternoon on the back nine or something like that, where you might be playing your opponent a little bit. Here it's right from the first hole, and it definitely takes a lot out of you, because generally in a four-round tournament you can kind of build to that point. Here if you don't go out there and play right away, you'll be going home. So I know that and everyone else knows that and you've got to get up for it.

Q. Not from you, but just watching the TV, it seems like more erratic shots in a match-play tournament than there is in stroke-play. The guys were behind the trees. Is that because people are going for things more than they would?

TIGER WOODS: Well, I think a lot of times what happens is your opponent forces you to hit shots like that. You may step up there and bomb one down the middle, which puts the heat on your opponent, and they know that. And if it's a normal stroke event, who cares? You play your own game. So I think that's generally what happens out there.

Q. Do you have any holes outside of 16 where it looked like you were down and you pulled one out like that?

TIGER WOODS: No. I made a good putt on 18 -- sorry, 9. I ran it by there probably about five feet, there, and made that for par. And it looked like I might lose that hole. Carl -- it went way right on the second shot, hit a heck of a flop shot to get where he was at. He made his putt first, downhill. And I was on the green, hit two perfect shots, and if I miss that putt, I lose the hole.

Q. After last year, when you lost in the first round, after you won this first round match, can you breathe a sigh of relief at all, or is there any time to rest and relax or does it mentally take it out of you, trying to get ready for tomorrow?

TIGER WOODS: It looks like I will get KJ tomorrow. He's 2-up with two or three to go. Get ready for tomorrow. That's the name of the game.

Q. Usually in, say, the last five years you've started off the season relatively slowly and build it to the Majors, so when it gets to Augusta you're in good shape. This year you started out with a win. But this event, in particular, is there something in you that wants to show people that you can win match play, you were so good as a junior, and you can actually do it again?

TIGER WOODS: No. I promise you, I don't think that way.

Q. It was a long question for a short answer, wasn't it?

TIGER WOODS: I'm sorry. I don't think that way. I just take it one match at a time. And I know I have to win six matches in order to win that tournament. And that's the way I look at it.

End of FastScripts....

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