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February 14, 2003

Tiger Woods


TIGER WOODS: I felt fine. The ironic thing is that my leg felt better. It loosened up and it felt fine.

Q. If there any troubles you were having, you were losing your drives to the right ... Would this have anything to do with synchronization?

TIGER WOODS: Yes, you know, it's just timing and trust. You have to have trust in it. Towards the end I just said "the hell with it" and just get up there and hit it, and let it go. If I snap it out of bounds, I snap it out of bounds. Go out there and at least make a good swing. And I started letting it go towards the end and I started hitting better shots.

Q. Your iron game and short game was sharp ...

TIGER WOODS: Yes, 'cause they were the clubs I was hitting the most. If anything, I knew that my driver club would be the last club to come around. My 3-wood, I haven't picked up too many times, but when I have, I hit it well. It's a matter of time before I get into a rhythm again.

Q. Talking about the finish ...

TIGER WOODS: I finally hit a good tee shot there. A nice little draw. I ripped a 3-wood. The pitch shot is something I've been working on, because it's all I could do for a while. I had a pretty good feel for it and I had to get up there and trust it. It came off great.

Q. What do you think of the last shot? It was a nice way to finish 27 holes ...

TIGER WOODS: After a long day like today, to end on that one is pretty cool.

Q. 27 holes is a good test for that knee.

TIGER WOODS: You know what ... it really is. And I actually feel better now that I did this morning. It's liable to feel a little tight later when it cools down, but it's warm right now and I feel fine.

Q. What was the club and the yardage on the eagle chip?

TIGER WOODS: I wouldn't have a clue. It was feel shot. There was a ball mark there and I tried to fly it over the ball mark.

Q. You said earlier this morning you didn't know whether to spin them or skip them.

TIGER WOODS: That one was pretty simple. Just go ahead and chip up there and skip it, and it worked out perfect.

Q. How long do you think it will take for you to find the synchronization and confidence with your driver?

TIGER WOODS: It's going to take a while. A lot of it is getting up there and getting the reps. I haven't been able to hit driver that often. My ball count hasn't been that high. With that in mind, I need to be realistic. It's going to come around eventually, but it doesn't happen overnight. I haven't been able to put the time with it. My short irons and wedge game I've put a lot of time in. Consequently, those are the clubs I hit the best.

Q. Tiger, when did you get your full ball count on driver?

TIGER WOODS: About a week and a half ago.

Q. What kind of score would you have been happy with when you teed the ball up this morning?

TIGER WOODS: I told Steve when we started out today that we need to get to about 6 or 7.

Q. Did you feel like you were playing well right off the bat?

TIGER WOODS: As you can tell I'm a little rusty off the tee. If I can just get the ball in play, I feel pretty good about my chances from there. I just need to get in play somehow. The golf course is so wet. Basically I need to hit driver all the time.

Q. You're rusty and you're only two out.

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I'll take it.

If I drive like I did in my last two drives, I'm playing well. I just need to get the reps. I always been one that practices hard and I build confidence when I practice. When I haven't been able to put the reps in I have a hard time.

Q. Are you going to be at Riviera next week?

TIGER WOODS: Yes, I'll be at Riviera.

Q. What did you learn today?

TIGER WOODS: Physically, when the knee is warm it feels fine. I don't know how it is going to react after a long day like today. If it is going to swell up or not. I'm going to put some ice on it. And if it does swell up then I can minimize that. But it feels really good. I'm pleasantly surprised.

Q. What's the difference between yesterday and today?

TIGER WOODS: Rhythm. Just getting into the rhythm of playing again. The shots that I had to hit today, the distances practice speed is different from game speed and taking this much time off and plus rehabbing, I'm hitting it shorter. So my discreprency from practice and game is a little bit greater than normal than it is.

Q. Did you feel like yourself?

TIGER WOODS: My knee felt better, it was sore this morning no doubt about that. But as I started walking it got warm loosened and it felt great.

Q. Was 18, your number 9 hole, a feel shot?

TIGER WOODS: I've hit ton of irons, that is something I've been able to do. I haven't to be able to hit a lot of 3 woods or drivers. That part has been lacking in my practice. In the next few weeks I'll be able to get in the rhythm and hitting more balls in practice. It's going to take a little time.

Q. Are you wearing a bandage or brace on the knee?


Q. Inaudible?

TIGER WOODS: It felt fine. It pleasantly surprised it never hurt. That's very encouraging.

End of FastScripts....

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