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July 18, 2002

Tiger Woods


STEWART McDOUGAL: Ladies and gentlemen Tiger Woods today at 71, 1 under. How did things go this morning.

TIGER WOODS: Well, I think overall I'm very pleased by the way I played today. It was very crisp, very clean, and hit a lot of beautiful putts that just grazed the edge and lipped out. I had six or seven lip-outs for birdie today. If those go in, it would have been a pretty good round.

Q. You seemed a little ticked off at points. Was this round frustrating just in terms of opportunities missed?

TIGER WOODS: It was frustrating in the sense that I was hitting beautiful putts and they were lipping out. But it is one thing that you are hitting a couple putts and have them not going in, but I was hitting the putts well and they were just lipping out. When you have good speed on the high side generally they fall in. Today they were lipping out on the high side with good pace, which is obviously frustrating when you roll the ball at that speed and it lips out on the high speed.

Q. (Question about pace)

TIGER WOODS: I think pace of the greens are a problem for everybody, because these are slower than we normally play week after week. But then again, they have to do that because if the wind ever blows here, they can lose control of the greens, even 18, even the greens are slow, but downgrain, downwind from where I was chipping from, vice versa if you go uphill into the green, you have to rip it.

Q. Were you in discomfort with your back at times?


Q. You seemed to be bending over gingerly at times.

TIGER WOODS: You don't know what I said out there.

Q. Not exactly.

TIGER WOODS: I just told them a lot of times that a lot of back injuries occur when bending down picking the ball up out of the hole. If you bend down too quickly and a lot of trainers told me to bend down slowly and over the long haul, 20, 30, 40 years of playing golf, you never really put yourself in danger of doing damage. Even David's back is feeling good, but he still does it.

Q. Do you have any concern about maybe not taking full advantage of a calm day and also can you talk about the distraction on the 1st hole?

TIGER WOODS: Well, it was frustrating, as I said, hitting good putts and not going in the hole. What are you going to do, I was committed to my lines; I felt comfortable over the putts and I hit good putts and they just didn't go in today. And that's okay. The 1st hole, a camerman was out of line. He took the picture at an inappropriate time and I backed off the shot and it really wasn't as committed to my line the second time around as I should have been, and consequently, I hit a poor tee shot and somehow hacked it out of the fairway. I don't know how I did that. Hit a good iron shot, a good sandwedge and about an eight foot for par.

Q. Were you distracted on the second shot?

TIGER WOODS: They were still trying to get their shot and they were taking them at inappropriate times, it's fine taking a picture, it's their job. But these guys are professionals; they know when to do it. And they -- that one might have had a heavy finger.

Q. They say, red numbers in a major are also good; is that the positive?

TIGER WOODS: Yes. Today anything under par is going to be a good score today. Actually if you shoot four solid rounds under par, more likely you're going to have a chance to win the tournament. And you can only shoot yourself out of the tournament the first day, and I certainly didn't do that. Got myself where I needed to be, especially if the weather is the way it's supposed to be the next two days.

Q. Why do you think no one has shot lower (inaudible)?

TIGER WOODS: A lot of pins are tucked on knobs, they're not only hard to get to, they're hard to read. A lot of the guys are going to have to play consecutive off the tees and leave themselves quite a ways back, and it's hard to fire at a lot of these pins with these credits, if you fly too far, it's out of here.

Q. (Inaudible)

TIGER WOODS: If you hit it like that all day you're going to be doing all right.

Q. Tiger, getting back to 1 with distractions, how important was it to par that and not go into a plus number early on?

TIGER WOODS: I knew I had some easy holes ahead of myself but I kept telling myself, the way I was walking up and I saw my lie, if I could not make double, I was doing well. It was like stealing a couple of there by making four. Even if I made 5, it was okay, because the way -- the lie I had on the second shot, as I said, a double was probably going to be the score I was going to make, but somehow it came out all right and made four.

Q. Later on, after the first two birdies, you followed those immediately with bogeys. Is that a disappointment, you got it going and, boom, it turns around?

TIGER WOODS: Especially over on 8 -- or over on 6 when I blipped it. It was an easy putt up the hill and I tried to hit it uphill into the grain and I did tried to make sure I got it there; I did. The second putt, again, I hit it too hard, I hit it on the line but wrong pace, and it lipped out again. It's frustrating when you follow-up birdies with bogeys; that's not what you want to have happen. It's always good the other way around.

Q. What do you think about your grouping; did you enjoy it?

TIGER WOODS: I did. I've enjoyed playing with Justin and Maruyama, and he is a great kid. I thoroughly enjoyed it. They both played really well, so it was nice to go out there and all of us play well at the same time.

Q. Your ideal playing partner shot better than you. Are you surprised at all by Mark?

TIGER WOODS: Steve and I were talking about this, Mark was hitting the ball best I've seen it in practice rounds leading up to a tournament than I've seen in a couple of years, just shot after shot after shot, he had his shape again. You can see he was starting to get his length back, he is now in the right position to hit it. You can see the confidence building day after day, it was a matter of him getting off to a good start today and I think he did it and played all the way around.

Q. When he talked about going on TV you persuaded him that he still had time left on tour?

TIGER WOODS: He has too much talent to go in the booth. There's no way he should go in the booth, no way. He hasn't really played all that well the last couple of years to his standards, but you can see the talent is there, and it's just a matter of him trusting his game and which he's doing that now and he is hitting the ball -- he's in the right position.

Q. How many drivers did you hit today?


Q. Tiger, going back to Justin, are you surprised how well he handled the pressure of playing the sort of crowds you play with every day?

TIGER WOODS: I don't think the crowds were that big today compared to the last major we played in. Well, the fans were certainly out there cheering for Justin. Obviously they want him to play well, and he did that today, and I think he conducted himself beautifully today.

Q. Go into detail on the second shot, what was the lie like, what club did you hit, what was your thought?

TIGER WOODS: I was just trying to advance it forward. I thought I couldn't get to the fairway. I was hoping to get a good lie on the second shot.

Q. What club did you use?

TIGER WOODS: 60, hard as I could. I could have hit it a foot or I could have gone as far as it went, but it came out great. I don't know how it did it, but it did.

Q. The way Justin played today, do you think he has a chance at winning?

TIGER WOODS: Yes, he certainly has the talent. If he executes golf shots the way he has been doing he'll be fine.

Q. (Questions about playing conditions in a major)?

TIGER WOODS: I've always enjoyed playing in tougher conditions, because if you play well and shoot a good solid round you're going to move up, and a lot of times on tour now, if you go out there and shoot 67 (inaudible) it's nice to go out there and shoot under par round, you get rewarded by moving up the board.

STEWART McDOUGAL: Thank you very much.

End of FastScripts....

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