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March 22, 2002

Tiger Woods


TIGER WOODS: It's hard to look at it in the right way, the way you just said it like that, because I fought so hard today to try and get myself in red numbers for the round. It was such a tough day and I grinded so hard. To make a mistake like that on 18, I was protecting too much on my second shot and hit probably the worst putt I hit today. It was just unfortunate that those two came on the same hole.

They are all tough right now. The wind is coming from all different directions and these trees are swirling. It's not only hard to get the intensity right but which way it is coming up. You throw up one, grass is in your face; throw out again, it is downwind. You look at the flag, it is doing two different things. It is tough. It is tough for everybody. Everyone who got to play today is going to have their hands full.

The greens were soft. You can hit -- if you hit good iron shots -- if you drive the ball well and hit good iron shots, you know the ball is going to hold. It is not going to get away from you like in '99 when David won. The greens are receptive. Even though downwind pins normally, I would be thinking, "If I can get par out of here, I'd be pretty lucky," now you are just thinking, "If I hit a good shot, I can make birdie."

You can't think that way. You think that way and you are going home.

If the wind stays up like this it won't take much.

The only time I have ever seen it play harder than that is when it's playing off the left - in your face off to the left, which is the toughest one there is.

The golf course, it's playing so difficult right now. It is just -- and then your last two holes are straight in the breeze and you just got to be committed to your line and hit a good shot.

No matter what you shoot today it's going to take its toll on you mentally and not necessarily physically -- I mean physically, we should be fit enough to walk this golf course. Mentally, you are going to be tired because you have got to grind so hard on shots and you'd be backing off -- it means you have got to get recommitted to a shot. It is so difficult out there. I don't think even the fans really are appreciating it. We hit some good shots out there and the fans just kind of had handcuffs on. It was something else.

It is going to be windy all day. It was nice to finish on that side, though, I didn't have to finish over here on the closing holes.

Up above the trees because when you get down in the trees it swirls all different directions and it is tough to get committed to -- you got one coming off the left, you throw up the grass again and now it's coming off the right. You want to get the overall wind, hopefully that's what you catch when you hit your shot.

It's also guessing too. You have got to be -- you have got to know what the wind is doing up above the trees but then again, you just hope that you catch that wind that you are playing for.

If it gets past it, there's no rough over there where I was at, it was just --

I have pitched out a couple of times this week.

It does wear on you. There's no doubt about it. You are definitely tested and -- it is fun to play under conditions like this where you know if you go out there and you shoot a good solid round you are going to move up the board. That's when it rewarding. You don't have to go out there and shoot 67 just to try and keep pace of where you are at. You go out there today, you shoot anything under par, you are moving up that board.

TIGER WOODS: I think it is great because then if you play -- as I said, you play a good solid round you are going to be moving up that board. That's what you want to keep doing.

All depends on the wind, it really does. Because if the wind blows like this, it won't take that much to move up the board, it really won't. Anything under par you are going to be moving up. To me that's what is fun about it. Now the rough, they haven't cut this rough and it is over six inches now. You hit it in there and you are not -- you better get lucky if you want to go for it.

They could, but it's just so hard to see because the wind is supposed to be changing directions, supposed to be coming out of the south by today and tomorrow which is completely different what we're playing right now. Then it is supposed to be picking up too, so we'll see what happens.

The fifth one. (Questions where THE PLAYERS Championship fits with The Majors).

The bigger the tournament I think it's more fun to play than when it's difficult. Because the bigger the tournament you are supposed to have a challenge not only from the tee shots to the greens but as well as on the greens. That's what this golf course is presenting. We as players obviously pretty lucky that it did rain because with this much wind, with no rain, this golf course would be really fast and really difficult.

You pick a club for the shot you are going to hit and you got get committed to what you are going to do. You block out everything else and hit your shot. If you get a bad break and the wind blows it, so be it, but hit your shot. Get committed and hit your shot. That's all you can do.

That's what today is about, you have got to get committed to what you are going to do, with the wind blowing all different directions I have backed off on seemed like every shot. (Laughter). That's what happens when you are playing under these conditions, you are going to be doing that.

You have got to play the proper shot and the proper shot changes depends on which way the wind is coming up. We hit, for instance, over on 16 we're with the ball the first time and it is blowing straight downwind, it is a perfect wedge. All of a sudden I have got to rip a 9-iron to get there. That's how it is and how it's blowing out there. That's the difference of getting committed and not being committed.

Just play my game and see what happens.

That's one of the reasons why this is like the fifth major is because that -- one reason is because you are tested from tee-to-green as well as on the greens.

End of FastScripts....

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