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March 16, 2002

Tiger Woods


JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Thank you, Tiger, for joining us.

I know that probably wasn't quite the day you wanted to have today, but why don't we begin with a couple of comments from you and then we'll go into questions.

TIGER WOODS: Okay. It's pretty obvious, I didn't really play well today. I hit a lot of poor shots. I didn't feel comfortable over a lot of my shots today. But I hung in there and somehow I was able to scrape out a round that could have been pretty ugly.

I still have the lead, which is good, and going out there tomorrow with Lenny, a really great guy, and we're going to have some fun tomorrow.

Q. Was there a point in today's round where it could have spun out of control, but you got a grip on yourself and settled down?

TIGER WOODS: You know, I just didn't feel comfortable; so it could have happened at any time. And I made those bogeys at 9 and 10. Didn't hit a very good tee shot on 11. Pulled an iron shot on the second shot; it just wasn't solid.

But, the key was for me to just keep focusing, keep focusing on one shot at a time, try and place the ball where I need to place it, even though I wasn't doing a very good job of it, but at least be committed to my lines. And that's all I could try and do today. It wasn't -- as I said, it wasn't very good at all.

Q. Not trying to be a wise guy or anything, but when is the last time you ever had to hit three punch-outs in a round?

TIGER WOODS: Punch-outs, I don't know, it's been a while because I've been driving it pretty solid. Today, I just lost a few shots and I just wasn't -- I just wasn't as comfortable as I needed to be.

Q. Was there an indication early in the round that you were not feeling good?

TIGER WOODS: I felt all right. I had a good warm-up session on the range. I went to the first tee, hit a good tee shot on 1, went in the rough but I hit a good iron shot out.

The second hole, good iron shot, but came up short, but the shot I wanted to play. I started to hit good shots, but started to gradually not feel comfortable over the shots and it just gradually got a little bit worse.

Q. Did you change your game plan a little bit at all to play more safer?

TIGER WOODS: Without a doubt. Just try to get the ball in play.

Like, for instance, 18, that's one of the wider fairways that you'll play, especially on these conditions right now, being warm and hot and very still. That's just a nice, normal 3-wood down there and I'm playing this big, looping thing over the tree just trying to get it in play, just eliminate one side of the fairway -- one side of fairway and just try and play a big sweeper in there. That's just the way it is sometimes.

Q. Are you pleased to look back and see that you still have the lead?

TIGER WOODS: Without a doubt. That I was able to hang in there and still maintain, lead I'm very pleased with that. Like I said, it could have been a lot worse today.

Q. Have you appraised or analyzed your round or how do you approach --

TIGER WOODS: Not today. I know what I'm doing wrong. It's just a matter of stopping. I just need to go out there and get some reps in tonight. Hopefully maybe do a little practice session in the morning or something. I know what I'm doing. It's just a matter of getting up there and staying committed to it and doing it properly, because when you're not feeling comfortable, the easiest thing to do is get defensive with your swing and that's kind of what I did today.

Q. There's a lot more guys in it now. Is that any different to you tomorrow than one or two guys trailing you by two?

TIGER WOODS: You're just going to have to go out there and play solid. There's no doubt about it. This golf course is getting really firm. The greens are really firm. You know, tomorrow, especially if the wind ever plays -- it has not blown three days now. And if it stays calm like this, you're still going to have to shoot a good round, something under par, in order to win.

Q. Is it more disappointing to not play well or to let a bunch of guys back in?

TIGER WOODS: It's very disappointing not to play well, because the way I was playing, I felt very comfortable with my game, and not -- today, for some reason, that's golf, you know it's very fickle.

I just got, I guess one of those things that just happened. As I said, I had a good warm-up swings on the range, and it just progressively got a little worse as I played.

Q. When you are struggling with your swing. Does that 20-minute wait on 16 help you or hurt you?

TIGER WOODS: Hurt me, without a doubt. Even if you're plot playing well, you always want to be in rhythm. When you have to stop like that, and both Scotty and I got a little tight and hit it straight right. It's just the way it is. You try and say, "Okay, I'm little a tight now, just go ahead and release it anyways." But the body just didn't work.

Q. Did someone yell on your shot, someone from another gallery?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, somebody just being obnoxious.

JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Tiger, can you go through your round?

TIGER WOODS: Let's see. Bogeyed 1. Hit a 2-iron and an 8-iron just a little back in the rough. Had a decent pitch shot, wasn't a great pitch shot down there, to about 5 1/2 feet and missed it.

Birdied 4. Hit a driver off the tee. Hit a 3-iron way right. Hit a pretty good pitch to about six feet right below the hole and made that.

7, I hit a 7-iron up there to about, oh, 20 feet. I got it just past halfway and I missed about a 3 1/2 footer there. I just blocked it.

8, made par there.

9, hit a driver off the tee. Hit it left. Hit a 4-iron out short of the green, about 61 yards to the hole and hit a good shot, actually. It skipped past the hole about 12 feet and missed it.

10, hit a 3-iron off the tee in the left rough. 9-iron in the right bunker. Blasted out to about eight feet and missed it.

12, hit a driver off the tee, a 3-iron left. Hit a great pitch shot up there to about a foot and made that for birdie.

And that's it.

Q. You said that you know what's wrong and that you are going to try to make those changes. Do you feel comfortable telling us what's wrong and how you would change it?

TIGER WOODS: It's just the start of my swing, just trying to get the club rotated properly in the arm plane. It's the same fault for me. I get the club stuck coming down, but that's just a product of having the club in the wrong position at the top on the way back.

JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Thank you, Tiger for joining us.

End of FastScripts....

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