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June 24, 2001

Tiger Woods


TIGER WOODS: I don't know if "hurts" the right word. It really puts me not in the mood I want to be in. I just got a bad break on the wind there on 17, hit a good shot just where I wanted to, the wind laid down --

Q. What was that?

TIGER WOODS: Little 8-iron. Then last hole I pulled the wrong club, I tried to hit 6-iron too hard. It was just a nice cut, like the one I hit on 16.

Q. Did you know as soon as you struck it?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, because I was trying to force it. I am swinging good enough where I don't have to do it. I could just take a little something off of it and just put it up there on the green.

Q. Going on the front did you feel like you were putting yourself in competition that you wanted to tomorrow?

TIGER WOODS: I needed a few more on the back nine. I needed to shoot the same thing that I shot on the front nine on the back nine at least. I thought the lead would be at least 12 to 15. That's where it is right now. It's at 12 and I am sure Sergio will probably go a little lower.

Q. How much better are you hitting it today?

TIGER WOODS: A lot better actually. A lot more clean and it's still not quite the way I want to have it, but it is real close. It is just a matter of just matching up and trusting.

Q. Can you talk about the crowds out here the way they just keep coming out in droves, 15, 20 deep in the fairway to watch you hit, what it means to you? Do you ever get used to it?

TIGER WOODS: Well, I will be honest, I was very surprised at the galleries here. They have been so supportive and rooting me on and real positive. You couldn't ask for a better atmosphere of playing. I was very surprised pleasantly surprised. This is the type of gallery you want to play in front of. They acknowledge you and appreciate hard work when you are out there there working your butt off, trying to hit a shot and hit a good one and they appreciate that.

Q. Do you almost feel that a lot of the crowd is out here to see you and a lot of times now (inaudible) they say I saw Tiger; that is all I needed to see?

TIGER WOODS: That's unfortunate. There are so many great players. In my group we had a Presidents Cupper and six-time Major Championship winner, two guys I played with today. They are great players. If they follow the game real closely they will understand how good these guys really are.

Q. Did you hear the baby crying?

TIGER WOODS: I heard the baby when I was reading the putt. When I was getting into it. Once I -- (inaudible).

Q. After making the turn at 4-under you seemed to be fired up. Where did you lose the momentum on the backside?

TIGER WOODS: Good question, I don't know. I hit a great save for par on 10. I wish I could have made birdie there. Made bogey on 11, came right back and birdied 13 after I birdied 12, so maybe right at beginning of the back nine I could have improved my score on 10 and 11 and just kept the same score at 12 I would have been all right.

Q. Is the deficit, would you say, unsurmountable or close to it....

TIGER WOODS: I am going to have to play a great round and when you are this far behind you are going to need a little bit of help. The way the guys on the top of the board are playing it is going to be awfully tough to catch them. Sergio is playing great. He is playing with a lot of confidence. He has played really well the last month and a half or so. Hopefully I can get it going at least put myself up there.

Q. Did you notice (inaudible) watch any boards out there?

TIGER WOODS: I did. The way the conditions are, as I said the lead will probably be between 12 and 15, that's what I figured it out to be. The guys are so good with these soft conditions, even though the pins are tough, you have ball in hand all day, you are driving it well you are go to go make some good birdies.

Q. Do you think it is the kind of course tomorrow that you can shoot a magical low round?

TIGER WOODS: I don't know, if I really play well I might have to have a few good breaks and a few putts go may way and really get things going early. Today I got off to the ideal start and (inaudible) could have been one lower birdieing the par 5, was close to really being a good one today. I hope I can string it together and really get it going tomorrow.

Q. Were you misreading putts on the back nine?

TIGER WOODS: When you are putting on poa like this, as soft as poa is, they are not exactly the smoothest surfaces to putt on. I hit some good putts and they are not necessarily bouncing off mine but just kind of wobbling back and forth. They are not really hugging the line like they could if it was dry out here.

Q. With regards to Sergio obviously he has had a very good run the last month and a half or so. Have you seen a change in him at all, maturity or maybe just learning the ropes to, so to speak, be out here?

TIGER WOODS: Be honest I haven't really seen him. I haven't seen him play. I have been playing other tournaments overseas when he has been playing, or I haven't been paired with him. We are at the opposite end of the brackets. I got to focus on my own self. From his finishes he is obviously playing well. I don't know if that's because his swing has gotten better, confidence or maturity, I don't know what it is because I haven't seen him play.

Q. Do you think a lot has been expected of him say considering his age how he made a big splash early, I am sure you can somehow relate to that (inaudible) people seemingly are expecting him to do a lot.

TIGER WOODS: He has been around for a couple of years already. He is 21 years old but I think over the next five to ten years you are going to start to see him -- if he is really going to make a move it is going to be in that range. He is going to be a little bit stronger (inaudible) he learned the same lessons I have learned. I think he might have played a little too much early on in his career all over the world just like I did. You live and learn. As I said the, next five or ten years when he understands what his body can and cannot do, that's when you are going to see hem really play well.

Q. (Inaudible)?

TIGER WOODS: Be honest with you with the pins the way they are, I saw the dots for tomorrow, they are not exactly easy. If you get it going you can use some of slopes to get it in there but you are going to have to really play low to shoot a real low number. Hopefully I can get it going.

End of FastScripts....

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