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June 15, 2001

Tiger Woods


Q. Just tell us a little bit about the last two rounds here for you?

TIGER WOODS: Well, I've tried and just really haven't hit the ball quite as crisp as I would like. But I've really saved myself quite a few times getting up-and-down from divots and from bunkers and the grass, and you name it. I've kept myself in the ballgame. If I could hit the ball better and give myself a few more chances. I'm putting pretty good, but most of my putts are for pars.

Q. Yesterday you looked pretty upset with yourself after 9 yesterday. Was that a good thing to be able to go work some things out?

TIGER WOODS: We didn't have time to work anything out, because we're getting up at 4:30 in the morning to come out here and play. And you've got to play a long day. There's not a whole lot of time to work out. There's not -- the range was closed so you couldn't go out and practice. I guess the only thing you could do is go home and relax and think about it.

Q. You kind of seemed like you were smiling inasmuch as a person can. Have you tried to make yourself not get too frustrated when things go wrong today?

TIGER WOODS: I'm trying as hard as I can, but sometimes things don't go your way. I hit some good shots and they ended up in places that it's hard to make par from. And there's nothing you can do about it, just go out and try as hard as you can. And sometimes it is kind of funny to see the ball bounce that way and end up in divots. The shot was all right on 11, wasn't that bad a shot. It was going to be short of the hole and it rolled down the hole and ended up in a sand divot. And I got up-and-down. And that's just the way it is sometimes. Sometimes you've just got to laugh at yourself.

Q. How did you deal with your game as it was getting closer?

TIGER WOODS: Well, to be honest with you, I went out to play, that's the last thing in my mind. I'm trying one shot at a time. That's all I can do. I can't control what the cut is going to be, all I can control is my own shots and that's all I focused on all day long today.

Q. (Inaudible.)

TIGER WOODS: No, I figured if I made birdie on the last hole, I'd be only four shots from even par, which is not that bad. If I get to even par after 18 or 27 holes, you never know.

Q. (Inaudible.)

TIGER WOODS: Oh, yeah. You go out there and play -- if I play a round tomorrow or -- hopefully tomorrow, like Brooksie is doing right now. Brooksie got off to a great start, he's 6-under for 12, last time I checked the board. If I can play something like that, I'll get myself right back in the golf game.

Q. (Inaudible.)

TIGER WOODS: Where the pins are, it's difficult to go after the pins, because if you shortside yourself, you're not looking very good, and I shortsided myself, not on purpose, I wasn't going after flies, I just hit poor shots. And I ended up on the short side, but got up-and-down most of the time, which I'm very proud of. But that's not something I want to keep doing and make it a habit.

Q. You had two quick birdies, it seemed like that might catch, and you might be able to take off. Were you feeling that way at that point?

TIGER WOODS: I'm just trying to play one shot at a time. You can't think, "Yeah, I made two straight birdies, great, I'm going to run the tables", you can't think that way, especially on a golf course that is set up as difficult as this golf course is. You keep plugging along.

Q. 6, 7, 8 looked like you made a few swings that made you happier.

TIGER WOODS: I hit some good shots and I hit them -- those shots I hit crisp. And it was nice to be able to hit those kind of shots. Prior to that, no, I really hadn't hit that many good shots, but it wasn't very far off, let me tell you that. It was just a little bit of timing, and I finally got in sync, and I hit the ball, for the most part, all right today. I didn't hit it great. But I hit it all right, good enough where I shouldn't have put myself in some of the spots I put myself in.

Q. (Inaudible.)

TIGER WOODS: From what I've been told on TV I'm hitting the ball right. To be honest with you, I've pulled a couple, I've flared a couple, hit a few more right, and a few long, a few short. I've got the whole gamut covered.

Q. Tiger, the condition of the course (Inaudible)?

TIGER WOODS: No, not at all, just go out and hit one shot at a time, just grind it around, and keep the ball in play, and try to keep yourself below the hole if you can. I tried to do that, I wasn't able to do it as successfully as I wanted to. Where I did have some putts below the hole I made it.

Q. (Inaudible.)

TIGER WOODS: I'm trying to hit a high sweeper, and I'm trying to get the club down in front of me, I'm releasing a little early to try to get the club down in front and close a little early before impact, try and get the toe of the club kind of releasing early, and unfortunately I lowered my body a little bit, too. And I hit it fat. But made 4.

Q. Is this your biggest mental test, going into a weekend?

TIGER WOODS: I don't know, that's a good question. I think anytime we have a chance to win a major championship, that's awfully tough on you mentally. And I've been able to squeak them out, but it's awfully tough. It's tough on you. Right now I'm behind and I need to go out there and play a good round tomorrow, hopefully I can get myself -- I was -- near the lead or close behind. A major championship is still a major championship, and it's tough on you mentally.

Q. The way that Jeff had struggled out there a bit today, did that distract you?

TIGER WOODS: No, not at all. Jeff is a very nice guy, and we talked a little bit. More importantly I was very impressed with the way he conducted himself. He was struggling, yes, and he didn't get off to a very good start yesterday, but he held his composure. And as an amateur, you've got to give him some props for that, because a lot of guys would be going nuts. He held his composure and he grinded himself all the way around, he tried on every shot as hard as he could, and I admire that.

Q. What gives you the logic to keep the confidence to win the championship?

TIGER WOODS: It's a U.S. Open, and if you can play a good solid round you can get yourself up on the leaderboard. For example, what Brooks is doing out there. You shoot 6-under par, you're going to move up the board. He was at 2-over par, at the time he was four or five back, and now he's tied for the lead with 6-under. That's what happens when you play a golf course that's set up this difficult. That's the beauty of it. You play a good solid round, you're going to move up the board.

End of FastScripts....

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