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November 5, 2000

Tiger Woods


LEE PATTERSON: Tiger, I know you are disappointed, but best you can maybe share some thoughts about today.

TIGER WOODS: I thought overall today was not exactly a day I wanted to have, but I felt good about the fact that I was actually able to contend, as poorly as I was feeling, over the shots and some of the drives I hit today. But I gave myself a chance and it just didn't happen.

Q. You said yesterday that you had gotten a lot out of your game; got some good bounces and breaks. Did you feel that you got some bad breaks today with the same golf swing or --

TIGER WOODS: No, it wasn't -- it wasn't the fact that I got bad breaks. I just hit bad shots and same as always, everytime I keep telling you guys mind the shaft down, same thing. Just one of those things where I just couldn't get out of my swing this week and last week I had it in my game, easier golf course, here the penalty is a lot more severe and hence, I paid the price.

Q. Following up, timing problem was the main thing getting stuck and a timing problem with the swing, is that --

TIGER WOODS: Well, that is an easy way of looking at it.

Q. That is simplify it?

TIGER WOODS: That is simplyfying it.

Q. You are so hard to read when you are out there. But were you giving yourself a pep talk or you and Steve talking things over when you really couldn't get it rolling because you stayed patient and knew what you were working with within yourself, but were you kind of giving yourself a little pep talk?

TIGER WOODS: Just trying to be as patient as possible, yeah. This is very similar to a major championship. You need to keep hanging in there; keep grinding it out even -- you know the guys aren't going to boat-race it and shoot 62 in a final round like they did last week. It wasn't going to happen. If I could just keep somehow -- put the ball in the fairway at all costs, I felt good enough where at least I could get the ball on the green and give myself a putt at it and was able to do that in the middle part of the round, I was able to actually make some birdies, but I couldn't do that all the time.

Q. On 15 hitting a 2-iron, was that kind of (inaudible) that is really all you felt comfortable with trying to hit the fairway?

TIGER WOODS: I would have loved to have a nice high soft 3-wood nice, pretty shot out there, but I am just trying to get the ball going forward, and keep it left of the tree off the tee and from there if it stays in the fairway, great. If it goes in the rough, I will play it. Just kind of one of those things, just trying to get the ball out there to give myself a chance at making a 4. I felt if I hit 3-wood, I could have hit it left in the trees or right in the trees, so I just tried to bump it along.

Q. Could you take us through 17, the shot in the sand and then the chip up?

TIGER WOODS: Second shot I had some sand on the right part of my ball that was sitting up so -- which meant I had to come in with high left wrist and from the inside, so hit it with the toe of the club and try and sweep it and hit a big hook in there. And I hit it just a fraction fat, which actually rotated the toe even sooner and the ball started at the flag; then went left, instead of starting at the right part of the green, and then sweeping in. If I didn't have the sand on the right side of my ball I could have made a normal shot, but that would have just been kind of muffled up there and probably would have been short of the bunker or in the bunker. Next shot I had kind of a branch sitting on top of the ball. I tried to somehow get the ball on the green. That was the main thing, just get the ball on the green and from there try and make a putt and save it somehow. Just didn't happen.

Q. You always allow me one ridiculous question per tournament. I haven't had one in three tournaments, so I have got to ask you.

A VOICE: We will be the judge of that.

Q. Phil said in here yesterday you are pretty observant and you know when somebody is playing well and swinging well. You watch them. You know what is happening. Phil said he needed to get off to a quick, good start. He did that with the birdie the first hole and kept playing steady golf. You kept watching it. Did that put any pressure on you and Vijay at all?

TIGER WOODS: No, because as I said, it is a lot like a major championship atmosphere out there with the fairways and the rough and the greens being as difficult as they are and the pin locations, that even someone gets off to a quick start, you still got to play some tough holes ahead of them. Anything can happen. So you just need to stay patient, keep playing your own game, and more importantly just give yourself chances. If I could have driven the ball a little bit better today, I felt like I could have put a little bit more pressure on Phil, but that wasn't the case. I just tried to Band-Aid as best as possible and gave myself a wonderful chance to win and that is all you could ask for.

Q. In hindsight did the 15th probably not take advantage that -- did that probably cost you?

TIGER WOODS: You know, you could say that, but it was a lot more than just that. I hit some -- hit some interesting shots today and I made a couple of bogeys here and there that I don't normally make, but that is just the way it goes. If you can look at -- if you just look at 15 as being a pivotal hole, I think that is doing an injustice to some of the shots I hit prior to that. (laughs).

Q. You did make three straight birdies - 7, 8, 9 - did you feel like it was coming back? What happened then at 10; was that a key hole for you?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, just got stuck again. I hit a wonderful drive off of 7. Hit a nice solid iron shot in there. No. 8, hit a terrible tee shot off the tee. I felt like I fanned it, but stayed in the fairway somehow. Then hit a good iron shot in there, made the putt 10, the tee shot I hit straight on the heal kind of a high pop-up cut, and Vijay got all the way down the bottom. I didn't even come close getting down to the bottom. From there I hit a great 3-wood and made birdie. Then on 10, they just added up again, another stuck shot. This time I didn't hang on it. I said, just release it and there it went straight left.

Q. Was the 2-iron off the first tee was that indicative that you weren't comfortable already or was that?

TIGER WOODS: No, because it was downwind. We have been playing the wind into us off the right on the first hole everyday. That was downwind off the left. Which meant that the fairway narrows up a little too much so still just hit 2-iron -- I still hit 2-iron, 9-iron.

Q. Last eight rounds in the 60s and you come up third, second, what is your reaction to that, how do you feel about that and what does that tell you, you are not close...

TIGER WOODS: I feel pretty good about it because if you have actually watched some of the rounds, it is not pretty. But I am managing my game well, I am getting it around, giving myself chances; making the key putts. Somehow making an up-and-down here and there to keep the momentum going. Hit a duck-hook, hit a high slice somewhere, and somehow make par.

Q. What does it say about the competition out there?

TIGER WOODS: They are playing better than I am.

Q. After all the success you have had the last year and a half, people are almost surprised when you don't win, when you get in contention. Have you almost set a bar that is almost a little bit too high to -- expectations maybe a little bit too high that people expect to you win every week new and when you don't, they wonder what is wrong?

TIGER WOODS: That has been the case since I have almost, I think, probably since 1997 it has been that way. Granted 1998 it really wasn't kind of the case there, I kind of was changing my game, but at least people could understand that. But then I started getting it going, and been winning a few times here and there.

Q. Big schedule coming up. Where are you going the next few weeks, where are you going to play and are you concerned about what that may do to your trying to get your game back?

TIGER WOODS: I am going to Spain, London for a day, Thailand, Hawaii, L.A., Argentina. That is all.

Q. It is a shame you don't get frequent flier miles?

TIGER WOODS: You ain't lying.

Q. Does that do anything to whatever timetable you have to get into shape for next year, fatiguing you?

TIGER WOODS: That is why I am not going down to Australia.

Q. With everything you have accomplished this year, are you going to be disappointed if you don't get 10 victories?

TIGER WOODS: You know, it would be nice if I did. But if I didn't, I didn't. That is just the way it works out. Probably more than anything, if I -- if I don't accomplish the 10 wins, then obviously that will be disappointing because I was close to doing it. But the fact that I won three majors in one year is not a bad thing either.

Q. (inaudible)

TIGER WOODS: I have had, as I said, a lot of good things go my way. I have played well at the right times and I have been able to make key shots at the right times, and it has added into victories. Sometimes I have actually played poorly coming down the stretch and have somehow snuck out a win. And that is just luck. I have been very lucky, some of breaks I have gotten, and I have actually executed good shots at the right times as well.

End of FastScripts...

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