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June 16, 2000

Tiger Woods


LES UNGER: First of all, Tiger, we really thank you for coming. We know you have a short night and an early rising. So how about just a quick resume of what took place this afternoon.

TIGER WOODS: Well, got off to a late start. I teed off at 4:40. And it was just one of those things, that -- just had to go out there and hit a lot of good shots and put myself in the fairways and hopefully make a couple of putts. I was able to do that early with the big par-putt on 2, about 15 feet. It went in from about 30 feet on 3. I hit a couple of bad shots on 5. I flared one to the right with the 8-iron in the bunker. I had a tough shot, with the grass overhanging the bunker, I had to take it out of the way down. 6, 2-putted from about 15 feet. Birdied 7 from about 10 feet. I bogeyed 9; hit a 3-wood and a wedge short, chipped up, had a bad chip. I played about 12 feet short and missed it. But came back with birdies on 11 and 12. I made about a 3-footer on 11 and about a 30-footer on 12.

Q. Tiger, just the way that you've kind of separated yourself from the field, basically Jimenez is the only guy, and he's six shots back. Is this starting to feel like Augusta in '97?

TIGER WOODS: No, not at all. There's a long way to go. We're not even finished with the second round. And we need to go out -- I need to go out there and play early tomorrow morning and continue to play well. And this is a golf course that's a lot more demanding than Augusta is, or Augusta was, back when there was no rough, and you can basically bomb it anywhere.

Q. Tiger, how important was it to finish the way you did in terms of having to come back tomorrow morning?

TIGER WOODS: I wanted to get one more coming in somewhere -- after I bogeyed 9 -- just one coming in. Hit a great putt on 10. It just didn't go in. And I was fortunate enough to get a good bounce on 11, and buried that putt from about three feet. That's not an easy putt, but it's one of those putts that kind of fed right in there. On 12, it was just one of those putts where I was trying to get it close. I had good speed and just "Get out of Dodge," and it just went in.

Q. Tiger, on the second hole, you talked about that putt. You had missed a birdie putt on the first hole. Do you think that the second hole, that putt was sort of a turning point? If you missed that, you've got a bogey, and then you're going to 3. Did you feel that was a potential turning point in your round?

TIGER WOODS: I think it was -- more than anything, it was just a good, solid way to start. I hit an average shot in there, and it just didn't hold. I hit a great bunker shot, and I was upset -- if I missed on the left side, the left bunker, it's an easy putt. Jesper proved that. I knew I needed to bury that putt, to get some positive momentum going, and knock it right in there.

Q. If you'll allow me a two-part question, please. You looked so confident when you went out today, even though it was late today, and I wonder, your thoughts. And of course, leaving here with that big putt, it's got to leave a great taste in your mouth for getting up are early in the morning.

TIGER WOODS: I did feel pretty good. I had all day to think about it; and, more importantly, I had those -- like at the British Open, you wake up in the morning, watch the coverage, see what the guys are doing, what the golf course is giving up, what shots to play. When I went out, the wind, it changed; but you still have to watch out for the tendencies on the golf course. That's what I tried to do today is be very careful, knock the ball below the hole, and more importantly, just drive the ball in the fairway so I could control my spin coming into the greens. That's what I was able to do most of the day.

Q. Tiger, this doesn't have to be the most serious answer, but tonight, yourself and the PGA TOUR went head-to-head with the NBA on television. How do you think you did?

TIGER WOODS: To be honest with you, I think we did pretty good, since it was a blow-out, which I'm not too happy about.

Q. Tiger, you had to wait on the 5th hole about 18, 20 minutes or so. How much do you not like waiting? How much did that affect you?

TIGER WOODS: Waiting at the U.S. Open is not exactly the best thing to do. If you're playing in, I guess, a golf course that's a little bit easier, and a golf course that's more forgiving, it's no big deal. When you have a shot at it -- you've got to wait a long time. And the wind is changing -- when Phil hit it, it was downwind. And then it came back in our face, and then back downwind. When Jesper hit it, it was back in our face again. It's not what you want to do, standing there cold. And I hit a bad shot, and it cost me a stroke. The next tee, we got up, and: "How are you doing guys? Good to see you again." We sat there and talked for a while. They teed off, and we waited. So there was two big waits on two consecutive holes.

Q. Tiger, what did you do all day when you didn't have to tee off until 4:00?

TIGER WOODS: I basically slept in and went to the gym for a little bit and got ready, and was ready to go by the time tee time came around.

Q. Tiger, you said you watched during the day. The winds picked up and changed by the time you teed off. Can you talk about how the weather has played in your game?

TIGER WOODS: We got the benefit of the lack of wind today; and when we played, I was watching the coverage on No. 7. It was in their face off the right. When we played, it was down, off the left. It was a completely different wind. Most of the guys went with 9-irons. I hit a soft 60-degree wedge. Jesper hit a 60, and Furyk hit a sand wedge. Playing completely different than it was in the morning. That's a break for us when you play 8, 9 and 10 downwind. But unfortunately, our tee shot on 10 turned back in our face. So it was one of those things where the wind wasn't blowing hard enough; but when it cropped up; you had to pay attention to it.

Q. Tiger, as you teed off the first tee, one of the great U.S. Open careers was finishing up on 18. Did Jack's walk-up and the crowd's reaction, was that able to get your focus at all?

TIGER WOODS: We were on the putting green waiting, because we were scheduled to go off at 4:00, then moved back to 4:20. And we were informed on the putting greens: "Now it's 4:40." We were waiting there. We hear this huge roar coming up. And I thought -- we thought someone had holed it from the fairway. It sounded like one of those kind of roars. Butch and I thought about it, and said, "Jack is due to finish any time now. So it should be maybe the last hole, maybe 17 -- somewhere in there." So we asked one of the cameramen. He called up on the radio, and said, "Who is it?" "It's Jack." And a "standing O" all the way up there. If this was his last U.S. Open, it would be nice to actually have seen it. But I had a little more important things to take care of.

Q. Tiger, when you finish a round like that, you haven't finished your round, what's it like, as far as a mindset? Tomorrow, you know, you're not playing 18 holes. First, you have to finish this round, and then rest a little bit, and then you go back out. What does that do to your mindset and preparations?

TIGER WOODS: I've been here before; I've done this before. It's nothing new. Only difference is, it's now in a U.S. Open. So that's obviously a first time. But I've done this in the past, and all you need to do is just get a good night's sleep, sleep fast, come out, and you know that you have to have the same intensity as you normally would at a normal time that you normally play. And you still have to get up, be focused. You know you're not going to have to have that focus for a long period of time. You need to have it for maybe two hours and then shut it off, come back home, rest up, do your whole routine all over again. And when you come back out, know that you've got a long day ahead of you. But at least to know the fact that if you did -- try to finish on a good note. If I can finish on a positive note, carry that same momentum into the afternoon, with the same positive vibes and the same concentration level, I think that's the most important thing, is that on a long day it's very easy to get a little lackadaisical, let your mind drift a little bit, instead of staying in the present, right now, and get the job done -- sort of wandering, because you're tired and your legs are feeling a little sore. You just need to keep plugging along, and know that you have a long day ahead of you. For me, it will be tomorrow. But then also on Sunday, as well.

End of FastScripts…

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