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May 26, 2000

Tiger Woods


LEE PATTERSON: All right. Well, thank you. We appreciate you joining us this evening. Impressive second round. Maybe just a couple thoughts about that and then through heading into the weekend.

TIGER WOODS: I hit a few slid shots today and made a couple putts here and there and it came out to 63. But today was a day I knew the golf course was playing a little bit more benign than it was yesterday. The wind was not up. You could see by the way the guys were playing early morning that the golf course could be had. I got the pin sheet before I teed off. They were a lot more accessible than they were yesterday, and with that in mind you can go ahead and attack if you drove the ball in the fairway.

Q. Can you talk about how important the save on 16 was in the overall course of such a great round?

TIGER WOODS: To be honest with you, I hit such a beautiful bunker shot, I don't know how it ended up there, because if I fly it six inches further it's stony and it's a tap-in par and on to the next. All I needed was to fly it just six inches further, but it landed, chipped it in; and it all evens out, same score, walk to the next.

Q. Did you plan to bounce it once and it caught you twice?

TIGER WOODS: Where my ball ended up is where I wanted my ball to land, which is just six inches and that's it.

Q. How close was that to rolling back?

TIGER WOODS: Not at all. Not at all.

Q. What about the weekend? I mean, very, very strong position.

TIGER WOODS: I'm in good shape going into the weekend. I don't know what -- how many holes we are going to get in tomorrow, but we're going to try to get in as many as we can. Butch and I were talking about this with Stevy, and it was a good day to go out there and just post a good number, because we don't know how many holes this tournament is going to be, whether it's going to be 54 or 72. If it's going to be 54, if you put yourself behind the 8-ball, with hypothetically one more round after this, it will be tough to catch up with the leaders.

Q. During a round like this, do you feed off of good shots, almost like one can lead to another?

TIGER WOODS: Definitely. Definitely, when you hit a few good shots you tend to build on your confidence and you tend to string them together. I've always been one of those players that can string shots together. I mean, I've never been a player where it would -- it hits sporadically here, there, here, there. Once I get going, I tend to keep it going. And maybe that's just because how emotional I am when I play; I get fired up and I enjoy it.

Q. Was there one particular shot that sort of jump-started you today?

TIGER WOODS: Not really. I hit some good shots. I hit a great shot there on 6 from the first cut of rough. Made it up there to about a foot. That was a good shot. But I birdied the previous hole, the par 5, after hitting a bit of an average iron shot into the green and kind of a moderate bunker shot. But hit a great putt, a putt I knew I had needed to make, and hit it right in the middle of the hole. Maybe that got me started. 7, I hit one drive in the right rough. Had a great lie. Hit 3-wood, went for the front bunker, blasted out of there about 12 feet and made that. 8, I hit a an 8-iron up there to about 10 feet and made that. 12, I hit a 9-iron to about eight feet; made that. 13, hit a 9-iron up there to about 12 feet, and made that. 15, hit a 3-wood off the tee, a 3-iron left of the green and chipped out of there to about a foot and a half; tapped that in for birdie. 17, hit a 9-iron to about-foot and a half and 18 hit a 6-iron to about a foot.

Q. What was your club on 6?


Q. Your approach on the last par 5, I think 15, what was your objection to the approach? You sort of let go of the club and then wound up in decent position when it landed.

TIGER WOODS: Other than the fact I hit it about 3 1/2 inches fat; it was nice to catch a little fat flyer. If you come in there shallow enough with a long iron, it will fly the normal distance, and it was able to get there. But that shot, I mean, it was terrible. But it just ended up okay. Ended up in a good spot where I had a chance to get up-and-down.

Q. How long was the putt after the bunker shot on 16?

TIGER WOODS: I chipped in.

Q. You chipped it?


Q. How far was that?

TIGER WOODS: About 18 feet.

Q. Harrison had finished and was at 9-under about the time you teed off. Were you thinking catch, surpass, get in the hunt?

TIGER WOODS: Just get somewhere up there. I knew that by looking at the board no one had gotten to 6(-under), and I just wanted to be in that final pairing. Ernie was over there; he had 7(-under) and Harrison had 9( -under). If I could just somehow get in that final group, it would be nice.

Q. Other players today have talked about speaking with other people about their game, Harrison mentioned it's been helpful to him to talk to other players and Justin, said just about anyone but other players. I was wondering about your thoughts on that. Have you talked to people this week?

TIGER WOODS: I just talk to Butch Harmon. That's my coach.

Q. That's about the only person?

TIGER WOODS: And Steve, my caddie. He knows my game and he knows what we're working on. He's got a good eye. And today he said a few things that didn't look right and I tried to correct it, and we'll go work on the range here.

Q. You said it was a good day to post a good number because you don't know how many holes you are going to get in tomorrow. Was it also a good day to post a good number because of the weather forecast? I mean, is it easier to shoot 63 on a day like this than it is in the rain or does it matter?

TIGER WOODS: I just wanted to get up there near the lead because, say, hypothetically I went out there and shot a 1- or 2-under, or even par, I would be so far behind; and let's say tomorrow gets washed out or we had to come back on Sunday and just play one round, I'm behind the 8-Ball with soft greens, and it's hard to catch up and you know the guy is going to make some birdies.

Q. As well as you were playing, did this feel like a routine round?

TIGER WOODS: No. It was a little bit of work today. I didn't really hit the ball as good as it looked, but I just kind of got it around and managed my game. That's basically what I did. I tried to play the ball into the fat side and not short-side myself. Was able to do that most of the day, kind of work the ball into the hole.

Q. On the iron on 18 in, when you get yardage to the pin and everything, are you playing it to land 20 feet behind the pin, the hole, as it did?

TIGER WOODS: No. To be honest with you, I was trying to fly it flag-high. I tried to take the front left bunker out of play, and I had -- what did I have in there, I had 186. The wind is kind of blowing -- fluctuating between down and into the wind. But upstairs it's blowing down, and that's just a perfect 7-iron for me the way the ball is flying today, as hot as it was, and I said -- just to take that bunker out of play. There's a backboard behind it. If I hit it straight enough, I can use that backboard if I hit it too far, and I just happened to hit one flush, but it rolled back.

Q. How far was the birdie on 5?

TIGER WOODS: 12 feet.

Q. Did you have any chances on the first four holes, close at all?

TIGER WOODS: No. Sorry -- 4, I hit it in there about 12 feet and lipped it out.

Q. Is this one of your favorite courses or where does it rank on your list? Do you feel like at times it's almost designed for your game?

TIGER WOODS: I enjoy coming here because one, you know the golf course is always going to be in supreme conditions. On top of that, the golf course sets up well for the longer hitters. If you look at the past champions, the majority of them who have won or who have done well here are all long hitters. And you just go out there, and you can use your driver, use your 3-wood and get it down there, and from there, you can attack.

Q. You said you wanted to get in the final group. I wonder how you meant that, do you want people chasing you or if you're not in the lead --?

TIGER WOODS: I just want to get there in the final group to know what's going on with the leaders because there are not a whole lot of boards around here.

Q. Is it safe to say the Nike ball issue, we can put it to rest and you're okay with it?

TIGER WOODS: I don't know. I would like for you guys to put it to rest. (Laughs.)

End of FastScripts…

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