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March 24, 2000

Tiger Woods


TIGER WOODS: It was a tough day out there. The wind was blowing. The greens are getting brown. Fairways starting to see footprints on them because they are turning brown. It is getting very interesting out there.

Q. (inaudible)

TIGER WOODS: I hit in the divot, hit the next shot pretty good; came up short, spun back up against the collar. Hit a flop-shot, hit it fat, knocked it up there, hit a good putt, first putt left it short, unfortunately, then yipped my next one left, tapped in for a nice 6 and moved on.

Q. (inaudible)

TIGER WOODS: I was fine, anything under par is good. Start of the day Stevie and I figured anything in the red today was going to be good, going to be a great score under these conditions. The greens are getting brown. It is getting fast and the fairways, the rough is high. It is becoming quite a challenge out there.

Q. (inaudible)

TIGER WOODS: I smoked that 3-wood in there. I had 255 to the front. I figured off a downhill lie I could probably get there because I could probably de-loft the club and if I hit it high enough I could probably carry it there, but didn't hit it high enough, but I absolutely killed it. Came up short, little left, hit a good pitch and rolled a little -- hit a little hard, rolled past. It is just one of those days I played good enough where I don't want to shoot even par. I felt like I deserved something in the red. I felt if I made that putt, I'd feel a lot easier tonight than I would if I had missed it.

Q. (inaudible)

TIGER WOODS: Over on 15, yeah, it blew right in there and it blew right in front of the hole and on my downstroke I couldn't stop it, so I went ahead and went and pulled it left.

Q. (inaudible)

TIGER WOODS: To hang in there and play as well as I did and it felt like it was a round that I did not deserve to be over par or even even par because I really did play well. I hit a lot of good solid shots; a lot of fairways and greens and put myself in some good positions. Even if I didn't hit a good shot, I always saved myself. I was just right there. Got a couple bad breaks. That is just part of playing the game.

Q. Key for you on this course taking advantage of the par 5s (inaudible) --

TIGER WOODS: I think the key to the par 5s you have to drive the ball in the fairway. If you get the ball in the fairway then you have a chance to go for it. If you don't it's automatic lay-up, try to make 4 the hard way, which I was able to do on No. 2. Most of the par 5s are reachable if you keep the ball in the fairway.

Q. For those of us who are a little familiar with your game, you look like you are right where you want to be and it is a big round waiting to happen. Are you satisfied with the way you are playing right now?

TIGER WOODS: I am. I am very pleased the way I am hitting the golf ball, the way I am putting. It is just -- sometimes you get bad breaks out there and things just don't go your way, but overall, I am very pleased of my position. I am right there in the hunt with a chance to win and that is where you want to be, right there and come this weekend if the conditions continue to get dry and fast, it will be quite a challenge. I am looking forward to it.

Q. Are you surprised some of the big names-(inaudible) --

TIGER WOODS: It is not that hard to miss a cut if you are not driving the ball well. The rough is so high and greens are so fast that you can't get away with it. If you drive the ball in the fairway at least you have a chance stopping the ball on the greens. Couple of times out there I felt iffy even stopping a sand wedge, and that is not the normal feeling that you have from the fairway that I don't know if I can make this ball stop with a sand wedge, but that is just the way it is. It is getting out here and if you can drive the ball on the fairway you should be okay.

Q. Can you be aggressive out there at all?

TIGER WOODS: You have to pick your spots. As I said, you got to hit the ball in the fairway first, first and foremost get the ball in the fairway at all costs; then from there, go ahead and if you have a good number and good situation, go ahead and go for it because a lot of these holes are in little bowls and you can use it to your advantage and funnel the ball in there and get it pretty close without having to hit the ball right at the flag.

Q. 17 much easier shot today?

TIGER WOODS: Again, I hit a good shot. It just caught a gust of wind and knocked it left. You could see the ball getting knocked down and left. Duffy had the same thing, his ball got knocked straight left with a gust of wind. Faxy hit it with no gust, it stayed right there. It is kind of frustrating when you step out there and you hit a shot just the way you know you are supposed to hit it. I held it a little bit with kind of a straight ball maybe even a little fade, the ball goes straight left because I got a gust of wind, but I felt pretty good about making par though.

Q. How difficult?

TIGER WOODS: Man, I was telling Stevie, I said, if a gust of wind comes just grab me. I will try to hold my balance as long as I can but just grab me. Luckily the wind wasn't gusting and I was able to play somewhat of a decent shot up there and made a good putt.

Q. What did you hit in there?

TIGER WOODS: 8-iron.

Q. Distance?

TIGER WOODS: I played 144 to the hole. 140 on top, 44 hole.

End of FastScripts...

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