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November 6, 1999

Tiger Woods


LEE PATTERSON: Thank you for spending some time with us. Wonderful day out there. Maybe a couple of thoughts about heading into tomorrow.

TIGER WOODS: As of right now I'm one back. I'm in pretty good shape after a good finish, and I'm pretty pleased at the way -- not the way I played, but the way I managed the game. I didn't hit the ball as well as I would have liked to, I missed it in correct spots. I was able to capitalize on some good up-and-downs. I made a couple of good putts coming in.

Q. Tiger, at 17, did that kind of help you get a mindset to finish up for you, not a spectacular round, but basically good?

TIGER WOODS: If I had finished up even par for the day, it would have been an even score. And I messed that up and did one better. But it was -- the putt on 17 was actually a lot easier than the putt on 18. I had a couple of putts up the tiers today and I missed them all on the low side. So I said this time I'm playing more break, it always seems to break more than I think. And it finally went in the hole. Yeah, that did feel pretty good, because with myself in that position, I was just trying to get it down for 2, and move on and hopefully birdie 18.

Q. It sounds like you might have been somewhat dissatisfied with the way you struck the ball today. Was there a problem or anything?

TIGER WOODS: With the conditions being this windy and blustery, if you didn't have the correct shape, height, and the correct spin on it, the wind could hit it pretty hard and do some damage to it. With the greens as small as they are, it's not too hard to go around and miss half the greens and actually hit halfway decent shots. With the greens being as small as they are, you have to make sure that you miss them on the correct side. I did that for most of the day. My first bogey over on 5, I short-sighted myself, but other than that, if I missed the green, at least I had the entire green to chip down, which was smart.

Q. Tiger, do you think the fact that you've been on a roll recently in any way helps you for tomorrow?

TIGER WOODS: Does it help me out tomorrow? It helps me out on the fact that I know that I can do it. I've been doing it. And I take some confidence in that. I need to go out tomorrow and continue to play smart golf. This golf course is not lending itself to a lot of low scores, and that's just because the wind today was up. The greens are getting a little difficult to putt on, and it's just a very difficult golf course to shoot a low number on right now.

Q. What will you try to do tomorrow? Is it just a day of positioning until you get down to the last two or three holes or what?

TIGER WOODS: I think you need to continue to play smart golf and give yourself a lot of chances at putts. And you've got to make your share, just try not to make a lot of mistakes. And tomorrow I don't know what the forecast is, but if it's as windy as it is today, it's going to be a difficult round of golf.

Q. Tiger, you've had THE TOUR Championship, which used to be the season ending event, we considered that the best players in the game at the time. Now you've got this event where the best players in the world are gathered. Would you tell us how much it would mean to win both of those back-to-back?

TIGER WOODS: It would be pretty nice to do that. Those are some of the more elite fields, and obviously guys are playing well in order to get in these events. If I can somehow end up in the winner's circle tomorrow, I would take a lot of pride in that because there's great depth in this field, a lot of great players. Anytime you can beat the best, then obviously you feel pretty good.

Q. Would those two back-to-back be as big an accomplishment as a major?

TIGER WOODS: No, it's just completely different. The pressure of a major is completely different. Granted, these are two big events, but you look back on it, I think you'd rather have major victories.

Q. Tiger, can you talk about the change in the wind today. The first two days it was different, and today the wind shifted totally. How much difference does that make in your club selection?

TIGER WOODS: It makes a difference. We were pretty lucky in that Wednesday the wind actually came out of this direction. We played the first two rounds the other direction, off the sea. So it was nice to actually get a round in Wednesday with this wind. It wasn't this strong, but at least you had some kind of idea of what clubs to hit, what chip shots you need to hit, where you need to land the ball in the fairway in order to keep it in the fairway. Today I remembered a lot of shots I hit on Wednesday, especially the back 9, in order to try to keep the ball in the fairway.

Q. Could you give us an example of the club difference from yesterday to today, on one specific hole?

TIGER WOODS: Let's see, for instance on 15 -- sorry, 16, 16 I hit a 2-iron yesterday and a nice soft kind of a half 8-iron in there. Today I hit a full driver. Then I hit it so high with the 7-iron I only had 144 yards to the front. And I had another what was it, 24 yards to go to the front after a full 7-iron. So obviously you can tell the wind was coming in a different direction. I hit a 120 yard 7-iron as hard as I could.

Q. During your hot streak, if there's one or two common denominators, the reason behind your great streak, what would it be?

TIGER WOODS: I don't know if I can pick one thing or two things. I think it's the overall performance. I've driven the ball well. I've got up-and-down, I've made key putts. I've hit good iron shots. I've missed the ball in the correct spots to leave myself easier up-and-downs. I can shape the shots to enable myself to do these kind of things. You have to say it's the overall performance, you can't just say one or two things. In order to win the amount of tournaments I've been able to win this year, you have to do a number of different things at a level higher than you have been in the past.

Q. How important is the snowballing of confidence as you go along?

TIGER WOODS: I think the confidence has obviously grown, but it's mainly due to the hard work I've put in it. The changes I've made in my swing over the past couple of years. Finally I've started to reap the benefits of it. It hasn't been an easy road, but nevertheless, last year I had more top-10's last year than I did in '97, but I didn't have as many wins. But it's a matter of time before it all came together.

Q. If you win tomorrow, Monte wins our Order of Merit, has he mentioned that to you this week, and --


Q. If you win the title tomorrow he wins the Order of Merit.

TIGER WOODS: I didn't know that. He hasn't mentioned it to me. All he's mentioned is how European Tour is playing the world now. That's about it. That's all we've talked about.

Q. Do you expect some champagne though, if that happens?

TIGER WOODS: I have to get ready for an exhibition on Monday.

Q. How much of an actual lift do you get finishing birdie, birdie, and knowing that you played out there all day, you're 3, 4, 5 shots behind, and all of a sudden it's just one?

TIGER WOODS: That's a huge lift. Knowing that you're only one back, that's obviously made up in one hole, easily. And you can make that without doing anything. That's kind of nice. And it's a lot different being one back versus two or three back on this type of golf course, where it's difficult to make birdies. On some courses it's easier to go out and make a few birdies, but as difficult as this golf course is playing it's difficult to go low. Being only one back, you play a solid round of golf, you should give yourself a chance with a few holes to go. I bogeyed 5. I did a 2-iron in the first cut of rough. Hit a sand wedge in the right bunker, blasted out, missed about a 15-footer there. I birdied 11. I hit a driver and a 7-iron to the back edge of the green and 2-putted from about 25 feet. I bogeyed 16. I hit a driver up the right side in the first cut of rough, was blocked out, hit a high 7-iron up-and-over and laid up short in the fairway, pitched up there about 12 feet below the hole and missed it. 17, hit a good drive and it landed in the left middle of the fairway and kicked left, rolled in the bunker. I hit a 7-iron layup. Hit a 9-iron from 125 on the bottom shelf and made about a 25-footer up the hill. On 18, I hit a 3-wood off the tee, right down the middle of the fairway. I hit a wedge from 131 and made about a 18-footer there.

Q. Tiger, how far was the distance on the 7-iron, No. 11?

TIGER WOODS: I had 208 to the front.

Q. Driver --

TIGER WOODS: First I hit driver, driver. But I hit a drive that was down the middle of the fairway and I turned it over. It landed on the left side of the fairway, hit it up in the right rough. I had a juicy lie, and blowing straight downwind and all I needed to do was just a normal 7-iron downwind is going to carry 180. And if I open up the face and hit it up in the air I should be able to hit it 200 yards, and I was able to do that. And it flew two yards on the green, it flew 206.

Q. With so many people in contention -- (inaudible).

TIGER WOODS: Anybody that's even par or 1- or 2-over can win this championship. Even though it's difficult to shoot a low number, if you get hot, you get hot. And guys going out an hour and a half before we are, if they go out and get it going and somehow keep it going, they should have less wind than the afternoon groups, they can get it going, you never know. I think that's why tomorrow is going to be a very interesting day. There's so many guys that have a chance to win the tournament.

Q. Tiger, I read some of your words, (inaudible.)

TIGER WOODS: He's tied for the lead right now, I believe. And he played right behind me today and looked like he was hitting some beautiful golf shots. And he made a few putts, you could obviously hear the roars were bigger for him than they were for David Toms. And it's nice to see him playing well. Obviously he plays well in Spain, or he has this year. Two wins and a second. He's playing well again. If he goes out there tomorrow and plays the way he has been playing, he should give himself a chance tomorrow.

Q. Does the phrase "second stings" allow me some license to apply more than a mindset now than it did three years ago when you used similar words?

TIGER WOODS: It's still the same. From the time I was about that big to now, I don't care who you are, if you like losing, then jump right in. But I don't know too many people I've ever met that like losing.

Q. What's your favorite thing about Spain, and what's the thing you most dislike about it?

TIGER WOODS: Nice loaded question. Obviously the food is pretty good here, I enjoy the cuisine. The thing I don't like about it, no comment.

Q. During the swing change period where you weren't winning as often, was there a time where not winning became more acceptable than it is now or is when you had the hot streak when you first came out?

TIGER WOODS: Well, it was more understandable, with the changes being made, it was going to take time. And it was very difficult to hit the shots I needed to hit down the stretch to give myself birdie opportunities. People saw that my putting style wasn't very good last year. As Tom Lehman said, he told me, last year we were both not putting well. And he admitted just as I did, that it's hard to have a great putting style when you have 40-footers and 30-footers all day. You're not going to make your share of them. You're going to make a lot of obviously 10- or 15-footers, but you're not going to make 4, 5, 8, 40-footers, that's just not realistic. And hence my putting style wasn't very good. This year my putting style is better, I'm putting about the same, but it's nicer when you have shorter birdie putts.

End of FastScripts...

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