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October 30, 1999

Tiger Woods


LEE PATTERSON: Very, very nice day. Maybe just a couple thoughts about today and heading into tomorrow.

TIGER WOODS: With all that sun out there, it was a great day. With some, it was different kind of conditions today: Windy, hot, humid, cool, calm, cold, typhoonish. (Laughter). Only thing we didn't have, we didn't have an arc go through on No. 8. That is about it. I think we had everything else.


Q. Was there anything early in the round -- you were awfully steady today with the way the conditions were. Still a great round and a great day, so to speak. I just wondered if there was something early in the round that had got you started, settled you down? Also, if you your mind was maybe mentally a little better after yesterday?

TIGER WOODS: Well, first part is there wasn't really anything that I can honestly say that settled me down because I felt pretty good warming up. And I hit some good shots starting out. And the conditions were -- at the time, it was a little breezy, but more than anything, it was hot and humid. "Keep your patience," I said, "the greens are huge. If you feel uncomfortable, tuck the ball in the center, 2-putt and go on. Make a lot of pars, probably won't hurt yourself." I will make my share the putts. I just need to get myself in position, which I did. Granted, today was tough out there, the conditions-wise, but nothing compares to yesterday. Today was a lot easier to go through than it was yesterday. You are right. My mind was a lot more at ease today than it was any time during this week because it was nice to finally put an end to it and have some kind of resolve and move on.

Q. Your shoulder, your whatever, pinched nerve, any treatment today? Can you talk about whether it affected you at all, any stiffness?

TIGER WOODS: It definitely stiffened up a little bit towards the end, because as you know, if you were on No. 1 green, it went from hot humid to cold, like that (snaps fingers). Being as cool as it was for a while, it definitely tightened up a little bit, but not too to the point where I couldn't swing. I still had my range of motion that I needed for a golf shot, and I didn't have any pain at all.

Q. Did you not any you need any treatment?

TIGER WOODS: No, I felt pretty good last night. I was icing it down and stretching it. I felt this morning it was pretty loose after a nice, hot shower, good workout this morning, and it felt beautiful.

Q. Given the conditions, the weather conditions, the conditions this week, is this the toughest week you have ever spent playing golf?

TIGER WOODS: I would have to say no. It was tougher in 1997 at the Nissan Open because my father was in the hospital, just going through an open-heart surgery, emergency surgery and that hit more home to me. Granted, this week was tough, but, you know, the potential to lose your own father was a lot tougher.

Q. When you have this stop and start with rain, and all that's gone on this week, how do you do it, to achieve what you have done?

TIGER WOODS: I hate to be redundant, but it is the same old saying: One at a time. I knew it was going to an long day, 27 holes. I figured it would be hot and humid the entire day. They said a little rain, but I didn't think it was going to be like this today. With the conditions like this, I was more focused on each shot, making sure I had the right angle of attack, but tried to get the squirters off the fairway. Made sure I drilled the ball into the fairway so I could play lift, clean and place; drive the ball in the rough, going to be tough to get it close. And just knowing that the greens have slowed up a little bit, you can actually be more aggressive and make some putts. I was able to do that today.

Q. You, Davis and other players have come in here and talked about that this week golf doesn't seem to matter, or doesn't seem to matter -- if tomorrow is your 7th win, obviously another plum for (inaudible) is tomorrow not going to mean as much or it is a little bit hard to muster the same excitement if you hold onto this and put another notch --?

TIGER WOODS: I understand what you are saying. If I do win tomorrow, the win probably -- it will be a nice thing to feel, obviously, a victory, but I don't think I will feel as quite as high. Just because you hit good golf shots and not put yourself in -- it is hard to play stress-free, but that is what you try and do. What I mean by that, hit a lot of fairways, a lot of greens, give yourself a number of opportunity and you are going to make your share of putts. Go out there and just take it one shot at a time. But more importantly, try and keep the ball in play; so you can just play with very little stress. Because you know coming down the stretch, it will -- probably somebody will make it a little more stressful. You get off to a good, solid start, few-under par on the front, something like that, then you are in great position going to the back 9.

Q. Could you describe the atmosphere out there playing today compared to Thursday?

TIGER WOODS: I think more than anything for me, personally, I felt more at ease. Came to an understanding, and as I said, resolve. And by doing that, today's round was a little easier emotionally than it was on Thursday because Thursday, everybody is obviously trying to position themselves in the tournament, but no one is looking forward to going down to Florida and having to go through that. But I will be honest with you, seeing Tracey get up there and talk and speak from the heart, I mean, that is incredible. If she can have that kind of strength, then we should be able to do that easily.

Q. Was that the one part probably of the entire day that maybe lifted up everybody because you were able to see her and --?

TIGER WOODS: I think some -- just to hear her voice and to hear the understanding of the whole magnitude of the situation, just put everybody's mind at ease. To have her end it the way she did: "Let the party begin upstairs," that just said it all right there because the people who did speak tried to make it more of a celebration than a tragedy.

Q. Also, could you explain what it was like standing in that corridor of players --?

TIGER WOODS: That was tough, because Tracey walked by and grabbed my hand and I lost it. I just -- I started balling. I couldn't contain it any better than-- was all right through most of it, a little teary-eyed but as soon as she grabbed my hand, I lost it. Then to see the kids Chelsea and are Ron I just couldn't stand it anymore, just absolutely lost it.

Q. As much pressure as you put on yourself to be a great player, how much better can you get? You played a remarkable stretch of golf here for about 8, ten months?

TIGER WOODS: Well, if I could predict the future then I will be able to answer that question, but I can tell you this: I will continue to work just as hard as I have been. I have been very patient with the changes I have made in my golf swing. I am starting to see the dividends of all that hard work. How much better I can get? Only time will tell and only more hard work will show that and hopefully I will continue to get better and everybody's goal out here is to improve each and every year and so far since I have been out here I have been able to do that.

Q. What areas specifically, stronger wedge play has improved in that stretch; what is the biggest maybe one or two things?

TIGER WOODS: See the wedge play was a function of the swing plane and the speed that I can -- I can generate. As you know, I can hit the ball big distances and because of that if you are coming from the wrong plane and with my speed, especially my hip speed, and my ability to catch up with my hands, that is not a good combo at all. I have worked very hard with Butch to try and get my swing plane a lot more shallow through impact and making sure I use correct loft at impact and then with the correct speed and that is not easy to do, from where I was. So I had to break it down over time and it wasn't easy to do, I will tell you that, that is for sure. But I am starting to get it.

Q. How confident are you -- you are going to make it two weeks in a row with a win tomorrow?

TIGER WOODS: I would like to. I really would like to. Whether I will or not we will see. All I know is I am going to go out there and play hard and try and hit a lot of good golf shots tomorrow; put some pressure on these guys.

LEE PATTERSON: Why don't you go over your birdies this afternoon.

TIGER WOODS: Hit 5-iron on 12-over the green, landed pin-high skipped over, chipped that in from about 25 feet. Birdied 13, I hit a driver off the tee in the left rough, laid up with an 8-iron; hit a wedge to about 15 feet, made that. 18 I hit a driver, right down the middle of the fairway, and 9-iron from 125, pin-high right about 18 feet; made that. Bogeyed 2, that is one it got a little windy and cool out there. I hit driver, 3-iron, smoked a 3-iron, barely got pin-high and was in the left bunker, blasted out to about eight feet missed it. Birdied 7, 3-wood off the tee, a 9-iron in there ten feet, made it. No. 9, driver off the tee, 4-iron right behind the hole, about 15 feet, just missed it.

LEE PATTERSON: Anything else?

Q. Does this feel like a longer tournament because of everything that has happened this week?

TIGER WOODS: This week we have had our -- we have run the full gamut of things that can possibly be thrown at you. I am talking from the tragedy to playing 27 holes, playing a day off, 27 holes, playing in some of the weirdest weather I have ever seen in 18 holes besides the British Open, (laughter), it is just -- I don't know how to explain it. We have gone through everything and all of us are thankful for our health and even for me personally I have hit a rock and damaged the club and hurt my neck, so it is -- it has been a very long week and put the golf aside, that has been tough, but off the golf course, that has been by far the hardest because when you are on the golf course at least you can focus on what you have to do. As soon as you step off then your mind starts to wander. When it does it goes through some things that are very tough to deal with at times.

Q. Couple of the guys talked about how tough it was to sit there and cry in front of each other. Did you feel that?

TIGER WOODS: I didn't. I rarely ever tear unless something is in my eye. That is about it. I rarely ever let it go. And yesterday was so difficult, I am sitting next to Hal and Hal and I are kind of both letting it go. I was amazed at the emotions within the Church. It was just incredible. I don't know how some of the people found the energy to turn it into a positive and the funny stories that were told, I don't know how they did that because there is no way I could have thought of that at the time. That is not what I was thinking, and to hear some of those stories to just put a better perspective on the whole situation. As they said, they tried to make it into a celebration. It is not necessarily a tragedy, it is a celebration, he is going to be in a better place. That what they tried to inspire us to believe and going through that, as I said hearing Tracey, speak as eloquently as she did made me feel a lot better.

LEE PATTERSON: Thank you. We appreciate it.

TIGER WOODS: You got it.

End of FastScripts…

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