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January 9, 1999

Tiger Woods


LEE PATTERSON: Any questions you might have real quick.

Q. You're playing a hell of a tournament and you're eight shots back.

TIGER WOODS: You know what, the new game plan is: I think that I should get a shot every nine holes. I would only be 20 under par, plus net, but that's okay. I can accept that. Only two back, which means I got a good shot going into tomorrow.

Q. You brought this up with David?

TIGER WOODS: I'm going to talk with the PGA TOUR. I'll talk to Tim about that.

Q. Every golfer has to go out and play his own game, whatever the other guy does, it's just too bad.

TIGER WOODS: Hats off to him. You would think after shooting ten under par yesterday that he might come out a little flat. But knowing that, you have to keep pushing yourself because the guys are going to keep tearing this golf course apart, because it is pretty benign out there. It is soft now with the rain. And to his credit, that's exactly what he's doing. He's being aggressive; he's making birdies; he's firing from some flag sticks. He's running with the golf tournament.

Q. Do you consider even a guy like Fred Funk, who doesn't figure on a course like this?

TIGER WOODS: The first two days I would say yes, but today it played a lot longer. I hit some clubs that I normally don't hit in there. I was a little more aggressive off of the tees, try to get the ball a little further down there. Fred is so accurate, not only off the tee, but with his iron game. When he starts rolling the rock, doesn't really matter, he's going to shoot low numbers. He's proven in some of the tournaments he's won, he's gone really low.

Q. Did the course play differently, a lot more differently than it did in the first two days?

TIGER WOODS: It did. It did. The balls weren't rolling so much off the fairways. As I said today, I was a little more aggressive off the tees, hitting more drivers trying to get the ball further down there, because I knew the ball wasn't going to roll. Actually a couple shots Jeff hit today picked up a lot of mud. He hit some squirters from the fairway, a lot of mud balls. Even the way I hit my driver, I was turning the ball over really well today and rolling the ball out there, and I still had mud on my ball.

Q. Overnight rains affect the greens today?

TIGER WOODS: They were a little slower; hence, you could be a little more aggressive with your putts. But still that green is pretty exceptional out there. You have to pay attention to it, that's for sure, even with the slower conditions.

Q. Is it comparable to the other Hawaii courses that you played when you were playing in college out here?

TIGER WOODS: No. Mainly because I've only played a few tournaments in Hawaii, but generally the grain was normally going off the slopes, moving towards the ocean, but you could also see they're moving off of the slopes, off drainage areas. Here everything just goes straight to the ocean. A couple putts, you just got to play it for the ball to move uphill. On 18, I'm looking at my putt, my putt is showing outside right. It's got to come back into the left. I said, "There's no way. The grain is too strong. Play the ball on the left edge, let the ball be moved up the hill." That's exactly what happened.

Q. Do you feel more like a continuation with The Presidents Cup, even though it's a season opener, sort of a continuation? Do you feel like it's a new year?

TIGER WOODS: It is a new year, but you got to throw that "but" in there because we haven't had a legitimate off-season. With The Presidents Cup, it does put -- I don't know. There's good and bad. The good part you stay in your rhythm a little bit longer. It's easier to get back into the groove, back into the swing of things, get back in tournament shape. The bad part is the year, really didn't get that much time off. I think you're going to see some guys taking more time off this year, bigger breaks, two, three, four weeks off instead of just one week off here and one week off there.

Q. Duval's excellence, does that motivate you any more than your normal determined way?

TIGER WOODS: Huh-uh, no. Honestly, it really doesn't. I'm pushing myself as hard as I can go. The way he's doing, I mean, that's great golf. It's to be commended. He's hitting the ball well, putting well, hitting his irons well and being aggressive when he has to be aggressive, just making a lot of the right moves.

Q. What part of his game do you most admire?

TIGER WOODS: Most admire? I'm actually very surprised when I played with him at the World Series this past year at how long he really was, into the wind.

Q. The way he's hitting it?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah. His ball flight is kind of a low, boring cut. Those shots are great in the wind, into the wind, because they're going to go for miles. He actually hits like a Lee Trevino cut. It's a turnover cut, a hot cut that when it hits, it's going to go. I was really surprised as how far he was able to hit some of his drives into the wind. In looking at him out here, how far he's hitting it, it's phenomenal.

Q. One of the things that Duval says in here is he is sort of a reluctant celebrity, trying to deal with this, not let it get to him. You had to confront that. What sort of advice would you have on that score?

TIGER WOODS: I guess the only advice that everyone has ever given me, and I found out from my own experiences, just keep being yourself. Also try and delegate some time to yourself, because a lot of people, the way his play is, his play is warranting a lot of attention, not only from the media, but from fans and from people just want to get a piece of him, some time. He needs to delegate some time to himself and get away from things for a little bit, too, so he can unwind.

Q. Are you finding the golf here in Hawaii, do you enjoy it? You were out here for the Grand Slam in November.


Q. How does it compare to the mainland courses?

TIGER WOODS: A lot more grain on the greens than we play on THE TOUR. It's pretty windy out here today. You have to be very careful when you're playing in wind like this because you get balls sailing. You can just kind of go for miles off line. It's very reminiscent to what we face at St. Andrews, the links courses in Europe.

Q. Is that good or bad?

TIGER WOODS: I like it, yeah.

Q. Kind of a follow-up. If Duval keeps playing at this pace for another year or two or something, would that kind of offload some of the burden on you? He even mentioned that you've been carrying this banner in a way for the PGA TOUR, catching the brunt of publicity. Do you think that would be good for you in a way?

TIGER WOODS: I wouldn't be against it (laughter). But I also would like to get my share of victories in there, too.

Q. You want to win a few tournaments?

TIGER WOODS: I'd like to get a few in there, as well (laughter).

Q. Does the World Tour have to go to do with the off days, the big money and all that?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, it does. I kind of alluded to it earlier this week, that you're going to see I think some of the marquis players not playing the tournaments that they're historically have been playing just because of the World Tour events, then the majors, then at the end of the year now we have to go to Spain. I think it just adds to it all, and you're going to see some guys not playing the tournaments that they normally do play, just trying to get some rest.

Q. Have you played with Fred Funk?

TIGER WOODS: Yes, I have, a few times.

Q. What is that like?

TIGER WOODS: I have a stat on tour in which I can honestly say, I saw him miss the most fairways consecutively. I saw him miss three in a row at Disney. That's my claim to fame.

Q. O'Meara always talks about what it's like to play with you; you're 50 yards by him. When you look the other way, is it like hit the ball and drag Fred all day long?

TIGER WOODS: It's just a machine. Straight down the middle (laughter). In Japan we played a practice round together. He's picking stripes on the fairway to hit. "I want the ball to land on the third one from the left, feed over to the right." He lands on the third one and feeds over to the right. He's picking which stripe he wants to hit (laughter).

Q. Like a mower stripe?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, a mower stripe. That's pretty accurate (laughter).

Q. He said he played with you at Disney. He brought up to you about playing him in the La Costa thing. If you go in at one there, you're going to play 64, that's a different kind of pressure, isn't it? It's kind of like being Kentucky playing whoever, the little school in the NCAA tournament. That's kind of different, isn't it? Is that something you look forward to?

TIGER WOODS: But also you got to look at these guys did get an invite to the tournament, did earn their spot. These guys, still dangerous. It is Matchplay, 18 holes. Anything can happen.

Q. Sort of how you got by as an amateur? You clearly had a lot of inferior opponents, I guess on paper?

TIGER WOODS: But I also kind of squeaked some tournaments, some matches out. They would give me a match, or I would win one. It's just ebb and flow, Matchplay. Can you play a guy who normally doesn't have the skill level, but if he gets hot and he makes a few birdies in a row, he feels he can beat anybody. He goes ahead and boat races you, it's over.

LEE PATTERSON: Why don't you go over your birdies for us.

TIGER WOODS: I birdied 1. Hit a driver, 7-iron. Sorry, driver and a 9-iron to about 15 feet short of the hole, I made that. 5, I hit a driver and a 4-iron to about 20 feet behind the hole, just missed that. 8, I hit a 7-iron to about 18 feet right below the hole, made that. 10, hit a driver -- sorry. Hit a 2-iron off the tee. Did I hit a 2-iron off the tee? Yeah, I did. 2-iron off the tee, and I hit a 9-iron from -- driver off the tee, and I hit a 9-iron from 105 yards to about ten feet, and I made that. 11, I hit an 8-iron to the right of the hole, about 18 feet, and I made that. 15, I hit a driver and a 3-wood to the right, short. Had approximately 45 yards to the hole. I left that short about 15 feet, then made that.

Q. Second shot at 18, would you have changed clubs?

TIGER WOODS: Second shot on 18?

Q. Yes.

TIGER WOODS: No, it was 17. I was kind of farting around with what club I wanted to hit. 18, it was just 3-wood. I did 294 to the front.

Q. You've looked for and found accuracy in the last couple years, a slightly different way of playing the game than earlier on. Not so much in terms of the way we, every man, gets dressed, but the way we play the game, do you think it would be smarter if we said, "I am Fred Funk" instead of "I am Tiger Woods"?

TIGER WOODS: I don't know how my sponsor would take it (laughter).

Q. Isn't that the way most of us should be trying to play the game?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah. Plod along. Even guys with length, such as David or myself or Vijay, we do have length, but still, we're still trying to keep the ball on the fairway. Occasionally we'll try and carry a couple bunkers that people don't normally carry, but still we're trying to keep the ball in play.

Q. But for the average guy walking around, it's going to be better for him to be in the fairway.

TIGER WOODS: Exactly, exactly, yup.


End of FastScripts....

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