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August 28, 1998

Tiger Woods


Q. Talk about 16.

TIGER WOODS: What about it?

Q. Just how you played it.

TIGER WOODS: Well, I hit a driver and a 3-wood left of the green, flew it over the back bunker, had a horrible lie there. Could hardly see my ball. Played a smart shot, tried to play it past the hole and maybe make a 15-, 20-footer, missed it.

Q. How far was the second?

TIGER WOODS: 265 to the front, 285 to the hole. Blowing a little downwind out to the left and had a down hole lie. It was kind of a perfect 3-wood for a big, high cut, if I could hit one. I didn't cut that much, maybe cut about 3 yards instead of cutting maybe 15 yards.

Q. How long did your hole play, Tiger?

TIGER WOODS: Just played really short. Tees are way in the back. But the fairways are now starting to get fast again.

Q. Was the hole playing at 625?

TIGER WOODS: It's playing all the way back there, yeah. It's playing -- on the card, it plays 625 but it doesn't play that far.

Q. How far would you guestimate that the 3-wood went?

TIGER WOODS: In the air, about 285. But it's -- I'm hitting wedges out there at 140 today because it's so hot and humid right now the ball is flying. Hitting a ball that far, it's -- I don't know. It doesn't really say all that much. Rather than hitting the ball, say, at Pebble Beach where it doesn't go anywhere. If you did that, that would be impressive.

Q. Was there any specific change in the course today, any general difference between yesterday and today?

TIGER WOODS: Today was a little bit faster. Greens were a little quicker, little more dried out. Fairways were starting to run again, which is nice. Balls didn't collect any mud. You could actually get some 3-woods or 2-irons to release in the fairway, which was kind of nice.

Q. Would you try that 2nd shot on 16, you're on the right side of the fairway?

TIGER WOODS: On the right side? Depending on my lie. I had some room -- the number was good for me. If it was blowing a little or more downwind, I would have hit a 2-iron. It was just a good solid number where if I played long in the back bunker somewhere, I could possibly get it up and down, which I tried to do.

Q. From the left side -- the ball doesn't come into play as much from the left side?

TIGER WOODS: You're right. The angle is different. If the number is that good, I probably would go for it.

Q. Talk about 16. Talk about 9, too. What were your options at 9 from the sprinklers?

TIGER WOODS: Where I got the drop, I had a gap in the trees half the size of that table. I figured -- I wanted to hit sand wedge because 1, 2, 3 -- which is a perfect sand wedge for me, but I couldn't get the ball up high enough to get through the gap. So I went with a 60-degree sand wedge to putt the ball through the gap and it went through the middle of the gap and lie down on the fairway to the green.

Q. Had you ever gone for 16 on the two before?


Q. Have you ever made it?


Q. And what have you done, eagle, birdie?

TIGER WOODS: Did it in a practice round. In competition? No. Last year, it was raining.

Q. This your first crack at it in competition?

TIGER WOODS: In competition.

Q. What's your overview of the tournament at this point? How do you feel about your changes?

TIGER WOODS: I like my chances right now. Tied for the lead is definitely not a bad thing. Being 5-under par for the tournament, playing -- not really playing -- I didn't play as good as I did yesterday. But I hung in there today, hit a lot of up and downs, probably hit -- probably about 9 greens today, which is not a lot, but I got up and down from a lot of places.

Q. Do you think you might have something special going after you birdied one and almost eagled two?

TIGER WOODS: It would have been nice to eagle two, but birdie -- birdie starts were right where I needed to be because I figured the lead is to get to five after two holes. Just being tied for the lead -- I still have 16 holes to go out there and play if I could somehow keep hitting fairways and greens again and give myself chances, if I'd make some putts. Unfortunately today, I hit a lot of lips right around the hole. My speed was good but, for some reason, it didn't go in the hole. Overall, I'm pleased.

Q. What's Your assessment of the state of these greens now. They've gone through a couple of rebuilds in the last 12 years. Are they comfortable for you?

TIGER WOODS: The speed is comfortable, but they're spiking up a little more than I would expect. I don't know why. Maybe they're structured not as deep as they could would like it. I don't know what it is. If you look at the greens, you're going to see some spikemarks out there and there's some pretty good ones. Unfortunately, anyone who wears spikes on these greens is going to bring them up. But everybody has to play them, so it really doesn't matter.

Q. What sort of shape is your game in right at this moment compared with the rest of the year, earlier in the year?

TIGER WOODS: At the moment, it's where I've hit the ball better, moments where I've putted better. Just one of those things. But I'm scrambling really good right now, thinking around the golf course. Today, I didn't really make -- I didn't maybe -- last two rounds, I didn't make any mental errors. Physical errors, yes. But my thought process was good. That's the difference between me this year and last year. Last year, I made one mistake mentally, maybe two. And unfortunately, that ends up costing you over the long haul. Lately, I can honestly say that I haven't made any mental mistakes. Just some physical ones. I'm very pleased that it's just a matter of now for me to get my swing a little better and make a shot at the weekend.

Q. This is probably -- was there anything in particular you tried to accomplish today? What were you working on, did you want to improve on?

TIGER WOODS: Today was just a round where I wanted to get off to a good start and keep playing well and shoot another round in the 60s. Hopefully, it would be in the mid-, low 60s. I was playing well. But anything in the 60s is good out here and it's evident by the scores. 1 under par is in 5th place. So, anyone who is in the red has a legitimate chance of winning this tournament.

Q. How much enjoyment or motivation does it give you to hit shots like you did on 9 and 16?

TIGER WOODS: Well, 9 was one of the shots I'm very proud of because the gap wasn't very big out there. 16, to be honest with you, I really wasn't happy with it. That was a place I couldn't play from. I was trying to put the ball in the bunker and I flew it over the bunker and had no lie from there. Fans were happy, but they were the only ones.

Q. If I remember right, you had a similar shot on the 9th hole last year's second round -- maybe the first round?

TIGER WOODS: I did, but I went low last year, had a low cut right on the green. This year, I was further into the stuff and had an opening and went up.

Q. Tiger, both Phil Mickelson and Duval were talking about after this tournament looking at the money list and maybe adding a tournament or two possibly with that in mind. I know you don't want to talk about your schedule specifics. Any plans as far as how much you play or are playing somewhere or something like that?


Q. Not at all?

TIGER WOODS: Not at all. No matter who does what this week, it's -- it eventually going to end up coming down to the tour championship. Was it 760 or whatever it was now for the victory? Anyone who wins that tournament is probably going to win the money tight.

Q. Go over your birdies real quick.

TIGER WOODS: Birdied 1, hit a 2-iron off the tee. I hit an 8-iron to about 6 feet right in the hole. Made that. Number two, I hit a driver and a 5-iron to the back edge. 2-putted from about 40 feet. 3, I bogied. 3, I hit a 3-wood off the tee, hit a pitching wedge from -- 156. I flew over the green. Chipped it down there to about six feet and I missed that.

Q. 8?

TIGER WOODS: 8. What did I do on eight? Eight I hit a driver down the left side, I had 109 to the hole and I had it about a foot.

Q. 109, what did you hit with?

TIGER WOODS: 10 sand wedge.

Q. Bogied 14?

TIGER WOODS: Bogeyed 14. I hit the ball in the left trees. Punched out with an 8-iron into the left front bunker. Blasted to about 20 feet. Missed that.

Q. 15?

TIGER WOODS: 15, I hit a 6-iron and landed pin high and rolled down into the swale into the first cut of rough. I used a sand wedge from about 30 feet and chipped it in.

Q. Anything else? Thank you, appreciate your time.


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