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August 25, 1996

Tiger Woods


TIGER WOODS: Well, I knew he was in a bunker, but on 16 I needed to make birdie, and I had a sand wedge in my hand. The way he's been chipping and putting all day I knew he was going to get up-and-down, so I had to make birdie. Made a good shot and spun back and made the putt. 17 was just an unbelievable putt. It was one of those putts like I did on 14. I was 5 inches outside left and just hit it to see what happened. And I went right in the center.

Q. In the playoff here, the shot you hit here at 10 had to be as good as any shot you hit?

TIGER WOODS: It was exactly what Butch and I have been working on, too, trying to square up and hit a nice square sweep instead of trying to wipe across it with my hands. And that's exactly what I hit. It's kind of nice, all the practice that we've been doing kind of comes to the forefront when I needed it most.

Q. Did you feel like at any point you were out of it today?

TIGER WOODS: No, I was still telling myself that even going 1 up on 16 I could still win in regulation, which is true. It was a fact, and I had the chance. I just didn't make the putt on 18.

Q. The shot on 18, Tiger, the third shot, that was a scary one.

TIGER WOODS: That was the only play I had, because the drain was right in my way. I wanted to putt it, because I practiced that putt in the practice round, I couldn't putt it because the drain was in my way. I had to nip a little spin so it would be low and skipping so it didn't come back to me. 38 holes, I made a big comeback. I was two down with three holes to go. It was an unbelievable feeling.

Q. How did you control your emotions after 18? I'm talking about the first 18. You must have been frustrated.

TIGER WOODS: I was hot. I was awfully hot. But Butch saw some things in my golf swing that I needed to work on on the range, and we went and worked on that and worked on my putting, too. He saw some things I needed to work on as well as my putting. It was just basically my setup and we worked on that, got me back into the feeling I had all week with my putter. And I rolled it really good in the afternoon.

Q. You went out this afternoon feeling like you had something?

TIGER WOODS: I felt very confident with my swing, as well as my putting. I knew I had to make a move early, and I did.

Q. Why did you come out flat early today?

TIGER WOODS: I don't know. It just happened. I was out of sync with my swing, and if I putted halfway decent I would have still been in the match with no big deal, probably at worst two down. But I didn't make any putts that I needed to make and subsequently I was five down.

Q. Did you think you had lost it when Steve had the putt on 9, when you missed your birdie?

TIGER WOODS: I thought he might make it. He's been rolling it so low. There's no pressure on the putt because you have to win. It's up the hill left to right, it's just what you want. I showed him that, see, my putt didn't break and his did. It was up the slope just a little bit more, just enough to miss right.

Q. You shot 65.

TIGER WOODS: Did I really? In the afternoon?

Q. Yes. That would be good enough to tie the course record. Is that as good as you've ever played?

TIGER WOODS: No, I've played better. Given the circumstances this has got to be my best round.

Q. Did you ever get caught up thinking about three in a row?

TIGER WOODS: No, I was down the entire time. I was just trying to fight back, trying to get myself in the match. The three didn't really hit in until I had that little one and a half footer for the win.

End of FastScripts....

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