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August 23, 1996

Tiger Woods


Q. I'd like to get what you hit into some of these. No. 2, your tee shot, par 3?


Q. 8-iron?


Q. How about to No. 4?


Q. Yes.

TIGER WOODS: 5-iron.

Q. And the 6th hole?


Q. How about 12?

TIGER WOODS: 9-iron.

Q. Other than the one hole, you hit a pretty solid round, didn't you?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I thought I played well. I hit the ball well, I putted well, and most importantly I got around the golf course very well.

Q. Was it nice to sleep in today and just play one round of golf versus yesterday?

TIGER WOODS: It was nice to sleep in. One of the very few times we've had a chance. I still woke up early, though, because my body is used to it. But I did go to bed awfully early. I was really tired.

Q. That stretch from 8 to 12 is where you've put the hammer down on every match. Is that a stretch of holes you're comfortable with there?

TIGER WOODS: I don't know why, it just seems to work out that way. I think 9 is a big advantage for me, because I'm so long. I can take it down the left side and actually cut some distance off. And today I hit wedge into the green. And I think I hit like a longer iron into it. So it was awfully nice to be able to hit the ball down the left side where I can take advantage of my length and also spin the ball coming into the green.

CRAIG SMITH: Tiger, coming off 7, which is a par 5, that one kind of sets up your frustration for 8 to 12 because you're not winning No. 7 as much as you probably think you should.

TIGER WOODS: Well, it's a funky hole. Because I can't hit my tee shot, if I shape it where I land it, I can't take the left bunk early out of play, which is my problem. If I drop too much into it I land right into it. And the other day I rolled right up to the lip of it. It sets up very awkward for me.

Q. Your tee shot today, did you just push it?

TIGER WOODS: I came out of it.

Q. Tiger, do you feel like you're playing better than at the Amateur last year and the year before?

TIGER WOODS: That's a simple answer. Yes. Every Amateur so far I've gotten better, and it's nice that the hard work that Butch and I have done is finally starting to pay off and you can start to see the dividends in it.

Q. How about a comment on D.A.'s game?

TIGER WOODS: Very solid. He made a couple of swing mistakes out there and hit a couple bad tee shots but he made great putts, especially right off the first hole, right off the bat. He made some very key putts out there to stay in the match and keep it going, one of those kind of things, it wasn't either too far down or put himself in a situation where I could feel like I was gaining momentum. He was making these clutch putts, and that's what you need to do on match play.

Q. How about the shot he hit between the trees there to get up-and-down?

TIGER WOODS: That was his only shot. I thought if you landed it shorter on the bank it would feed more towards the hole, but in either case all you need to do is get the ball on the green. Because of the way he's been putting, he would probably make it. And obviously he did.

CRAIG SMITH: Tiger, comment on not falling behind after the 8th hole. More pressure? Just the fact that you're not having to respond to anyone else putting heat on you.

TIGER WOODS: You mean today?

CRAIG SMITH: Three matches now, four.

TIGER WOODS: It's usually I'm either getting even like I did the first match, I think, or either going up. But today we both made pars, no big deal. But as I always said, 9 is a big hole, just because of my length.

Q. That was an important hole in this match, wasn't it, because you went 2 up there?

TIGER WOODS: 2 up, yeah.

Q. Tiger, follow the two matches left, tomorrow and then the final on Sunday. If you win tomorrow, does it help that you haven't had a match where you've been behind on the backside or you've been really extended? Is that a plus or a minus? You really haven't been tested to the 17th or 18th holes.

TIGER WOODS: I was tested yesterday at 17. Every match --

Q. You haven't ever trailed?

TIGER WOODS: Yes, I have.

Q. Not on the back 9?

TIGER WOODS: No. I have been even going into it a couple of times. But more than anything every match has gone 16. So therefore I've never blown out an opponent, or never gone to the very end. I think yesterday's match with Charlie was a tough one. The way he was playing, he was playing very solidly. And obviously we went to 17 and we were both playing well.

Q. Tiger, can you talk about 7, I'm sorry, I missed it, why you didn't hit a provisional. You thought they had found the ball?

TIGER WOODS: They said it wasn't out, so therefore they could probably find it down there.

Q. You had a little help down there today?

TIGER WOODS: We had a few people looking for it, but unfortunately we couldn't find it. And also the thorn bushes didn't exactly help.

Q. What was your club at 9 and could you talk about that shot? It looked very good.

TIGER WOODS: 9? I hit a wedge on 9. I had a flier lie which I believe I had 124 to the front or 128 or something like that and my normal wedge goes right about that distance. So if I just hit it halfway decent it's going to land the very front edge of the green. If it comes out soft it's going to roll the rest of the way to the hole. And if it does fly I'll hit high enough where it should hit soft. I took advantage of that and actually it did squirt a little bit, but I hit it high enough it came out soft.

Q. Also your shot at 10, par 3?

TIGER WOODS: 10, I just came over the top with a 7-iron, and pretty much a putt you cannot take a run at.

Q. I know you don't know who you're going to be playing yet and so forth, but could you comment a little bit on what it would mean to play Joel, and have you played the other fellow before?

TIGER WOODS: I've never played Duke. Playing Joel would be a lot of fun, because obviously I know him from playing with him in college for an entire year, roomed with him several times on the road. He and I are good friends. It would be a lot of fun to play against him.

Q. Tiger, 12?

TIGER WOODS: Par 3? What do you need?

Q. The club there?

TIGER WOODS: 9-iron.

End of FastScripts....

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