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August 22, 1996

Tiger Woods


Q. You were hitting the ball, it seemed, better, crisper this afternoon?

TIGER WOODS: I was hitting it very solid. I was positioning it well, where I could have some putts at it. That's what you need to do out here, try and stay below the hole so you get nice uphill putts.

Q. So you got whatever was bothering you this morning --

TIGER WOODS: We fixed it.

Q. Could you talk about just being halfway there now, into the quarters, moving along, you feel good about the way things are progressing?

TIGER WOODS: I feel very positive the way I'm hitting it. I'm putting a lot better. I think one important thing is I'm managing my game pretty well. That's what you have to do out on this type of golf course, especially with the rough growing and the greens hitting harder and faster.

Q. (Inaudible.)

TIGER WOODS: Charlie is a great player. Hits it very long. He's going to be one of the best in amateur golf here very shortly. I was very impressed. I've heard a lot about him. He has a great future ahead of him.

Q. Tiger, did you make any changes in your swing between the morning and the afternoon? Did you work on anything?

TIGER WOODS: Yes, I did.

Q. What was that?

TIGER WOODS: I'm not going to get into it.

Q. But you did?

TIGER WOODS: Yes, I did go out and worked with Butch and we worked it out.

Q. Can you talk about your match with Courville and how you felt you played, and what were the keys in that?

TIGER WOODS: I guess with Courville it was obviously No. 8. I think I hit about a 9-iron up there to about 15 feet and made it. I think that was a key point, key turning point. And from then I played very well.

Q. No. 8 has been a good hole for you the whole way, hasn't it?

TIGER WOODS: Yes, in match play it went very well.

Q. What did you do at 14? I know what you did, but you went at the stake and just didn't quite have enough?

TIGER WOODS: No, actually I was playing it right at the edge of the water and I had 158 to the front downhill, downwind. And the only problem is you throw up the grass one time and you wait a couple of minutes and it's straight in your face. We couldn't decide which way it was going. Before I hit the ball it was downwind and I went ahead and hit the iron. As soon as it went up there I could see it hold itself. It was actually into the wind and it just killed it.

Q. What does it take out of you mentally to play 36 and come back tomorrow, as opposed to 18 today?

TIGER WOODS: That's just USGA events. It's always harder on you. The Junior was even harder, because it was 36 holes three days in a row. I think that's probably the hardest to win, because of that format. You're always tired. At least I don't have to wake up so early tomorrow. I get to sleep in a little bit more, get more rest. I'll be okay tomorrow.

Q. What time did you get up today?


CRAIG SMITH: Tiger, talk about the 8th hole. You've had that be a swing hole now in three matches.

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, in match play it's been great. It's been a very pivotal hole, because I'm always either down or even at that point. And it seems to swing the match towards my favor.

Q. Tiger, assess the crowd as they're building. How much do you feed off that? Do you find that's an advantage as these other guys aren't used to seeing that?

TIGER WOODS: I don't really pay attention to them very much. I walk with my head down a lot. I think the best thing about the crowds that big is the fact that they are very supportive of myself and my opponent. They root for us, and I think that's great. It's not like playing in the Walker Cup where they're rooting against you.

Q. That's extra pressure for your opponents, then, because you don't notice it as much?

TIGER WOODS: I don't know. I'm not in their shoes so I couldn't tell you.

Q. When you're working your swing between the rounds, how much work can you actually do? You just try to groove whatever it is you're trying to do in a short period of time?

TIGER WOODS: I knew what to do. We've been working on it all week, it's just a matter of doing it and trusting it. And that's why I went out and hit balls for quite a long time.

Q. Was it unusual today? You're the veteran of this match, the first time you've played somebody younger than you are. Is that a different sensation?

TIGER WOODS: U.S. Amateur it is. U.S. Junior I played against people younger, but never in the U.S. Amateur. It's always the big Am guys are tough.

Q. Tiger, to your knowledge have you ever lost to a player younger than yourself?

TIGER WOODS: Have I ever lost to a player?

Q. That was younger than you?

TIGER WOODS: I don't remember.

Q. I couldn't recall one.

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I did. Two weeks ago.

Q. Oh, the Western Amateur. That's right.


Q. Tiger, do you see a lot of yourself in Charlie, and is he at 17 comparable to how you were at 17?

TIGER WOODS: He's a lot straighter than I was at 17. I was longer, but I could hit it off the map at any given time. He hits it very crisp and very solid. Very unusual how high he tees up his driver, but it works very well for him.

Q. Tiger, given the way the morning match started and you were having trouble hitting greens and getting a rhythm, to have the day come out like this, get that match to turn around and have a good solid ball strike in the second, how much of a relief is that? Could you reflect back on how concerned you were, say, seven or eight holes into the morning match?

TIGER WOODS: In the morning it was just a matter of, as you said, rhythm. Rhythm and timing. I didn't quite have it. I was just searching for it and finally it came on the 8th tee shot. Then I went back to a very familiar shot I used to hit a lot, and I worked on it very well. And I hit a crisp 9-iron, and from there on I had my timing back, and it saved the rest of the day.

Q. There's a lot of pressure in both match play and you winning three in a row. Do you thrive off that? Do you enjoy that?

TIGER WOODS: I'm just planning to go out there and win every match I can. That's it. That's all I can do.

Q. Sunday if you win, will you say, boy, I'm glad this is over, or say, boy, let's tee it up and do it again tomorrow?

TIGER WOODS: Well, that would be a nice problem to have.

Q. Have you noticed that Phil Knight has been out there? Everyone was talking in the galleries as you were walking along about a situation to meet with Nike? Has that happened or has there been any discussions at all?

TIGER WOODS: I don't know. It's nice that he comes out here. It's his hometown. It shows that it's nice being the president when you don't have to work very much. You can have a lot of people working for you.

Q. You talked about taking it one match at a time, but as it builds and goes along, do you feel yourself sensing the history that you're trying to accomplish? Do you feel yourself having that sense out there, or is it another match just like any other?

TIGER WOODS: It's just another match. The only thing that gets tougher is usually the opponent, because as the week goes along, in order to get to that position your opponent obviously has played very well. And then this keeps mounting, playing against tougher opponents. That's it.

Q. Do you feel you might have turned a corner, though? The first match play is over. You played 36 holes today, and now it's 2-18 hole matches on Sunday, if that's how it works out, maybe a progression?

TIGER WOODS: I don't know about that. That's a tough one to answer. But I don't quite feel that way.

CRAIG SMITH: Joel is coming in behind you. You've got two Stanford teammates in the final 8. Just thoughts on that, so we can build on that as an angle.

TIGER WOODS: Obviously Joel has been playing really well. He's won two tournaments so far amateur-wise, this year; this summer. He played well all summer long. And he's playing very well here. Every match he seems to be beating his opponents instead of coming down at the very end. Obviously he's playing very well. And it would be kind of nice to have a staff of semifinalists if it works out. But I think we both have our work cut out for ourselves tomorrow, and we'll go to work tomorrow.

End of FastScripts....

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