June 14, 1996
BLOOMFIELD HILLS, MICHIGAN
LES UNGER: Tiger, thank you for joining us. We'd appreciate your comments about the round, especially as you came into it following your disappointment yesterday and how well you fared, and then after that cover your birdies, please.
TIGER WOODS: I guess from yesterday I didn't really change anything. I know I had that disaster coming in, but yesterday -- I looked back at it last night and I didn't change anything. I stayed with the same mindset. I stayed focused. I kept patient, even though, you know, disaster was happening, and it really wasn't anything to change. So I came out here today trying to shoot a good number, something in the red, and I did that. I finished well. Birdied 16, 17. Shot 69 with three 3-putts. Hit the ball very well as well. I only missed one fairway and that was on 12. Doesn't really matter if you hit the ball in the fairway or not, it's only a 5; just a lay-up. All and all, it was a very good round. I birdied 2, I guess. Hit driver, 4-iron in there today, right over the pin and just 2-putted.
LES UNGER: You all birdied 2, didn't you in your group?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, we did. We played it two different ways. John and I knocked it on and Corey layed it up. We all ended up with 4's. I bogeyed 4 --
Q. 2-putts from how far on (inaudible)?
TIGER WOODS: Back of the green, so I am guessing 20 feet check, 18, 20. Bogeyed 4. Hit it over the green. I had 167, hit 7-iron. It was dead downwind. I was just trying to a little 3-quarter 7; hit it in the back bunker, didn't get up-and-down. Bogeyed 5. I was right in the middle of the fairway. I had 188. I tried to slide a little 5-iron in there, hit it too far. I was on the green, but over one of those big mounds that they have in there, almost hit the ball up into the fringe and still ended up on the bottom tier. So I was lucky to get away with a 3-putt actually. I birdied 6. I hit a wedge from 118. It spun back down there to about seven feet and I made that. And I birdied 8. I hit -- oh, I hit an 8-iron a little bit long, but it wasn't too bad. I just had a little downhill putt and Corey actually had to lay-up, pitched long, so it was actually behind me; he gave me the perfect line and perfect speed and I made that.
Q. How long was that?
TIGER WOODS: About the same, 20.
Q. 3-putted 9 from the left part of the green, pin-high left.
TIGER WOODS: Bogeyed 12, 3-putted that. A lot of 3-putts. 3-putted that from about no more than 15 feet. Then I birdied 16. Hit a 7-iron from 165 to about eight, ten feet, about ten feet. And 17: Hit a 6-iron up to the right, on the right part of the shelf. It didn't come down so I hit it probably about -- I hit it about a pace and a half too far right, also sped around next to the hole. So I had that putt for birdie. And I was -- as I was reading it, we had a little bit of a roar on 16 because someone holed it. And I had to wait a little while and I went ahead and made that. Then I got up-and-down at 18 from the right bunker.
Q. How far was that on 18?
TIGER WOODS: 17?
Q. 17. How long?
TIGER WOODS: 40 feet.
LES UNGER: Questions, please.
Q. When you bogeyed those two in a row, did you have any thoughts about, oh, here we go again like yesterday?
TIGER WOODS: No, because I was playing well. I just happened to hit two shots too far. But they were right where I wanted to. Was it 4? Yeah, on 4 I hit just a little bit right of the pin, and I was just expecting to hit it right on the green and walk away with the par and I hit it too far. And then on 5, I hit a 5-iron, tried to hit 15 feet left and I hit -- hit my target in the background but happened to hit it too far. So I hit good shots, just put myself in bad positions.
Q. Any special satisfaction making a birdie on 16 today after yesterday?
TIGER WOODS: It owed me one.
Q. John Daly was in here earlier and said that you hit the ball the way he used to. He says it took him about four years to learn a 3-quarter shot. Any comment on that? I noticed you were long coming into some of the greens today.
TIGER WOODS: If you look at all the holes I was long on, they're all downwind. I was carrying them too far. Overall, I hit the ball very well. I was very pleased. Hit a lot of half-shots, 3-quarter shots. I even hit knock-down shots off the tees, just trying to keep the ball in play. And you know, overall, I was very happy.
Q. Can you explain what went into your decision to play in the Greater Milwaukee Open, or if you could -- well, there or Quad Cities, is there any chance you might turn pro?
TIGER WOODS: Reason why I am playing is because school doesn't start until September 28 at Stanford since we are on the core system and I have a whole month after the amateur, and one of the drawbacks to playing at Stanford University is that since it is just an intense academic institution, is that -- I never get a chance to play Tour events that I am exempt to, like automatic exemptions, such as Memorial, Colonial, Bay Hill, all those that you are exempt to being an amateur champion, I could never play because I can't afford to miss a week off. I had a whole month of nothing absolutely to do. Usually I'd take time off or kickback or do something on the beach for a while. Decided to play some Tour golf and see if I get some experience.
Q. Would you turn pro if you did win it?
TIGER WOODS: Depends on how well I did.
Q. In terms of trying to continue to improve your game, is lag putting something that you want to work on or are you satisfied with your lag putting?
TIGER WOODS: I am very happy with my lag putting. Problem is you saw today, I 3-putted a few times. Look at the position I put myself in. You don't usually 2-putt from those spots. I was very happy with the way I putted today. I just didn't make some of the 10, 15 footers that I had a chance to make. I was skirting the edge and coming in. And then coming in, I found something wrong with my stroke and I made every putt except for 15, which was nice.
Q. Followup on something you said before. Milwaukee and Quad Cities, let's just say, for argument sake, you won, would you turn pro if you won?
TIGER WOODS: If I won, I might, yeah, because now I have an exemption and it is nice to know that I have guaranteed two years.
Q. I have a followup on the followup. Is there anything short of winning that, in your judgment, might suggest that you should turn pro?
TIGER WOODS: What do you mean? If I don't win, say I finish; I don't make any of the cuts or finished last?
Q. If you played well but -- Second. Is there a number besides winning that would make you come out?
TIGER WOODS: The problem is that if I don't win, I don't get any exemption anywhere, so it doesn't really matter. If I could finish second both tournaments, that is really nothing as far as amateur-wise goes. We can't get anything from that.
Q. Have you heard from the the Royal Canadian Golf Association? I believe you asked for an exemption as well earlier in September?
TIGER WOODS: I asked, but I don't know if I got anything because they usually give it to young Canadian players. That is one of the drawbacks to that. It is their National Open.
Q. Can you see a scenario, Tiger, if you won the amateur for third year in a row that you would turn pro after the amateur before the pro events that you have exemptions into?
TIGER WOODS: I might. But then again, I might not. All depends on how I feel; how my game has progressed; whether I am ready or not. You know, it is a big decision because once I do it, there is no turning back. Once you are a pro, it is tough to get your amateur status back, so it's going to take me a while to sit down and make sure I make the right decision for me.
Q. Other than winning a third amateur, is there anything as an amateur you haven't accomplished that you really wanted to?
TIGER WOODS: I haven't won the North East Amateur next week. I had to pull out of that tournament the first time I played because I caught mono that week, which wasn't a good thing.
LES UNGER: Is that it? Thanks Tiger.
TIGER WOODS: Perfect.
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