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November 6, 2003

Tiger Woods


Q. Any comment about your round?

TIGER WOODS: I played well most of the day. I hit two bad shots back to back. Two bad tee shots on 11 and 12. Three whiffed it on 13 and then I three whiffed it on 18.

Q. You were doing great up to the swing at 11. Did it take you out of any rhythm and take you awhile to get back there?

TIGER WOODS: No, no. I felt comfortable over every shot. I hit two bad shots and that was it. The rest were mostly putting mistakes.

Q. Vijay had trouble kind of getting the speed down out there, too. Is there anything in particular to that?

TIGER WOODS: These are new greens. These are brand new. And being brand new it's tough to see the grain on them and we were both struggling with our speed, because generally we come back here -- I've been here since '97, and you know which way the grain runs. Right now it's harder to see with this new grass. So it's a little tougher.

Q. In the early going there you were playing really well. Is that as well as you can play?

TIGER WOODS: I was hitting it well starting out. I missed that short one on 1. But other than that, I really hit the ball well. Even the drive I hit on 9, I absolutely striped it. I just hit it too far. To get to that corner is like 325 and I ran it through the corner. So even that hole was a good shot, it just didn't end up in a good spot. But overall I really hit the ball well. I just made a couple mistakes on the greens.

Q. What did you have in on five?

TIGER WOODS: I had 225. I hit a 5-iron.

Q. Do you think the greens were everybody's problem today? It seemed like everybody was having a trouble with them.

TIGER WOODS: They're so soft. We're not used to seeing them that soft. You play here, you're not used to seeing the ball back up that much. You're actually worried about how much it's backing up. Usually you're worried about the ball boucing over the greens and running away from you, and also reading the greens. Because, as I said, the grain is doing different things than we have usually seen it in the past because these greens are brand new.

Q. What did you think, given the conditions, about the leading score after today and what about your position after day one?

TIGER WOODS: I thought the leading score might be one shot better. But with the wind blowing as hard as it was, and the greens being as new as they are, it's tough to get the ball close.

Q. Are you going to go work off some steam?


Q. Were you going to do this before, no matter what or was this?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, it might be a little bit heavier this time.

Q. I don't think you've ever been playing in a position like Vijay. Do you think sometimes it's tough going into the final tournament of the year not knowing that you've got to win, but that you got to finish no lower than third. It's not so much winning but --

TIGER WOODS: I understand that. I understand. I know that. It's a totally different circumstance with the money title, but mine was all the Vardon Trophy in '98. '97 and '98. Davis here and then Nick Price at East Lake. So we come into the last round, that determined your whole year for the Vardon Trophy.

Q. It's easier to compute money than it is adjusted scoring average though.

TIGER WOODS: Sure. Without a doubt. And that's too bad. The tough thing is I thought I had gotten it at East Lake. But Price made one putt, either on 15 or 16, that basically knocked me out.

Q. Did you enjoy the atmosphere of the whole thing with Vijay kind of going head to head, even though it's only a first day and everything? But did you enjoy what was going on?

TIGER WOODS: Not really. Because it's the first day. It's a big tournament. So you're focused on your game and the golf course is playing so hard that you just block everything out. And I just went out there and played. I'm sure that's what he did. I know that's what I did. You try and get your self in position because today was a day where you could take advantage of the par-5s more so than normal. The wind normally doesn't come out of this direction. The par-5s, every one was reachable with an iron. You just needed to put the ball in play. A lot of the par-4s that you normally would be hitting between 4 and 5-irons to the green you could be aggressive and hit 6, 8, 9s, and wedges into the greens.

Q. The front nine could have even been better. On one, you missed a short putt and you laughed at yourself. Was it the grain? What was it that made you chuckle? You probably couldn't hit a worse putt.

TIGER WOODS: The grain is left-to-right. The putt's left-to-right. Not only did I move on it, I blocked it, I think I yip-spazed it and just started it right of right with cut spin. So it had no chance. It had absolutely no chance of going in the hole. Maybe if Stevie would have left the flag down behind the hole there it might have rebounded back in.

Q. Is yip-spazed hyphenated?

TIGER WOODS: No. I moved so far in front of that putt. It's hard to move in front of a putt, but I did.

Q. Talk about the putt on 18.

TIGER WOODS: 18, I just hit it too hard the first putt. The second putt I hit a good putt, I thought I made it, and the grain just snagged it. I remember watching Vijay's putt and the grain just eating it up. And I played it maybe another ball outside of the right because of that. And I still missed it low.

Q. Those first two holes, you hit it off the tee and you didn't even have to look and see where it went, you knew where it was.

TIGER WOODS: I hit it well today. I hit a lot of good solid drivers. Even the drives that missed the fairway, like on nine and as well as on 13, they were actually good drives. Nine I just drove it too far. 13 I just didn't slide it, I hit it dead straight. And I had to slide it in order to keep it in the fairway there. But I felt really comfortable with my golf swing today.

Q. You're paired with Vijay again. You talked before the tournament about getting caught up in the one-on-one thing.

TIGER WOODS: It doesn't really matter. The only time it mattered was in Atlanta where we were paired in the final round where things can happen. The first two, three rounds it doesn't really matter what goes on. You just need to get to that position on Sunday.

End of FastScripts.

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