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August 17, 2006

Tiger Woods


KELLY ELBIN: Two time PGA Champion, Tiger Woods, ladies and gentlemen. In with a 3 under par 69 in the first round of the 88th PGA Championship. Tiger, some general comments on the round and if you can go through your score card, please.

TIGER WOODS: Well, overall, I thought I played pretty good today. I hit the ball pretty solid all day, and I had good speed on the greens. I missed a couple over the edge but also made a couple which was nice. Overall it was just grind them out kind of round. Nothing really exciting, just kind of grind it out.

KELLY ELBIN: And your birdies and bogeys.

TIGER WOODS: I bogeyed 10, my first hole. I drove it in the left trees. Laid up, hit 9 iron right of the green. Pitched it well past the hole and 2 putted.

I birdied 12. I hit a driver, sand wedge to about eight feet and made that.

I birdied 15. I hit a 3 iron off the tee and 9 iron to about six feet and made that.

14, the par 5, I hit a driver just in the left rough. The rough snagged it coming out. I had a 7 iron up there to about 30 feet and made it.

And then the par 5, No. 7, I hit a driver and a 3 iron to about 15 feet and 2 putted.

Q. Can you talk about the setup and with that many low scores out there, does it change the approach where par is not necessarily a good score?

TIGER WOODS: Well, the greens are soft out there. The wind was pretty benign most of the day. It would come up, die down, come up, die down, but it wasn't a real big factor out there today. With the greens being soft, the guys are going to aim at a lot of flags, indicative of the scores. Any time the greens are fairly soft, you're going to get a bunch of low numbers on the board.

Q. Just getting back to the greens being soft, were they softer in the practice rounds and were you surprised that for a major championship, we haven't had rain around here hardly at all, that they were this soft in the first round?

TIGER WOODS: Well, I was pretty surprised that they had that much moisture in them. But also, then again, they are not exactly smooth, either. So it will be interesting in the afternoons, see what the scores will be.

You get a lot of balls that are bouncing a little bit out there. There's going to be a lot of that just because the greens are so soft.

Q. The atmosphere didn't seem to be as bad as some people thought it might. How did you what did you think of the fans out there?

TIGER WOODS: I think most of them got lost, couldn't find No. 10. (Laughter). It's way the hell out there. It's not exactly you just walk off first tee. It's a hike.

So the back nine was a little bit different. I think most of them waited for us to come around and took the lazier approach.

Q. You were talking about in the beginning, there were not a lot of fans out there. Once they did find you, for a Thursday pairing, what was that atmosphere like for the first day of the tournament?

TIGER WOODS: About what you would expect. With myself and Phil and Geoff, it's about what you would expect, really. Certainly not starting out, because we were so far out there. 10 is not next to the clubhouse and I think it was just a little difficult starting out.

Q. If these greens continue to stay as soft, where aside from the par 5s can you force the issue and get very aggressive with your approaches?

TIGER WOODS: It all depends on the pins. Even some of the longer holes you can be pretty aggressive if you drive the ball in the fairway down there far enough. And the easier pins most of the pins were four and five from the side and I think we had a couple of threes, but also we had a couple eights and sevens from the sides. Usually they are all four and five and three nowadays. You had a couple easier pins out there. Those are the holes that no matter what club you had, I think you're going to take probably a little bit more aggressive line at the flags.

Q. If the conditions stay as they are, and if we don't get any rain and it stays benign, what do you think the score is going to be on Sunday? What's it going to take to win this?

TIGER WOODS: It will be definitely double digits, easily. You just this golf course, it's playing soft enough right now that you can make quite a few birdies out there. And also, if you hit some bad shots, you'll be penalized. So it's the guys that are playing well, if you're playing well here, you seem to have a bunch of 7 to wedge in your hand. You know, those are pretty much our scoring clubs. You get a lot of looks with clubs like that, you're going to if you're swinging well, you're going to shoot some low numbers.

Q. How hard is it to start out with a bogey on the par 5? What do you tell yourself, and then on 14, you made a pretty good save, didn't look like you had a great lie on that approach. What do you tell yourself, and how big was that birdie on 14?

TIGER WOODS: Well, as far as making bogey on a par 5, it's my first hole. It's not going to be I'm not going to play 72 holes of a major championship without making a bogey. I just happened to get it out of the way early. So just kind of get out of the way early and go ahead and go play.

I wanted to shoot under par on that front nine, or my front nine. I had a little bit of work to do to get there. But I think making birdie actually at 12, that was a nice birdie to get it back early. Because, you know, 13 is not exactly an easy hole and anything can happen there. And 14 was pretty lucky. I drove it just barely in the left rough, but I had a pretty narrow lie. Just try to hack it somewhere up the hill and ended up snagging it and hit the crosswalk so I had a lie. I was just trying to put the ball anywhere on the green to the right and it came out really nice.

The putt was a bonus. I was just trying after the tee shot, just try to make 5, and ended up making 4.

Q. If the conditions stay as they are, what do you expect the winning score to be, and what do you expect to shoot?

TIGER WOODS: Well, hopefully low enough, and it will be as I said, it will be in double digits somewhere if the conditions stay like this. I'm sure there will be a bunch on the leaderboard, as well.

KELLY ELBIN: Tiger Woods with a 3 under 69. Thank you.

End of FastScripts.

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