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March 3, 2006

Tiger Woods


JOE CHEMYCZ: We welcome Tiger Woods to the interview area, 5 under par 67 today, 13 under for his first two rounds, 16 of 18 greens, according to the statistics. Talk about your round today if you would, please.

TIGER WOODS: Well, I feel like I hit the golf ball well today. I didn't putt near as well as I did yesterday. I had a bunch of looks at some putts and didn't make very good strokes today. I do a little work this afternoon and hopefully putt a little better tomorrow.

Q. Too early for dejavu moments?

TIGER WOODS: We've got a long way to go. You've got to continue making birdies and see what happens. Right now, we're tied for the lead, but still, by the end of the day, we may not be. Somebody could easily pass us.

You just know that the golf course is pretty receptive right now. The greens are soft, be aggressive and fire at the flags.

Q. Do you want to see a World Golf Championships played on a golf course that gives up so many low scores?

TIGER WOODS: You've got to toughen it up. It hasn't really poured rain here and it's super soft. I know that everyone wants to have the golf course that's green but that's not always necessarily the best way to have a golf course, either. But, hey, it is what it is, you adjust and you play.

Q. Does it need lengthening?

TIGER WOODS: It doesn't needs lengthening. Just needs to get it firm. You get these greens firm and hard, and you tuck these pins, they are hard to get to. Because a lot of the pins are on sides, just subtle run offs and when the greens get hard, the ball will continue to run off and run off the greens. Right now you fire at the flag it doesn't matter, it just plugs right there and you've got a makeable putt.

Q. Any flag you didn't go at or was it pretty much green light?

TIGER WOODS: A couple of times. I was in the rough a couple of times and just had to play away from it but other than that, you have to continue firing at it.

Q. A lot of attention on you and Phil but Rich Beem is one behind, he's one of the guys who has beaten you in a major when you were up there, is he an example of how difficult it is in your era, just in terms there are a lot of guys, you have guys coming at you and you don't even know who they are, especially in the majors; whereas maybe back when Jack was playing, there were not as many?

TIGER WOODS: I think there were more the fields are so much more deep now than they used to be. Because of that, you're seeing guys win major championships that you probably think couldn't win a major championship. It just makes it that much more difficult to win them.

If you look at the list of champions since I've been on TOUR of the majors, you see a lot of the top guys up there. But every now and then you'll see someone that you probably wouldn't recognize. But still, you have to play well and they obviously have.

Q. You made it pretty clear that it's not your preferred tournament mode to be sprinting, but do you have fun when you know you're going to go at basically 18 flags straight through? Is there any free wheeling that takes over and you play looser?

TIGER WOODS: No, you don't, you have to play more aggressively. I've always been more fond of U.S. Open setups than where you've got to maybe average 65 or 66 or 67 to have a chance.

Q. You didn't seem to like your drive on 18, did you feel you got away with that one? You end up birdieing with that one but you didn't seem to like the drive?

TIGER WOODS: I upshot it. I was trying to hit a flat fade and spun it right up in the air. Hence, it didn't really go anywhere. That's why it went just off the fairway, if I hit a hot one like I wanted to, it would have been way down there. That front pin, I wanted to have a short pin in my hands. Ended up having a short irony ways, just because I had a flyer lie.

Q. Did the lie look pretty good?

TIGER WOODS: It was fine, I had 157 to the front and I hit wedge and I didn't hit it very hard. So it was definitely a hot lie.

Q. Holmes, Villegas and Watson, what's your take on these kids being golfers not just bombers?

TIGER WOODS: Well, J.B. is obviously the only one that's one. I haven't seen Camilo. I haven't seen him actually hit a golf shot yet. I've only seen, you know, what he's shot, I haven't physically seen him hit a shot.

Bubba, I saw him in Japan. I'll tell you a quick little story. On 13 at the Dunlop Phoenix, it's a drivable par 4, and for me on that particular day, pin was up front. I have to rip a 3 wood and I can bounce it into the front bunker, driver is too much. Well, I hit I rip a 3 wood and I bounce it in the front bunker. He picks out iron and flies it on the green. (Laughter) he plays a different game.

Q. Was it almost 300 yards?

TIGER WOODS: More than that, it's like 324 or something like that.

But I've seen him hit shots, he can actually play different shots, which is actually fun to watch. He'll move it right to left, left to right, and moves it a lot, but at least he's moving it. He's trying different shots. And it's fun to see someone actually do that. A lot of guys, you know, from what I've seen in junior ranks on up, don't play any shots; they just hit one shot all at time.

Q. That's what I was going to say, are these kids just freaks or kids who are the beginning of this next generation?

TIGER WOODS: I'd have to say the beginning of the next generation. You're seeing guys who hit the ball a long ways, and I just hope that they play shots and don't get so one dimensional and hit one golf shot. Play and maneuver the golf ball around a little bit, which they do.

Q. Yesterday you said Phil's score didn't really register with you until you were almost done with your round, today you're starting off at about the same spot, but were you more aware of what he was doing today and do you pay any more attention to him because it's him?

TIGER WOODS: Not really. I was trying to to be honest with you, I was somehow trying to post 6 under today. I figure 3 and 3 would be probably a good way to play today. I could say basically everybody moving up the board. Everybody was making a bunch of birdies. I felt 3 and 3 would have been a really good day.

JOE CHEMYCZ: Birdies and bogeys real quick.

TIGER WOODS: I started on 10. I hit 3 wood, 3 wood and 2 putted from about 30 feet.

16, I hit a driver and a 60 degree sand wedge to about six feet.

18, a driver and a pitching wedge to about 15 feet.

1, I hit a driver and a fat 4 iron, chipped up to about three feet and made it.

2, I hit a driver and a 60 degree sand wedge to about a foot.

4, I hit a 3 iron in the left bunker, blasted out to about 12 feet and missed it.

5, I hit a driver and a sand wedge to, oh, about eight feet and made it.

JOE CHEMYCZ: Thank you.

End of FastScripts.

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