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August 5, 2006

Tiger Woods


DAVE SENKO: Tiger, thank for joining us. Third straight 66. Two shot lead going into tomorrow. Maybe just give us a quick recap on your day.

TIGER WOODS: Well, I thought I hit the ball pretty good today. Made some nice putts and basically just stayed out of trouble, except on 18, I got a nice little break over there. That ball was probably dead; hit a gentleman on the hand. Other than that, I felt like I hit the ball pretty good today. Even though I missed a couple slightly off line, they weren't really that bad.

DAVE SENKO: Birdies, starting at No. 2 you had a bogey to start.

TIGER WOODS: I hit a 5 wood off the tee. I hit a 6 iron pin high to the right. Flubbed my chip and I missed about a 12 footer for a par there.

3, I hit a 6 iron to about six inches.

4, I hit a 5 wood off the tee. I hit a pitching wedge to about 15 feet and made that.

8, I hit a 6 iron to about 20 feet and made that.

10, I hit a 3 wood off the tee, a 9 iron to, oh, about three, four inches.

13, I hit a driver and a 5 iron to about 50 feet and 2 putted.

16, I hit a driver and a 3 iron to about 25 feet and 2 putted.

And 18, I hit a 3 wood and 9 iron to about eight feet and made it.

Q. How frustrating was it, the third round was good, but first Shot of the day, to come out this morning

TIGER WOODS: That was great, wasn't it? (Laughing). I hit probably one of the worst shots I've hit in years is there. It was just a quick snap up. It was terrible. I was lucky it was even that close to maybe being in bounds. It should have been further out than what it was. It was just a terrible golf shot. The hardest part was hitting next one and trying to make 4 to make 6. That's kind of the thing I was trying to do. Although I was fortunate enough to be able to do it. I lost a shot there, but it certainly could have been a lot worse, losing two.

Q. Does it make it more interesting tomorrow, or can you explain what it's like to have the field this crowded, this close to the top of the leaderboard?

TIGER WOODS: You have to make a bunch of birdies. It's pretty simple because anybody is capable of going out there and doing what Vaughn did. The golf course is soft. Every par 5 is reachable. And as you see, everybody is driving on 12 and 14 pretty close to the green. If you handle both holes and you sprinkle in a couple more, you've got 64.

I think it's just a matter of plugging along and trying to make as many birdies as you possibly can when you have the opportunity, because you know you have to. You have no choice. You can't sit around and make a bunch of pars.

Q. How much is this just a continuation of good play from the Western and the British, is there momentum that kind of carries over?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, there's no doubt about that. It's playing basically the last three rounds of the Western, when I turned it around, has springboarded me into the British and I played well at the British and I'm playing well here. It's just a continuation of that, really. I feel like I'm hitting the ball more crisp, more solid. And it helps when you're making putts. I've had good speed on the greens the last couple weeks, and that's what you have to do.

Q. Will there be a difference of a comfort level waking up tomorrow knowing that you don't have to finish out a round and that you can get started on the final round and getting into a groove?

TIGER WOODS: Well, it will be nice to, you know, get a dinner at a normal time and not have to wake up at four o'clock and get ready for today's round. It's been a long day.

So it will be nice to sleep in just a little bit. I don't really sleep in a lot, but it will be nice to sleep in just a touch and get a nice workout in tomorrow and come out and play.

Q. Hitting five drivers a round here, is that more conservative than in past years?

TIGER WOODS: That's what I do here, yeah. I haven't really changed. Sometimes I may hit less if the fairways are faster.

Q. In two weeks, you're obviously going to Medinah. The last time you were there, you had a fairly new caddie on the bag and he gave you a pretty big read on 17.

TIGER WOODS: Yes, he did.

Q. Did that start the relationship that the two of you have developed over the years; that you can trust him that soon to give you a putt that big?

TIGER WOODS: No, I trusted him well before that. I knew that Stevie had caddied for Greg for a number of years as well as Raymond, and you know, won a bunch of titles with both. I think at Bay Hill our first week together, he was a great green reader. It was just a matter of him getting accustomed to my distances versus Raymond's distances, and that only two weeks.

After that we were gelling pretty good. I think we won our first event in Germany that year and then from then on, we've had a pretty good run.

Q. You've got I'm sure a physical preparation routine going into a final round. When does your mental preparation part of your work begin for tomorrow's play?

TIGER WOODS: As soon as I get out of here and go on the range, so I can get everything organized for tomorrow.

Q. I think they showed us that when you've held a third round lead, you've won 35 out of 38 times. What do you attribute that to, is there just a calm in those pressure situations for you that you've done it so many times that you'll get it done?

TIGER WOODS: Well, some of it's luck. I think it's just that I've I guess it's because I've won enough times growing up as a junior and having leads before, and I've done it. There's nothing more that helps your confidence than being able to say, I've done this before.

When I was out here early on in my career, I had done it in the amateur ranks, and there's no reason why I can't do it in the professional ranks, and from then on, my record is what it is. I think it's just because I've done it enough times as a kid that it certainly builds a lot of confidence.

Q. Any different holding the lead here, as opposed to a major where you know guys are going to be shooting 65, 66 and you may have to keep stepping on the gas tomorrow?

TIGER WOODS: You have to you can't go out and grind it like a major championship and shoot 71 or 70. If you did that, you would probably get run over here. There's so many guys there, and certainly 63s and 64s can be had out there if you play well. That doesn't happen in major championships. So you know, it's a different feel, but if they are able to did it, you have the same opportunity right behind them, you can birdie the same holes.

Q. With the resumption of the second round and having the bad drive on 16 and you start with a bogey on 2, did you have a feeling that something was going on here, or did you just say, hey, put it behind and go on?

TIGER WOODS: Well, I hit two poor shots and consequently I made two bogeys. If you look at my overall package, I think I was playing pretty good. Two bad shots is not going to shouldn't deter you from being as confident and as committed to each and every shot. There's plenty of birdies out there in the par 5s. 12 and 14, maybe I didn't take care of those two holes. You can still make a bunch of birdies out here.

Q. A lot of the golfers are talking about how the greens are, you know, playing pretty much target right now because of the rains we had and they are starting to dry out. Can you attest to that and can you also talk about hole 17, other golfers just having a lot of fun on this hole, getting involved with the crowd and everything like that, can you talk about hole 17 and the greens today?

TIGER WOODS: Well, the greens were a little bit quicker today, this afternoon. They are still a touch on the bumpy side because of being so soft. I think Sluy he hit a couple of putts that were in the hole but just bounced out in the end. That's just the way it is. Overall I think the greens are running wonderful, wonderful pace to them. You can be aggressive and not have to worry about the ball running out on you.

As far as 17; loud. It's really loud, and I was hoping I could make it a little bit louder by making that putt, but it didn't happen.

Q. The leaderboard seems so jammed, how aware were you of that, whether it was, you know, a sign or cheers, and how big was it to get a couple birdies on last three holes to create a little cushion?

TIGER WOODS: Well, you figure that start of the week, there's probably usually there's 15 or 20 guy the within five or six shots of the lead. That's just kind of the way it is here. You know, with it being soft like this, there's no reason why it wouldn't be the same. I was just trying to go out there and shoot something in the mid 60s again today and see what happens, where I stand. Actually, I was a little bit surprised that I was able to have the lead at 18. With what Vaughn was doing out there, I figured a few guys would be able to do that today.

DAVE SENKO: Just one more thing before we break up here. Congratulations to Tiger. He is this week's AstraZeneca Charity Challenge winner, and for his efforts, $100,000 will be donated on behalf of AstraZeneca to the Buick Open and Tiger to the American College of Gastroenterology, so congratulations.

TIGER WOODS: Thank you.

End of FastScripts.

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