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July 9, 2006

Tiger Woods


Q. You needed a 65 or 64 today to have a chance and you didn't quite get there.

TIGER WOODS: No, I didn't. I got off to a bad start on the very first hole, three putted my first hole right out of the gate. I bogeyed 8 and missed two birdie opportunities there on 9 and 10. 9, missed a short one, and 10 is a pretty easy hole today being straight downwind. Nothing really happened.

Q. If you could have any holes back, I'm sure you'd probably want 15 back again?

TIGER WOODS: No, I'd need more than that. I'd need the first round back, shooting 1 over par. Nowadays on Tour, you can't shoot 1 over par in a regular Tour event and expect to win a golf tournament. For some reason 1 over par used to win tournaments. Now it needs to be 2 or 3 under par on your bad day.

Q. What happened on 15 because I'm sure on the fairway you were thinking birdie or eagle?

TIGER WOODS: Just a crappy shot. I mean, I just hit a bad one at the wrong time, hit it straight right. I was lucky to even have it in play. That thing should have been gone, I hit it so bad. Actually I hit a pretty decent chip to get out and hit another bad chip there and hit a terrible putt, and it went in. Welcome to golf.

Q. Some similarities last year in that you were putting together a charge early in the back nine but couldn't quite get there?

TIGER WOODS: Finished 2nd again. It's not a good feeling.

Q. Do you feel better about your game leaving than when you came in?

TIGER WOODS: No doubt about that. I made some great improvement on the range this week, working all those hours out there and working on all those things I need to hone to be more consistent. This week it really showed. I started hitting the ball really flush and really controlling my flight.

Q. The last couple of months, how proud are you to come in here and play the way you played, not a good start but the way you finished.

TIGER WOODS: Shooting 1 over par and still having a chance on the last few holes, I think that's pretty good. On Tour nowadays, as I said earlier, you shoot 1 over par, you usually get lapped, but I was somehow able to get back in the tournament.

Q. Were you aware of where Immelman was as you were coming down 16, 17, 18?


Q. Did you realize that you'd have to birdie

TIGER WOODS: I would have to birdie I thought one of the last two holes to post a number that might get me in a playoff or birdie the last two holes to possibly win it outright.

Q. You know about the history of this tournament. What are your thoughts on the fact that this is the last actual Western Open since they're changing it next year?

TIGER WOODS: Well, it's unfortunate because it's been such a great event, an historical event on our Tour. As I said, look at the list of champions. It's a pretty impressive list. If you go down that list, unfortunately we're not going to have a tournament anymore, but I think it's more unfortunate that we're not going to come here to the Chicago area each and every year. This is one of the biggest markets in the United States, and we're coming in every other year.

Q. Getting ready for the British, how important was it to have some type of competitive final round?

TIGER WOODS: It was nice to turn it around because I wasn't doing anything for the first eight holes. I was 1 over par, then got it rolling on the back nine starting at 11, which was nice. It was nice to feel the juices coming down the stretch where I had a chance. I wasn't on the periphery like I was on the front nine. The front nine I was pretty far out, and at least I was able to play my way back in to where I had a legitimate chance the last two holes.

Q. Is your game where you want it to be going into the British Open?

TIGER WOODS: It's never where you want it to be. If it is, quit (laughter).

Q. It looked like you and Jim were having some nice chats before it got real intense down 17 and 18.

TIGER WOODS: We talked all day. Jim and I are good friends. He's one of my good friends. We talk about anything and everything all day. That's just the way we are. It's always nice to play with Jimmy because he's a lot like how I am. You grind it out, try on each and every shot and fight to the death. That's one of the things that why we made such a great team last year at the Presidents Cup.

Q. It's been a little while since you've been in the thick of things. What was it like to have that experience today?

TIGER WOODS: It was good. I felt that rush. That's part of being an athlete, to feel that rush coming down the stretch. It's tough to have the nerves and control them and the adrenaline. It's a blast. It's actually a blast.

Q. It had been a while for you. You're in the hunt all the time and this seemed to fill in the gap for you. Were you feeling it?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, this is only my second tournament since The Masters so it's been a while. It's been a few months, but overall I'm very pleased to get back in contention after basically two events, after taking that much time off and that two events later have a chance with a couple holes to go.

Q. (Inaudible.)

TIGER WOODS: I guess you could say that. You know, it's one of those things where you have to turn the page. I'm sure that it'll happen. One day unfortunately I'll lose my other parent, and I'll turn the page there, as well. That's just one of the things you have to deal with. But I look back on my life previous to that and nothing but smiles.

End of FastScripts.

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