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November 4, 1999

Tiger Woods


LEE PATTERSON: Tiger, we appreciate you spending time with us. Nice start to the tournament. A couple of thoughts about today and then some questions.

TIGER WOODS: Obviously today as you can see out there it's very blustery, and it's very difficult. The golf course is playing a little tricky with the wind gusting up above the trees, and it changes as it comes down the fairways, you have to make sure you know exactly where the wind was coming from and how strong. It's playing very difficult out there right now. The scores I think are indicative of that.

Q. Did you encounter this wind during the Ryder Cup, can you remember?

TIGER WOODS: During the Ryder Cup -- after the storms blue through with all that rain, it was a little windy behind those storms, but it wasn't like this, no.

Q. Last week you said you looked forward to getting back out on this golf course, are you still looking forward to it?

TIGER WOODS: I am. Today I hit the ball pretty good, I just didn't quite make the putts, I didn't quite feel comfortable with my putter. I figured out something coming in, my grip was not right for me. I figured that out and made some great putts coming down the last few holes. This golf course is a golf course which you have to be very patient, which I like. You have to hit shots. You have to curve them both ways, you can't just hit them one way. That's why most of the players that have won here in the Volvo Masters, are shot-makers, can hit the ball both ways.

Q. Tiger, how many drivers did you hit today?

TIGER WOODS: You love asking me that, don't you? Five.

Q. Did you find yourself today hitting shots that you wouldn't have been capable of hitting two years ago here?

TIGER WOODS: Yes, no doubt about it, because my swing plane and grip did not allow me to hit those type of shots. And that's one of the reasons why I've changed my game.

Q. Can you talk about your -- you talked about your putting. But would you talk about your mindset and how you're hitting the ball, considering difficult winds, a difficult day. You had a few problems with the putter and still come in at 71?

TIGER WOODS: Today with the wind as blustery as it is, I felt like it was very important to hit the ball in the fairway off the tee. And if you can hit the ball in the fairway then at least you had a chance of getting at some of the pins and putting yourself in the correct position to putt up the slopes. And I did a pretty good job of that today. I only missed two fairways today, 9 and 18. Both of them were in the first cut, that's not bad. A couple of times, hit the ball in the fairway and I was blocked out. And that's just the way this golf course is. Every time you play you have to play differently, according to the wind. And that's what makes it so challenging off the tees.

Q. The shots that you wouldn't have been capable of hitting two years ago, could you give us a couple of examples of those shots that you hit today and which shot gave you the most satisfaction?

TIGER WOODS: Which shot gave me the most satisfaction? Probably the shot I hit into the fourth hole, par-5. I hit a 5-iron in there to about 12 feet and made that for eagle. That usually makes you feel pretty good.

Q. How far did you hit the 5-iron?

TIGER WOODS: I had 236. I wasn't capable of hitting that shot two years ago. I would have hit it about 250 (laughter).

Q. Tiger, could you try and answer the first one, again, it was the same question I was going to ask, of specific shapes, was it?

TIGER WOODS: Most of the shots if you watch -- if you watch me play now versus in '97, you'll see that my trajectory of my golf shots are much flatter. And they don't have, I guess -- I guess you say they don't have a peak in them that they used to. My angle of attack is different and a little shallower, hence I don't spin the ball up in the air as much, therefore I can keep the ball flatter, longer, in the air, which means crosswinds. I can hit the ball and bore it through the wind better.

Q. Do you feel that's an advantage, Tiger, on a bigger variety of courses to be able to do that?

TIGER WOODS: The great thing is where I came from is that I can always hit the ball high at any given time. That's easy for me to do. I think that's more of an advantage, because now I play the ball lower, but I can always throw the ball up in the air on hard greens, without having to change my swing. Other guys who are naturally low-ball hitters have a difficult time getting the ball in the air because they feel very uncomfortable playing different type of courses because of that.

Q. Tiger, when the wind is as choppy as it is today, given a player as talented as yourself, is there ever an element of guesswork with your iron shots in terms of which club to play because of the wind?

TIGER WOODS: I think, yes, no doubt about it, especially when you're on elevated tees or you're coming downhill. I think there's always that element, because you don't know how long the ball is going to stay in the air. And it's that unpredictability of it. Even if you keep the ball low, it will still be in the air longer than it normally would be, if you were parallel -- the same level as the green. That extra time is very difficult to judge sometimes. And a couple of times out there Paul and I hit shots that looked pretty good, that didn't get there or went too far.

Q. Tiger, Colin said the other day the only shots that intimidate golfers are playing shots in the wind, like today, do you tend to agree with that?

TIGER WOODS: That intimidate golfers?

Q. Yes.

TIGER WOODS: With wind like today, things can intimidate you. If you would put this wind on, let's say -- actually this wind on Augusta or any golf course like THE PLAYERS Championship, where there's a lot of water, then that's a different story. Here the greens are small, yes, but they're a little sheltered, you can miss a green but get up-and-down. Those type of courses I mentioned, it's difficult to get up-and-down from. As you saw this year it was very windy at the PLAYERS Championship, only two players shot under par.

Q. Tiger, considering how hard it was last week for you. How difficult was it to be out there today? Did you feel the after effects of traveling?

TIGER WOODS: If you would have asked me that question, I would have said yes yesterday, but I feel very good today. I took a nice nap yesterday afternoon and felt like I was back on schedule, I adjusted to the time. As I have played more overseas I've become faster at adapting to the time and traveling, I guess, six hour time change from Florida is not too bad.

Q. Did it feel like a big event out there today, both in terms of your own sense of anticipation of the round and also the atmosphere?

TIGER WOODS: It did. It really did. You knew that this is one of the best fields of the year and obviously it's our last tournament of the year, official tournament. And it's a tournament that we all are definitely geared up for and ready to play. And, yeah, I was anticipating this round, no doubt about it. It was a round of golf that you could easily get too high, because it is your last event. And I thought I went out there with a good mindset.

Q. I have a follow-up, if it makes any sense, but to the atmosphere question. It's clearly a European course, European feel and it's U.S. Tour money, official. You've got a field that can rival a lot of the majors and yet the galleries are probably more like what you see at a Disney Classic. Did it feel odd to you, at all? Did it feel like a significant event?

TIGER WOODS: I understand. To be honest with you, I totally love walking and to be able to sign just a few, instead of thousands. Yesterday in the Pro Am, I was in a practice round, we played the first nine holes with about ten people around. You know that's never the case in the States. And it was -- unless I go off at dawn-thirty, which I normally do. It was very, very nice.

Q. Tiger, this is the first time you've seen a lot of the European Ryder Cup team members since Boston. Are things back to normal after that event? Are you now back to being gentlemen competitors, and have you talked to them and that sort of thing?

TIGER WOODS: I have. I've definitely talked to most of the guys. Most of them I'm friends with. So I had no problems talking to them. They said everything was -- it wasn't you, it was just the whole thing and the build up to it and the one moment. You can't let one moment affect the whole tournament, the whole week, how great a week it was for both teams, win or lose. I think we all had a lot of fun. I know that when I came here and played in Valderrama, we didn't win, but we lost, I still had a lot of fun. It was still a good time. And they know as well as I do that one moment is not going to affect an entire week. And a lot of it is also sensationalism, too. A lot of things get blown out of proportion and twisted a little bit.

Q. You played with Paul today, and although he wasn't at his best, do you think he has a chance to establish himself as one of the leading players in the game after his success in the Open? Has he got the talent to go out and do that?

TIGER WOODS: He does, no doubt about that. He hits the ball very solid and a wonderful touch. And as you know, just looking at his golf swing, it's a nice rhythm to it. Just unfortunately today he hit a couple of shots that weren't very far off, but with the banks shaved and as fast as they are, they're going back to him. But Paul is a fine player, no doubt about it. And you should see a lot of him in the future.

LEE PATTERSON: Go over your score card for us, if you would. Start with 3.

TIGER WOODS: 3, I hit a 7-iron over the green, just barely over on the left side, chipped it down there and missed about an 8-footer there. Eagled 4. 6, I hit an 8-iron and it landed on the right side of the green, spun back up against the first collar and lined it up there to about four feet there and missed it. 9, I drove it in the first cut of rough, played a little bit of a flier, came out a bit soft and landed in the fairway just short of the green, and rolled back down the hill in the first cut. It was sitting down a little bit. I had a pretty good shot, it just came out a little too soft. And missed about an 8-footer there. 11, I hit a driver, driver short right of the green, I chipped in with a 60-degree sand wedge into the bank, up and over, rolled it down there to about ten feet past the hole and made that. 13, hit a 3-wood in the fairway. I was blocked out by the trees. I hit a 7-iron up and over, wind got it, threw it to short left of the green. I hit a bad chip, came up short and missed about a 15-footer there. 15, I hit a 2-iron off the tee and an 8-iron from 182 to the hole to about four feet and made that. 17, I hit a driver off the tee. Hit a 7-iron to about 20 feet below the hole and 2-putted it.

Q. Can you tell us the yardages on your driver at the 11th and the 7-iron on the 17th?

TIGER WOODS: I had 254 on the front on 11. And I was about probably ten yards from the green. 17 I had 197 to the front and I think it's 12 off.

LEE PATTERSON: Thank you, we appreciate it.

End of FastScripts….

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