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January 25, 2007

Tiger Woods


Q. Talk about the conditions as opposed to last year at this time.
TIGER WOODS: Well, they were a lot drier today. It seems weird to see this golf course run. The North Course is one of the most difficult golf courses we play all year trying to hit fairways when it's soft. Trying to play it like this, there's no rough out there. A lot of guys are just hitting driver everywhere and trying to get it down there as far as they can.
The greens have definitely picked up some speed since the practice rounds. John Rollins and I were talking about that today. We said we've never seen the greens this fast over here on the North Course. They've been that fast on the South Course but never on the North Course.

Q. How did you think you played?
TIGER WOODS: I thought I did really well today. I thought I drove it really consistent all day, a couple loose iron shots here and there, but once I got my speed on the greens and got adjusted to the speed, I was able to make some putts.

Q. You don't really win this tournament on that course, though, do you? It seems like you shoot your 66 here and go shoot three 69s over there and that's where you make --
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, well, the thing is you can pick up more ground on the other golf course if you shoot a good, solid round. That's the fun part about the South Course is that if you shoot a good quality round, you'll move your way right up the board.

Q. Did you see Snedeker's round over there of 10-under?
TIGER WOODS: Well, we saw it on the first hole, so it would be our 10th tee. He was 8-under through 7 at the time. We all said, okay, that might be like a misprint (laughter), 8-under through 7. It came up again, so obviously it was not a misprint. That's some great playing.

Q. Talk about those approach shots on the eagles.
TIGER WOODS: Driver, 5-iron; driver, 5-iron; about a six-footer and about a seven-footer.

Q. Two best shots of the day?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, those were two of the best iron shots I hit all day actually.

Q. How far did you have?
TIGER WOODS: 9th hole it was 209 to the hole. The last hole was 219.

Q. (Inaudible.)
TIGER WOODS: I'm excited. I normally don't shoot good rounds over here. Actually to shoot a round in the 60s is always good for me going over to the South Course.

Q. Last year you shot like a 71, 72 to start.
TIGER WOODS: I always shoot my good rounds over here. I shot one low round over here but I think that was my second day. I think I shot a 63, went bad over there and went good over here.

Q. How do you explain that?

Q. It would be like the Palm Course at Disney.
TIGER WOODS: Well, I don't want to shoot good scores over there, either.

Q. With such a long hiatus how are you feeling right now coming back?
TIGER WOODS: I felt really good going into it. My practice sessions were really good going in. I felt very comfortable with my swing, getting in the flow of the round. It took me a while, took me probably three or four holes before I got back into the flow of competition, back in the flow of the rhythm of the round. I was already 2-over par, which is not a good sign, so once I found my speed on the greens, everything was all right.

Q. Did you catch a flier on 11?
TIGER WOODS: You could say that. I had 180 to the hole, hit 8-iron, and it went about 210.

Q. (Inaudible.)
TIGER WOODS: Thank God it was soft back there.

Q. Are you not as worried about hitting the ball not in the fairway this year as opposed to last year?
TIGER WOODS: Well, you had to drive the ball great last year. This year you can miss it a little bit here and there, but then again, the greens are so much more firm that you have to be in the fairway in order to control your ball on the greens. The South Course is definitely more springy. It works out to where either way you've still got to drive the ball straight, still got to drive the ball in the fairway to give yourself the best chance of going after these greens.

Q. Once you got in the rhythm of the round, what's that like after so long?
TIGER WOODS: Well, it's a calmness. I feel very calm once I get in the rhythm of a round. It's exciting, it's fun. I missed getting out here and mixing it up with the boys a little bit. It felt really good to get back out there again.

Q. Is it an advantage for you tomorrow that you played the Pro-Am on the South Course?
TIGER WOODS: No, no advantage there. I just need to obviously drive the ball as well as I did today and clean up my iron play a little bit and make a few putts.

Q. 8-iron the longest club you hit into a par 4?

Q. Think that will be the case tomorrow?
TIGER WOODS: No, that's for sure.

Q. Just talk about how happy you were with your driving. Did you change much or how much did you work on that leading up to this?
TIGER WOODS: Well, it's just the changes that Hank and I were implementing towards the end of last year, I just need to be more consistent with them because there were times when I drove it great and other times when I would drive it erratic. The times when I was driving it great, like at Sherwood there, I was doing the things that Hank and I were working on, and when I didn't do it, I was spraying it. So I just need to keep working on the same things, keep going down that path. I felt very comfortable with it today.

Q. Talk about having a checklist of things for your playing. Do you have any kind of checklist for your putting? How do you practice?
TIGER WOODS: I do have a checklist of things I normally go to in my putting. A lot of it is mainly setup. If I feel comfortable with my posture, my setup and my line, generally I putt well.

Q. (Inaudible.)
TIGER WOODS: No, that's normally what I do out here, either one or two. I don't really lay up very much on this golf course. You've got to be pretty aggressive. Most of the guys are going to go low here and you've got to get it down there.

Q. How much do you need to change your mindset tomorrow? The courses are so different? Beyond the physical changes is there any sort of mindset?
TIGER WOODS: Well, you make pars out here on the South Course, it's not losing ground. Making pars on the North Course, you're just getting run over. I made two bogeys and I felt like I was in last place.

Q. I think you were.
TIGER WOODS: You're probably right. At the time John was, what, 3-under par in my group, so I was five back from my playing partner, so not a good start to the day.

Q. Right now are you comfortable with where your swing is at or do you still have a lot of work to do?
TIGER WOODS: You've always got work to do. That's the name of this game.

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