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March 24, 2007

Tiger Woods


Q. Can you talk about your quick start today, how important that was?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, it's as ideal as it gets. I hit a nice drive down there and a 4-iron up there to about ten feet, and it was inside right and just hit it and went in.

Q. Why do you think you're so tough to beat when you have the lead going into the final round? Is it a mental thing, physical thing; both?
TIGER WOODS: If you have the lead, you're not playing bad. You're playing pretty good. I think that you have to relish the fact that you have the lead and enjoy being in that position.

Q. The couple recent stumbles --
TIGER WOODS: Where are the stumbles?

Q. Bay Hill, whatever.
TIGER WOODS: Well, that's one tournament.

Q. Do you approach tomorrow that you keep making birdies tomorrow, the same approach, keep the pedal to the metal so to speak?
TIGER WOODS: You just have to play what the golf course gives you. The wind has changed -- granted, it's coming out of the same direction, out of the east three days, but it's been just slightly different on certain holes, we're hitting different clubs off of tees because it is slightly different out there and you have to adjust your game plan accordingly sometimes, which I've done.
Overall, just put the ball in play and put the ball on the greens, and they are rolling pretty good. Just a matter of giving myself enough looks at them.

Q. Do you watch the board?
TIGER WOODS: I've always looked at boards. I've never been a guy who -- I can't go without looking at a board. It's just in my nature I guess.

Q. We're doing a documentary about Charlie Sifford. What does he mean to the game of golf as a whole?
TIGER WOODS: What he's done, it's been instrumental. For him to be as persistent as he was when he wasn't allowed to play out here; he's the one that broke the Caucasian clause that was part of the PGA TOUR unfortunately, but it is what it is.
He was ardent about what he wanted to do and that is play the great game of golf. Not too many people could have endured what he went through, and stuck through it, and also been successful along the way.

Q. His children started crying about what his father went through, people calling him names; can you imagine what he had to go through to get through that, golf is such a tough game anyway.
TIGER WOODS: Well, I never had to endure anything like that. I know my father did. My father was the first black to ever play at the time -- it was Big 12 now, but it was the Big 7 then, and he had the same thing. He had to endure the same thing, stay in black hotels, not eat with his team, because, you know, blacks were not allowed to eat in the same restaurants.
Unfortunately I had to hear it from Dad and I also heard it from Charlie, and that's just a generation that unfortunately they to endure.

Q. Do you think players know today what Charlie means, or do you think it's so far in the past -- because everyone knows in baseball what Jackie Robinson meant to baseball.
TIGER WOODS: No, I don't think so at all.

Q. Why not?
TIGER WOODS: Because it's not publicized. It's not written about, because I think it's an ugly part of our history on the PGA TOUR and not too many people really want to hear what he had to endure to play this great game of golf.

Q. We went to Charlie's house and he has a whole wall of trophies and then he has a corner just for and you he laminates your articles and he says, "I'm so proud of Tiger." What connection do you have with him and do you see how sensitive and important that connection is?
TIGER WOODS: I've never had grandparents. So if -- I always call him Grandpa. He's the only person I've ever called Grandpa. I think the world of him and I love him dearly. He's been instrumental in my career, and near and dear to my heart and I'll do anything for him.

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