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May 5, 2007

Tiger Woods


Q. Talk about the back nine. It was an awful lot of fun to watch. You were getting into the round and making a lot of birdies. You looked like you were having fun.
TIGER WOODS: Well, it's always fun when you're making birdies. Vijay is holing out, and it was a nice start to the back nine. It was a little slow out there, but it was nice to actually get something started on the back nine.

Q. How concerned were you with the darkness coming down the stretch?
TIGER WOODS: As slow as it was all day, we started playing against our -- playing on a caution flag all day. No one ever gave us a green to go. That was the way it was and we had to deal with it. I didn't think I was going to finish. Vijay didn't think, either, but somehow we were able to.

Q. How tough were 17 and 18?
TIGER WOODS: Well, today's pin on 17, you just can't bail right. That's the worst spot to put it besides in the water left. So the only spot to miss it actually is short, and I didn't do that. I kind of missed it pin high, which is probably the worst spot to put on that flag.
18, you get in the fairway, it's pretty benign hole. But if you don't you're going to pay a price.

Q. How big was that last putt to get you in the final group on Sunday so you can look back at everybody else?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, it was nice. I knew it was left to right but I didn't know how much. I couldn't see, so I was kind of guessing on that one. I went up there and I was thinking, well, maybe it's outside left edge, maybe it's left edge, I'll just hit it somewhere over there and see what happens.

Q. Not the best of conditions to play in today.
TIGER WOODS: Well, conditions were tough, but I -- it was just you had to deal with the conditions. Play was really slow out there, and, you know, the golf course had changed quite a bit from yesterday to today, and I just had to make the adjustments.

Q. Where do you feel like you got your round going? It seemed like you and Vijay at 12 and then --
TIGER WOODS: Well, on 11 probably for me because I just threw away shots there at 7 and 8 and missed a pretty easy putt at 9, and then blew another birdie at 10. So I didn't get anything through the easier part of the holes, so it was nice to actually get one at 11 and then get one at 12 and basically I got it going from there.

Q. Did you hear any kind of roars today from all of the hole-outs? There were three fairway hole-outs including Vijay's today.
TIGER WOODS: There were some loud -- I know Arron holed out right in front of us on 3. Obviously I saw Vijay's. Sabbatini had one, too? It was pretty loud out there, no doubt about it.

Q. Seemed like you and Vijay for a while just kept going back and forth. I know the past few days you played with guys who didn't shoot good scores. Today did you step up --
TIGER WOODS: No, you've just got to keep plodding along. Guys were making, as Steve said, eagles and birdies. You had to go get it today. If you tried to shoot even par you were going to get run over, so you had to go out there and make birdies today.

Q. Talk about this course a little bit. Would you say this is the easiest the course has played today?
TIGER WOODS: Without a doubt. The fairways were so fast, it was really hard to keep the ball in play. But now they're a little bit softer, balls are staying in the fairways, and all the greens are receptive. You can be pretty aggressive to a lot of the flags. Actually you had to watch out for spinning the ball back, which wasn't the case the first two days.

Q. Can you talk about that last putt you made?
TIGER WOODS: You know, it was interesting because I knew it was going left to right, but I had no idea how much because I couldn't see it, and I just said, it's left edge or outside, I don't know; I'll just hit it somewhere over there and see what happens. So I just tried to hit it just outside, and if anything just die in there maybe, and hopefully it'll work out.

Q. Were you aware you needed to make that to get in the last group?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I did. Yeah, I knew that.

Q. (Inaudible.)
TIGER WOODS: The second shot? It wasn't that hard. I mean, I had to start the ball actually on probably -- about a yard inside the left edge of the green. That was my starting line. I just pulled it. All I had to do was just cut it just a touch, and it would have been fine.

Q. Did you have to check the ball? It looked like somebody stepped on your ball.
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, a photographer was about ready to step on it. I knocked him over.

Q. Body check?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I just had to give him a little Heisman.

Q. Talk about being in the last group. I know that's somewhere you always aspire to be.
TIGER WOODS: Well, it's nice to be in the last group to react, see what's going on. If guys are making runs ahead of you, you know that if you just birdie the same holes, it's no blood, and your playing partner, you can see what he's doing.

Q. Have you played with Rory much out here?
TIGER WOODS: I have. I've played with him quite a bit out here actually. I know Rory is playing well right now, and I'm going to have to obviously make some birdies tomorrow because with the golf course this soft, you know, there are a bunch of good scores today, and I'm sure it'll be the same way tomorrow, unless the wind blows.

Q. If there was a ranking for self-confidence, how high up would he be?
TIGER WOODS: Towards the top (laughter).

Q. If it blows 25 as they're suggesting tomorrow, how much does that change things?
TIGER WOODS: It changes a lot. Then you've got to protect a little bit going into the greens because it's going to be swirling. You can't short-side yourself. The good thing is that since the greens are receptive, you can hit some flatter shots without worrying about them skipping over the back.

Q. Was it important that you got it all in and didn't have to come back tomorrow morning?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, we didn't think we were going to finish today, as slow as it was. It took us four and a half hours to play, that's just ridiculous, in twosomes. It's just ridiculous how long it took us to play. Like Stevie was telling me, it's like playing under caution all day. The yellow light was on all day. Never had a chance to get the green light. We didn't think we were going to finish when we had probably two holes to go, but we got it in somehow.

Q. Was that important to you?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, it would really not be a good thing to have to get up at 4:30 or 5:00 o'clock tomorrow to get ready to play one or two holes.

Q. Especially those two holes.

Q. There was a distraction on 17. What was that about?
TIGER WOODS: Well, I leaned on it, which I didn't want to do. I wanted to actually hit a fade, so you can't lean on it to hit a fade, so I decided to pull up and do it all over again.

Q. What happened on the green?
TIGER WOODS: What do you mean?

Q. With the bogey.
TIGER WOODS: I missed the putt left.

Q. You even smiled at Vijay's eagle. Talk about that.
TIGER WOODS: That was a great shot. It was in the first cut of rough there on the right, and it looked like he hit an 8-iron with a little bit of a fade. It was right at it from where we were looking, and it looked like it had the distance to get up on top of the ridge, and then, lo and behold, it flew in the hole. It's pretty cool when you see shots fly in the hole like that and don't come out.

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