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June 14, 2007

Tiger Woods


Q. Tiger, on 18 to get that par, is that a good way to end of round?
TIGER WOODS: That was a nice way to end the round. 16, 17, and 18 were the key to my round because I ran my putt by about 8 feet there on 16, made that, made a nice up-and-down for birdie at 17 and a nice par for 18, so basically could have lost three shots there but I was able to keep it as is.

Q. Course play different after the rain?
TIGER WOODS: The fairways didn't, no, they were about the same. The greens were a touch softer, if we had wedges in our hand into the wind you had to worry about spinning the ball back if you had a full one, which most U.S. Open's that's not the case, but overall I think the USGA did a fantastic job setting up the golf course in each section. They were probably the easiest sections in that section of the green, but still look at the scores.

Q. It's as gettable as it's going to be?
TIGER WOODS: It's as soft and receptive as you're possibly going to have it and not too many of the guys are taken to the golf course.

Q. You let a couple of irons get away from you.
TIGER WOODS: I hit a terrible tee shot on 10, stuck in the ground and hit it over to the right and on 11. I just -- I got on top of it and hit it to the right and I got a decent lie so I was able to make par.

Q. 1-over from where you were at 16 is obviously a good score.
TIGER WOODS: On this golf course it's fine, it's right there. You know if you shoot even just 3, 4, 5 over par you're still in the tournament and you've got to hang in there. You know that you're going to get some bad breaks and some good ones and go along with it and if you make a mistake, accept the ramifications of it.

Q. You talk about your poor sleeping habits, but do you like an early round like this?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, it's fine, it's sleeping in from my practice rounds, you know how early I like to play those.

Q. How mentally tough is the grind?
TIGER WOODS: Well, if you play most tournaments, even a major like in Augusta, even other difficult majors that we play, you probably are going to have 1 or 2 shots where you can take off, you know? It's not that hard of a shot. You can close your eyes and probably hit it either in the fairway or on the greens, it's an easy shot. On this golf course there are none, and no easy birdies, most golf courses you play, you're going to pick up a cheap birdie here and there, there are none.

Q. How was the wind out there today?
TIGER WOODS: The wind was to the left, it was only 260 to the bunkers, and I knew I could hit that, and I knew if I kept it left of the flag I would have a good angle because the fairway is hard to hit there. I was aiming in the fairway to the left rough, basically at that angle basically so I had a shot at the flag.

Q. Rain happened yesterday and you couldn't control nature but if it stays dry today this course might be the easiest today it's going to play; if it stays dry do you see this course playing --
TIGER WOODS: You never know. This golf course is hard and it's as hard to make birdies out there and it's easy to make bogeys and doubles. And you have to hit the ball -- now the wind is blowing and moving tee shots and these fairways are all tilted so it makes it more difficult.

Q. Last Monday you and Geoff were here and he said 10-over would have won by 5 that day.
TIGER WOODS: I agree with that because it was bone dry, the greens were a foot faster than they are right now and dryer, because it obviously didn't rain.

Q. If it stays dry how tough will it be this weekend?
TIGER WOODS: We'll find out.

Q. How many drivers did you hit today?

Q. You played so many majors and is the mental, the strain, the stress, you talk about grinding, but is that as difficult as the execution of the shots when you're facing a Major?
TIGER WOODS: On this golf course it's more difficult than the U.S. Open because you've got to drive the ball in the fairway and if you hit the ball below the hole which is going to be short of the hole you're going to have easy putts most of the day, but here all the greens fall different directions and to try and get it below the hole, generally you're going to end up running off the green so you're going to have cross-green putts, downhill, triple breakers. It is what it is and you've got to hang in there and hopefully putt well.

Q. On 18, did you feel like you've finished an exam or something like that?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, it was nice. It certainly tests you. Geoff and I were talking about that today, it's as easy as it's going to play and it's still pretty hard, not too many guys were under par. Imagine if it didn't rain last night.

Q. Can you differentiate between trying to win the different Majors? Is it different than others here, the U.S. Open?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, it's different. Here it's about ball striking. If you miss a green it's going to be a putt, 15 feet.
If you get inside 10 feet it's obviously a great pitch. At Augusta it's totally different, you feel like you can get inside 10 feet on every pitch but here it's different, you can't control it out of that rough and on top of those slopes, as I said, double and triple breakers.

Q. The striking, how do you feel about it?
TIGER WOODS: I felt pretty good. I hit the ball consistently all day and I made three nice par putts there today.

Q. Given similar conditions, will you stay with that game plan or you don't know?
TIGER WOODS: You don't know. Today, No. 9 is playing dead downwind and Geoff and I hit 2-irons and 6-irons to the green, and it depends on the wind and the fairways.

Q. How would you describe the greens?
TIGER WOODS: I tell you what, the USGA did a fantastic job, it was the easiest pin in each section and they gave us a chance to go ahead and post a number today.

Q. How long were your birdie putts?
TIGER WOODS: Made about a 15-footer up the hill on 2, made about an 18-footer on 6, and on 17 about three feet right down the hill.

Q. Geoff said yesterday if you employed a conservative game plan the way you did at Liverpool that you would win going away. Conservative game plan?
TIGER WOODS: It was conservative today, that's how you normally play U.S. Opens, you don't play it aggressively.

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