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June 15, 2007

Tiger Woods


Q. 74 on this course today. What kind of a round is that?
TIGER WOODS: Well, I don't know what the average score was but I think I shot under par. It was playing hard out there, it was really playing hard, the greens got really quick. It was just really hard to try and place the ball, underneath the hole. A lot more difficult than it was yesterday. And then the wind was changing directions ever so slightly and you had to be aware of that.

Q. Is the course getting away from them?
TIGER WOODS: It's close. It's right on the edge, I think. The first green, that was -- thank God I have spikes on, because I think it would have slipped right off the back.

Q. No. 1?

Q. Can you talk about how you had to scramble on No. 2?
TIGER WOODS: That was not a fun hole. I tugged my tee shot left and rough snagged it coming out and the hay snagged it again. I hit a pretty good bunker shot I thought, got below the hole and made the putt, one of the very few putts where I could be aggressive. I think I had probably three putts today that I could be aggressive with and I made two of them, the rest I had to kind of feed it down there.

Q. You looked especially angry on that shot.
TIGER WOODS: Tee shot, you can't miss that fairway. You just have to hit that fairway, especially with the iron I was hitting.

Q. How many times did you use driver today?
TIGER WOODS: Let's see. Five.

Q. How do you think you did with the drivers?
TIGER WOODS: I kept spinning it too much. Need to work that out on the range and not spin the ball so much and get that organized, like with my 2-iron, same thing, I kept spinning it and it wasn't going very far, but it was straight. Obviously the driver, the longer it's in the air the more time it has to go crooked.

Q. Is there any thought of using more 3-woods instead of 2-iron off the tee?
TIGER WOODS: It's hard because the 3-wood brings me into trouble, the numbers bring me right into the bunkers, so the 2-iron leaves me in a spot I can play from.
But, granted, it's a little far back but -- 72 -- straight pars wins the tournament. Like the first hole here today was dead into the wind but 3-wood brought me into the traps, driver brought me into the traps, so I just hit 2-iron and got it up to par.

Q. How important is it to stay in the moment?
TIGER WOODS: You have no other choice; you have to. It's just so hard out there. It's hard to describe, you know? The pins are a little more difficult than they were yesterday, they were slightly on some -- they weren't flat like they were yesterday, they were just on some ridges, and I could see the group behind me and the group in front of me, as well as our group hit putts that would run out because they just catch the slope enough and all of the sudden you have a good putt that goes five, six feet by.

Q. We saw the scores all high except for Casey's, obviously; do you have to gear up for the worst?
TIGER WOODS: Well, you know that going out here because you look at the wind blowing out here, it's drying out and by watching the telecast this morning you could see the balls were chasing on the fairways a little further and the balls weren't holding quite as good on the greens, and I saw more guys have four to six feet after good putts they thought, you know, they would have a look on their face that they thought it was a good putt and it just tends to run out a little bit.

Q. How much more difficult do you expect this course to get tomorrow?
TIGER WOODS: If they don't water the golf course it's going to be a lot more difficult. I don't know where the pins are tomorrow but I just know that it's going to be a test for all of us.

Q. Bubba said that he bothers you asking you a lot of questions during the pre-dawn practice rounds; what is it that makes you want to keep answering him?
TIGER WOODS: Bubba is a great kid, I enjoy playing with him and he's got so much talent and if he would just understand how to play strategically, he's got all the power, you can't teach power but you can teach strategics and he has the ability to tone it back and play different shots and if you watch him play he does play shots and he's from the old school that way, he likes to shape shots and that's a missing art nowadays.

Q. He said the one question he asked you is how to harness nervous energy, so he's not throwing up on himself; what advice would you give him?
TIGER WOODS: That's part of the learning process, isn't it? We've all had to do that and have done it and you've got to figure out what works best for you. That's the hard part.
I know I can't play as stoic as Hogan, and I can't talk as much as Trevino; you have to be your own person.

Q. You would probably like to be higher on the board but all things considered are you in great shape?
TIGER WOODS: I felt like today's round could have gotten away a little bit, especially that 2, I could have easily made a higher number than I did and I didn't make any doubles, and unfortunately I had a 3-putt on 15, but other than that I felt like I hung in there really well today, and as I said, I had three putts that I thought I should have made uphill and I made two of them.

Q. Where?
TIGER WOODS: I made a 2 there, I made it at 6 and probably on the back nine.

Q. Tiger, do you feel like going to the range?
TIGER WOODS: I'm going straight to the range right now, yeah. I figured I'm teeing off later so I can get some rest.

Q. No. 2 wasn't a fun hole for you; are there any there where you were having any fun at all?
TIGER WOODS: It's a fun challenge, this is the U.S. Open, it's going to be tough and you've got to grind it away. I've won this Championship before and you have to be patient. That's the fun part of it, is it's so different than any other tournament we ever play in. Good shots are not going to be totally rewarded, but you're going to have good shots, bad shots are going to be penalized, and you know that and that's the way it should be, but you have to understand how to keep the ball in play, keep it below the hole if you can and have aggressive putts and I didn't do that today. Every putt seemed to be left to right, I had these feeders, I never had a putt where I felt like I could give it a pretty good rap.

Q. How good was Paul Casey's 66.
TIGER WOODS: That's impressive, you've got to play your ball there.

Q. Is it an anomaly or a more forgiving course in the morning?
TIGER WOODS: No, it isn't forgiving; this course you have to play. You can't scrap around and shoot 66 here. You have to hit good golf shots and you're going to have to make putts and Paul did that all day.

Q. Is there anything imaginable that could be a 66 on the weekend?
TIGER WOODS: You've just got to hit good shots, a lot of it depends on the pin locations, how severe they're going to set them, are they going to give us a chance or set them so it's brutal.

Q. When you won the British Open, how much did that affect the way you go around this golf course?
TIGER WOODS: Not too differently. People think that I played differently, but I played Carnoustie that same way in '99, I just didn't make any putts, but that's what the golf course gives you and that's what you play. I'm just playing how the golf course is allowing me to play and accepting pars. You make plenty of pars, you're fine and if you can get one uphill where you can be aggressive, that would be great.

Q. How difficult is it to keep the ball below the hole?
TIGER WOODS: I found it tough, Paul didn't find it hard, I found it tough to keep it below the hole.

Q. Phil and Furyk and Scott were quite a bit over today, public might not appreciate that, can you --
TIGER WOODS: It's hard out there, all you need to do is hit a couple of bad shots here and there and get the momentum going the wrong way and this golf course is very unforgiving.

Q. We keep hearing how hard the course is. Can you put it into perspective?
TIGER WOODS: If you're a 10-handicapper, there is no way you're breaking 100 out there, if you played all out on every shot, there is no way. You just have to be so patient and on top of that you've got to be strong coming out of the rough and you've got to have unbelievable touch on the greens. Most 10-handicappers I know don't have that. (Laughter.)

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