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June 16, 2007

Tiger Woods


Q. What did you feel like you left out there?
TIGER WOODS: Well, I felt like I hit the ball pretty good today. Hit a lot of good putts that grazed the edge, but, hey, I put myself right there in the tournament. Right in the mix. As of right now I'm in second place, I think, so I'm right there.

Q. Your putting stance at the last, what was that about?
TIGER WOODS: I was passed. 17 holes and you want to end on a drop shot, you know? Played so hard all day not to drop a shot and didn't quite get it done on the last hole.

Q. Your putts were close all day; frustrating?
TIGER WOODS: I'd be miffed at myself if I hit bad putts, but I hit good ones, so just the way it goes. If you look back on those putts on 12 and 13, filled have just carried a little more pace; they would have been in, because they only roll, what, six, eight inches past the hole. If they would having a little harder, they would have been good.

Q. What did you like most about your game today?
TIGER WOODS: I felt like I controlled my ball all day, whether it was in the error on the greens, I felt like I was in control of my game today, which is nice to have on a Saturday afternoon of an Open.

Q. What would it take for you to be in the final group, how important is that?
TIGER WOODS: It would be nice but it's not the end of all things. I'm right there with a shot at it.
Today was awfully important keeping myself within range or even trying to get closer to the lead and as of right now I really didn't do that, but you never know by day's end.

Q. 17 greens in a normal tournament you figure you'll shoot 66, 65, and you had so many putts slip by. It was a round that could have been really low.
TIGER WOODS: Obviously it could have been really low but on these greens, if you look at it, yeah, I had probably, what, three putts that I probably -- two to three putts that I probably could have made.
Even the putts that just slid by the hole that were shorter, like on 5 and 7, they were both down downhill breaking two, three feet. Those putts you can't take a run at. The closest I had was on 7, I thought it was right there, easy putt. And you go, well, I've got to play this out three and a half feet, and I've got a 12-footer.
The putt I thought I made was on 13, I thought that was a really good putt.

Q. The tee shot on 18 was that -- did you let it swing too fast where you let it go to the right?
TIGER WOODS: No. I was trying to hit a big cut, same exact shot I hit on 17, take something off of it and hit a big cut. Didn't want to hit a bomb down there, just wanted to cut it in play and land it soft, because that fairway is getting quick.

Q. What did your performance today do for your confidence going into tomorrow?
TIGER WOODS: I was pleased with the way I hit the golf ball all day and controlled it in the air, and on the greens, as well.

Q. What did you like about today's performance?
TIGER WOODS: A few things. Controlled the trajectory; was able to maneuver the ball both ways.

Q. What about like on 14, do you think we should have more holes like that in the U.S. Open and it would make it more exciting to have a couple more birdies?
TIGER WOODS: This golf course doesn't lend itself to a lot of birdies. So it's nice the USGA let us sneak one out. But there again, on 17 if you miss the green, the rough is really high.

Q. What architectural features did you take from that course that you might want to use?
TIGER WOODS: None. Golf course is hard. I don't think anyone -- I wouldn't have any members.

Q. You've been in this position; at what point in tomorrow's round do you start playing the course or play the field?
TIGER WOODS: You just play the course. You can't play the field. On this golf course, I don't think you can. I haven't found a way.

Q. All the guys around you have not -- essentially the top 10, top 12 guys, maybe one has won a major; how does that dynamic play out as you play deep into Sunday?
TIGER WOODS: They're going to deal with emotions that they've probably never dealt with before and things that -- it helps to have experience. I've been there before and I know what it takes.

Q. Gloves on 18 -- you switched golf clubs in the bunker on 18, how long had you been using them?

Q. Yeah.
TIGER WOODS: I do that all day. I was sweating.

Q. How long did you use the one previous?
TIGER WOODS: One hole, we switch three, four gloves, and let them dry out and rotate them. Sweat leaks into them.

Q. Where were you in danger of making bogey?
TIGER WOODS: Probably 16 and 17, ran one past, left it short, about four or five feet.

Q. Does it make you feel good to have short putts or make you frustrated that you didn't get birdie?
TIGER WOODS: I didn't drop a shot until 18, which was nice, and that's ultimately what you want to have happen in the U.S. Open. You have to grind it out and I put myself into position to have a lot of pars today, which is good. Pars are never going to hurt you here.

Q. How long has it been since you hit it this good? That was a lot of fairways, 17 straight greens under these circumstances, and in punitive conditions it had to have been a long, long while.
TIGER WOODS: Good question. I really don't know.

Q. When you tapped in at 18, that was a tribute to Arnold Palmer?
TIGER WOODS: No. I said I was pissed. Happy with a 5? (Laughter.)

Q. General speaking, what is so tough about closing out a tournament, major otherwise? You have a 93% rate of doing that.
TIGER WOODS: It's different in a regular tournament versus a major championship.

Q. Why?
TIGER WOODS: A major, you can make mistakes a lot easier in major championships, and you have to hit better and more quality shots; and you have to do it more frequently. And if you do mess up you're going to pay a price, at regular Tour events sometimes you can make up for it, especially in U.S. Open you can't make up for it.

Q. The driving today, was that because of confidence yesterday or practicing with Hank?
TIGER WOODS: 1 today I felt like it was playing like it was on the first day. Where if I hit a good drive I could take out a lot of trouble down there. If I even pulled it in one of the bunkers down there. I felt like I could hit a 9-iron toward the front edge of the green.

Q. Was that the same thing on 2?
TIGER WOODS: 2 it just switched enough. It was right-to-left, right-to-left. And then as I was getting ready to hit it came back into me, and I thought I better hit it really good, I can't afford to spin it; and I did and it caught and ended up in a bunker.

Q. Do you think this is more of a round that got away, or set you up for a win tomorrow?
TIGER WOODS: I'm right there and that's what I'm pleased about.

Q. 17 you got stuck in heavy rough, but --
TIGER WOODS: I got a bad break, hit a good shot and it rolled off and ended up in a not to pleasant lie.

Q. Did you use the same driver all three days?

Q. Will you tomorrow?
TIGER WOODS: We'll see what happens.

Q. Could you tell right away when you got to the first green that the golf course was receptive?
TIGER WOODS: The greens were holding. It was more receptive, yeah. They weren't anywhere near as hard as they were yesterday afternoon.
But the downhill putts were just as fast, but I think the nice thing was if you hit shots with a 6-iron or 7-iron. The ball was going to hold. It wasn't going to be repelled.

Q. Is there a key for you tomorrow?
TIGER WOODS: Stay patient, hit the ball in the fairways, keep it below the hole when you can and give yourself as many looks as you can, because that's not exactly easy around here.

Q. You've been around enough of these; do you expect them to make it tougher tomorrow?
TIGER WOODS: I wouldn't think they're going to make it overly tough, probably keep it right where it's at. I think the USGA is pleased at the numbers. Good quality round is still going to shoot under par, but not super-low rounds. And a good quality round isn't going to be over par like it was at Shinnecock, so I think they've done it right.

Q. Another practice session?
TIGER WOODS: As soon as I'm done with you guys.

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