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June 17, 2007

Tiger Woods


Q. Looking back at 3 and 11, do you kick yourself over those in the middle of the fairway?
TIGER WOODS: 3 and 11? 3 I had a good second shot, and hit two bad chips in a row and made six.
11, that's the way it goes. Tough stance, I hit a terrible golf shot.
But 12, 13, 14 right there in that little stretch, I was in position to make at least one of them and walked away with all pars.

Q. 13, Tiger, I was watching out there and it seemed to sort of drain you.
TIGER WOODS: No, no. I was still in the ballgame. There was still a lot of holes to play. And probably I thought I needed to make one, possibly two, to force it into Monday or win it outright.

Q. What was the yardage for you?
TIGER WOODS: 154 to the hole, 144 to the bottom of the ridge and I hit wedge and flew up on top. It was a full wedge. Wasn't a very good lie.
And 9 would have been too finicky, because it would have come out low and hot. So I had to throw something up into the air, and I was hoping I could land it to kill it, but it flew up on top.

Q. Jim came out and seemed disappointed and said consolation is never good enough. What are your thoughts?
TIGER WOODS: Well, finishing second is never fun. You play so hard, and it's just disappointing. My last four majors, I've -- 1; 1; 2; 2; not terrible, but could have been a little bit better.

Q. The last putt on 18 didn't look like it had much of a chance. What happened on that one?
TIGER WOODS: It was a putt I could play eight feet of break; it's not like I could hit it inside, right firm. It was a putt I had to die, and if it gets my where below the hole it could run off the ridge -- and I had to throw it up on the high side and give myself a chance. It was actually a triple-breaking putt, broke right-to-left, left-to-right and then right-to-left again.

Q. What did you think when you hit it?
TIGER WOODS: Hit it with good speed, the hard part was judging how much it was going to kick to the right. And it took a while to start coming to the left, and by then it was past the line I needed it to be on.

Q. Did you have anything that wasn't a big breaker out there today?
TIGER WOODS: It seemed like that all week. I hit so many good golf shots and ended up 10, 12 feet away and playing two, three feet of break; the putts that were uphill, left-to-right. I made them; hardly missed any of them.
But for most of the week. I kept having these big, breaking putts and I had to be real defensive and basically feed the ball down there, and hopefully it went in, but the majority of the putts didn't.

Q. Can you take us through your thoughts on 17? Angel Cabrera is in the clubhouse and you had a chance for birdie; what kind of a lie do you have?
TIGER WOODS: I had to hit 3-wood, and I was trying to put the ball at the flag or to the right. They haven't watered that green at all and it's all baked out; it's the hardest hole on the golf course.
I hit a nice bunker shot, too, but unfortunately when I hit it, I could tell it caught a rock on my wedge. And I heard a "cling" you know? And when it came out, I was hoping, 'Please, still have the spin on it' that I felt, but it didn't, it released on through.
And I had a pretty easy chip. Tried to make it; didn't. But then I had a hard putt again, and I made that one.
Made putts on 15, 16, 17 for pars just to try to keep myself in it.

Q. On 14, laying it up, trying to get it up as close as you could?
TIGER WOODS: I don't know where you're going to put it. If you hit driver, I would have probably hit it over the green; can't stop it. 3-wood is not going to carry the cross-bunkers, so you lay back. And I hit a terrible wedge and I needed to keep it left of the hole to keep myself an uphill putt, and I absolutely killed it and hit it way long.

Q. Cabrera was only guy to break par this week in two rounds, and can you tell us what that's about -- can you tell us what you guys were laughing about?
TIGER WOODS: We're going to keep that between us. Angel played a beautiful round of golf today. I saw the highlights and the shots that he spun out of the first cut; holding the ball there on 15, not an easy shot but he did it. He hit a great shot, I believe on 11.
He had some great golf shots, and that's what you have to do. He went out there and put all the pressure on Jim and I, and we fell one shot short.

Q. What are you going to do for the British Open?
TIGER WOODS: I'm only going over that week.

Q. Do you think about one particular stroke when you do this, or --
TIGER WOODS: I certainly played well all week. I just need to analyze it and see where I went right and see what went wrong.
I felt like I hit the ball pretty good all week. My pace on the greens, I thought, was really good, and I just had one three-putt all week.

Q. You had four competitive rounds here, what's your overall impression of this course?
TIGER WOODS: It's hard, really hard. Considering that they softened the golf course up for us and we still shot 5-over par as a winning score, that shows you how difficult this golf course really is.
USGA did not set up the pins brutally like they did at Pinehurst. Here they were just brutal. They gave us a chance to play here, and we still shot 5-over. So that shows you how difficult this golf course is.

Q. Can you talk about your approach at 18 to give yourself a chance?
TIGER WOODS: I hit driver down there, held it back in the wind and it got a right-rudder kick at the end and right up against the cut.
Second shot was not easy, because I had to come out steep to get over the grass and still send it straight up in the air. And I did a good job of that, I thought, but it flew a little too far and then had to putt.

Q. When you have the lead on Sunday, tied today, tied at the Masters, everybody around the country thinks you're automatically going to win. Can you explain how hard that is to do?
TIGER WOODS: It's not easy. We have a lot of holes to play. Just because Badds made 7 on the first hole, we still have 17 more to go; it's not like they're handing out the trophy on the first green.

Q. People talk about you have never came back to win a major on Sunday. Can you talk about that?
TIGER WOODS: I haven't. I haven't gotten it done. Put myself there and haven't gotten it done.

Q. Can you think of anything you could do differently?
TIGER WOODS: That's one of the things I need to go back and analyze. I felt like I played well all week and putted well. The putts I had that, I knew I could make, left-to-right, right-to-left, uphill; I powered them in there. But I had so many breaking putts that it was hard to keep my speed and line, and I kept worrying about my pace and make sure I didn't have a second putt; I could tap it in, and if it went in, it would be great.

Q. Are these greens the hardest --
TIGER WOODS: Without a doubt. You say Augusta is hard, yeah, but they have flat spots where they put the pins.
Today they put a few of the pins on slopes, which made it a little more interesting. They could have -- all they needed to do is go two feet off the slope in a flat spot but they put them just on a slope. So all the putts had a little more break on them. Something you probably couldn't see on TV, but if you go out there and take a look at them, you would say they are interesting pins and a heck of a challenge.

Q. The birdie putts that you missed, was that frustrating?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, you know, I the one easy putt I had on the back nine was there on 13. It was an easy little putt downhill right-to-left. I had to play about a cup outside the right, and I hit it a touch too hard and missed it on the high side.

Q. Yesterday you hit 17 greens, you gave yourself a chance to shoot possibly 64, a good number, and then you came out today and you -- just the frustration level.
TIGER WOODS: I wasn't that sharp on that front nine, that's for sure. I hit some poor iron shots. I felt like I was still controlling my golf ball pretty good. Even though I had a couple of poor ones, they weren't off the planet, just a little bit off-line, really not that bad; easy to fix. And you saw on the back nine, I hit the ball good on that back nine. I just needed obviously to make one more putt.

Q. It's obvious that the people in the gallery were pulling for you; did you sense that?
TIGER WOODS: Oh, yeah, they were incredible out there. The fans here, it was a special day for all of us out there. They were so into the event, pulling for myself and I could see Badds was struggling, but they were cheering hard for him to get it going again. They were so supportive all day, and it couldn't have been a better and more professional atmosphere to play in front of. They were fantastic.

Q. Seemed like you were one big putt away from getting the momentum going or putting the pressure on; could you sense that, and how frustrating was it?
TIGER WOODS: You had to stay patient. It's the U.S. Open. Even though at one point I was three back, I felt like, hey, just keep hanging in there, and you never know what can happen.
I just need to make one, then possibly two, I thought, coming in. But if I kept making pars, I would be all right, too, because I knew I would give myself a chance at the end, and that's the way it turned out. I just didn't make a birdie coming in.
But it turned out basically how I thought it would have. I just didn't make enough birdie birdies.

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