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February 1, 2008

Tiger Woods


Q. Standing on the 10th tee, 8-under par, playing the front nine in 1-under, to shoot level par on the back nine, how are you feeling?
TIGER WOODS: I feel fine. Pleased with anything in the red today. It was not a pretty day out there, so pretty pleased.

Q. You missed a lot of holeable putts, 10- and 12-foots, what was the story?
TIGER WOODS: I had a hard time staying steady on them like the rest of the guys. Plus, also, these greens aren't exactly the easiest greens to read. There's a little bit of grain in there and you have to be committed, hit a good stroke and hopefully it goes in. But didn't make a lot of putts today.

Q. You talked about your great array of shots now, was the second to 16 a demonstration of that, beautiful golf shot?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I had 126 there, hit a little 8-iron in there, just lay it on the front edge and roll it back there and just tried to take the spin off the shot and worked out pretty good.

Q. Do you enjoy playing in these testing conditions?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, you've got to be patient. You've got to step up there and be committed to what you're doing, and obviously you've got to work the ball all different ways. And especially today, because we had a myriad of distractions out there, and you had to be committed to what you're doing.

Q. Is it fair to say that these conditions identify any weakness in your game?
TIGER WOODS: Oh, without a doubt, any time you play in wind, you've got to make sure that you hit the ball flush, you've got to control your traj and hopefully you can time the win correctly. That's the good thing. You can -- that's the important thing about it, you can make a great swing, do everything right and get a gust and look like an idiot. But that's just the way it is.

Q. Obviously people will expect to you win from here; what are your expectations?

Q. When have you played in conditions like this for four hours?
TIGER WOODS: Last year on Sunday. (Laughter).

Q. Your playing partner tomorrow is likely to be Damien McGrane; is that a name you've come across before?
TIGER WOODS: No, I have not. I know he's Irish but that's about it.

Q. How difficult was it not to make something at the par 5?
TIGER WOODS: Just the whole day, you had to be patient, you had to lag putt well, you were lucky to get the ball close and try to stay as patient as possible, and it was just a tough day all around. Anything in the red today or even par was going to be a good score, and happy to shoot one in the red.

Q. Cheap shot on the 12th?
TIGER WOODS: I think it's still moving backwards. I fatted it. Just the way it goes.
You've got to be committed to it and just when I was in transition, a gust hit me and blew me backwards and I hit there, and then ironically enough, I made my best -- I hit a good putt and lipped that out, and best swing I made all day on 13 ended up between two bushes. Just the day the day went.

Q. A guy like Damien, that's a big day in his life, are you aware of that when you play with guys like that?
TIGER WOODS: Hey, we've got to go out there and play. I've got to worry about, I have my own responsibilities out there and trying to place the ball where I need to place it, and you know, whatever I've got to do I've got to do and I'm sure he feels the same way.

Q. What would be your advice to somebody being introduced to your world for the first time because obviously he wouldn't have experienced what it's like?
TIGER WOODS: Well, there's a lot of distractions here. I know there's a policy with no cameras but that's not really happening out here. You could see that most of us today were backing off shots because of it, and it was; it made for an interesting day.

Q. So what would your advice be, stay patient?
TIGER WOODS: That's just the way it is. You know, people out here are going to have cameras, they are going to get you in your swing, and unfortunately that's just the way it goes.

Q. Is that something that you can ever really get used to?

Q. You even have to fight it now even though you've been through it so many times?
TIGER WOODS: Look at Monty. (Laughter) I mean, it's --

Q. Tell us more. (Laughter)
TIGER WOODS: That's just the way it is out there. People mean well, they are trying to capture a moment, but sometimes it happens to be at the wrong moment.

Q. You hit the ball very well at the end; where is the driving overall?
TIGER WOODS: Well, today I was just trying to get anything in play. Trying to control your traj as best as you possibly can, and it was a tough day. You had to shape balls both ways and hit it high and low. I thought I did all right today. But obviously you need a little bit better tomorrow, and obviously hit my irons better and hopefully I'll make a few more putts.

Q. But generally the driving --
TIGER WOODS: It's just a tough day all around.

Q. But just in the general sense, overall?

Q. Eyes sore?
TIGER WOODS: How could they not be.

Q. You covered them up.
TIGER WOODS: I know, but still, you're chewing sand all day. Good thing is, don't need any fiber tonight, so good to go.

Q. Difficult playing with sunglasses?
TIGER WOODS: I didn't hit a shot with them on, so no.

Q. You don't have any problems like Retief has had?
TIGER WOODS: I had one surgery in '99 and I had one last year, and my vision is 20/15. Actually 20/10 in one eye, so it's pretty good.

Q. Why did you need a re-doing?
TIGER WOODS: It just changed all of a sudden within about a month and a half, right in the Florida Swing, it just changed, it went from 20/15 to about 20/30. For me I was so accustomed to having great vision. All of a sudden I didn't have that perfect vision anymore, so I saw my guy and he did a quick touchup and I was back where I was.

Q. Free of charge, I hope?
TIGER WOODS: (Smiling, shrugging shoulders).

Q. Did you notice it in a tournament or was it just playing certain shots?
TIGER WOODS: Reading greens, reading grain. That's the thing, for me I've never had a problem seeing grain, but towards the end there was kind of struggling.
And also watching that ticker on ESPN, you know, at the bottom, I used to see that with no problem.

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