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July 4, 2009

Tiger Woods


NELSON SILVERIO: We welcome our host, Tiger Woods. Thanks for spending a few minutes with us. If you'd get us started with a couple thoughts on your round and maybe what it'll take to be a greedy I host tomorrow.
TIGER WOODS: 18 pars today, just a real consistent round (laughter).
No, it was a tough day out there. The wind was all over the place. It was hard to not only figure out the intensity but also the direction. As I was saying earlier to some of these guys, Pamps and I got fooled a few times today. It was just one of those things where you had to grind it out and get through it.
I had my chances. I turned the round, headed in the right direction there for a little bit, birdieing 8 and eagling 9, then threw it all back at 11.
I hung in there, had just countless lag putts. It seemed like every hole I was 30, 40 feet trying to lag it up there and never really had a whole lot of birdie chances until I had a kick-in there at 16.

Q. Anthony was in here a few minutes ago talking about this has been a dream to be playing with you in the final round, and as a kid he'd be rolling putts almost in the dark pretending he was beating you in the final round. Can you relate to that, and who were you beating when you were doing that at 10 years old?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, when I was growing up it was Jack, Arnold, Hogan, Snead, Sarazen. I got a chance to play with a few of those guys over the years.

Q. Snead?
TIGER WOODS: I played with Snead for two holes when I was five I think it was. It's pretty cool that I got a chance and an opportunity to play with and against Jack in real competition in 2000. I never really got a chance to play with Arnold in the same group in a tournament. Practice rounds but never in a tournament.

Q. How does it feel when you hear a story like that? You know Anthony well.
TIGER WOODS: Well, I'm aging. That's what that means (smiling).

Q. What did you hit in on 9?
TIGER WOODS: I hit 3-iron.

Q. What was that thought process like, you had laid up the first two rounds, I believe, and what made you kind of want to go for it there?
TIGER WOODS: Well, the first two days I couldn't physically get there. You know, I don't have a shot that goes that far unless I'm hitting a driver off the tee. But today I drove it down there on the upslope, and it was questionable whether I could get 3-iron there, but if I had to hit 5-wood I had no room to start it to the left and try and take something off it because of the trees that were there. So I went with 3-iron, and I figured that I could get it up near the green if not on the front edge, and I flushed it up there and it ended up right in the middle of the green.

Q. The way the leaderboard went today, what does that say about tomorrow? There's a lot of focus obviously on Anthony.
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, no doubt. You can shoot a score out here. You saw what Michael did today and a few other guys. If you play well, you can definitely shoot a score because the greens are still soft. Now the fairways are starting to give it up a little bit. You can get the ball down there a little bit further, probably have two clubs shorter than you normally would.

Q. What's the hardest part of being a host when it comes to the actual playing and the actual focusing of playing golf?
TIGER WOODS: Well, playing is the easy part because you're -- the focus is on what you always do each and every week. Hosting an event, it's a little bit of work, and a lot of things you have to do off the golf course and away from tournament time that you normally wouldn't do. It's just a long week, but I've done it for, what, 11 years with the Chevron World Challenge.

Q. How do you look at and respect AK as a competitor after what he did last year, winning those two events and then at the Ryder Cup?
TIGER WOODS: As we all know, AK can play, he really can. He's won not just two golf tournaments but he won on two great golf courses, too, where you have to hit the ball well.
You know, as time has gone on, we've seen the talent, we've seen him grow as a player, and it's just a matter of time before he starts winning golf tournaments because you just need the experience. You need to keep putting yourself there time and again and get the experience.

Q. What do you think of Michael Allen?
TIGER WOODS: Pretty amazing, isn't it? It goes to show you, a lot of these guys are turning around their careers by training and doing things that they normally wouldn't have done. Normally we see guys in their probably mid-40s kind of waiting, buying time to try to get to the Senior Tour, and instead, we've seen from Jay Haas to Fred Funk to Michael, Kenny, guys really playing well up into the Senior Tour and even when they could be out there and they're still playing out here really well.

Q. This is his 337th PGA TOUR event and he hasn't won one yet.
TIGER WOODS: Well, I think these guys are -- I mean, you've been around the game long enough that it's just experience and it's just understanding, and when you play well you know how to manage your game. A lot of guys know how to do that. You watch all these older players when they play Augusta, for instance, how did Raymond get up there two times with a chance to win, Watson all those years, Jack all those years. All of them understand how to play.

Q. Anthony looks like he's about ready to jump out of his skin at the thought of playing with you tomorrow afternoon. Do you get any kind of emotional rush or any kind of excitement knowing you're playing against this really good young kid?
TIGER WOODS: Not yet. Come tomorrow, certainly, but as of right now, no, not yet. I'm just looking forward to taking the family and watching fireworks tonight and then getting reset tomorrow morning for the round. But that's when I'll get fired up. Usually I don't get fired up the night before. There's no sense in wasting energy.

Q. The first bunker shot on 11, did you catch that sort of a heavy lie, or did you just try to bite off too much? I know it's a really difficult shot.
TIGER WOODS: No, I hit it too far behind the golf ball. I had to hit closer to the ball and I didn't do it. To be honest with you, it wasn't a very good shot.

Q. What's the best example of the unpredictability of the wind today?
TIGER WOODS: Well, 14. 14, we thought it was in off the right, and it turned out being down. So where Pamps' ball ended up, 80-footer, he made it, but maybe that's what the game plan was. (Laughter.)
18 was supposed to be in off the left and it was down off the left. You saw Pamps take just a really long time on 11 because it was supposed to be in off the left and it was down off the right, complete opposite, and he wouldn't pull the trigger because he couldn't figure it out. And then when he did, actually it switched mid-flight and you see it stand up and it came back in off the left, and he ended up short. So when I hit it was in off the left.

Q. What about 6?
TIGER WOODS: 6, I have no idea how that ball went that far. I had 203 to the hole and I hit 7-iron and it carried over the green. I'm not that young anymore where I can hit that shot.

Q. Lastly on 6 real quick, if you could set this course up the way you wanted it, would it be a 5 or a 4?
TIGER WOODS: I would probably say -- well, I would like to see it play as a 4 and No. 11 be the 5. That green is not realistic for a 3-iron or hybrid into that green.
But 6, if it's downwind like it is, then I think it's a great hole.

Q. How about your second shot on 16 there?
TIGER WOODS: (Laughing) it was such a good shot. Best shot I hit all day. Just threw a 4-iron straight up in the air, and it was just right at it. It just was one yard short.

Q. How important was it after the double on 11 psychologically late in the round to make birdie at 16 to get to double digits?
TIGER WOODS: Well, you don't ever want to shoot over par, especially when you have the lead in a tournament. I made that mistake there at 11, just a bad 6 there, and I had a couple opportunities to get it back and I didn't get it back. With 16 playing downwind, you have to make 4 there. You just can't walk away with a 5. I was able to make 4 there and then par the last two.

Q. What is it about 11 that's sort of stymied you the last couple days, and what are the basic dilemmas of that hole?
TIGER WOODS: The first day I drove it right in the middle of the fairway and made bogey, yesterday I drove it in the right bunker and made bogey, and today I drove it from the left hill and made double.
Tomorrow I'll probably hit wedge off the tee (laughter) and then I'll hit 3-wood and then hit a 5-iron on there, whatever.
I don't feel bad on that tee shot, and yesterday I missed it probably about three yards to the right, caught the left edge of the right bunker and it ricocheted in. Today I pulled the tee shot, and unfortunately it just added up to a lot of shots.
NELSON SILVERIO: Tiger Woods, thank you.

End of FastScripts

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