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July 31, 2009

Tiger Woods


DOUG MILNE: All right. Tiger Woods, thanks for joining us for a few minutes. First of all, it appears that you'll be around for the weekend at the Buick Open. Great playing today. 9-under par 63. Just a few comments on both the difference between yesterday and today.
TIGER WOODS: Yeah. I felt like I rolled it just a bit like I did yesterday. Only difference is I took advantage of the position I was driving in.
Yesterday I didn't hit my irons as close and I certainly didn't putt good at all. Today I hit my irons a little closer and I made some putts. Even though I three-putted 18 and missed a few out there, I also made a bunch, too.
DOUG MILNE: We'll open it up for a few questions.

Q. (Indiscernible).
TIGER WOODS: Yeah. With that pin, you know, it was -- I was telling Steve, you just gotta get the ball anywhere in the fairway, and the worst thing you can do is leave yourself a pitch or any kind of wedge to that pin today.
That's one of the reasons why, you know, get it up on the fairway. I could have just pitched out sideways and left myself probably 7-iron or 8-iron in there, but to that pin, you gotta get where you can take the spin off of it. So I got a little bit aggressive and tried to get it down there where I had kind of a chip-and-run up the hill, and it worked out.

Q. Did you spend any extra time on the putting green this morning or do anything differently?
TIGER WOODS: No. The same. Absolutely the same. Same routine, didn't change anything. Just made sure I was committed to what I was doing out there today, and I got my speed a little bit better.
Yesterday my speed was bad, and today the read was smoother and just made sure I got my speed correct and I was all right. Even though the one hole, 18, didn't have my speed very good and ended up costing me a shot.

Q. Are the greens soft or are they starting to firm up a little bit?
TIGER WOODS: No. They're not firming up, no. Fairways are firming up a little bit. Some of the fairways are giving up a little bit, but certainly not the greens.

Q. Tiger, you mentioned your routine, so after yesterday you don't go to the practice range? Is that something that you normally do do or don't do?
TIGER WOODS: I normally do, but I was a little bit hot yesterday, so I decided to just go home and get away from it for a little bit. And came out today with a better understanding of what I was going to do and just hit the ball.
I drove it great yesterday. Just didn't hit my irons as close and didn't putt well, so I was just going to drive it just as good today and hit my irons a bit better and see if I can pour some in.

Q. You talked yesterday about not trying to get it all back at once and being patient. You got a lot of it back today, maybe more back today than you maybe would have thought. Can you talk about where you are now relative to -- there are going to be low scores again.
TIGER WOODS: Yeah. Exactly. It's a process. I can't get it back in one round. I positioned myself so far back yesterday that it wasn't going to happen.
But if I birdie the holes you're supposed to birdie, the two drivable par-4s, the par-5 and sprinkle in a couple here and there, you're going to come up with a round in the mid 60s, and that would get me within touch of the leaders.
And as of right now, 12's leading, and that probably won't be the lead at the end of the day. But at least I'm back in the tournament.

Q. Tiger, I think it's maybe your best round score-wise since maybe Southern Hills, or roundabout there. Is it important for you -- even though you know what you can do, is it important for you to just come out and shoot a 63 just to sort of remind yourself, hey -- and it might have even been 60. Is it important for you for your confidence to do that stuff?
TIGER WOODS: Not necessarily. As I said, I thought it was more of a process to get myself back in the tournament. And as I said, I was so far back yesterday, 8 back on this golf course is a lot. And you know, I'm just trying to make sure I put a dent in that each and every day, and shoot something in the mid 60s today.
That probably puts me four or five back from the lead, and right now I'm only two, but probably will be three or four by the end of the day but at least I'm back in there. I'm in touch where if I play a good round tomorrow, I should be near the lead, and you gotta look at it as a process. I was so far back, but I had three more rounds to go.

Q. (Indiscernible).
TIGER WOODS: Not necessarily, no. You know, you just gotta make sure that you don't get overly aggressive trying to get it all back.
That's one of the things you can't do on this golf course. This golf course is playing soft and easy, you should birdie every hole, but you also can make a few mistakes, like I did yesterday. If I shot that number again today, I'm out of here.

Q. Tiger, how big of an advantage is it for you to start back where you can't get it all back in one little stretch, but you get it rolling right away. Kind of the confidence thing, when you get it right away, how important was that?
TIGER WOODS: It was nice to birdie the first couple before I even got to 12, 13, 14.
And it was blowing just enough downwind when we were starting out that I could get it close to 12, which was just right there short of the bunker.
13, by driving left of that tree, it's an iron and the green, and 14 I drove it on today. So you have to take advantage of the downwind holes like that today, and I did.

Q. When you get off to the start that you did, does it ever cross your mind that obviously you knew you wanted to go low, but you could go really low?
TIGER WOODS: Awe, you just keep playing. Whether one early or I think I got to 7 at one point, 6 or 7. You just keep playing shot to shot. It doesn't change.
It's how you got there in the first place, so why would you change?

Q. Tiger, you're obviously no stranger to big galleries, but as people sensed you were making a charge, they more and more were flocking to you. Were you aware of that or does that help charge you?
TIGER WOODS: No. You could feel more people coming out. I don't think people were going to get up that early and watch us tee off, but it was nice to have everyone excited. And I was playing well and making a little bit of a run, and I think that everyone got a little bit excited about that.

Q. Does it help you that you had the late start yesterday and early start today, less time to think about your round yesterday?
TIGER WOODS: I don't know. I don't know if you can look at it that way, but sure.

Q. Tiger, I think it was 15 you took a long time to hit your approach shot. You weren't sure what the wind was going to do. As soon as you hit it, the wind gust came up. Does that kind of make you chuckle?
TIGER WOODS: Well, what was it, that was my sixth hole of the day and that was the best swing I've made, and I was in the worst spot I could be in.
I hit the shot absolutely perfect. It was a low fading 5-iron, and I thought it was going to be -- probably would have been four or five feet of the hole, and actually I was in a bunker. So it was just kind of ironic how it turns out.

Q. You said you were hot yesterday. Were you hot because of the heat or hot because of the mistakes you were making?
TIGER WOODS: Mistakes.

Q. Talking about welcome to golf, you thought you made the eagle putt at 1, and then you thought you made the putt at 3. What was your reaction?
TIGER WOODS: Well, not necessarily 3. I blocked it just enough. I started just a little bit -- half a ball low on my line than I wanted to. And it didn't go in. So it wasn't such a bad deal, because it really probably shouldn't have gone in.

Q. But it went in 1?
TIGER WOODS: 1 was a good putt.

Q. Tiger, did missing the cut enter your mind at all yesterday?

Q. Were you still hot this morning when you came out?
TIGER WOODS: No. No. It was fine. You get over it. We've been in this position so many times.

Q. Were you coming out and really wanted -- I mean you were busting out of the gate it seemed like.
TIGER WOODS: You just play shot to shot. It's not one of those sports where you just go ahead and hit as hard as you want. You gotta keep your patience, and as I said, take care of the par-5s, the two drivable par-4s and sprinkle on a couple here and there, and there's your round in the mid 60s. And I happened to make a couple more beyond that, and here we are at 63.

Q. When you look at your speed, what kind of process do you go through to recalibrate that, get that back?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah. I was frustrated because I was concentrating on my speed, and I still didn't have it right.
I knew that the greens were going to be a little quicker this morning because they were smoother, freshly cut. And had to really grind on my speed and make sure that I didn't run the ball past the hole like I was yesterday.
And what do I do on 18, I blew it 10 feet past the hole and three-putted. But most of the day I had pretty good speed.

Q. Tiger, on a couple of occasions you mentioned that you don't expect the lead to be at 12-under by the end of the day. In your mind do you have a magic number in mind for Sunday that for you to contend for the title you think may be at? 20 or so?
TIGER WOODS: I think if the wind doesn't blow, you'll have to get into the 20s, if it doesn't blow. But if it blows like it did this afternoon, it's going to be a little harder for the guys because the greens are going to be a little more bumpy this afternoon. And it's going to be a little more difficult to try and make as many birdies, but if the wind doesn't blow, you have to go low.
DOUG MILNE: If you wouldn't mind just running us through your birdies.
TIGER WOODS: Okay. First hole, I hit a driver and 3-wood to about 35 feet, 40 feet, missed it, two-putted.
7, I hit a driver and a 5-wood just short of the green, pitched it up there to about 8 feet and made it. 8, I hit a 6-iron to about 15 feet right of the hole and made it. 10, I hit a driver and 60-degree sand wedge to about 8 feet past the hole and made it.
11, I hit a 7-iron to about 6 feet and made it. 12, I hit a driver and I pitched it in from about I think about 41 yards to the hole. 13, I hit a driver and a 3-iron down there just short of the green, used a sand wedge, bumped it up the hill and made about a 10-footer. 14, I drove it on the green and two-putted from about 50 feet. And let's see.
16, I hit driver and 3-wood just short left of the green, pitched it up there to about 10 feet and made it. And 18, I hit 3-wood, 7-iron to about 40 feet or so and hit 50 feet and missed it. (Laughs).
DOUG MILNE: Tiger, great playing. Thanks for joining us for a few minutes.

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