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September 25, 2009

Tiger Woods


JOHN BUSH: We'd like to welcome Tiger Woods into the interview room, 2-under par today for Tiger. If you'll comment on the day as a whole if you can, please.
TIGER WOODS: The day as a whole was a good day. I shot under par, and I got myself I think in the lead. I don't know what Sean did on the last hole. But it was a day in which I hit the ball very well starting out, didn't make any putts, hit everything on the high side. The grain just wasn't snagging it. Three-putted there at 5, but then made 3 right there on the trot to end the front nine, which was good. I was just trying to get back to even par or under par at the turn. It was a bonus to get the 2.
And then the back nine, I hit some scratchy shots but also hit some really good ones, too. And I had an opportunity there at 15 and 16 to make a couple putts, didn't do it, but made a good save at 17, and unfortunately just made a 4 at 18.

Q. You get Harrington again tomorrow. He's been a frequent dance partner of yours going back the last couple months especially. Have you learned anything about him that you didn't know about his game or tenacity that would cause you to heighten the admiration you already admittedly have for the guy?
TIGER WOODS: No, I've played with him enough over the years. We've basically played our careers simultaneously. We played the Walker Cup together or against each other and turned pro about the same time. We've been out here for just as long.
I know that what he's done with Bob in all the years of hard work obviously is paying off. It was a matter of time before he won some big events, and lo and behold, he's won three major championships. Certainly he has put the work in to accomplish that, which is something that we all respect about him.

Q. What happened on the missed putt on 15, and then on 16 did you have any spike mark issues?
TIGER WOODS: Okay, 15 was a putt that was a strange putt in the sense the grain was left to right, in and left to right, and the slope was right to left. I thought the slope was -- I thought it was going to be inside right to right center, and because it was into the grain, it started snagging it early and obviously took it left because I had to hit it pretty easy and it was downhill.
The one at 16, yeah, the spike was -- they were there, but I didn't hit a very good putt. I took the club back just slightly on the outside. If it's on bentgrass greens the putt is in, but because the grain is right to left and in, it just took it the way it did.

Q. Did you try and jam it?
TIGER WOODS: I had to, yeah.

Q. It looks like you left a few putts on the greens today. What was it like throughout the whole round?
TIGER WOODS: Well, I told you, I missed those two putts there at 15 and 16. 15 is okay, that's fine, that happens. 16 was just a bad putt.
I've been hitting good putts all day, and as I said, early in the round, all my putts were on the high side. The grain wasn't taking it at the end like I thought it would. I think that was the frustrating part because I was hitting good putts, they just weren't breaking at the hole.
This is one of those things when you play on Bermudagrass, do you take the break out, take a chance of running it past the hole, or do you try and play for the grain to snag it at the end. It's just one of those things that just makes Bermudagrass very interesting to putt on.

Q. Two things: First, about the grass, I think they redid it here and then you didn't play, so this would be the first time you've played on this surface?

Q. So is it one of your favorites or not one of your favorites in terms of putting surface?
And then secondly, you've got a one-shot lead. Do you sit there and go, okay, I've got a one-shot lead after two rounds or think it could have been three, could have been four?
TIGER WOODS: Today's round probably could have been one or two better for sure. But you know, overall I'm very pleased with my scoring the first two days.
This grass, it's like all Bermudagrass. It doesn't matter what strain it is. You have to hit solid putts and you've got to be committed to your lines and you're going to hit good putts that don't go in, whereas on bentgrass you hit good putts and they all go in.
The only thing here is if you get the right situation where you hit a lot of balls underneath the hole, you can start taking some of this break out, grain out, and start ramming them in, and you can really start rolling them in and start making a bunch of putts.
Unfortunately I didn't have that opportunity today. I had a lot of downhill breaking putts on which I had to be very protective.

Q. Do you prefer Bermuda to poa or are they equally bad?
TIGER WOODS: Poa is what I grew up on, so I understand how to putt poa. Bermuda is also one of the things that -- one of the reasons why I live in Florida, why I moved to Florida. Not only for the taxes, but also it was a bonus to learn how to putt on Bermudagrass because I never did.
When I was in -- the first time I ever putted on Bermudagrass was when I went to Texarkana, Arkansas to play in the Big "I" when I was 13. Maybe one time a year I'd play on Bermudagrass. I never got that chance.
You see guys how they pop putts and do all that. My stroke is made to -- like O'Meara's stroke, we grew up on the West Coast hitting up on putts to get it rolling on poa, and when you make the transition to bent, it's pretty easy. But Bermuda is a slightly different stroke.

Q. You seemed to be in command of your game. A couple of drives went left. Were those just balls that didn't cut?
TIGER WOODS: No, actually I hooked them. I just over-hooked them, and that's something that I'm pleased about, actually. That's a miss I would like to have, because if I over-hook it, you can easily straighten that out. Like today I over-hooked one at 10, but piped it right -- hit a few good shots after that, and then hit a really good drive down 16 today, nice high draw there. I tried to make the same swing off the tee as I did 10 but just not quite as much draw on it, and I just killed it.

Q. Coming off the big win in Chicago, was the week off a help or a hindrance, and how much or how little did you practice?
TIGER WOODS: Certainly it helped. I was pretty tired after that six out of seven weeks there. I believe six out of seven I was -- well, Deutsche Bank I wasn't really in contention. But the rest of the events I was right there with a chance. So that puts a wear and tear on you. You get a little tired, and I certainly was tired after Cog Hill. I didn't touch a club for about four days, and then when I did come back, it was just short game, and then I started hitting some shots and started playing a couple holes.

Q. Two questions: One, could you go over the details real quick on 7 through 9?
TIGER WOODS: 7 through 9, I hit 3-wood off the tee, hit an 8-iron to about eight feet and made it.
8, I hit a 3-wood off the tee, hit a pitching wedge to about three feet, made that.
And 9, I hit a driver, laid up with a 7-iron, hit a 60-degree sand wedge to about 12 feet right behind the hole and made that.

Q. Had to lay up?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I did.

Q. I remember toward the end of whatever, I guess summer, I guess it's in fall now, but I can't remember a hotter week. Has there been --
TIGER WOODS: You know, you're used to this at home. This is how it is every day back home, but the difference is I'm in a cart and shorts and I can go in the air-conditioning any time I want. This is tough out here. Not quite as -- nowhere near as tough as Tulsa, but it'll put a strain on you.

Q. Could I get your thoughts on playing for Freddie Couples in a couple weeks?
TIGER WOODS: Well, it's going to be fun, first of all. I can't wait to listen to him, his speeches and see where they're going to go. When they start off one way, they never end up there. I think that's one of the things that we're all going to have a good time with.
He's also a guy that is very competitive, but also he loves to get the needle, too. We're going to have a lot of fun.

Q. What's the best text you got from Freddie so far?
TIGER WOODS: I can't say it here. That's the thing, I can't say it here.

Q. With the rain rolling in tomorrow, do you have any pressure to maybe take some more chances on the greens because at least you know what they're like now and you don't know what they'll be like after the rain hits?
TIGER WOODS: I'll tell you what, after that SubAir system, they turn that thing on, it sucks the moisture right out of there. I mean, they had I don't know how many inches of rain here on the golf course. They were watering 9 green yesterday after they had that much rain, flooding here in Atlanta, and the greens are so baked out they actually had to water them. It's amazing what SubAir can do for you.

Q. Speaking of Presidents Cup, do you look forward to a possible match-up against perhaps Y.E.?
TIGER WOODS: I don't know what we're going to do as far as our match-ups. I know you can put certain guys against one another or try to. You know, it'll be interesting to see. I usually have played the guys who are usually playing the hottest that week. That's kind of what I've done in the past.

Q. Did you not go up against Norman in singles in Australia?
TIGER WOODS: I did, in '98, correct.

Q. Was that a -- where did that rank for you in terms of -- obviously that was a long time ago. He was still pretty top-notch player at the time. Do you recall what your thoughts were?
TIGER WOODS: Well, you're playing against probably -- I'd have to say he is the biggest icon that Australia has produced. Certainly there was a lot of people following our match, because one, they had already secured The Presidents Cup. They were, I don't know, 50,000 points ahead of us or something. (Laughter.) It was a whitewash there. That was kind of the key match-up.
Jack asked, "Would you like to go against Greg?" And I said, "Hell, why not?" To go against Greg in his home country like that, to say I played Ernie in South Africa and had him in a playoff, Weirs in Canada, I've had Vijay, I've had Goose. I've had some pretty good players.
JOHN BUSH: Tiger, thank you for coming by. Play well this weekend.

End of FastScripts

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