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December 3, 2010

Tiger Woods


MARK STEVENS: Tiger, a round of 66 today. If you want to kind of compare the two rounds and we'll take some questions.
TIGER WOODS: Didn't hit the ball quite as sharp as I did yesterday, but I felt like ironically enough I felt better with the putter. I hit a lot of pure putts, made a bunch of five- or six-footers all day today, and the greens were quick, and I just kept hitting the ball in the wrong spots, kept giving myself these big breaking putts or above the hole. The majority of the day I was putting pretty defensively.

Q. You've talked about putting together four good rounds in a row. If you look at it now you're halfway there. Are you feeling pretty confident the way you're playing?
TIGER WOODS: I'm feeling very happy with the progress I've made. You know, it wasn't -- as I said, wasn't quite as sharp as yesterday, but I was able to piece it together and figure out how to hit better shots when I was struggling a little bit, hit a couple loose shots and all of a sudden, okay, this is what I need to do to fix it, and I fixed it. So that was nice. That was nice to kind of do that as well as I felt like I made a lot of good, as I said, five-, six-footers.

Q. A lot of conversation with you and Rory. First time you've played together with him or have you played some with him in the past? And what were you guys chatting about?
TIGER WOODS: It was fun. I enjoy playing with Rory. He's a great kid. We were chatting about just all different types of subjects. You know, he's one of the best players in the world. He's got so much talent. It's just fun to watch, and unfortunately he made a mistake on the last hole, but I would love to play with him again.

Q. Can you talk about your mindset leading -- after yesterday, leading up to today? Does it feel like good old times or does it feel good to be back?
TIGER WOODS: I felt like today it was important to take care of the par-5s again. There's ten par-5s so far and I've played them 10-under, so that's pretty good.

Q. But your feeling being in the lead two days in a row, getting that back?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, it's nice being there, but the mindset today -- you asked what the mindset was. The mindset was just to go out there and take care of the par-5s. The years that I've won here I've played the par-5s really well, and because there's five and on top of that they're all really reachable, I just felt that's so important to play those holes well. There's a couple little short holes like 10 and 1 that you should be able to make birdies on, and you put that together, you're shooting 65. So that was kind of the whole idea.

Q. You mentioned 1. You've missed that fairway two days in a row now. Is it something that doesn't fit your eye?
TIGER WOODS: I hit a good shot down there today. I hit a sweet little draw up the left side, and I thought it was going to be perfect because I was trying to get an angle to that back right pin. Clipped the tree and kicked all the way across the fairway into the rough. I'm like, oh, here we go.

Q. As you and Stevie have gone along, have you started having him help read more putts?
TIGER WOODS: You know, it depends. I always call Stevie on the hardest putts, and usually it's double-breaking putts is usually what I call him on. I don't call him on the easy putts because I can read that. It's the putts that are either dead straight or like which way is it going to fall, that kind of thing, or double-breaking putts. He never gets the easy ones.

Q. With all the work on the golf swing, how do you prioritize putting and getting the work in on that? I mean, sometimes things have to take a backseat, I suppose. How would you say that is at this point and going forward?
TIGER WOODS: You know, what I've done is before every practice session I've had is I always putt and ensure that I always get enough putts. I may not putt or hit balls for as many hours as I used to, but the thing is I've got to hit putts. I always start out every practice session at home putting, and then I move on from there.

Q. You might have answered this, I got in here late, but the fact that you held that round together, you didn't hit it as well as you did yesterday.

Q. But the fact that you held the round together today, posted a very good score, how heartening is that, given, as we were talking about yesterday, this year has been a bit scratchy with letting momentum slip?
TIGER WOODS: Well, it's just that I understand what the fixes are in Sean's system that he's trying to get me to do. That's something that I couldn't quite do early on when we started working together. Today I hit a couple loose shots there in the middle part of the round, but I knew what the fix was, got it together and hit good shots after that. It wasn't quite as sharp as I said yesterday was, but it was good enough. I also managed my game really well, too.

Q. You had a number of birdie putts that ran three, four, five feet by the hole. Is that a good sign?
TIGER WOODS: No, they should go in. The difference is that this putter, it does come off faster, and that's one of the things that I've had to actually make a conscious effort because the ball is rolling, it's not skidding, it rolls right off the face. I've had to make that adjustment. It's one of the reasons why I put that putter in at the British Open is because it does roll a little faster, and I always struggle on slow greens. But now we're on the fastest greens we've played on since probably Augusta. It makes it a little more interesting.

Q. About having the lead, it's been, I don't know, what, a year, I think, since you've had the second round lead. You've had the first round lead. But how does it feel to be on the top again, got a nice healthy lead, and how does it feel?
TIGER WOODS: It feels good. I've been here before, so it's not a strange feeling. It's just one of those things where tomorrow is the same game plan, just go out there and plot my way along and take care of the par-5s.

Q. I had a reader email me and wanted to have me ask you about the Stanford shirt today. New in the wardrobe?
TIGER WOODS: See, the deal was I wanted to -- you don't wish anyone bad luck, but if two teams lose tomorrow, it would be really nice. I wouldn't be against that. (Laughter.)

Q. Something we'll see more of in the future?
TIGER WOODS: Well, just trying to hopefully show my support for our team but also just very proud of what they've done so far. We haven't been in this position in a very long time, so we're pretty ecstatic about it.

Q. Possibility of rain, maybe a little light rain on Sunday. Does that change your approach or is it irrelevant tomorrow in terms of what you do tomorrow?
TIGER WOODS: I've got to take care of tomorrow before we get to Sunday, so that doesn't change anything.

End of FastScripts

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