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December 2, 2011

Tiger Woods


JOHN BUSH:  Tiger Woods joins us after a 5‑under par 67, our leader after two rounds of the Chevron World Challenge.  A couple eagles on the card, just an overall great round.  Just comment if you can.
TIGER WOODS:  Yeah, as I was saying to Steve out there, that was probably the highest score I probably could have shot today.  I hit the ball really well and hit one bad shot today and almost made birdie on that hole if I would have hit a decent putt.  But hit a few bad putts today, but overall I really hit the ball well all day.  I didn't really miss a shot.

Q.  You were going back and forth a little bit on the putting grip.

Q.  What is it exactly, and did that lead to any of the short misses today?
TIGER WOODS:  No, like in Australia I was missing putts, and my shoulders were slightly open, so I'm trying to do anything I can to basically get my shoulders square.  I like to putt with my right hand, just hit it with my right hand, release that toe as much as I possibly can.  I like that.
So Stricks has got his grip, which is basically a Vardon grip that he putts with, but he putts left‑handed, which is interesting, but I putt right‑handed.  So I like‑‑ as I say, I like to feel it moving and have some hit in my stroke.  It was frustrating because when my shoulders get over like I did over on 5, it's either a block like I did down the hill and then the next hole miss a short one because if I let it go it's going left.  As soon as I get my shoulders square then I can start covering the ball and getting the thing rolling tight, so that's what I did today.

Q.  Is that the change you made at the Presidents Cup?
TIGER WOODS:  No, that was ball position.

Q.  So you just started that today with the new grip?
TIGER WOODS:  Last night.

Q.  Can you walk us through the two par‑5s, please, the two eagles, 2 and 11?
TIGER WOODS:  2, I hit a good drive.  Unfortunately just didn't peel it.  Had a 5‑iron in there.  I was aiming at the bridge, and I was just trying to hit a push cut from that lie, and I hit it flush and didn't really cut that much.  It was just more of a flush ball, and it peeled just a touch, ended up a proper distance and made the putt.
And 11, I hit a good drive and I hit a 4‑iron.  The wind was going back and forth all over the place out there, and it was 4‑iron, 5‑iron, 4‑iron, 5‑iron, and I had enough wind where I could hit 4, then it started dying down, then if you watched me I kind of aimed a little bit further left to hit a bigger cut, so gave myself a little more cush because the wind it just laid down just enough.  It came out perfect, just a nice high softy in there, and made about a 15‑footer.

Q.  Matt Kuchar was in here and said when he played a practice round with you I guess before the Australian, he realized you were hitting it up with Dustin Johnson.  How much length had you lost or in your mind had you lost, and are you back to where you used to be a couple of years ago?
TIGER WOODS:  I'm longer than I was a couple years ago, yeah.  Yeah.  It's hard to say because, I mean, irons you can't really compare because guys have different lofts.  My lofts and lengths are clubs are different than most of the guys now.  The new standard is different.  But driver off the tee, I'm not quite as long as Dustin, but I'm in the ballpark.  But I feel like I'm probably with my irons, I'd say probably a half a club shorter than he is.  But if it was apples to apples with the lofts and the length of clubs, it might be pretty close.
I'm in the ballpark.  I'm not as long as he is.  I can't carry the ball as far as he can.  My ball flight is a little bit different than that.  He hits a draw, but he hits it hot, and he hits it up in the air.  I don't quite hit that shot.

Q.  Were you losing length off the tee?
TIGER WOODS:  Yeah, my mechanics were such that I couldn't put any speed into it.  I kept slowing down to get the club in the right position.  Now I can go again.  I can be aggressive.  It was frustrating because all the strength training that I was doing, how in the hell am I hitting it shorter?  I should be hitting it further.  But now I've got the club in the right position, supplement that with my weight training, all of a sudden the ball is flying, and that's‑‑ it's good and bad.  You know, Christ, I hit a wedge on 17 today.  That's 150 to the front, I fly it over the green.  I didn't hit it hard.  Sometimes it's good and bad, I've just got to get used to it.

Q.  The back nine has been where most guys have scored more than the front side.  This year it seems like that's not the case.  Has it been more a result of the wind‑‑
TIGER WOODS:  Wind, yeah.

Q.  And then talk about 15.  I heard you say wind came up just as you hit your shot there.  Weird hole in that you knocked the ball in the water and you end up still walking away with a bigger lead.
TIGER WOODS:  Yeah, not exactly how I envisioned it, increasing my lead.  But no, I hit a sweet shot in there.  Unfortunately I caught the wrong gust at the right time.  I was hitting it about three steps right of the flag, and it landed right on my target.  There was nothing I could do.  I hit a good shot.  Just like I was telling Joey going down there to the drop zone, I hit a perfect shot, just the way it goes.  Okay, now let's try and make 4.  Ironically enough today I flushed an 8‑iron that hits‑‑ I hit it hard, and I flush it, and I hit it right there and it hits in the bank.  Yesterday I take something off an 8‑iron, I almost hit it in the back bushes.  A little bit of wind out there (laughing).

Q.  This is the second straight tournament you've had where you've had the 36‑hole lead.  I wonder if I can just get a general comment on that.  And secondly, do you need that for validation, or if you hadn't been in the lead these last two tournaments would you have known anyway that you were making the kind of progress that you were making?
TIGER WOODS:  Well, I want the lead after the four days, yeah.  Two days is nice, but four days is even better.  So that's‑‑ I know I'm playing better, and I just‑‑ it's nice to see the‑‑ my position on the leaderboard kind of equating to it.  It didn't really show up obviously at the Presidents Cup because we were playing a different format, but two stroke play events in a row I've played really well, and I've been either near the lead or in the lead.

Q.  With regard to the putting stroke, are you planning to go back and forth indefinitely or do you have any sort of goal in mind to pick one over the other at some point?  Amateurs are usually taught not to be flipping back and forth.
TIGER WOODS:  I just like covering the golf ball.  Whatever it is, I like covering it.  Last night Sean was saying, why don't you go back to your old stroke.  I've been changing my stroke and all this stuff.  He said, just go back to your old poa stroke, so I went back to it last night.  I was hitting on it and just‑‑ it was starting to feel really good.  Come out today, and I hit some sweet shots.  I putt on poa differently than I would any other place, and just how I release it and roll it.  He said, why don't you just do that all the time.  I said, well, it's a long story, but I haven't been.
JOHN BUSH:  Tiger, thank you.

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