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August 31, 2012

Tiger Woods


JOHN BUSH:  We'd like to welcome Tiger Woods into the interview room after a 7‑under par 64.  What a round, six birdies in a row in one stretch.  Talk a little bit about the day.
TIGER WOODS:  Yeah, I played really well today.  I hit a lot of good shots, and on top of that I putted well at the same time.  It was a nice little combination.  Had two really sweet little flop shots there today, which was nice, one at 12 and one at 4.  The one at 4 was‑‑ that was a good one (smiling), and overall I was very pleased with the way I played today and controlled it, and then the wind started picking up, and I still hit really good shots.

Q.  How do you go from a 76 on Sunday at the Barclays to this round today?
TIGER WOODS:  Well, one, I wasn't playing that bad.  That's the thing that people don't really realize, is that Saturday I had four three‑putts, I would have been right there.  And then Sunday I was battling back and forth early and finally just kind of lost it at the end, but I was just hanging in there that round.
It wasn't like I was hitting a lot of awful shots.  I just needed a couple putts to kind of go my way, and it didn't happen.  All of a sudden, it turned around.  I should be right around par, and it turns into an over‑par round.
Today was about the same as I have been playing pretty much all summer, just go out there and playing pretty consistent, nothing really‑‑ it was just a nice, solid round.

Q.  Do you feel as though you played as well as you scored today?
TIGER WOODS:  I did.  I hit the ball well enough to probably shoot maybe one or two more.  I missed a couple little putts out there.  But also I made my share from outside of 15, 20 feet, as well.

Q.  Can you talk about kind of in detail how you played the 4th hole, the decisions you made and the shots you hit?
TIGER WOODS:  Yeah, the 4th hole I had 265 cover over that bunker and 285 front.  When we first got to the tee, it was just a little bit off the left, which is perfect for a 3‑wood, I can cover that 265, just land on the downslope and roll up either on the green or just short.  The wind started picking up and howling, and I can't cover the 265 now.  Now it's driver, but driver is too much.  So I've got to take something off the driver, because if I land it up on top, it's out of here, and that's the worst place you can put it to that flag.
So I was just waiting for the wind to actually start picking up a little bit more so I could hit driver a little more comfortably, and it did.  I was trying to put the ball in the left bunker, and unfortunately I didn't get there.  The lie was decent, but I had to play an all‑out shot to try to keep it on the green, and I went for it, and it came off.

Q.  What was the landing area?
TIGER WOODS:  Oh, geez, it wasn't much.  I'm guessing maybe a foot and a half, max.

Q.  Did 18 play as you suspected it would, and when you had that long uphill, I guess, eagle chance, the tap‑in birdie started your run there.  Did you feel like you would see some momentum?
TIGER WOODS:  Well, 18 is a tricky tee shot for me because I can't cover the 320 to the right fairway.  Some of the bigger hitters like Dustin and Bubba that were playing right ahead of us, that's an easy cover for them.  320 in the air for me, I can't quite get that, so I had to play left with 3‑wood.  The driver is too much, so I played left with 3‑wood and hit 6‑iron in.  I tried to hit the ball on the side of the green.  The putt was a tricky little putt because it broke three different ways, but it had a good speed and it looked like it had a chance.

Q.  What happened on the approach shot on 9?
TIGER WOODS:  Well, 9 I had a buck‑81 in there and hit just a little 7‑iron, and you could see Nick was just slightly ahead of me, and he hit 7‑iron, and we were, what, 35 yards apart on our two 7‑irons?  I caught a lull, he caught a gust.  It's tough out there right now because it's not only just blowing but it's also changing directions.  We had a hard time figuring out the directions, that's one thing, but then you've got to figure out the intensity and hope it stays there and hope you guess it right and hit it right.
You know, we got fooled on both of our shots, and it was a pretty big discrepancy.

Q.  On No.5 what was the club you used on that second shot?  Did you think it might go in, and at‑‑
TIGER WOODS:  Well, we can't see from down there.

Q.  So you just know from the crowd's roar?
TIGER WOODS:  I knew it was good, but I didn't know it was going to be that close.

Q.  So when you go up and see it's inches away, just at that point are you feeling like you are fully in this groove, and are you thinking course record, or‑‑
TIGER WOODS:  Just after tapping it in, it was do I hit driver or 3‑wood on the next tee, try and put it up the left side, does 3‑wood actually take me into the left side easier than holding a driver against that wind, and which one is better for me.  That was‑‑ seriously, that was what I was trying to figure out.

Q.  How did you hit that wedge?  Was that just a regular wedge?
TIGER WOODS:  That was a regular wedge, it was down off the left, I had 154‑hole.  Nick hit his ball up in the air, and it got‑‑ actually his‑‑ he caught a bad gust, as well.  The wind was supposed to be off the left, but his switched and it came off the right and forced it pretty far left of the green, and what I had at the time, it was howling off the left, so I just said go ahead and trust it, and I got the right wind.

Q.  The putt on 6, did you hit it where you wanted?
TIGER WOODS:  I pured it.

Q.  Did you think it was going to go right?
TIGER WOODS:  I thought it was going to go right.  Unfortunately it just wiggled about a half a ball left, right where I thought it was going to wiggle about a half a ball right, and it went left.

Q.  The drive on 7, did you catch a bit of a break there?
TIGER WOODS:  I did.  I lost it on that wind.  I wasn't comfortable with my alignment on that one.  I was trying to just‑‑ I backed off once because I didn't have the right alignment, and then I really wasn't quite comfortable that I had reset to the proper line, and I bailed out on the shot, hit the path, hit the tree and ended up being playable.

Q.  We had a couple occasions today where the distance was off.  When that happens, how much of it is conditions, how much of it is you, and when it is you, what is it in your swing that's causing that?
TIGER WOODS:  Well, today was‑‑ I hit the ball flush today, and I just had a hard time getting it to try and figure out the wind, because if I hit it flush, it goes right through the wind.  My ball doesn't curve as much.  So when I'm hitting it well, it'll go right through it.
It's so tricky out there because it's‑‑ I'd like to say I hit some bad shots, but I really didn't.  I hit a lot of good ones out there, and I just happened to hit it right through the wind, and hit some numbers that I didn't even know I could hit just because I thought the wind would snag it a little bit more than it did.

Q.  One more golfy thing.  On the chip on 9, what was it about it that made you want to play it the way you did?
TIGER WOODS:  Well, the lie wasn't very good.  It was sitting down just a touch, and it was across grain.  So if I tried to hit just a regular pitch shot it was going to end upright where it was, and if I try and under cut it I'm coming against the grain.  The grain was going left to right, so I'm going back up against it, and it wants to turn it over.  So I went with more speed to try and get through it and just didn't work out.

Q.  How long since you can't carry 320?  You mentioned that.  And what's that a function of?
TIGER WOODS:  I've never been able to carry 320.

Q.  You haven't?
TIGER WOODS:  No.  I wish I could.  That would be nice.

Q.  I'm curious just on the system of the Playoffs, it's now four years old, and how do you think it's catching on as it relates to the other sports here in Boston being the equivalent of the quarterfinals, and maybe compare it to the what the BCS has gone through in general terms.
TIGER WOODS:  Well, I would say it's different than all those.  I think we're just trying to play for position for the TOUR Championship, because we know if we're in the top 5 and we win the TOUR Championship, you automatically win the FedExCup.  And the guys are just trying to position themselves there somehow, try and get there.
You know, it's one of those weird things that's‑‑ you could win all three of these events and still lose the FedExCup.  That's kind of the nature of how it's set up.  The argument would be, unfortunately for you Pats fans, is when you guys win‑‑ what was it, 18 and 0, and unfortunately lost one, that's kind of the argument‑‑ that's also why they set it up that way.  Just because you sweep the Playoffs doesn't mean it's guaranteed that you're going to win the overall title.

Q.  Do you think it's getting momentum with the fans, though?
TIGER WOODS:  Absolutely.  The fans are starting to understand it, they're starting to get it, and we as players are starting to get it, too.  The format has changed.  The points structure has changed, and I think we're trying to figure it out now and starting to have a better understanding of what's going on.

Q.  There's been a number of relatively fast players that have come out, Rickie, Rory, Dustin, and when they get out here they invariably slow down a little bit because they have to.  Do you get a sense that Brandt ever slowed down?
TIGER WOODS:  No, uh‑uh.  He plays just as fast as Riles.  Riles was probably the fastest one I've ever seen, but Brandt is probably 1B on that one.  It doesn't take long.  I remember playing with Riles back in junior golf, college golf, where I'd hit my shot and I'd hear his ball fly.  Brandt is not quite at that level.

Q.  What do you think of him overall?  Have you played much with him?
TIGER WOODS:  I've played a couple times with him.  Unfortunately I played with him a few years ago when he made that mistake at Cog Hill on 18, but I also played with him a couple times since then.  His game is solid.  He hits it good, and more than anything, God, he putts it good.  Quick stroke, but it rolls, and you see the ball, how it just rolls immediately, it doesn't slide, it doesn't bounce, it doesn't jump, it just rolls.

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