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June 14, 2013

Tiger Woods


Q.  Long day, Tiger?
TIGER WOODS:  Yeah (laughter).  Long day and I'm hungry.

Q.  Will you take that 70?
TIGER WOODS:  Yeah, I played well.  I just made a couple of mistakes out there today, but I really played well.  Maybe I could have gotten one or two more out of it, but it was a pretty good day.

Q.  How tough a test is Merion proving to be?
TIGER WOODS:  It's hard with the wind and the pin locations.  They're really tough.  They put them on a lot of‑‑ we knew they were going to be in the areas, but we didn't think they were going to be as severe as they are.
A lot of guys are missing putts and blowing them by the holes and of that nature because obviously it would be a little more difficult trying to protect par.

Q.  What would it have been be like if it had been dry?
TIGER WOODS:  It would be hard to keep the balls in some of the fairways, but I don't think they would have made the greens as‑‑ the pins as severe out there.  I don't think they would have made them maybe a step easier than they are now.

Q.  You were clearly in a lot of pain yesterday.  When did you first (inaudible)?
TIGER WOODS:  A few weeks ago.

Q.  Does it feel better or worse after your first round?
TIGER WOODS:  Well, it is what it is.

Q.  How did you hurt yourself?
TIGER WOODS:  Playing golf at The PLAYERS.

Q.  Zach Johnson said the USGA is being manipulated here, have you ever thought about that?
TIGER WOODS:  Well, you know they moved a few of the fairways over.  2, they moved over.
What else?  11.
So they moved a couple of the fairways over.  But I think more than anything it's the pin locations.  They've really tried to, I think, protect the golf course, with it being as soft as it is.  And they've given us some really, really tough pins.

Q.  Where did you hurt yourself at The PLAYERS?
TIGER WOODS:  One of the rounds.

Q.  Has fatigue become a factor on a day like this?
TIGER WOODS:  Absolutely, absolutely.  And it's not exactly like we're playing fast out there.  They're just slow rounds.  And with a lot of the guys hanging‑‑ you have to wait for other players to hit off all their tees, some of the crossovers, at 3 and 6, it takes its toll on you.  It's long days.
But granted, if you make the cut, everybody is going to be facing it one of the days.  You're going to have a long day.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
TIGER WOODS:  Not necessarily.  We got it right in the stiff breeze.  It was playing hard.  It would have been nice to maybe get that side as our second side, with it warming up.  The ball is flying a little bit farther, but still those are hard holes and some of the pins they have out there at 17, it's tough.

Q.  (Inaudible) is it getting to that point here?
TIGER WOODS:  They're trying to protect par.  Maybe it was a step, step and a half harder if it would have been drier.
Watching the telecast, I hadn't seen this many guys blow putts past the hole with bad speed.  And it's just because there's one out, and they come up those little ridges and the ball is just flying and it's tough.  They made it really hard.  You've got to hit them in the right spots, but it's not always easy to do with the wind blowing like this.

Q.  How big was the par save putt at 5?  And what was the approach at 7?
TIGER WOODS:  5 was a nice putt.  I hit‑‑ I stuck in the ground a little 6‑iron, but I thought I hit a really good pitch.  I hit a really good putt.  It was good to get one up the hill.
7, I just tugged it a little.  I was trying to shape it in the wind and just over‑shaped it just a touch, and drew just a nasty lie there.  It's one of those shots where you're either going to flub it or you're going to hit it 20 feet past.  I took the chance of putting speed in, and I got a big chunk down and the golf ball didn't go anywhere.

Q.  As hard as it is today, how much more difficult do you expect it to be tomorrow?
TIGER WOODS:  I don't know.  I don't know.  I don't know how much this golf course is going to dry out, whether or not they're going to‑‑ if we're going to start picking up mud on a couple of the shots.  I got a couple there today.  I got a couple that were dancing there in the air.  If it dries out a little bit more, I'm sure that it will be sticking a little bit.  I don't know if they're going to set up the pins as difficult as they have.

Q.  Do you like your chances?

Q.  The USGA said on Wednesday that the U.S. Open is not about the winning score, do you buy that?
TIGER WOODS:  No (laughter).

Q.  Given all the talk about the soft conditions, are you surprised it's as soft as it is?
TIGER WOODS:  No.  Am I surprised?  Absolutely not.  Unless you played practice rounds out here and you've seen the golf course, you don't realize how difficult it is.  Because the short holes are short, but if you miss the fairway, you can't get the ball on the green.  And the longer holes or brutal.  And this is probably the stiffest of par‑3s that we ever face.  And then they've thrown some of the pin locations in that they have and it's really tough.

Q.  Would you be surprised to see low numbers out there this afternoon?
TIGER WOODS:  I would be surprised, yes.

Q.  Now that you've made two rounds, what is your approach tomorrow?
TIGER WOODS:  Just keep grinding.  You just don't ever know what the winning score is going to be.  You don't know if the guys are going to come back.  We have a long way to go, and these conditions aren't going to get any easier.  They're going to get more difficult.  As the fairway starts drying out, the ball is going to pick up mud, and you're going to get bad breaks.

Q.  If this weren't the U.S. Open, would you be playing given your elbow?

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