Tiger Woods kept himself in the running, albeit barely, as he entered the weekend five shots back at the PGA Tour's first major of the year, where only seven players were at par or better. Defending champion Phil Mickelson was seven shots off the lead. Here's what some of the luminaries had to say following Rond 2.
Q. With the pace of play of a five-hour-plus round, your two playing partners struggling, as have many other golfers this week, does it make it a little more difficult for to you maintain your focus where you sometimes find your mind drifting?
TIM CLARK: You know, I think with this tournament, this is a special tournament and very different to any other. I find here, you really get into your own game and not worry what others are doing. You know, it's really demanding. You're always thinking, you're always concentrating, and I think that's what makes it so tough. Not only is it physically demanding, it's mentally demanding.
Really, it doesn't matter what the other guys are doing out there. You know the course is tough and they may be struggling, but you've got to get on with your own game and just try and play smart.
Q. As well as you've played here the last two years; is there something about your game specifically that suits this course or something about your mind-set that does?
TIM CLARK: Yeah, certainly I don't feel like my game suits this course. It's probably more of a mind-set. I'm not going to let that get in the way of me playing well. I've dreamed of coming here and playing this tournament as a child and I'm here now and I'm going to make the most of it.
There's just a lot of flags out there that I can't go at. If I do, with the firmness of the greens, I'm not even going to keep it on the greens. I'm just going to try to play how I can to shoot 70, 71. For me to go any lower than that is going to be really tough.
I like the way the course is playing right now where the scores are not going really well, where it looks like 4-under, 3-under could win the tournament, and that really suits the guys that are not hitting longer.
Q. You mentioned the leaderboard; what's it like to look up there and not see names like Woods and Mickelson?
TIM CLARK: Well, you know, this course is just playing so tough right now. Again, if you are just a little bit off your game, it could be anything. You know, your driving or your putting or anything, it's going to be tough to score. I don't know beyond what Tiger is on, is he 3-over? That's still very much in the tournament. That's only five back.
You don't necessarily have to be on the leaderboard after two rounds to still be in the tournament.
Q. What was your strategy, what were you thinking on the first tee that you wanted to accomplish?
BRETT WETTERICH: I wanted to make a lot of pars. You always hear the great players say that pars are great in majors. I was just going out there to try make as many as I could and I did pretty good for 14 holes, and then had a few hiccups, but kind of gathered myself and had a good 17 and 18th hole.
Q. When you look at that leaderboard as it's configured now, there's not a lot of Masters experience on that leaderboard. Is there anything about the way the course is playing now that sort of negates that local knowledge advantage that has typically been true here?
BRETT WETTERICH: Gosh, I don't think so. I think we're just -- the guys that are up there just, you know, for two days have played well and I'm sure there's going to be some past champions that are sneaking up there in the next couple of days.
Q. Regarding his start?
TIGER WOODS: I had a two way miss going. I couldn't hit it either left or right... The 9-iron at 12, the wind got it. I just hit a terrible shot on 13. I turned a 90 into a 74. Yesterday I let a good round get away and today I salvaged a bad one.
The whole idea is to never make a double here.
Q. What happened on number 13 when a birdie flew right over you on the tee shot?
TIGER WOODS: A birdie flew right over me and I stopped my swing somehow. I felt like I broke my back, my neck, my arm.... I don't know how baseball players check swings. You just plod along and try and put the ball in the right spots.... and don't have any wrecks out there.
Q. Regarding the conditions.
TIGER WOODS: It is as dry as it was in '99 except they added 500 yards and a billion trees.... The greens are getting that sheen....
Q. Regarding his position going into the weekend and being five back of the leaders.
TIGER WOODS: They aren't going anywhere. They aren't going low here. I played with Paul Casey and he played a great round and shot 68. You're not going low here.
Q. About his round today.
PHIL MICKELSON: I fought hard with that 5-over. Tough day with the wind picking up in the afternoon. Have fought both rounds to hang in there. I think the wind's going to blow tomorrow which means over par is going to win. I'll only have to shoot under par and I'll right back in it. You have got to execute.
Felt great teeing off. Felt good with my putter. Didn't get any momentum. Hung in there. Felt differently from yesterday.
On 11, hit it in trees. Thought I might have to pack my bags and go home. But came out with a five and made two birdies coming in. Made a couple of great putts the last nine holes. If you made the cut, I think you have a chance to win it.
Q. In reference to the grind.
PHIL MICKELSON: It was a tough fight. Came out at 8:30, it was calm. At about 2:30 the wind picked up. Tough on 11, 12 and 13. The flag was blowing in different ways.
I drove it in the left trees. I tried to go through a gap and came to a rest on a man-made obstruction. I got relief and got it out 100 yards and hit it to six feet and made putt for bogey. It was a good bogey.
I've got to hit more fairways. First day, I drove horrible. Putted horrible. Second day, just drove it horrible and putted better. So I should be okay.
Transcripts provided by ASAP Sports.
April 7, 2007
Coming off his thrilling British Open victory over Sergio Garcia in 2007, Padraig Harrington sat down to discuss his game and his chances at the 2008 U.S. Open. "I have spent my last 10 years trying to adapt my swing to play U.S. Open golf," Harrington said. "I'd say the last two years, that and the Masters have attracted my attention more than anything else."
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