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BUICK CHAMPIONSHIP MEDIA DAY
May 9, 2005
LARRY WILDER: Good morning, everyone. My name is Larry Wilder, I'm the 2005 Buick Championship Chairman. I'd like to welcome you all here. We are all very excited about the 2005 Buick Championship. It's going to be a great year. We're looking forward to a fantastic tournament, great weather and a wonderful outing for everybody to come out with their families and enjoy this wonderful golf tournament. This year we are honored to have our tournament champion return. Woody Austin is back. He will defend his championship this year. As you remember, Woody won in the exciting playoff against Tim Herron last year on the 18th, so we are excited to have him back again. We also have some wonderful news for other golfers that are committed this tournament. Darren Clarke is going to be playing this year, first time for him. Lee Westwood and also David Howell, they are all from the European Ryder Cup Team and from the American Ryder Cup Team, we have Fred Funk returning, the winner of THE PLAYERS Championship this year, and Chris Riley. So for the first beginning commitments, we are very excited with the quality of players we have coming this tournament. And we are looking forward to many, many more great champions and players coming back to this tournament for the 2005 event. We have some changes, we are going to be increasing our Fan Experience again, add something more things in the expo area and around the 18th hole, food area, so we welcome everybody to come on out. We are also going to be having the Buick Golf Experience back again, which was extremely popular last year for the fans, and we look forward to them coming out and enjoying this again this year. We are very, very excited to have Buick as our partner. This is our second year with them. They are the premiere sponsor of the PGA TOUR, and we welcome them and are glad to be part of their stable of golf, so thank you for that. It's my pleasure right now to introduce the Buick Golf marketing manager, Larry Peck. Larry?
LARRY PECK: Thank you, Larry. I tell you, after a long, hard winter, it's great to be back in Hartford and see all of our Hartford friends, really good to be back. On behalf of everyone at Buick, I'd like to thank you, Larry, you're a big spotlight for a tournament right around the corner, Dan Stolzenberg, Jen Tanger, Mary Beth Russell and everyone connected with the Jaycees, a great organization that just does a great job running the tournament. We have had a great experience with them so far. Of course, the continued support from the guy with that funny-looking jacket back there, Chris Berman. And Chris, I've got to tell you, you made me proud, I saw you golf out here last year, I was a little disappointed watching you at AT&T on TV. That one putt you drained was unbelievable, a number of putts, great job. Are you going to golf like that today? Okay. I'd also like to thank the Mohegan Sun for their support of the tournament. President and CEO, Mitchell Etess, who is a big supporter and big part of the tournament, who could not be with us today. Also Mark Brown, and of course Doug Elliot from the Travelers, want to thank them. Back to the Mohegan Sun I'm sorry to admit I was a contributor during the tournament, left a little bit of my money over there, probably like a few of you but enjoyed it anyways. We had a great finish last year, down to the wire with Woody Austin. Woody Austin's a class act. This year represents a significant milestone for Woody. It was ten years ago when he won his very first PGA tournament, which was the Buick Open. So we have been able and been fortunate to give Woody two Buick vehicles in his PGA TOUR career. We're glad to have Woody back playing with us today and he's been playing well, too. The Buick Championship is a fantastic way for us to finish a great year of Buick golf. We started out with a bang this year in La Jolla in January with the Buick Invitational with Tiger winning that event, and it sparked Tiger on to some bigger things this year so as far. And prior to the Buick Championship, we'll be back at our event in Michigan, the Buick Open where Vijay Singh is going to defend his title. Besides the obvious marketing benefits that a company like Buick gets from sponsoring golf, it's really all about the charity, and we are proud that through our PGA TOUR affiliations that we have been able to donate more than $30 million for local charities in tournament cities, and that really makes it all worthwhile. And I'd like to congratulate again the Jaycees for everything they do in the Hartford area. They really make a difference in their support of so many community programs. Also, Woody Austin, I'm not sure if he's in the room or not, but I'd like to again congratulate Woody on his exciting finish last year. Wish him the best today, and this year at this year's tournament and defending his title and thank him for being with us today. With that, I'll turn it back to Larry. Thank you all for being here, have a great day of golf. Keep an eye on Chris Berman. My money is on Chris today. Thank you, look forward to seeing you tournament week.
LARRY WILDER: Thank you very much, Larry, and thank Buick for all of the great up support. It's great working with a wonderful partner like Buick. It's now my pleasure to introduce to you Mitchell Etess, who is the president and CEO of Mohegan Sun. He is attending, representing Mark Brown, the chairman of the Tribal Council for the Mohegan Tribe for their 2005 honorary tournament chairman. Mitchell?
MITCHELL ETESS: Thank you very much, and thank you for allowing me to speak, even though my name is not Larry. (Laughter). On behalf of Chairman Brown, we are delighted to be here and to be part of this event which is so very important to the whole State of Connecticut and to the Greater Hartford area. We were just talking before, it would be amazing to think what this state would be like without this, and I don't think we actually do want to think about it. Mohegan Sun got involved, really right from the beginning in a small way and really got involved in a big way as a bridge sponsor back when that was needed. As I said before to someone, we have been moving up the leaderboard ever since, and we are just about on top of that leaderboard now as we drive in. It's been -- yeah, I know you keep telling me that every year. But he wants more money without moving up. (Laughter). We are glad that you made some contributions to Mohegan Sun, and you know, we are always looking for that, anybody is always welcome to come down during the event and other times as well, it's okay. Like to thank all of the other corporate sponsors who make this events possible, the Jaycees, who do an amazing job as everybody knows, and of course the local community who really put their heart and soul into making this tournament so important. So please have a great day and again, on behalf of Chairman Brown we are delighted to be involved with this and thank you very much.
LARRY WILDER: Thank you to Mitchell and thank you for the support of Mohegan Sun and all of the other sponsors. It's now my pleasure to introduce to you, the president of the greater Hartford Jaycees, Dan Stolzenberg.
DAN STOLZENBERG: For over 50 years now the Greater Hartford Jaycees have been running a PGA TOUR event to help raise proceeds to deliver out to our community. Through grants, scholarships and various projects, our goal is to meet the needs of our community, help through our sponsors and we are glad to have Buick on to continue this as a partner. Now, we have a message here in the Jaycee organization where we say if the sponsors make it possible, we'll make it happen. We also need to add a little message to that that it's the media that deliver the message. We want to thank you so much for your support over the years. We are proud to have one of the largest galleries having over hundreds of thousands of people in attendance, but it's the millions more whose message you deliver that really get to grasp the impact of our event. Thank you very much for your support, have a great day out there today, and we'll see, maybe get a hole-in-one or something crazy.
LARRY WILDER: Thank you very much, Dan. A few other people I'd like to recognize while I have this opportunity, and I don't see Woody here just yet. First of all, I would like to first introduce everybody to our 2005 Greater Hartford Jaycee Foundation president and that's Jen Tanger, if you can stand for a second. And the other gentleman with the red coat who I just sent to look for Woody his name is Brad Babbitt, my assistant this year and he will be the 2006 tournament chairman, so when you see him, congratulate him. A few other people I'd like to introduce, there's some people on the management committee that I think deserve recognition for all of their hard work that they do for the tournament: I see Dan Climan back there, Mike Wheeler, Art Howes, Roger Gelzenbeich (ph), Tom Rourke (ph), thank you all very much. Without your help, we would not be having this tournament, so thank you. (Applause.) I also need to take the time to also thank the community for their great support of this tournament, as Dan said, we have some of the largest galleries that come out here. It's amazing to anyone that comes out and sees the galleries and when you see the other tournaments on TV, you don't see the number of people that are sitting around the 18th green on the final day; it is incredible. Thank you to the community for that, thank you to our sponsors here for us all the time and that have been constant companions with us for the last 50 years, and thank you to the media. We really do appreciate your support coming out here and come covering our event and making us important and thank you all, and a big hand to the media and everybody there, so we really appreciate that. As you know heart of the PGA is giving back, and the Greater Hartford Jaycee Foundation and chapter have been doing that for years. We are pleased to continue that through the AstraZeneca program, the CRESTOR Charity Challenge, and we have a special guest to talk about that. So please help me welcome Rosemary Hawkinson to talk about that. Rosemary?
ROSEMARY HAWKINSON: Thank you for the introduction. On behalf of the thousands of employees that work at AstraZeneca, I am grateful for the opportunity to tell you a little bit more about the CRESTOR Charity Challenge and what it means to Hartford and many other communities around the United States. AstraZeneca is a leading pharmaceutical company dedicated to improving the health and quality of life in the community it serves through charitable and health education initiatives. As you all know, giving back is fundamental to the PGA TOUR's philosophy and culture, and it certainly is reflected in the charitable structure of this tournament. The centerpiece of the AstraZeneca relationship with the PGA Tour and tournaments like the Buick Championship is the CRESTOR Charity Challenge. Now in its second year, this is a season-long, weekly competition that recognizes the tournament leader entering the final round at 35 designated PGA TOUR events throughout the year. Fans also have an opportunity to participate in CRESTOR Charity Challenge activities tied to awareness and education at select tournaments like the Buick Championship. At each of tournaments, AstraZeneca donates $50,000 in the name of the CRESTOR Charity Challenge winner to the healthcare charity of his choice, and an additional $50,000 to a local charity of the tournament's choice. AstraZeneca will contribute $3.5 million to local charities, helping support the PGA TOUR's Drive to a Billion campaign, which celebrates the spirit of giving that has helped the TOUR and its tournaments approach the milestone of a $1 billion in charitable giving. Together with the TOUR, we have been so pleased with the tournaments and the players' support of this initiative, as well as their thoughtful generosity each week in selecting their recipient. Last year the Buick Championship and the Greater Hartford Jaycees Foundation designated the Greater Bristol Visiting Nurses Association as the CRESTOR Charity Challenge recipient, enriching the lives of Bristol. This year, we are pleased to announce that BNA Healthcare will be the recipient of $50,000 on behalf of the CRESTOR Charity Challenge at the Buick Championship. At this time I'd like to recognize Ellen Rothberg, (ph) president of BNA Healthcare. Thank you, Ellen. We are so excited to hear how you plan to use the donation. We also look forward to finding out who the other charitable recipient will be once the tournament leader is identified after Saturday's round. Fred Funk was the winner of the 2004 CRESTOR Charity Challenge, and last year's Buick Championship winner, was Woody Austin, who is here with us today. Hopefully Woody has an opportunity to win a CRESTOR Charity Challenge and another tournament title this year. Before I wrap up, I just want to take this opportunity to thank all of you for increasing the awareness for the Buick Championship, the Greater Hartford Jaycees, and the PGA TOUR's charitable mission. We are all here to see a great tournament and golf played at the highest level on the course. We also look forward to reaching the Drive to a Billion campaign in helping to create even greater success stories off the course, as well. Thank you.
LARRY WILDER: Thank you, Rosemary, and also thank you very much, CRESTOR, AstraZeneca for sponsoring this day. We appreciate that, thank you again. We are going to take this opportunity to bring Chris Berman up here. He is a great friend to the tournament. He's been with us for many years, and we do appreciate his time and effort with us. He is also our Pro-Am honorary chairman on Wednesday. He is the recipient of this wonderful, beautiful coat for that. So I just want everybody to welcome Chris Berman.
CHRIS BERMAN: Thank you, Larry. This is the extended third round of the NFL Draft. I'm just going to keep you going here for a while. I'm glad you got me up here because we know what the red coats mean, we know what the green coats mean, we know what the gold coats mean. But this was given a few years ago in the wisdom of Ted May and others as my Hawaii Five-O, Book 'em, Danno celebrity host, official jacket of the then CGA Show (ph) and now Buick Championship. So I really don't wear this in real life that much, it would make a wonderful couch, but I wear it here proudly because there is none other like it, made by Ensons of New Haven, okay. So not everybody can have this. So that now is the explainer for this. One of my tasks I think in being named, in helping here, is we all remember the Pro-Ams in the Sammy Davis days. They were pretty cool. It kind of took a change, a gip, if you will, for a while. We feel in the last half-dozen years, we've made them more interesting with some folks like Bill Murray the last couple of years, who has come as a favor really to the tournament and to a few of us and we hope to have him back this year with. Bill, you are never quite sure. Even when he's getting off exit 21 up here, you're still not quite sure if he'll make it to the club. But when he says he's going to be here, he does. So for example, we hope to have someone like Bill back, and others that are -- maybe it's time to have a couple of the Ronnie Francis type old whalers; we are going to work on that. Since no one is playing hockey, we figure they might be available, and just some others. There are a couple of really big names we work on, and you hope that one or two come through every year, like Bill Murray. So we hope that we make it not only a four-day great championship, but a six-day, with the junior clinic that we have, along with the long drive on Tuesday, but really the Pro-Am is a fun day and we'll bring some people out in an interesting time. We'll go and sit with Woody here in a few minutes because he has clothes that are similar to mine, you know. So ladies and gentlemen, our champion from last year, who when you'd really rather drive a Buick, that's what you do is win Buick Opens and the Buick Championship, Woody Austin. Woody welcome back to Hartford.
WOODY AUSTIN: I have to stand next to you?
CHRIS BERMAN: No, we go sit. Aloha.
WOODY AUSTIN: Aloha.
CHRIS BERMAN: How are you?
WOODY AUSTIN: How are you? Everything's great.
CHRIS BERMAN: You want to sit? We have water, spiked with a little -- who knows. Thanks for coming.
WOODY AUSTIN: No problem. This is a good thing to have. I wish I had this problem more often.
CHRIS BERMAN: Well, that's the goal.
WOODY AUSTIN: Yeah.
CHRIS BERMAN: I know you just got here last night or early this morning from Wachovia, but as you go around today, will you kind of go, "Man, that was 18, and that was where this happened and that was" -- are you looking forward to that?
WOODY AUSTIN: Well, I can't remember a thing. We just went down to 18 and I hit the putt again. It took me a few more times than it took me last year. But the amazing thing to me is when you come back to the golf course and you see it without all of the tents and you see it without all of the people. It just almost looks like a different golf course and a different place, so it's kind of wild to see it without the fanfare. It's always great to go back to where you've had success. Unfortunately it's only been twice for me, but it is really, really a lot of fun.
CHRIS BERMAN: Having won, and you know, and now you're exempt the rest of last year and two more, has it changed the way you approach the game, the Tour? I don't think it would change you; you've been playing for a long time.
WOODY AUSTIN: Yeah, I really don't think it's changed a whole lot other than the fact that it took a long time, obviously, between wins. But it's that old saying, it's a little bit of validation to show that, you know, you do belong; that you are a good player. I feel like, or unfortunately, I don't feel like I've played as well as I should over the years, but as long as every once in a while you prove that you belong, then that's okay. But I'm definitely not satisfied with the way I've played just from a standpoint of feeling like I should contend more often or I should win more. So from that standpoint, I hope to be back here again in the same spot next year.
CHRIS BERMAN: Take us through, and we'll have questions here from everybody. Those of us who like to think we can play golf and play in whatever our members sets, similar emotions except for the paychecks but in an hour -- take us through the emotions on Sunday afternoon, the lead, then 18, and then Tim Herron birdies, and then there you are winning on the next hole of the playoff. What can your stomach be like at that point in time?
WOODY AUSTIN: It's really quite intense. When you think of in terms of, I make the turn and I have nine holes to play and all I'm thinking is Top-10. I'm just thinking if I can make some birdies, I've been playing good, but I wasn't making any birdies, wasn't shooting any low scores. I was even par through nine, and next thing you know I birdied five of the first six holes on the back. So when I birdied 15, I felt like, okay, now I was where the leaders were. I felt like if I can make one more birdies in the last three holes, I felt like then I might scare them into thinking, okay, somebody has already posted a 12 (-under). Yeah, it would have been a 12. So I hit a great shot on 16. I hit it probably seven, eight feet on 16 and just didn't make it. Then me and Tim were walking down 17 fairway and the score board is down there at the corner, and I looked up and I saw both Tim and me were leading and it was just such a -- that was a pretty good shock right there. Because to go from five-back to 2-up in that short of stretch was -- I think you saw the emotion out of both of us. He ended up hitting it in the water and I didn't hit a really good shot. I think it shocked both of us that we were the tournament amongst ourselves at that point. When I got it up-and-down for par on 17, I told my caddie, Brent, I said, "If we make 4 here on 18, I think it's going to be ours." I felt like I hit a perfect drive. It just rolled off those mounds and into the first cut, which would not have been any big deal because it was just a wedge shot, but then I got up there and it was a pretty good little divot. That was normally not the hardest shot, but under the circumstances and trying to win again, I just skulled it a little bit. Still, Tim didn't hill it real close, so you're still thinking, "Okay, I've got a two-shot cushion." My chip shot, I was just trying to give myself an easy uphill putt and make sure I got it to the hole. I hit a pretty good chip and had just when Tim's putt went in, I was just like -- I reverted back to the previous year where I lost in a playoff to Davis Love at Harbour Town. So I was unfortunately re-living that whole, how I had that tournament won and didn't win, and now I had this one won, and he made that putt. So, waiting on the playoff was, you know, unfortunately for me, that emotion was going through my head of "don't let it happen again." Fortunately I hit an absolutely perfect drive again on 18, and this time, I hit it close and snuck it in. Then it was just bedlam, I guess from that point. It was a lot of relief, a lot of joy between me and Brent. It was a lot of fun.
CHRIS BERMAN: So you've gone from, "Oh, my God, here is Harbour Town," to oh, my God, when you're about to go to bed on Sunday night, did this really --
WOODY AUSTIN: Like I said, it had been so long. If you remember Harbour Town, I had so many chances to win Harbour Town and could not close the deal. It was just one of those things where no matter who you are, especially someone like myself who has only won once at that point, when you get those chances, and you have that many chances to win, you just can't let them go away. And so that part was hard, you know, like I said waiting on the playoff was, okay, how can we get that out of our head. I played the hole as well as I possibly could have played. So that made me feel really good.
CHRIS BERMAN: You said you've won twice, but taking a look at this list, we've been around over 50 years, Mickelson twice in recent years, or Zinger, not to mention in the last 10, 12 years on this course, Greg Norman or Nick Price or Lanny Wadkins, not to mention Arnold Palmer's name or Billy Casper's name or Lee Trevino's name; you get my drift. So have you taken a good look, there's Woody Austin -- some pretty good names.
WOODY AUSTIN: Oh, yeah, this is a big tournament. I mean, any tournament on the PGA TOUR is obviously big, but obviously a tournament with the history and the tradition of this one that's been around so long is huge. I never take any of it for granted. You look at the funny thing about this tournament and this course for me is I never really played it that well. It is a really good golf course. It's a really good driving golf course on the back nine, and that in the past has been a weak point for me on this golf course. I don't drive it real good on the back nine. On Sunday last year, I just hit it in every fairway, hit every shot, so it's pretty cool.
CHRIS BERMAN: It's amazing, it was your time.
WOODY AUSTIN: I don't think overall -- I might have made the cut maybe two times previous I think, maybe. I just never contended or never played that great on it. But like you said, it was my time. When it's your time, it's your time.
CHRIS BERMAN: And you're on the list with these guys, Arnold Palmer, not bad.
WOODY AUSTIN: Love the man. I even told him this year at Bay Hill, I said, "If I sneak into Augusta," I said, "I'm going to make you come back and play with me." He said, "No, you can't do that." I said, "No, I'll try."
CHRIS BERMAN: I'm sure you will.
WOODY AUSTIN: I'll try. He should play any time he wants.
CHRIS BERMAN: 50 years ago, they call came back, even Sam Snead -- oh, by the way, that name is on list, too. Not bad.
WOODY AUSTIN: Not bad at all.
CHRIS BERMAN: Sam Snead, Woody Austin. No problem. Questions?
WOODY AUSTIN: See how easy that was.
CHRIS BERMAN: It was easy. We covered a gamut. Are you looking forward to riding around, the tents aren't here, but --
WOODY AUSTIN: Oh, yeah, any time you go back to anywhere where there was success is fun. Like I said, I hope I have this problem more often. I think this is great. Sure, it's a Monday that I'm more surprised by the people that are out here for Monday than being here.
CHRIS BERMAN: Well, it's a Monday qualifier for us. (Laughter).
WOODY AUSTIN: That's good.
CHRIS BERMAN: The nine years between wins, and you've had a couple -- how did you keep at it? Is it love of golf? Is it, "This is what I really want to do?"
WOODY AUSTIN: That's the hard part. Everybody says, well you've got to love the game or whatever. Yeah, you do love it, but I call it the most is a sadistic-addicted game there is. Because when you think about it, even as great a year as Tiger had in 2000 or as great a year as Vijay had whatever, you only smell or you only get a taste of success, such a small percentage of the time in this game, but yet it still figures out a way to grab at you and keep you going. Like I said, I feel as though the fact that I haven't accomplished half of the things I felt like I should have accomplished I think is the part that keeps pushing me. Like I said, it's wonderful to have won, but I don't feel as though I've accomplished what I feel like I should accomplish. So, therefore, it just keeps on pushing me to keep going.
CHRIS BERMAN: Are there parts of your -- look, a lot of people have won the majority of their events in their 40s. You're 41, right? So someone who is leaving the 40s tomorrow, I've envious, do you feel like there's parts of what you know now up here, maybe from the win, maybe something else that, say, the next few years, you will accomplish some of what you want?
WOODY AUSTIN: Well, like I said, I don't feel -- I don't think that you really lose too much as you get older. Now, obviously, once you get to the point where your body starts to shut down, but I don't feel as though -- I don't feel as though my body is shutting down even though I'm 41 or anything like that. I'm not into the big, vigorous workout program or anything like that. I think with the technology and everything, the game really isn't that difficult to play from a physical standpoint anymore. It's a question of understanding where you're at as far as the golf course and how to play the golf course. I think in the modern day, a lot of the young kids with the technology and stuff have not learned how to actually play the game from the standpoint of the way the game was originated and think that's why the old guys are playing so much better and competing. Even though the technology is there, we can still hit it a long ways, but we also know how to control and hit certain shots that the young guys don't necessarily know how to hit. I think that's a big advantage for us.
CHRIS BERMAN: A lot of it's emotional; right?
WOODY AUSTIN: Absolutely. Like I said, most of the guys, Vijay has been around a long time, so he's going to know how to win whether he's playing good or bad. Same thing with Davis and all of the guys. Loren Roberts still figures out a way to win and he doesn't hit it very far even with the technology. Freddie Funk is considered short. Freddie hits it plenty far enough, and he wins on one of the hardest golf courses, TPC. There is something to be said for, you know, knowledge and maturity, as opposed to brash use of strength.
CHRIS BERMAN: Growing up in Tampa, who was your guy? Palmer? Nicklaus?
WOODY AUSTIN: Nicklaus was the way I learned. I didn't have a teacher. The golf course I learned how to play golf on didn't have a driving range. I learned by playing. I played 36, 45 holes a day. I would just go out and play as many holes as I could. But I learned by reading in the Golf Week and the Golf Digests, all of the Nicklaus teachings. So I learned the game by the way he taught it in the magazines, I guess, would be the best way to say it. So he was my guy.
CHRIS BERMAN: So subscriptions are a good thing?
WOODY AUSTIN: Oh, absolutely. He and that Golf Digest, he always had that one page where he talked about certain -- and that was my way of understanding what was going on with him and how he approached certain things. It's funny because, you know, nowadays, everything is about practice, routine and how much -- Vijay hits 4 million balls, which I could never do. But, you know, I remember one of the biggest things I have in my head of Nicklaus was they always talked to him about when he goes to the driving range what we would do. He says he goes to the driving range with one thought or one thing he's trying accomplish. It may take him five minutes or it may take him an hour, but once he gets it, he's done. He doesn't keep ongoing. One thing; when it's gone, it's done. I try to take that approach. Because a lot of people, I see a lot of guys that will shoot 66 or 65 and they go right to the range. Why? You just shot 65. You don't need to go to the range. That to me is so confusing, I don't understand that at all. I'll shoot 70 and if I felt as though I played really good, I ain't going to the driving range. Why do you want to go there and try to understand why you did it? You know you did it. Leave. (Laughter). That stuff confuses my. Guys go to the range. I just don't get it. It's like, didn't you play good today? "Yeah, I shot 67." What are you doing hitting balls? "Well, I wanted to" -- "there's a couple things." Okay.
CHRIS BERMAN: Well, we have that problem, Woody, when we shoot 65.
WOODY AUSTIN: You'd be in the bar drinking.
CHRIS BERMAN: I would hope so. As a defending champion, you take the role seriously, and you know what this is with the community. Every event has its charities in the communities, but you've been out here a long time, and you get it, so to ingratiate in what the Jaycees do and win an event like this which is so ingrained in the community, how do you see your role as defending champ?
WOODY AUSTIN: I like to see it as those people who don't know me or whatever, I'm pretty easygoing. I'm willing to do anything that is needed or necessary. Like I said, I don't consider anything a part of being a defending champion. I don't consider any of it a burden or, you know, me having to go out of my way to do anything. I want to do everything that I can because I feel as though everything that we can do for the community is just a bonus. So I'm open for anything.
CHRIS BERMAN: So you gave folks a big thrill last year, winning in pretty darned exciting fashion.
WOODY AUSTIN: That was kind of exciting, now that it's over.
CHRIS BERMAN: It's over, but we're buzzing about it. Any questions, anybody?
Q. Forgive me, about six weeks ago, a camera captured you at a moment where you were having a communion with yourself, you were very angry; do you recall that? Can you discuss how you're handling the temper?
WOODY AUSTIN: Well, it's funny, I'll go back to Harbour Town, which was only a few weeks ago and I had not played well all year. But at Harbour Town, which is one of my favorite golf courses, I played pretty good the first two days. I talked to my father on the phone, and they never showed one thing on Saturday, none of my good shots, none of anything, until I 3-putted No. 12. I 3-putted No. 12, so they showed my reaction to my 3-putt on 12 and that was it. But that was the only thing they showed was me getting angry with me 3-putting No. 12. I guess that's what they do when you have -- I guess, I'm known as a hot head or whatever I guess. But in my honest opinion, I've been out here, this is my 11th year now. I consider myself -- I think there's probably a good 70 percent of the players out here who have bigger tempers than I do. They get mad at everything. I only get mad at myself, and I guess that's why I'm looked at as different. Because if you ever look at me, I don't yell at a photographer; I don't yell at any volunteers; I don't yell at my caddie; I don't yell at the golf courses; I don't get mad at anything that I consider just normal. I get mad at myself because I feel as though I have control. Well, I'm the one hitting it. I'm the one who supposedly pulled the wrong club or I'm the one who got the wind wrong and whatever. So when I do something wrong, I let myself know so to speak. I'm my own worst critic and my own best critic. So to me, if I'm keeping it internal, if I'm keeping it to myself, I consider that being real, because I know that I had the control. What I don't understand and what I don't like is when people get upset and blame it on abstract things or, you know, well, I woke up this morning and my back was just a little sore, or, you know, I have -- they come up with some excuse as to why they played bad. And then when I play a bad round after maybe leading the tournament or something, they say, well, what happened. I say, well, I choked and they look at me like, you're an idiot for saying that. No, I'm being honest, that's all that is. I'm being honest. I'm not going to come up with an excuse why I shot 75; I played horrible or I putted horrible. I'm not going to sit there and tell you, well, I didn't feel good this morning. Or why did you make triple on that hole? Well, because the volunteer over there moved his sign when I was hitting it. I'd rather be that way than any other way. So that's the easiest way for me to describe it. When I'm mad at myself, well, I'm mad at myself. I think that's, to, me, I think that's okay.
CHRIS BERMAN: You took on a putter once; right?
WOODY AUSTIN: I did take on the putter once, yeah. I lived with that --
CHRIS BERMAN: Who won, Woody?
WOODY AUSTIN: I did. There you go. I did. You know, that was a rough time in my life. What a lot of people don't realize that that was the year that I had my eye problems. I had recently, which not too many people know, I recently lost -- my wife lost her grandmother, I lost my brother-in-law, or my mom's brother, and all that within that same month. So it was just a troubling time. Like I said, I keep everything internal, instead of exploding out or whatever, I explode in. I kept it to myself, but it was just a way that everybody looked at me again as, oh, he's out there.
CHRIS BERMAN: You're human.
WOODY AUSTIN: Yeah, well, again, as long as I -- as long as I don't hurt anybody but myself, so to speak, and I didn't hurt myself, but as long as I keep it internal, I feel as though that's okay.
CHRIS BERMAN: You give them plenty of thrills out here.
WOODY AUSTIN: I'd much rather, again, have that problem and, like you said, than living on excuses. I don't like that. There's a lot of guys out here that they are very good at finding an excuse. I can't stand that.
CHRIS BERMAN: Well, this is a problem-free tournament and golf course, so we'll find out.
WOODY AUSTIN: You can call me crazy or do whatever, but like I said, it goes back to how well I know I can play, and I feel as though I haven't shown how well I can play. To me there's no one to blame but myself. When I don't perform, it's all on me, it not on anybody else, it's all on me. So, I don't -- like I said, I don't know if that's good or bad. But that's just who I am.
Q. You're going pretty good right now, your love/hate relationship with golf, you're the only person in the building who has won a PGA tournament but the bittersweet -- can you take a shot and try to explain your love for the game?
WOODY AUSTIN: Well, like I said, I call it the most sadistic-addictive game there is. Like I said, when you think about it, even, like, say, today, you're going to go out there and play today. I don't know if you're a 5-handicapper or a 20-handicapper. You're going to go through so many emotions today on that golf course, and a lot of them are going to be like, why am I doing this, how in the world did I do that. And then you're going to hit one and go, "That wasn't so hard."
You've got to try and figure out how it all relates to the game, and then you get done, and like I said, if it's a good day, you're like, "I knew I could play this game." And if it's a bad day, you're like, "Well, that's not me, I'm better than that." It just has a way, I guess you can go back to the Tin Cup thing with Kevin Costner and calling it the tuning fork when you hit the really good shot and the tuning fork goes off in your loins or whatever. It just has that kind of a grab on you. I think one of the big reasons why it does is because it doesn't matter who you are or how old you are or how physically capable you are. Nobody in this game cannot play golf. Anybody can play golf, and that's the neat thing about the game. And I think that's the ultimate grab of it is you didn't have to be six-four and 208 and can run a 4.5; you don't have to hit a 95-mile-an-hour pitch. You can be anybody you want at any stage of your life and you can still play this game, and I think that's what grabs you about it.
CHRIS BERMAN: But it is a four-letter word, golf, at the same point.
WOODY AUSTIN: Yes, many four-letter words.
CHRIS BERMAN: You going to be wandering around today seeing who 5, who is a 20 and who is a 40?
WOODY AUSTIN: Yeah, I think I'm going to be stuck on 15, they said, but I'll be there all day.
CHRIS BERMAN: Well, we welcome you back to Hartford, and we welcome you back to the club. You know what, you need -- nine-year-old Buick, you need another one; right?
WOODY AUSTIN: Well, I gave that one away to my sister-in-law. My wife's sister-in-law never had a car, so I gave that one away to her.
CHRIS BERMAN: Welcome back. You wear it well. Ladies and gentlemen, out defending champ, Woody Austin.
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