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CHEVRON WORLD CHALLENGE MEDIA DAY
October 18, 2010
RUSS YARROW: Welcome, everybody, and thanks for joining us today. My name is Russ Yarrow, I am general manager for corporate affairs at Chevron, and we are proud to be the title sponsor of this great event, the 12th annual Chevron World Challenge, and we're glad to have you all out here today.
We have a world class field for the tournament this year. Judging by the competition in 2010, it's anybody's trophy, so we're looking forward to a very good four days of golf in December out here.
This is Chevron's third year as title sponsor. We don't sponsor a lot of golf, but we consider this event special. It's a great golf tournament in a great California setting, that's for sure.
But what really makes the Chevron World Challenge special is its higher purpose and its mission, to support better education and create more opportunities for underserved students in California.
California will never maintain its leadership without world-class education. And our company cannot maintain our leadership without a world class, well-educated work force. This is important to us.
Through this tournament, we have been proud to support the tremendous work of the Tiger Woods Foundation and the Tiger Woods Learning Center to give kids a chance at success. But the needs in California, particularly today, are huge. So we're excited this year to bring four new non-profit organizations into the Chevron World Challenge.
Like the players who will be competing, each of these organizations is very good at what they do.
I know you're all waiting to hear Tiger, but let me take a brief moment to introduce our new partners.
Donors Choose uses the power of the internet to direct millions of dollars in contributions from individuals to fund classroom projects across the country. And representing donors choose today is chief operating officer, Caesar Bocanegra. Caesar, raise your hand, there you go.
Project Lead the Way works directly with schools to help prepare students for the 21st century economy, by building curriculum focusing on stems, science, technology, engineering and math. Project Lead the Way is represented by Dwayne Crum, the state leader of the organization's engineering program.
Teach for America, a great organization, is the national corps of top college graduates and professionals who commit to teach for two years in underserved public schools. Paul Miller is the executive director of L.A., and he's here with Teach For America, Paul.
The TELACU Education Foundation prepares Latinos for academic success in underserved counties throughout Los Angeles county. Representing TELACU, is David Lizarraga, the chairman of the foundation, David.
And we're proud to continue partnering with the Tiger Woods Foundation, and the Tiger Woods Learning Center, which has developed a pioneering approach to educational enrichment focusing on stem.
The foundation is represented by Greg McLaughlin. Greg, where are you? There he is. Is Kathy here today? Kathy Bier? We look forward to the benefits that this tournament will provide to the kids of California.
So we'll hear from Tiger in a moment. But now I'd like to turn the mic over to Dan Selleck from Sherwood and thank you all for coming.
DAN SELLECK: Thank you, Russ. Good morning, everybody. On behalf of all the members, our general manager, Lenny Fisher, and our fantastic staff, I'd like to welcome you all to Sherwood Country Club. Sherwood is proud of our partnership with Chevron, the Tiger Woods Foundation, and charities throughout the state all committed (audio disrupted).
We've just completed renovation of our practice putting range, driving range, and pitching range, so even though it's a little wet outside, I think you'll really enjoy this. (Indiscernible) So, again, I'd like to just thank you all, and enjoy your day.
EMILY TAYLOR: My name is Emily Taylor, and I'm the vice president of communications for the Chevron World Challenge. I'd first like to thank Dan Selleck and Russ Yarrow for their remarks today.
We are thrilled to be back at Sherwood Country Club for our 11th year. It is a fantastic venue, and we hope that you'll all see playing the course today how wonderful it is. In fact, the PGA TOUR agronomist was here recently and said the condition of the course is the best ever.
That, combined with our excellent field that boasts eight of the Top 10 players in the world, are the reasons we're thrilled to be part of the 12th Annual Chevron World Challenge.
But before I review the field, I'm pleased to announce a new policy for the tournament on behalf of the PGA TOUR. We've been selected to test the mobile device policy. This means that fans will be able to bring their mobile device on course during the tournament and use it during tournament week.
They cited our strength of field and the venue as reasons for selecting the Chevron World Challenge, and we're really excited to test this enhancement with our fans.
So turning your attention to the field, I'd just like to quickly review the players featured in your packet. This year's field includes Tiger Woods, Steve Stricker, Martin Kaymer, Jim Furyk, Paul Casey, Rory McIlroy, Duke Donald, Matt Kutcher, Dustin Johnson, Graeme McDowell, Ian Poulter, Hunter Mahan, Zach Johnson, Anthony Kim, Bubba Watson, and Sean O'Hair. And the 2010 exemptions are Camillo Villegas, and Stewart Cink.
I'd also like to note with that there are 14 Ryder Cup players in our field. We're welcoming back three former champions in Tiger Woods, Luke Donald, and our defending champion, Jim Furyk. We'll also be welcoming first timers Rory McIlroy, Matt Kutcher, Dustin Johnson and Bubba Watson. So we're really looking forward to a great tournament week.
With that, I'd like to introduce today's featured speaker, the four-time champion of the Chevron World Challenge, and the founder of the Tiger Woods Foundation, Tiger Woods.
TIGER WOODS: Well, it's great to be back. Looking forward to getting out there and playing. I haven't played in the last couple of years, unfortunately, but looking forward to this year with this year's field. The depth and the strength of it is something we've never experienced before. And with the ranking points from last year going into this year as well, I think from what I've talked to some of the players at the Ryder Cup, they're really excited about playing, really excited about getting out there, especially the first timers that have never been out here before.
It's going to be a great week. I know the weather isn't perfect today. I know you guys are going to go out there and play. I heard the golf course is in great shape, and the new practice facility is remarkable, so hope everyone enjoys it.
Q. One of the things that we've had a lot of people talking about that Monday singles match you played and how well you played. How do you view that? Are you looking at that as a step in the right direction or do you feel like you've hit something that the 9-under through those 11 holes, is that something that you feel like, wow, this is it?
TIGER WOODS: Well, I felt like that was coming. I had played well in spurts like that by the time we played an entire round or match at that level. But I've been hitting shots like that intermittently throughout the matches.
I just put it together for that one match. It was nice. It was nice to keep it rolling. It was nice to make a few putts and just keep the momentum going. It was nice to get through that match because I was 2 down through two early. Actually I was 2 down through five. So ended up turning that match around and making that many birdies and getting one eagle in there was a lot of fun.
Q. Keeping with the Ryder Cup theme, would you have liked to have been in that anchor position that Hunter was in? Tell us about the team and how you felt about how Corey set up that final day?
TIGER WOODS: Oh, absolutely I would have loved to have been in that spot. I was in that spot one time when Curtis was captain at the Belfry. Unfortunately, it didn't come down to that match. The Europeans had already won the cup. So our job was to go out and the guys who were going out earlier is to make sure it came down to that match or the last couple matches. At least to give those guys a chance to try to get the cut back.
It was close. I feel sorry for Hunter. He was put into a tough spot, but he handled it well, and he's going to learn and grow from it.
Q. How about Corey's decision to set you guys out early in the lineup itself? What was the talk among players in terms of how lineup was set up?
TIGER WOODS: Well, I thought the lineup was set up well. I thought initially it was either going to be Stricks or myself going out first, and he put Stricks out there. I just felt the way we were set up early, if we could get some of those matches up early, the middle section, I thought we had an advantage.
If you look at what happened, we kind of rolled through the middle, and it came down to the end.
Q. First, how are you going to keep the guys from brawling out there after such a tough Ryder Cup? It's a great field from that particular field, too, right?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, but it's just one event. You put it aside, and we move on with our business. Now we're back to playing for ourselves again.
Q. I was wondering, we talked a little bit about this at St. Andrews, how you're able to separate the personal stuff from the business, and that you've learned to adjust. Is that getting better all the time where you can just play your game and take some of the other junk out of your mind?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I think that's just through years of experience too and trying to get a balance and how to obtain balance in my life. There have been times, obviously, throughout my career where it wasn't in balance, and trying to get everything back to an equilibrium again was always the goal and always the task.
I've had great people around me to help me. People I can talk to and trust and confide in, so that makes it a lot easier.
Q. With Chevron sponsoring this event, talk about the opening of the new learning center in Washington, D.C.?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, our two campuses there, I think, it's a step in the right direction. Obviously, we wanted to do something very similar to what we had done in Anaheim. But under the economic climate, it just didn't fit. We couldn't raise the funds for a structure like that.
It actually worked out better in the end, because I think with this model going forward, we can service more kids and be in more places, not just D.C., and not just in Anaheim. But we can actually service more kids around the country and eventually around the world just using this one particular model. We're going to try to do it right the first time and expand on it from there.
Q. Can you talk about not having played the last couple years first, and then last year and maybe your reaction to not being able to play in your own tournament and how you think it affected it?
TIGER WOODS: Well, unfortunately, I wasn't able to play the last couple of years. I wanted to and, unfortunately, that just didn't happen. Chevron has come aboard and, unfortunately, I just wasn't there.
It's pretty important for us, and it showed you how what Chevron believes and what we're trying to do for kids. They've stuck by us and have supported us, supported the foundation and supported the event.
So I'm looking forward to getting out there and playing and competing and being back in Southern Cal again.
Q. You're a four-time winner of this tournament. How would you evaluate your chances of winning for the fifth time, given the state of your game and now that you know what the field is?
TIGER WOODS: Well, my game's coming around, so the way I played at the Ryder Cup and then hopefully -- I know I have two more events prior to the Chevron event. Hopefully, I can get two more W's before I get to Chevron and see what happens.
Q. A lot of Koreans want to see you do good, and wondering how many events do you plan to play in next year? What is your prediction, do you think, given the state of your play at the current moment?
TIGER WOODS: Well, as far as my playing schedule next year, I don't know yet. I haven't looked at the TOUR schedule. But I can tell you this, I will play more times than I did this year. I didn't quite play that many events this year, and I'd like to get back to a full playing schedule next year and be ready for the big events again. Certainly, hopefully, get more W's than I did this year.
Q. How is your health, and pretty much how is your confidence lately as far as your game and everything? We miss you.
TIGER WOODS: Oh, I feel good. I feel good about my game as well. At the Ryder Cup, I played pretty good and especially in the singles match. I've had a little time off and still got a couple more weeks off before I head to China and Australia, so looking forward to that practice time and getting a little bit more prepared.
Q. One of the things, just going back to the Ryder Cup for a minute I never really got to ask you about that over there is, you know, I know Steve's been caddying since he was 12 years old. He's pretty good at keeping clubs dry, but he was unable to keep your clubs dry for most of that week. The other issue was the rain suits which leaked and guys were walking around with very heavy suits. I know these are all little things, but when you look at it, it was only half a point that separated victory from defeat. Do you look back on that and say, you know, maybe we should have figured these things out a little bit better beforehand with the equipment?
TIGER WOODS: Well, there's no doubt. I think that those are issues that should be resolved before we get there so they're not an issue while playing. Come tournament time there are always going to be things that pop up, and you just have to deal with them. It happens in every team event I've ever been a part of.
But little things like that, I think could have been taken care of so they weren't an issue. Or at least have been tested prior to game time so that any kind of corrections that could have been made, would have been made.
Q. I was curious about the intimidation factor that's always been there in your game. It's something the media and fans love to talk about, but how much did you feel that before and how much do you think you can get that back?
TIGER WOODS: I don't know if it was intimidation. I just felt that when I was playing well, I was always going to be tough to beat. I just haven't gotten to that level in a while now. This past year -- I had a good year last year and won a few times. This year wasn't exactly the same success.
But I like where my game is headed. I like the pieces of it and how they're falling into place. In particular at the Ryder Cup, and especially in the singles how I played, and that's the way I know I can play the game of golf. So I'm looking forward to that.
Q. You're embarking on yet another swing change. Was that a byproduct of the switch in coaches to Sean? Was it a by product of thinking what was not working and needed to be changed? Is what is the thought process behind going through that challenge again?
TIGER WOODS: Well, see, I was alluding to you when I was telling you guys I was going through this process at the PGA and subsequent playoff events, for me it was about buying into a whole new system.
I understand certain parts of it, and I didn't really understand all of what Sean was trying to teach, so I had to keep picking his brain, keep picking his brain. We had to do some work. A lot of stuff off the golf course of just talking and explaining what he likes to see and how things need to be positioned and the reasons why. I always want to know the reasons why.
So after a little bit of time of trial and error on my part of hitting golf balls, I decided to go in that direction, and I'm still in it. I'm still working towards it. I don't have it all dialed in yet. But I figured if I could play the way I did in the singles match, which I hadn't done that all year, that's a positive sign.
Q. So I remember in April at Augusta I asked you what kind of golfer you wanted to be now, and you said that you wanted to be like you were when you were younger, and you said, at peace. Do you feel now this many months removed from the Masters and in the midst of that storm, that you are more at peace? Another related question, what have you learned about yourself over the last year?
TIGER WOODS: Certainly I'm a lot more at peace now. Everyone's getting used to the new living conditions. The kids are adjusting. I think everyone's certainly more at peace, and so am I, too. I learned a lot about myself, and I learned how things went wrong, why they went wrong, and had to take a pretty deep and introspective look at myself, and there weren't a lot of things I liked about it. But I had to do it, and I did it and grateful that I did. I think that I come from a much better place, much more grounded place now than I ever have before.
Q. Was the last golf-wise this last year, is it humbling in any way?
TIGER WOODS: Say it again?
Q. Golf-wise, this year, was it humbling, I guess, or how would you describe it?
TIGER WOODS: I would say more frustrating than anything, because I was -- I've had two teachers this year of the I've had a stretch where I didn't work with anybody. A lot of different things were going on on and off the golf course. All in all it was a long, frustrating year, but in the end it turned out that everything's headed in a positive direction now.
Q. In Wales you seemed on Saturday and Sunday to be delofting quite a bit. You were sailing greens and hitting iron shots quite far, and you looked very frustrated by that. What was going on, and how did you turn that around, because obviously you started hitting it pin-high again in the singles?
TIGER WOODS: What happened was as I've gotten into this system working with Sean, when I get it going well, I'm really starting to swing well and I'm hitting the ball farther. Hitting the ball farther than I ever thought I would. Especially with the conditions not being good, I thought the conditions would take yards off my shot, and it didn't. I was hitting it right through the wind.
That's a good sign. I just had to make the adjustment, and I was able to make the adjustment. Once I made the adjustments, the numbers got right back to where they should be.
But before, the conditions were affecting my golf ball a little bit more than they are now. My shot pattern is a little bit more tight, and with that I'm able to hit the ball through the conditions a little bit better.
Steve and I were both confounded by it, because it was something we haven't experienced together as a team before. Something that was good to see, good to have happen, and it was nice to be able to make that adjustment.
Q. A follow-up, the importance of you being in your own tournament after a couple of years, also, how that is giving back to Southern California? Then leading into Riviera, is there a chance that you might play there this year, and has Jerry West been in contact with you?
TIGER WOODS: As far as coming back, I'm always excited to come back to So Cal. This is where I grew up and where I lived most of my life. So for me to come back is always fun. Fun to see friends and go out to dinner with people that I haven't seen in a long time, so I always enjoy that about coming back home. Then playing in front of the hometown fans, it's always fun.
As far as Jerry West contacting me, he hasn't of yet, but there is still some time (laughing).
End of FastScripts