November 14, 2001
JAMES CRAMER: I'd like to welcome everyone to today's press conference featuring the defending champions of EMC2 World Cup, David Duval and Tiger Woods of the United States. And because of the translation and the amount of time it's going to take, why don't we go directly into questions.
Q. Can you tell us, you had a practice round today, can you tell us about how you felt about the golf course?
DAVID DUVAL: I think it's a beautiful golf course. A little wet from the rain. It's in very good shape. The greens are big and pretty fast. It's a little bit more open than last where I played down in Miyazaki. It's just a good venue.
TIGER WOODS: Well, I thought golf course is in great shape, especially since we had a whole bunch of rain yesterday. The greens are still holding, but they are pretty quick. If they dry out this week, it's going to be a pretty good test this week. It's going to be a lot of fun. It's going to be a great challenge and David and I are really looking forward to it.
Q. Everybody seems to make you red-hot favorites to defend your title again. Could you both talk about whether you agree with that and also about your form coming into this week as well, please?
TIGER WOODS: Well, I think on paper, we're ranked pretty high. I think this week, I know that I'm starting to play a little bit better now. I'm starting to hit some good shots. At THE TOUR Championship, I was really playing well going into the event until my back acted up, but I really played solidly. I just didn't make any putts over the weekend. I was in China on Saturday and Sunday, and I hit the ball really well down there, and I'm really looking forward to it. For me, just watching David, it's pretty easy to see ease playing well. He obviously won last week and he's playing well this week and hopefully we can go out there and put it together at the same time. This week is going to be quite a test for that and you're going you're going to have to both play well at the same time. You can't just ham-and-egg it this week.
Q. Can you briefly update us on the condition of your back, how did it feel today?
TIGER WOODS: My back has felt really good actually. I was a little worried about the flight overseas, 18-hour flight from L.A. to Chenzhen, and I figure it might be a little bit tighter and it might act up, but it's been great. It has been just a touch sore, but they said this it's like having a bruise. My joints are moving perfectly fine, full range of motion. It's just going to be a little sore for a little bit until it fully heals.
Q. David, can you just tell us a little bit about the finish to the tournament on Sunday? I understand it was quite an interesting last few holes?
DAVID DUVAL: Well, I played very good most of the week. I was playing well on Sunday and then basically just started not to hit it quite as well, kind of leaking a little bit, leaking oil. I had several putts like on 13, 14 and 15, right through that there that really would have belt up my lead and I didn't make any of them. I lipped them all out. Somebody kept making birdies and then I got to 17, and it was a tough, pin a bit of a slope. I had about 40 feet and it was just uphill and then downhill and I just was pretty stupid of me, but I left it short, so I had a downhill, sidehill and missed that putt and grazed it by the hole, four or five feet or so and I missed that one coming back. Had I not make made the fourth putt because I went ahead and hit that one pretty hard, too, I probably would have six-putted. But then I played the last hole well. I had a fairly easy bunker shot, actually if it had not rained but because of the consistency of the sand in the bunker it is became a little more difficult shot and I hit it about 12 feet high and thin; but won the playoff. I certainly would have liked to have done it a little prettier, but a win is a win, and that's how it goes.
Q. This is not a regular stroke-event, it's more like a team event, do you have any strategies for playing this type of game?
TIGER WOODS: Well, David and I haven't really sat down and talked about what we are going to do off the tees and who is going to play even and odd holes. But tomorrow, starting out four-ball so we'll just both need to play well at the same time and put two balls on the green. I think that's the key to playing four-ball. Once we get to the foursomes, I think it's imperative that you drive the ball in play so that you can go ahead and attack, if you have a good situation, if not, at least it's easier to hit the greens from the fairways and that's what we tried to do last year and we were able to do that -- which, David was able to do that last year, I wasn't playing as well as I would like, but we got it going when we needed to and played well.
Q. The U.S. team looks very strong, we know that you're very strong, the world No. 1, but if some other country or team is going to play good, who is going to be the challenging team for you, and can you tell us a little bit about the Japanese team?
DAVID DUVAL: My answer to that would be that the -- I think the Japanese team will play very well. Similar to the situation where Argentina played so great last year as well. The home crowd, home country, is great incentive. I believe Ernie Els and Retief Goosen pair up for a very good team. Ireland, the Irish team is very strong. I'm sure there's a couple others, but I haven't really looked at the list, so I think in the end, I this the Japanese team is going to be very good, very tough players.
Q. If I could go back to the subject of your back, would you say it's the worst injury you've ever had?
TIGER WOODS: (Shakes head).
Q. But you've had it, it's been hanging around for two weeks, is it something that you think about when you're out playing?
TIGER WOODS: Not anymore, no.
Q. You have been thinking about it for a couple of days?
TIGER WOODS: Well, I was pretty sore during THE TOUR Championship, if which you watched the telecast you could see a was a little sore. But I had full range of motion in the joints. It's just the muscles were sore.
Q. But it never entered your mind that you might aggravate it?
TIGER WOODS: Just go out there and play.
Q. Which injuries have you had that have been worse?
TIGER WOODS: I had two tumors in my knee.
Q. When was that?
TIGER WOODS: Back in '94.
Q. Can you tell us about Michael Jordan coming back to basketball?
TIGER WOODS: Well, I think it's great for all of sport and particularly basketball. He draws a sellout every night and it's great to see. He's extremely competitive and I know that he's -- and he knows, I mean, everyone knows, he's not what he was when he was 28; he's 38 now, but you can still see, he's still got a lot of skill. And occasionally, some nights, it comes out and other nights, he's going to struggle a little bit. But the hardest part now is that he doesn't have the cast around him that he did back when he was playing with the Bulls, and it's a younger team, less experienced. It's going to be quite a challenge for him to lead them in the playoffs and hopefully they can win the close games and that's what's going to enable them to get to the playoffs they have to win those type of games. But I think it's great to see him back.
Q. Do you make contact with him sometimes?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, do I talk to him quite a bit.
Q. What Japanese friends here in Japan?
TIGER WOODS: A win. (Laughter.)
Q. Mr. Duval?
DAVID DUVAL: Same thing as last year. I just want to play well and win the golf tournament. Pretty simple.
Q. You've watched Mt. Fuji with the snow, do you like to go snowboarding?
DAVID DUVAL: I guess you can snowboard there? They have snowboarding on Fuji?
TIGER WOODS: No, you're not going.
DAVID DUVAL: On Sunday when we're done. (Laughter.)
JAMES CRAMER: Tiger, David, thank you very much and good luck this week.
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