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August 17, 2005

Tiger Woods


Q. Was that an interesting moment at 18 when the ball came back at you?

TIGER WOODS: Did you see that? I got away with it.

Q. Did you see it?

TIGER WOODS: Between wickets.

Q. You obviously peak for the majors and here you are a couple days after the fourth major. What's that like to come to this event after the majors?

TIGER WOODS: Well, this is a big event, as well. Obviously not a major championship, but this is a World Golf Championship, and the best players in the world are here again. It's exciting. Also we get to play one of the greatest golf courses we get to play all year, so that only adds to it. Not too many golf courses are this hard, this straightforward. This is the old school nature, and we don't play too many golf courses like that anymore, so when you do have an opportunity, it's just awfully fun.

Q. What's it like for the Tour to make a stop here in Akron?

TIGER WOODS: Well, I think it's history. They've been coming here for a very long time, and look at all the champions that have played here and won here, from major championships that have been held here to the Big Three playing, and now obviously the World Series and now World Golf Championship. I mean, it's one of the greatest golf courses we can ever play, and the local support has been fantastic. The years that I've played, it's been tremendous.

Q. You say this is one of the best golf courses. Tell us why.

TIGER WOODS: It's straightforward. There's no hidden agendas. There's no elephant burial grounds like we play nowadays where it's target golf and the fairway angles so that it ends at a certain distance and that's it. Every hole is like a bowling alley and you've got to somehow fit a ball down there. You have the opportunity to be aggressive off the tees as well as conservative. But in either case you've got to drive the ball well here, and every year the rough is up, greens are fast, perfect, and it's always a lot of fun.

Q. What are you expecting as far as (inaudible).

TIGER WOODS: Trying to find a backup because obviously my gamer broke at the British and I don't have a backup to the backup. I'm trying to find one just in case something happens to this one.

Q. You dropped a second 3 wood out there on 16. What's your evaluation of that hole?

TIGER WOODS: It's going to be three shots unless it turns downwind. If it's calm there's no chance. Nobody can get there. I mean, it has to be downwind so you have the opportunity to keep it up the right and run it down the hill, otherwise there's no chance. I was just trying different hybrids, different 3 woods just to see what's out there and what we have. We've come a long way, and I just want to see if anything could help my game. But I really do like my 3 wood.

Q. Is it a disappointing change to that hole? It was a great risk reward hole.

TIGER WOODS: I thought it was. It was a hole in which there weren't a lot of 3s, but there were certainly a lot of 4s and 7s if you had an opportunity to go for it. Now most of the scores are probably closer to 4s and 5s because you lay up and you've got a wedge in your hand. You have to make birdie with a wedge instead of picking up a cheap one instead of putting one in the bunker to get up and down.

Q. Many players say that they'd love to go back to courses where they've won, where they've had success and it fits their eye and all those things. When you get here, do you get that sort of warm vibe?

TIGER WOODS: I'll tell you what, you do. Courses that you've had success on, even if you're I've gone to venues where I haven't played well but I've had success there, and all of a sudden your game turns around because you feel comfortable on your tee shots, you feel comfortable going to the greens, you know, all the reads on the putts. It's a feeling that's hard to describe, but it's certainly one that you get filled up with confidence more than anything else when you come to a venue that you've had success at, no matter how you're playing.

Q. You've got to feel good about your game this week after the last three rounds at Baltusrol?

TIGER WOODS: No doubt about that. I fought every day there, and I think the most proud I am is that I didn't get off to a good start any day, but I turned it around and somehow gutted it out and posted some good numbers, except for the first day. Even the first day actually could have been a little bit higher.

Q. What did you do Monday?

TIGER WOODS: I was at home working, working on my game, trying to get ready for this week, make sure that everything is sound and solid.

Q. You obviously had to show up Monday. What did you do Monday morning?

TIGER WOODS: I was at home.

Q. What time did you leave Sunday night?

TIGER WOODS: After the delay.

Q. Did you look at the leaderboard?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, there was three guys ahead of me, two guys tied and Goose at 1 with two par 5s. They're not coming back.

Q. It was a risk?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, it was, but also it really wasn't, either. These are the best players in the world. Look at who's on that board. It wasn't like guys who have never been there before. If you have guys who had never been there before, then it might have been a different story, but each one of those guys had won major championships up there on that board.

Q. What's your favorite moment here, 21 under, playing against Furyk, finishing in the dark with headlights?

TIGER WOODS: Probably that one because I didn't want to come back on Monday, and Hal and I were racing around, and they asked us do you want to call it. We were on 17 tee, we can call it, and I looked at Hal and Hal said, no, I'm going for it. So we played quick and hit that shot, and the story behind that shot is that Stevie's favorite number is 21, and I was stuck at 20. He said when the ball is in the air, he says, "21." He knew it was the right club, and that's what made that shot so sweet.

Q. Were you watching Monday morning?

TIGER WOODS: I caught a piece of it. I caught it towards the end. I was in the gym working out.

When I turned it on, I thought that Elk was hitting his second shot on 18, like, "what's he doing right there?" Then they showed a replay, and I was like, oh, he got a good break to get there. Then he ends up in a divot.

Those are not very hard holes with the wind like it is. You can be pretty aggressive on those flags now, especially on 17. You couldn't get it close when we played it because it was straight downwind. Now it turns into the wind you see those guys backing the ball up. Nobody even sniffed at backing the ball up on Sunday.

Q. I'm working on a story on autographs up on ebay and things like that. What's your policy on that?

TIGER WOODS: It's frustrating.

Q. Do you not sign for adults?

TIGER WOODS: No, I sign. It's frustrating because your intentions are to give something of yourself to a person in a nice way, and you hope that they would cherish that, not value it as a monetary good, and unfortunately that's the nature of things now because you don't know unfortunately you don't know if kids are true or not because kids are now being paid as runners to go get autographs, five autographs for five bucks or whatever it is from different guys, come back to their guy, the guy gives them cash right on the spot. We see them at tournaments do it, many times, for years. It's like, man, I thought you were going to treasure that, but he's selling it off, and then the guy takes it, mats it, frames it and then sells it. That's not how I was raised and society has changed.

Q. I see your point that people on the other side might say you endorse products, make money off it. What's the difference?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, it's true. But here's the flipside is I feel like I'm giving something of myself to that person and I would think that they would cherish that, but obviously it doesn't always work out that way. 90 percent of the people, 95 percent of the people are that way, which is great, but it's unfortunately that small percentage which leaves a sour taste in your mouth for a lot of the guys out here on Tour, and it's not just myself but a lot of guys.

You don't ever want to see that happen, but it does happen unfortunately.

Q. Do you think a lot of guys find it hard to get up for this week because the majors have just finished?

TIGER WOODS: I don't think so, not when you play this venue and this quality of field. It's a wonderful combination, you've got some of the best players in the world playing, and you're playing one of the greatest golf courses that we play all year, and it's a golf course that could host a major if they ever wanted to. It kind of has that feel, especially come the weekend, and you start seeing guys going not all that low when the conditions get hard and fast. It gets like a major championship feel to it.

End of FastScripts.

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