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December 9, 2004

Tiger Woods


JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Thank you, Tiger for coming in here and joining us for a few minutes. Great start to the week.

TIGER WOODS: Today I played -- I played all right today. I wouldn't say I played great. I hit a couple of bad shots here and there, but I hit it close enough where I made enough birdies, but also felt like I didn't really putt well today. I had good speed, that was about it. Just need to get that good speed and actually have that putt full in the hole.

Q. Do you agree on this course there's not that much difference between a birdie and bogey?

TIGER WOODS: Without a doubt. You can hit a marginal shot, get a good bounce and end up with an easy birdie, or next thing you know you're struggling to make bogey. It takes just one golf shot just to go awry and you can slide it the other way so fast.

But the flipside to it is you're playing well, the slopes seem like they go in your favor, you can use the bank, you can use the backboards, and next thing you know you get the ball closer. So you can hit a really good number here, but also it can flip on you real quick.

Q. Do you think Furyk will be all back together next year? He says his healing on his wrist is basically over and he will be back full speed next year.

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I mean, I don't know what I said, I think he's close to 100%.

Q. He said he has no problems.

TIGER WOODS: No problems; then, all he needs to do is get his competitive edge back, and that's just playing and competing. As always, he'll fight you to the very end. There's something to be said for that. That will get you through a lot, as soon as he gets his competitive edge back by playing more and getting into the rhythm of competing and playing, he'll be just fine.

Q. Talking about favorites in big events, your name comes up with Vijay and Ernie, but it seems like Jim doesn't get the opportunity and the attention, and neither does Retief.

TIGER WOODS: Well, with Goose, I don't know why he doesn't get enough attention.

Q. Do you think it's true, though?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, maybe it's because he just didn't draw any attention. He's so mellow.

Q. Doesn't he play here?

TIGER WOODS: He does play here, he does play here enough. It's just that he's not the guy that is going to draw the limelight. But his game does. His game warrants it.

I think with Jim, with the changes that have been made to the major championships and them getting longer and longer, we tend to discount guys who hit the ball a little bit short. When we played Olympia Fields, that was right up Jim's alley; a little shorter and had a lot of doglegs and he was in contention there and ended up winning.

Q. This tournament here, seven shots between top to bottom which is rare, you usually get one guy at the end of the year who posts a 78 or something like that. Coincidence this year, or do you think with the season getting longer, guys are still somewhat on form?

TIGER WOODS: I think most of the guys played last week, a couple of guys played a couple of weeks ago in China and Korea. So guys have been playing after our season ends here in America. But people pretend to forget that the European starts after we end in October, the first tournament of next year. And don't forget, Sun City and the Japanese Tour is not done yet and Australia is just now opening up. So a lot of guys are still playing quite a bit.

Q. Tommy asked Freddie whether -- I think it was Tommy, about the fact that Vijay would be watched a lot next year to see if he could do what he did this year. And then he said everyone watched you in 2001 after 2000, and said most of us didn't think people he would repeat it, but obviously Tiger thought he would repeat it. When you go into the next year after the great year, do you feel like everyone is watching you to see if you are going to repeat or do you even think about it?

TIGER WOODS: I just realize that you get asked a lot of questions. My start basically in '99 -- I had that great year in '99 winning eight times and a major championship, and more eyes were paid upon me in 2000; and then what I did in 2000, can he do it in two straight years, that kind of stuff.

Yeah, you know, a lot of that does happen. I think it's just because of your play and people want to see whether or not you can keep backing up again and again and again. I think a lot of it is just curiosity,.

Q. After you won the 2001 Masters, did you sort of relax a little bit?

TIGER WOODS: No. I wanted to keep pushing and see what I can -- I felt like I could do some serious damage because I was really playing well. I had a stretch there for basically five years where I played really well and that was a fun little run.

Q. You seem to enjoy playing with John Daly, have you played much with him?

TIGER WOODS: I try to play with JD as much as I possibly can, whether it's in a practice round or hopefully we get paired together in tournaments, but usually we're on opposite end of the draws. The first two days, Fergie (Laughter.).

JD and I, we go way back. I played -- first time I played with JD I was 13 years old in Texacana, Arkansas. The pros come in there on the third round and I have this guy who just bombed it. I'll never forget this, the second hole is a par 5 and hits his driver down there I hit my driver down there I barely get a 3-wood rolling up on the green. And he's got this 5-iron out and he hits it up there and he gets on the green and says he's got to take his ball out of play. I said, "What do you mean you've got take it out of play?" He hit it out off-round. I'm like, oh, my God. That was my first introduction to JD. (Laughter.) It was Texacana Country Club up in Texacana, Arkansas. 5-iron, knocked it around on the green.

Q. I just wanted to ask you, now that you're married and without putting any kind of time frame on this, I wonder if you could talk about fatherhood?

TIGER WOODS: Certainly I don't want to be an old father, there's no doubt about that. I still want to be young; we're not going to wait too long.

Q. What are you anticipating?

TIGER WOODS: It will be a life change, there's no doubt about that. For me it will be bigger than it will for Elin, just because she's had siblings. I've never had siblings before. I've been an only child, so for me to grow up with someone else, it will be different, because I've never had that. When we have, obviously, hopefully, more than one, then it will be really difficult, because I've never dealt with that; I've only dealt with just myself.

Q. And if he's a boy, do you put a golf club in his hand?

TIGER WOODS: I'll certainly introduce it to him. Hopefully it will take. But my dad introduced me to the game of golf, and I'm very thankful for that, but I'm actually more thankful for him and actually my mom for encouraging me to go out and play other sports. I love golf, but they always just kept saying, go on, play other sports. I played baseball and ran track and cross country and did all of the other things, but always kept coming back to golf.

Q. So if you have one by the time you're 30, 31 can you see a Jay and Bill Haas scenario?

TIGER WOODS: I would love to have that happen, if I'm still around.

Q. Where are you going?

TIGER WOODS: Oh, I'll be too old to play, these guys hit it so far. (Laughter.)

JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Thank you, Tiger for joining us.

End of FastScripts.

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