home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


September 19, 2002

Tiger Woods


TODD BUDNICK: We have Tiger Woods, 7 under 65, sets a new course record. The old record was 65. The course has gone under a number of renovations so it's considered a new record. No bogeys. You played great.

TIGER WOODS: I felt like I hit the ball really well today. I hit a lot of good iron shots, made a lot of putts. I just didn't drive the ball particularly well on the par 5s, but overall, I can't be too disappointed with 65.

Q. When you prepare a day before, mentally, for a game which is like today, which is stroke-play, do you do that differently than next week, which is Ryder Cup week, in match-play?

TIGER WOODS: Yes, it will be different. First off, it's not your typical match-play event. You're playing with a partner, and I think we're starting off alternate shot and it's going to be -- obviously, your mindset is going to be different because you have to figure out what balls to use. It's a completely different thought process. Today, I'm just worrying about myself. It's easier to worry about yourself.

Q. Tiger, changing clubs at this time is usually detrimental to most of us. But obviously you're a little different than most of us. Talk about your involvement in the development of the clubs you're using and what you got out of these clubs, these irons at least today that maybe were missing out of the other ones?

TIGER WOODS: It's one of those things where I wasn't going to make a change unless it's just as good if not better that what I'm playing with. I've always done that, ever since I was a junior all the way through amateur golf. If you remember, I won the Masters in '97 with Muzinos, I didn't play Titleist yet. They were making me sets until they were right and then I'd put them in the bag. This is no different. They had to be just as good if not better, and they are. And I went out there with full confidence they were going to perform because of my practice sessions back home and I felt very comfortable with them today.

Q. How did you feel about the course today? And also a nongolfing question: Have you been doing other recreational things here at Mount Juliet? Have you been fishing, doing other things?

TIGER WOODS: I think the golf course is playing absolutely gorgeous out there. The fairways are perfect. The greens are the best greens we've putted on all year, including the majors. These things are absolutely pure.

I haven't really been doing a whole lot; just trying to get over jet lag and get ready for the tournament. So I haven't been fishing, which is something that I sort of would like to do, but I don't think I have the time to do it.

Q. How much preparation did you put into the development of your schedule?

TIGER WOODS: What do you mean?

Q. How many times did you practice between other tournaments before deciding to use them?

TIGER WOODS: I've tested them and we've gone through probably, I don't know, between 12 and 15 different sets until we got the CG's just right. That's been the hardest thing trying to get the CG's right, the club, but they finally got them right and I'm comfortable with them now.

Q. How long is that process? Weeks? Months?

TIGER WOODS: Months. A long time.

Q. Driving today on the par 5s consistently left, talk about what was going wrong on some holes, not just all the par 5s. And also, when is the last time you used a driver this much in play? It seems like the last couple of courses have been --

TIGER WOODS: The reason I hit it left, I was afraid to hit it right. It's one of those things I thought I could lose it right. I'm not going to lose it right, so I flip it left.

I haven't hit a driver this often since maybe Augusta.

Q. Is that a problem?

TIGER WOODS: No, I like it. If I hit like this, it's a problem, but if I hit a little bit better, it shouldn't be too bad.

Q. We know you've been in Ireland quite often, but audiences and galleries, your first impressions of the Irish gallery from a competitive viewpoint. This is your first experience with an Irish gallery.

TIGER WOODS: Yes. I was telling Paddy that today, they're not only gracious, but they understand the game of golf. Paddy had a shot on the 4th hole. He hit his tee shot off to the right. It was a tough shot. The only shot -- a good shot would have been the front left part of the green, and he hit that shot to the front left part of the green and they gave a really loud clap, loud applause. They understood how difficult a golf shot like that was and that was the only place you could have put it.

So it's great to play in front of the galleries that are knowledgeable, and the Irish fans are certainly knowledgeable about the game of golf.

Q. We didn't know if we were favoring you or Padraig; as you call him Paddy, did you get any feeling?

TIGER WOODS: When he made birdie, they were a little louder.

Q. In your view what would be more important for you, to win this week or the Ryder Cup next week?

TIGER WOODS: Here this week.

Q. Elaborate on why.


Q. Why it is rather than next week?

TIGER WOODS: I can think of a million reasons why (laughter).

Q. Is it no contest for you, then, the question of which is more important?

TIGER WOODS: This is a big event. This is the best players in the world. You're playing stroke-play on a great golf course. That's pretty important. I'm not saying the Ryder Cup is not important; it's a completely different animal. It's an individual effort; next week is a team effort. You can go out there and play absolutely lousy and the team can win, or you can play absolutely great and win all five matches, if you play all five, and lose the Ryder Cup. It's two completely different animals.

Q. Can you break 65 tomorrow?

TIGER WOODS: I'd like to. I certainly would like to. If I can drive the ball a little bit better than I did today with my driver, get it in play, especially on the par 5s. Two of the first three par 5s, I can hit iron into the greens. And the way I felt over the ball with my iron play, I probably would have made birdie, but I just couldn't get it in play. If I can get the ball in position to make putts, I feel my speed is really good right now.

Q. You were having trouble with a hook. You're shooting 65. That's not too bad.

TIGER WOODS: It was because I was afraid of hitting it right. If you're afraid of hitting one way, you're going to hit it another way. I'll go out on the range and fix that.

Q. You've won five of these, so that's $5 million. Do you look at the checks anymore when they're presented to you or do you just give them to your manager?

TIGER WOODS: They give you the check, but it's not cash money. They don't give you a check and you walk straight to the bank now. It's all automated now. It would be an interesting briefcase (laughter).

Q. Two questions regarding next week. How did you feel after Valderrama, first of all, and secondly, how do you suppose you would feel next week?

TIGER WOODS: Match-play or stroke-play?

Q. Ryder Cup?

How do you suppose you would feel next week if the U.S. won the Cup and you went 0 and 5.

TIGER WOODS: In '97, I didn't play well. I really didn't. I played well in one match. That's when I was paired up with Justin. I played really well. I played nine holes with Marko, when we played Westwood and Faldo. We were 5 under for nine. I didn't really play that well.

Q. How did you feel about Europe winning the Cup that year?

TIGER WOODS: It was disappointing. I wasn't able to contribute to the team. If I played better, I could have contributed. It's a two-point swing. Between winning a point and losing a point, it was frustrating that week.

Q. Do you feel personally responsible?

TIGER WOODS: I think everyone who loses points is going to feel responsible, because as I said, it's a two-point swing. If you have a match, that's a fine. That's one thing. If you lose a match, obviously, you're going to be very disappointed.

Q. How would you feel if you guys win the Cup and you went 0 and 5?

TIGER WOODS: Again, disappointed, because I wasn't able to contribute to the effort, but I would be proud of my teammates for playing as well as they did, if I was 0 and 5.

Q. You say this week is more important than next week's Ryder Cup. How do you feel the World Championships are doing in getting their spaces up alongside the four majors and the Players Tournament at home; do you think they have arrived there yet?

TIGER WOODS: I think it's the echelon just below the major championships. You know, you're not going to have anything wrong with the majors. But it's right with the Players Championship and I guess our TOUR Championship.

Q. And that's what makes you so determined?

TIGER WOODS: Any time you get to play against the best players, that's the rush because we don't get a chance to play against each other all the time. We have different tours, we play different places, different schedules. But there are certain events where we're all together. The four majors, the Players Championship, the NEC and here. We're all together playing the same events.

Q. A lot of players have talked about enjoying the fact that the Ryder Cup takes them out of the routine and they're playing for patriotism and pride. You don't seem to get as enthusiastic on those subjects as the other players, or are we interpreting you wrong?

TIGER WOODS: I enjoy playing. I don't enjoy the lead-up to the Ryder Cup, because we're taken out of our normal routine. We're not able to practice, we're not able to work out as much as. I'm used to working out a lot and I'm not able to do that. Certainly not able to practice, we have to go to functions, getting home late at night. If I'm at a big event, I'm not spending all night hanging out. I'm trying to get my rest for the following day and for the days I'm going to be competing. That Ryder Cup, it's tough, it's tough on all the players. We're a little tired by the time the tournament starts and if you're playing all five matches it takes a lot out of you, it really does.

I'll never forget Mark O'Meara telling me in '97, "you better sleep this week because you're not going to get any sleep next week." From his past experiences he was trying to help me out saying you're not going to get any rest. So that's the only downside, I think, to the tournament. You're not able to prepare like you normally would. I'm used to a certain routine. It's kind of tough when I'm not able to do that. That's a particular routine.

Q. Having been through a team victory and a team defeat, do you think you've felt the highs and lows of that as intentionally as your colleagues?

TIGER WOODS: I think so, because obviously you're -- in '97, I felt as if I didn't contribute, you know, because I lost some points. I didn't play particularly well, and that was disappointing. In '99 I played a little better. I didn't play great, but it was a total team effort to get the job done. That's the unique part about the Ryder Cup. For instance, I played early in the singles, and I played well against Andrew, was able to win my match, and from there I was able to go out there and support my teammates. That's not something we do out here in an individual event. That part is cool. You're able to support your teammates and it's a completely different approach, which is neat, because you're trying to pull for guys that you're usually competing against. You're usually bashing each other's heads in week after week and you're out there supporting, getting the pom-poms out and rooting for the guys to play well.

Q. Do you think your teammates next week would also rather win here than at the The Belfry and would it surprise you if most of the Europeans said they would rather win at the Belfry than here?

TIGER WOODS: I think it would be surprising if they said that, yeah. I think it's an important week this week. This is a big week, and certainly one I would want to win.

Q. You obviously enjoyed the golf course. The course superintendent suggested that he could cut down trees and extend this golf course to eight thousand yards, if he had to. Quite seriously, he said that would be a tragedy. How do you view this? Is it possible we may have to go down that road, the way technology is going in golf?

TIGER WOODS: All you have to do is narrow the fairways and grow the rough up. You can have the golf courses play as long as they are now, but if you want to play it difficult, just narrow the fairways up, and grow the rough up, four or five inches on both sides. These fairways are very generous, and if you miss the ball in the rough, you've got a chance of getting a good lie here. It is kind of spotty, but you don't have to make a golf course obscenely long for it to be difficult.

Q. Tiger, can we have your birdies, please?

TIGER WOODS: Four, 2-iron off the tee. I hit an 8-iron to six feet and made it.

6, I hit a 5-iron to about 3 feet.

7, I hit a 2-iron off the tee. I hit an 8-iron up there to about 20 feet, made that.

13, 2-iron off the tee, 6-iron up there to about 15 feet.

No. 14, I hit a 7-iron to about 3 feet, and 17, I hit a driver and a 3-iron short of the green, had about 55 yards to the hole, pitched up there to about six feet, made that.

And on 18, I hit a 2-iron, a 6-iron, past the hole about 25 feet and made it.

TODD BUDNICK: Thank you, Tiger.

End of FastScripts....

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297