Q. Can I ask you, not to denigrate the Tiger Slam, which I think was a great achievement, at the same time, with all the focus on a calendar year Grand Slam, which would be a bit different, is it something you feel is doable, is it something you want to accomplish? And I know obviously you want to win the British Open and the PGA, but is that a goal that is something you're looking for and you would like to achieve?
TIGER WOODS: Well, it's certainly doable, because I've done it before. To win all four in a calendar year I think it would just be different, because as I said earlier, that at that one time in my household there was all four major championships right there. And no one else in the world had them but me. And that was a very special time in my life. And hopefully I can do it again, and we'll see what happens. It's going to be a lot of fun going out there and competing at Muirfield to win another one.
Q. Have you played Muirfield?
TIGER WOODS: No.
Q. I think you had 11 or 12 fairways today and 15 greens in regulation. Given the conditions and difficulty, would this be maybe the best ball-striking round you've had in a final of a major?
TIGER WOODS: In a final round of a major, probably, yes. I really didn't miss hit a shot today. I may have put the ball in a spot I didn't want to put it, but I hit it flush, I hit it solid. And I really hit the ball clean today. And that -- to do that in the final round of a major championship, hit it that clean, that flush, it wasn't easy, but I was able to do it.
Q. This round started at 3:30 this afternoon. Number 1, was that a little surprising to you. Number 2, how ticked off would you be if you had to come back and finish this off tomorrow?
TIGER WOODS: Well, I got the description of why they did it. Do you know why?
Q. Well, tell me. They've told us, but maybe --?
TIGER WOODS: They just told us because the Lakers swept. They didn't have anything in prime time and didn't want to compete against 60 Minutes. So they moved us back. So that's -- there's the story.
How upset would I be if I had to come back Monday? Not really, because if I could walk out of here with the trophy, it wouldn't bother me to come back on Tuesday (laughter.)
Q. Would you like to start earlier?
TIGER WOODS: They used to start earlier, but I guess you can blame everything on LA.
Q. You mentioned the mistakes. There are physical and mental mistakes in the game of golf. Over the four days how many times do you recall making a bad mental decision, not a misread, pulling the wrong club or trying the wrong shot?
TIGER WOODS: None.
Q. In The Masters, how far back do you have to go to find a mental mistake in a major?
TIGER WOODS: I don't know. Sorry, I really don't.
Q. This is a follow-up on that question about mental mistakes. You impress me as someone that has remarkable mental focus, really unusual mental focus. Do you feel that's something that is a natural ability or have you consciously trained yourself to be able to focus out the amount of distraction and crowds that you're constantly dealing with?
TIGER WOODS: I think from at an early age in comparison to other kids at my age, I was able to do it a little better than the others. But also through experience, I've gotten better, as well. I've learned how to get better, how to concentrate more on what I'm doing out there and block out other distractions. And when you come out as an amateur there's no one watching you play amateur golf. And all of a sudden you have thousands of people in professional golf, there's a bunch of different distractions you have to learn how to deal with on the PGA TOUR. And then you have to learn how to deal with that, on top of adding more people in the final pairings. So I've had to gain -- I've gotten better at concentrating because of experience.
Q. Congratulations, it did look tougher than the Lakers beating the Nets. In retrospect, do you think the most important round here you played was Friday in the rain? Secondly, your first few trips to an Open you weren't as successful, and the last -- did you have an epiphany about playing in this event and what happened there, was it a physical or mental thing?
TIGER WOODS: If you looked at -- I'll answer the second part first. If you look at the way I've finished in the major championships -- let's just say the U.S. opens in general, I've gotten better because if you remember back in '97 I changed my swing. It took a little while for it to kick in and then in '99 right before the Byron Nelson, it finally kicked in, all the work that I've done for about a year and a half, finally was put together. And it became more natural. Hence when I came to a U.S. Open, I didn't necessarily make bad decisions, I made them here and there, but I was that much better of a player, where I could hit the ball more consistently in the correct spots. And then from '99 on my record reflects that.
The first part of your question, Friday was extremely important to shoot a good number there. And I was able to do that, especially coming short turn around off Thursday, late in the afternoon, came right back out early Friday morning, playing in those weather conditions, and shoot a round under par. I mean that was tough, but I was lucky enough to be able to do it.
Q. Correct me if I'm wrong, but with this win, for a number of years you've been a professional, you've kept pace with Jack Nicklaus's pace in the Majors, 7 majors. I wondered if you thought about that before the tournament began and if you didn't, do you consider Jack Nicklaus your only rival, because you don't seem to have any contemporary rivals?
TIGER WOODS: No, that was not something I was aware of starting out the week. And as far as Jack being my only rival, I'm not playing against him. Jack quit playing major championships, some of them, a few years back. And these are the guys I've got to try to beat somehow. It's not like I'm winning every one, I have lost. And I don't think anyone realizes how tough it is to win a major championship. You're making it sound like it's so easy, and it's not. You've got to really hit the ball well. And you've got to grind it out and make a lot of putts. You've got to really be committed to what you're doing out there. It's not easy to win. But I've been able to do it somehow.
Q. I guess you've heard such noise as you heard today in a match play situation, but have you ever heard as much noise in a stroke-play event as greeted you on the first and down the first and maybe the second. When someone shouted out to Sergio, as he was about to delay his second shot on the first, "We love you Tiger"; did you think we don't have much more of that or what did you think?
TIGER WOODS: First of all, no, I've never played in front of galleries such as this, I don't think anyone has, really. This is completely new to all of us, for them to be this excited, from the first tee to the 18th green. They were pretty revved up. But going down the first hole, I was just hoping that the fans wouldn't cross the line with the comments they would use throughout the day. And to be honest with you, yes, they did. There were fans that crossed the line, but the majority of them didn't. The majority of them were obviously excited but respectful. And that's the only thing you can ask is that they don't cross that line and behave that way. There's nothing wrong with showing enthusiasm, there's nothing wrong with that at all, just as long as you're respectful to the players out there as well as the other fans that are in the galleries.
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