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March 1, 2002

Tiger Woods


JOAN V.T. ALEXANDER: Tiger, thank you for joining us for a few minutes. I would say it would be an interesting day out there with that wind. I think it was a little calmer this morning when you first started and picked it up a lot this afternoon. Why don't you just make a couple of comments about that and go into some questions.

TIGER WOODS: Well, today obviously, as you can see, the wind is blowing pretty hard out there and it is a tough challenge trying to get your mind and body committed to a shot sometimes. It's awfully tough and you got to really control your ball flight under these conditions. For the most part I was able to do that today. And it's getting to the point where it is tough to stay steady on the greens, it's blowing hard enough where you are moving a little bit and your ball ocilating a little bit, it's getting quite tough to shoot under par, I'm very pleased about that.

Q. When you get conditions like today, it seems to be prevalent among the events in this state at this time in the year. How close does that come to becoming the most difficult wind to read or is Augusta still the toughest winds to get a gauge on?

TIGER WOODS: Any time you are dealing with tall trees and valleys you are going to have a tougher time trying to pick out which way the win is coming out because it tends to swirl. Out here, you know, it's ripping -- it's blowing in just one direction. When it gets down to those trees it's pretty tough to figure out what is going on. Even at TPC as well, some of holes on the back nine -- you get holes with trees and water and it tends to do some weird things.

Q. Breeze completely turned around from yesterday kind of?

TIGER WOODS: Yesterday was pretty much right out of the north, today it is more out of the east. It's whipping out there. 18 is playing pretty tough and some holes coming in are crosswind holes. Those are obviously some of the more difficult shots you have got to hit.

Q. When you say it's tough for club commitment and everything, do you find yourself with a general rule of thumb, do you always take one more if it's against you and one less if --

TIGER WOODS: No. No. It's all about feel. I have hit some interesting clubs today; 190 yards, 8-irons, I am out there 140 yards, I am hitting 7-irons, 135 yards hit 7-iron. So it's blowing and it is all feel; what trajectory you are going to hit the ball and what span. Are you going to hold it, ride it, it's all experience, really.

Q. From 11 to 15 you played a 5th hole stretch where you only had one par but you made three birdies. Talk about the birdies on the two par 3s.

TIGER WOODS: Any time you can birdie par 3s, you feel pretty good. The shots I hit in there were good shots, really good shots. Smart shots. The putt I hit on 13 was actually probably the better putt. I really hit that putt good. I released the blade and it just held its line all the way down there, it went right in the middle. Then the putt I hit over on 15 was a good putt, but probably not quite as good, but it still held its line. I was going in the grain and I was fortunate that the grain didn't snag that putt.

Q. Second shot on 8, what did you hit in there and how close was the putt?

TIGER WOODS: 8 I had 240 to the hole and I just absolutely thought today a 2-iron, just hit a smoke-high draw in there. That's probably one of the best shots I have hit in years, (laughs), to step up there and be that committed and hit with that kind of trajectory, it was just fun to hit. I had about 15 feet and hit a decent - it wasn't a great putt but it was a decent putt because I didn't hit it quite as good as I needed to. Green just snagged it, ate it up and tapped it in.

Q. A lot of players say when conditions pick up like this, their focus gets better. You always seem so focused but maybe -- is this something you needed, a tough round like this?

TIGER WOODS: I think you have to pay more attention to what you are doing, no doubt about it. These conditions, if you let your mind wander, you can make 5, 6, 7 in a heartbeat out here especially with as much water as this golf course has, you've got to be really committed to what you are doing.

Q. That shot on the 18 hole (inaudible)

TIGER WOODS: Steve and I were -- it's interesting, we were over that shot and it's a shot that -- that lie was a flier lie, it could come out left or right, soft or long, I didn't know how it was going to come out.

Q. The rough or the bunker?

TIGER WOODS: Out of the rough. It was on the downslope on the rough. So it was a questionable shot. So I -- Stevie said, well, if you hit the ball just aim the right side of the green which I was going to do anyway, right bunker is fine, you have the backstop with the grandstand. I didn't mean to fly it to the grandstand. I caught a nuker coming out of there, but it is one of those things if it stays right there I have an easy pitch. Now I got a hard pitch, but then again, I was lucky the ball didn't go in the water. It was zipping across that green and I thought for sure it was going to get a little wet.

Q. Is there a difference in the way you feel after a victory whether it is if you win by one do you have more satisfaction than if you won by five or six in certain ways?


Q. Doesn't really matter?

TIGER WOODS: No, no, zero. I have won by one in a playoff. I guess I have won by as much as 15 in the U.S. Open. In either case, you know you beat everybody in the field. That's very rewarding.

Q. 15 in the U.S. Open I think sort of precipitated all these course changes directly or indirectly that we're seeing...

TIGER WOODS: I don't know if it's quite because of what I did. I think what they are seeing now guys who are my age and a little bit younger than me obviously with the youngest being out here is Ty, from my age to his, there's some -- quite a young group of guys who can hit the ball a long ways, and they have done some studies in college golf, they hit the ball further than we did. I used to hit further in college but you get out here start bringing it back. But the guys now are bigger; they are stronger, taller, they've got better technique, and they are just pounding it out there. If they don't change the golf courses now for when these kids get out here in five to ten years, then I think you are going to see the scores obviously go so low that it's not going to be fun to actually watch. 20-some odd under par is going to win every week. I don't think that's what we want to see happen. We want to see where you go out there like today under these conditions, shoot a par -- round of 1, 2-under par, and pass some people and not get lapped the other way. You play some golf courses now, you shoot 2-under par, you just get absolutely lapped.

Q. Have you met the kid yet, run into him yet, Ty?

TIGER WOODS: I met it once back in Isleworth. That's about it. I saw him out there working, I think it was Wednesday afternoon or might have been yesterday or something. Saw him working with Lead.

Q. Do people have to do things to courses other than just length? I mean, does just lengthening a course mean you are going to still be hitting shorter clubs into a green than most of the other players?

TIGER WOODS: If you just narrow the fairways down, that's something that Arnold always gotten on the Tour and especially Augusta, get the greens hard, you get the greens hard, all of a sudden it changes your approach coming in; what are you going to do off the tees you start thinking. Nowadays, a lot of the golf courses you just hit 7, let it backup, that's not, I don't think, how the game is supposed to be played. Supposed to be able to create something on the green and challenge yourself. Obviously a lot of that is based upon the weather, that they have. We have had some good conditions to have the greens brick hard. Don't seem to be that way.

Q. You mentioned Arnold, I think he has got it brick hard up at Bay Hill?

TIGER WOODS: He has always been one for that. That's how you can keep the scores out of hand, if you tuck the pins over bunkers, now they are brick hard, you have to hit a good shot to get in position to make a putt, not guaranteed, throw the ball up over the bunker, guaranteed to have a five, six, 7-footer. Now you throw the ball over the bunker you've got to have the right spin, the right trajectory, a lot of different things go into it of hitting the ball into position.

Q. Than just throwing darts?


Q. They say this is a driver's course -- (inaudible)

TIGER WOODS: This golf course, it is easier, obviously if you can hit ball down there; get at some of these pins. But you don't win tournaments by driving the ball. You got to win tournaments by making putts.

Q. I know you are a little young for this but this major Tour proposal, have you seen that or read about it?


Q. What do you think of it? You think there's a place for it?

TIGER WOODS: The 40 Tour?

Q. No, 37 to 54, but having won a major. Playing in --

TIGER WOODS: I thought it was -- Freddie was telling me a while ago it was 40 to 50.

Q. They keep tweaking it as they go along. What do you think?

TIGER WOODS: I don't know. I think some of the guys might have to give up their status out here?

Q. Yeah.

TIGER WOODS: But they are guaranteed half a million just by playing the Tour a year. (Laughs). It's better than going in the booth. It's interesting because, I don't know, I don't know, it is a good question because when you have been doing it I guess for 20-some odd years most people who do some things for 20-some odd years are thinking of retiring. Unfortunately for a lot of guys out here on Tour, they got to keep playing. Tom Weiskopf had one of the best lines, is that: 'Why don't you play the SENIOR TOUR more?' 'Because I don't have to.'

I think that's where you want to get to in life and a lot of these guys are at the point where their kids are old enough and they want to spend more time at home with their families and they are just rundown. A lot of guys want to back off the schedule and not have to play 20, 25 tournaments a year - go to a few tournaments for more money.

Q. Hoch won twice at 45. Marco did it almost in San Diego, et cetera, et cetera. What do you think is the problem with guys like that age range not winning, is it more lack of ability, competing against younger kids, or is it lack of motivation?

TIGER WOODS: I think it is a combination of.

Q. You always say that?

TIGER WOODS: I think it is true though. I think it is honestly true when you have been doing it for this long, same city, same hotel room, same restaurants, it gets old after a while, same courses. You want to do something else. A lot of these guys at that age are in the course design business, other hobbies, and do this because there's nothing else to really do. But I think if they would rather have their druthers I think they would play less and enjoy just what they have done so far in their career.

Q. Would you watch it?

TIGER WOODS: Oh, yeah, yeah, definitely.

Q. If you had a chance between that or the SENIOR TOUR or LPGA Tour --

TIGER WOODS: Fergy, you are not going get me in trouble on this one, Bud.

Q. Or the Battle of Big Horn (laughter)?

TIGER WOODS: (Laughs) As soon as you walk in you have got to the say something like that.

JOAN V.T. ALEXANDER: Thank you, Tiger, for joining us.

End of FastScripts....

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