January 6, 2002
Q. Do you know about the threat received in New Zealand?
TIGER WOODS: Oh, yeah, definitely. I know the tournament officials have done a wonderful job of organizing the event. They've assured me that I'm going to be safe. Do the best they can for not only myself, but the rest of the players and all the people coming out to the tournament.
Q. Do you think it's important not to let stuff like that deter plans that you made or other people made?
TIGER WOODS: Things like this do happen. You know, you have to go on living your life. It's unfortunate that people have these type of views and do these types of acts. You know, I'm going to go down there, enjoy myself, try and play like I did today.
Q. Is it kind of a distraction, more of a distraction, when security is going to be amped up?
TIGER WOODS: Not really, no. I'm just going to go out there. It's going to be an interesting week as it is with Stevie down there in his hometown. That's where he grew up playing. Everyone's got the buzz about it. I think just that in itself, it's going to be an interesting week.
Q. Today, after a few holes, you got going.
TIGER WOODS: I finally made a few putts today. Granted, I wasn't blown all over the place today either. It was nice to stay steady on some putts and release them, know the fact that I wasn't going to be blown over.
Q. This is one incident we know about. How many incidents occur that we don't know about that you do?
TIGER WOODS: I've had my fair share.
Q. How about your putting?
TIGER WOODS: You know, today I hit the ball as good as I have all week really. The same, nothing really changed that regard. It was just actually that I was able to stay steady like I was the first day, wasn't blowing a gale like it was the last two days. I wasn't being moved all over the place.
Finally made some putts, got it going, got the momentum on my side. From there, I just tried to keep it going. I was able to do that.
Q. You were creeping up the score board.
TIGER WOODS: I was trying to get to double digits. I figured that's where I would need to be to finish Top 10.
Q. Were you thinking maybe all the way to the top?
TIGER WOODS: If I birdied every hole on the Back 9, thrown in an eagle or two here and there (laughter).
Q. Overall, how would you rate this as a start to your season?
TIGER WOODS: Very good start. I'm pleased with the things I've been working on. It's just unfortunate for me that I didn't putt that well the last two days with the wind howling. I struggled a little bit, but I hit the ball pretty well. I only made a couple bad swings here and there, but those bad swings, I made a double and a triple.
Other than, that I felt like I swung the club well in the wind; just didn't make any putts.
Q. Do you leave tonight or tomorrow?
TIGER WOODS: Tonight.
Q. Did you do anything differently with your putting, are you working on your putting?
TIGER WOODS: No, I didn't do anything different. I was able to stay more steady today.
Q. Not just this week, but in general.
TIGER WOODS: Huh-uh, it's the same.
Q. Short look ahead to the season. Can you kind of finish the sentence for me. 2002 won't be a great season for me unless I do this?
TIGER WOODS: I don't know. How is that (laughter)?
Q. You've done it all. What is going to make 2002 satisfactory to you?
TIGER WOODS: If I can improve this year over what I've done last year and obviously the year before that. I always keep saying to you guys, if I can keep improving every year, I will be very happy, because I know the wins will pile up.
Q. You're talking about the golf swing, though, not so much with the titles and the statistics?
TIGER WOODS: Just everything in general. Some of the moves I've been working on on my swing are starting to come together. I putted well on the bookend rounds, just wasn't able to get it done in the middle. But I feel like I'm playing well.
Q. Sergio said earlier this week that his goal for the year is to win the Money Title on both sides of the Atlantic. Is that doable or a pretty good goal?
TIGER WOODS: It is doable. I would have done it I think in '99, 2000, something like that. What year did I win Valderrama?
TIGER WOODS: I would have got Montie that year.
Q. The number of tournaments you played kept you back.
TIGER WOODS: I just would have had to play one more. The key is to do well in the big money events, obviously, the majors, the World Golf Championships, the PGA Championship. For them over there, the Volvo, PGA, couple other big events, Deutsche Bank, a few others. You have to play well in those events.
Q. Does it amaze you all the circumstances that surround this New Zealand tournament?
TIGER WOODS: It's been an interesting ride. It's been definitely a little bit different. You know, I am looking forward to getting down there. This is going to be a fun week for all of us down there. I've never been to New Zealand. I'm going back to Stevie's hometown and his home turf. I'm looking forward to having fun, competing, playing, hopefully playing well.
Q. Ticket sales have been a little slow. Do you feel any pressure to try to generate them in the last week, or do you feel that's irrelevant to you?
TIGER WOODS: I really can't do that. Like I can't sit at the ticket office and answer phone calls for tickets (laughter).
Generally, the ticket sales are always going to be a little bit more expedient once the week starts. Sunday, Monday, usually ticket sales start picking up because people want to come out.
Q. Are you going to go watch Steve race one night?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I am. Hopefully I'll enjoy it. Hopefully I'm going to enjoy it. Hopefully he'll win and we'll have a good time.
Q. Will you present the trophy to him?
TIGER WOODS: If he wins.
Q. Any shot of you going to Phoenix?
TIGER WOODS: I don't know.
Q. Up in the air?
TIGER WOODS: Up in the air.
Q. You said Riviera was iffy. Are you leaning toward it?
TIGER WOODS: It's still iffy. A lot of events on the West Coast. Depends on my energy. If I feel I have enough energy to play, because I really want to be ready for the Matchplay.
Q. What area do you look at in particular in the beginning of the year? Is there one statistic you focus on the most?
TIGER WOODS: I think it's just quality of shots. I think what's also important is that you're controlling your ball. Over here, this is probably the best example of that. You have to control your ball flight here. I felt like I did that this week. I just didn't putt as well as I wanted to in the middle of the rounds.
I feel pretty good at the progress I'm making. It is the first tournament of the year. I felt like I was able to continue the momentum that I had at the Williams. I made some improvements with my swing since then, and that has come together. My short game still feels really good.
Q. You talk about improving. Did you feel you improved in 2001?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah. Let me put it this way: When I got on a roll, I didn't keep it as long as I did in 2000. But when I wasn't playing well, the shots that I hit poorly, they weren't as far off line. I missed a lot of fairways last year and the first cut, which I didn't do in the previous year. Either I was down the middle or I was in the hay. From that standpoint, I feel like I did improve.
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