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November 22, 2000

Tiger Woods


TIGER WOODS: Tried to get off to a good, solid start, which I was able to. Made some birdies early, and didn't really get anything going on the back nine until the end. But I was able to hang in there and grind and out, and gave myself a wonderful chance on 18 to force into a playoff; and I was able to do that, and able to hit probably two of the most identical shots in there; and same putt, same line.

JULIUS MASON: Could you go through your card, please.

TIGER WOODS: I birdied 2. I hit a driver and a 3-wood short right in the gallery, probably 30 yards short of the green and flopped it up there to about four feet and made that for birdie. No. 4, I hit a driver off the tee. I hit a 6-iron in there to about 15 feet and made that. 6, I hit a driver and a 7-iron to about, I don't know, 18 feet and 2-putted. I bogeyed 10. I hit a driver and a 3-iron to the front edge, about 70 feet away and ran it by about four feet and missed it. And 18, I hit a driver off the tee, a 6-iron from 231, and made about a 15-footer. And the second go-around, I hit a driver again. Had 208, 7-iron, 15 feet. Same line, same putt.

JULIUS MASON: Thank you. Questions, folks? And again, we've got the wireless mic right here.

Q. Tiger, back-to-back eagles, you said you'd never had one like that?

TIGER WOODS: I've had back-to-back eagles before, but never in a tournament like that, no. Not with everything on the line. It's easy to do when you're out with the weekend buddies, not that it really matters, but to have everything on the line like that, it was nice to be able to execute the shots the way I wanted to. Coming in, I had been struggling, kind of -- in the last few holes, getting the club down in front of me. I kept hitting every ball out to the right. And the last 2-iron shots, I said, "I'm going to get the club down in front of me and I'm going to hit a draw this time." And I hit both of them perfect.

Q. A lot has been made about changing from, you know, match play to stroke play, and it turns out it wound up almost like match play?

TIGER WOODS: It was. It was very similar to match play. It was a close match coming in. It was give and take, and Vijay made -- I think it was three straight birdies, and then he played so well. And I was able to just kind of hang in there because I had kind of a little bit of a lead and was able to catch him at the end. And it was kind of a match-play situation. After Tom had put the ball in the water, he drew a terrible lie in the fairway, one of those plug holes that you can tell the fairways have just been plugged, and he ended up right in one of those little holes. But after he put the ball in the water, it was just Vijay and myself.

Q. Tiger, we're really happy to have you here. You're awesome, you're such a wonderful inspiration to the children here. Did I see your mom here today?

TIGER WOODS: My mom and dad. They are both here.

Q. Are you going to have a chance to do some touring or enjoy the islands a little bit before you go home?

TIGER WOODS: The islands -- I'm outta here. (Laughs.) I've been on the road now, it's been -- I've played six tournaments in a row now. Six weeks, a month and a half on the road is long enough for me. It will be nice to be able to go home and spend some time with the family for Thanksgiving, and then get ready for next week in L.A., the Williams World Challenge. It has been a grueling six weeks, because I've gone all around the world and it has taken its toll on me. Quite frankly, I'm a little worn out. I just want to go home and sleep.

Q. Tiger Woods your schedule for 2001 after Mercedes?

TIGER WOODS: I don't know yet. I haven't even taken a look at the Tour schedule yet, to be honest with you, I swear.

Q. Any chance of you playing the Sony Open?

TIGER WOODS: There is a chance, yeah, but I haven't really sat down and taken a look at my schedule, what I need to play in and what I don't need to play in.

Q. After you missed a makeable birdie putt on 16, coming in to 18, at what point do you start to say, "Well, you know what, maybe I don't have it today?" It seems as if whenever it gets darkest, you seem to, somehow, some way, come up with a gleam of light?

TIGER WOODS: The putt I made on 17 is what gave me a chance to really have an opportunity to tie it, or if not, win it outright. If I made that putt two down and one to go, Vijay would probably make birdie or par and would force me to make eagle, just to get into a playoff. I knew if I could somehow grind it out and make that putt, I would at least have some kind of momentum going into 18, and I was able to do that. Vijay hit a shot into the right, which gave me an opportunity, because it looked like he was going to have a difficult time making birdie, and if I could just put the ball in the fairway, I knew that I could make birdie, if not make eagle, and it played out just the way I thought. You've got to always expect your opponent to make that putt, just so that when he does it's not a surprises. You expect him to make that putt. And he buried that putt right in there. I knew what my job was in either case: I had to make the putt and I went up there with that intent, and I was able to just bury it.

Q. Following up on the exhaustion, what time did you get to sleep last night and were you experiencing some dizziness yesterday?

TIGER WOODS: Oh, yeah. Jet-lag. If you think about it we tee off at -- it was 9:00 AM, that's 2:00 in the morning, our time, our body time in Thailand. So that's a little different. You don't normally tee it up at 2:00 not morning. So that was a little difficult to do and get over. But I went home yesterday after the round, and I was watching TV, and next thing I know, it was two hours later, and I didn't even know I felt asleep. I was pretty tired and I got a great night's sleep; slept about eight or nine hours and felt great this morning.

Q. Could you talk about this year, your thoughts on sort of the lessons you've learned in terms of performing at such a high level, compared with previous years? Are there some things that you think that you've learned?

TIGER WOODS: I think I've learned how to -- more than anything, manage my game a little bit better and manage my misses, on days when you really don't have it, to go out there and somehow grind it out and shoot a 70, and shoot that 69 and keep yourself in the tournament. You don't lose ground. Sometimes you even make up ground not playing well. People come in and think I'm nuts for saying that, yeah, I didn't play well, but I shot 68 or 67. You look at the round, sometimes I may only hit 12 greens or 11 greens, but I get up-and-down each and every time, because I've put myself in a position to be able to get up-and-down. I don't short-side myself or put myself in a bunker that is eight feet deep with three paces to work with on the downslope and stuff like that. So you put yourself in a position to get up-and-down, and I think that's been the biggest key is understanding how to play the game and position yourself so that you can -- you know you're not going to hit every shot perfect. And to be able to go out and position a golf ball where you want to, especially your misses, I think that has enabled me to stay in most tournaments.

Q. You just mentioned that one of the biggest changes between yesterday and today was the fact that you got some rest. What else was different today from yesterday?

TIGER WOODS: I wasn't dizzy. Yesterday, I was a little spacy, especially starting out. I played two or three holes, and I feel great, hit a wall, and I just wanted to go to sleep. After a couple holes, I feel great again. Just kind of an up-and-down, ebb and flow of jet-lag. That's the stuff that anybody that travels a lot, we have to try and get over, and it's not easy to do. And I was very fortunate that yesterday was windy. I was telling Stevie that, because it keeps you awake. It's calm and quiet and you can hear the ocean and you want to go to sleep, but it was so windy out there it made you focus on each and every shot, because you knew that you had to, and I thought that was a big, big key.

Q. The Mercedes and this tournament were somewhat similar, does that cross your mind; that you're going to lose?

TIGER WOODS: It's a reality you're going to lose. You're going to lose most tournaments. That's just playing golf.

Q. How do you get over that?

TIGER WOODS: Get over losing?

Q. Get past Vijay, get past Ernie?

TIGER WOODS: You just try as hard as you can, and that's -- that's something that I believe has enabled me to understand and accept the fact that you win and lose, and more often than not, you're going to lose. But so long as you know you went out there and tried your best, you didn't dog it. You know, when you're not playing well, it's very easy to bag it and go home, but to be able to sit out there and grind it out and shoot a 71 and 72 when you're hitting like a dog, those days are very satisfying, because you know that you tried. You gave it absolutely everything that you had. You made the most out of absolutely nothing, and I think that -- you take some solace in that.

Q. Tiger, right now it is pretty obvious that you're the dominant player on the PGA TOUR, and at the grand old age of 24, do you ever think about when you're not going to be the dominant player on TOUR?

TIGER WOODS: Well, again, that's a reality. Right now, I am playing well, and there will come a point in time when some new little punk will be about 6'6 and 230 and just bombing it by me, and I'll be one of those old guys saying: "I remember when I used to be the long guy, now I'm just dinking it around here, laying it up on every par 5." But somehow I'll find a way to compete. But yeah, some day that day will come. And yeah, it is a reality, but you take -- I haven't really crossed that path yet. But when I do, I will accept it. That's just the way it is. Your body will wear down. That's just part of growing old. And the thing is, as long as you keep trying and keep learning -- you've got to learn different ways to get the ball around and a lot of these young kids won't have that experience, and, you know, hopefully experience will win out in the end -- when I get there.

JULIUS MASON: Once again, Ladies and gentlemen, Tiger Woods is your PGA Grand Slam of Golf Champion. (Applause).

End of FastScripts...

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