March 22, 2000
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FLORIDA
TIGER WOODS: I slapped a few shots around. I didn't fire at one pin that was on the
green. Fired it to pin positions that I know we're going to have for the tournament. And
have a feel for how the golf course is going to play. Nothing more than that.
TIGER WOODS: For the most part. I figure it's going to be tough enough for the next
four days. Don't need to grind it out today.
TIGER WOODS: I think that's just the way it is, I guess if someone's playing well. I
don't know if I'd feel that way. But I enjoy competition just like most people do. And I
guess others can get intimidated, maybe not necessarily by the way I'm playing, but I
think the whole environment that is involved in a final round. Sometimes it can be very
difficult with people saying pretty tough things at times, at inappropriate times. It's a
little different, different atmosphere.
TIGER WOODS: It is surprising because there's three rounds left. And there's a lot of
things that can happen. I can play terrible, and other people can just play halfway decent
and win. It all depends. I was able to go out there on Friday and really post a good
number. Did I think it was over? No. Thursday round was over. That's it. Maybe that's what
you always want, but can't always look at it that way. I don't think you can ever look at
it this way. Because once you're in competition, you're not playing against one person;
it's not like tennis when you're playing against one and trying to win six matches in a
championship. It's not that way. You have to play against a whole field. A few of the guys
may feel that way but others aren't. It's a little bit different than playing someone
headup one on one each and every time you tee up.
TIGER WOODS: I'm going to try and see what happens.
TIGER WOODS: Sometimes this golf course plays very difficult. Other times, I haven't
played well. It's a combination of. It's one of those things I haven't really put
everything together yet. Even 1997, I didn't play all that well, but I played well in a
couple weeks after that. So it made up for it.
TIGER WOODS: Actually, you know what? I've been probably more on the other side.
Probably if anything, too conservative because I wasn't swinging well. On some of these
pin locations you have to take the aim at them because they are in the bowls or the
funnels. For instance on 13, that pin's on the left. Where are you going to bail out to?
If you bail right, you got a putt coming down the hill you got to putt it in the water.
It's a very interesting golf course if you are not swinging well.
TIGER WOODS: I do, yeah, I'm hitting it all right.
TIGER WOODS: Well, I feel like I'm putting pretty good right now. I'm rolling it, I
feel I'm real comfortable with my putts. Granted, these greens break a lot more than they
did last week. But more importantly, I was talking to the grounds crew, and the greens are
getting up to speed where they want to have them. They want to have them over 12 on the
stimp this week. Right now they are 11.10 and drying out. This morning when I played, they
were 11.6. Already got 4 inches on them in one day. So they're not going to water them too
much more. They will be up over 12. It will be a pretty good test. Fairways have to be
wide if they greens are going to be that fast with this much undulation in them.
TIGER WOODS: Yeah. I did, I didn't touch a club for a week and a half. Just put it all
away for a while and rested up. And got ready for the Florida Swing.
Q. Is that like the best thing after a loss or win, does it matter?
TIGER WOODS: All depends on what you have next. If you got to play the next week,
obviously you're not going to do that. Since I had two weeks off, which is nice, I was
able to wind down. I played for 4 straight weeks. Counted up in 4 straight weeks, I had
one day off, which was Monday of the L.A. Open. Only day I had off. I played every other
day, which meant I played a lot of golf in a stretch. It was time for me to put the clubs
down and get a little rest and relaxation and get right back up for the Florida Swing.
Q. Even though you are generally playing well outside of, really, one week in L.A., do
you find a mental strain at the end of 4 weeks? Do you find you have to get away from golf
for a little bit?
TIGER WOODS: I think you have to. One, I put so much into it. I grind it out each and
every shot. I try as hard as I possibly can. That definitely wears you out a little bit.
If I played 30 some odd events a year doing that, you can come visit me while I'm drooling
Q. There's always a debate where this tournament stands. Where do you see it? Is it
still a tune-up to The Masters for you?
TIGER WOODS: It is technically, it's a tuneup. Because for me I'm one tournament away
and two weeks away. It's my last tournament before The Masters. More importantly, this is
the best field on a very difficult and tough golf course. Very similar to what we are
going to face two weeks from now. I still think this is probably, if they wanted to have a
5th major, this would be it with the caliber of the field they have out here and the
quality of golf course.
TIGER WOODS: It's completely different. I played here in the Amateur. Everything was
all Bermuda grass. There's a lot of grain in the greens. A couple putts I had to just
absolutely smack from 10 feet because I'm going straight into the green. Here, now, you're
going uphill and it's still quick. It's a different story. When I played, I played a lot
faster in the summertime. It's all burnt out. I remember hitting 2-iron, 8-iron on 18 when
there was no wind, because I was able to run the ball up there 50 yards because it was so
Q. You've been a member of this Tour a couple years. Is it more important now than the
first year you came out here?
TIGER WOODS: No, it's been the same. Very important to me. I just haven't seemed to put
everything together at the right time. We'll see what happens. Hopefully this year will be
TIGER WOODS: Well, I don't know. He's asked me a couple questions here and there. I'm
not going to say anything unless asked, because I don't feel that's right for me to butt
into his business. Whatever he does, he does. That's good for him. But he's asked me a
couple questions, and I've given him my opinion on it. Whether he takes that or not,
that's up to him. He's a very curious person, and I think he'll do all right.
TIGER WOODS: See what happens. I think everyone who plays this week really doesn't care
unless they are in the hunt. That's what they want to get to. I don't care who you face
down the stretch as long as you're there. Whether it's David who's No. 2 or could be
someone who's the lowest-ranked player on this field. It doesn't matter unless you get
there. And you've got to get in that position first.
TIGER WOODS: I think you know, Sergio, obviously has a lot of appeal. And I think ABC
wanted to go that route. And I think it was the right thing to do.
TIGER WOODS: I don't know. Obviously, there are physical limitations for any human
being. You try and get better. That's the key to golf. That's what we all try do. We all
buy new technology because we think it will make us hit the ball further and straighter,
and buy new putters because we think we'll make more putts. That's the way the game is.
We're always trying to find the little thing that makes us that much better. I'm not
different from anybody else. I'm trying to get better. It's just I'm doing it for a
living, and people take notice to a little more.
TIGER WOODS: You know, it's not as bad as it was when I was 20 and 21. '96, '97, it
was, I think it was a lot more difficult. One, I think the pictures were taken more often
because I was new and they wanted to get new shots to put in their stockpile of photos.
Now they can go ahead and whip those out. But, no, I've got enough in the archives.
TIGER WOODS: I've gone through it before, and I understand it. And I know what my
responsibilities are. I know what the media's responsibilities are. And hopefully the
fan's have learned as well.
Q. Do you pick a number tomorrow?
TIGER WOODS: I have no clue. If it's going to be calm, then obviously the score's are
going to be lower. If it's going to be like this, obviously, scores won't below at all.
Q. Tiger a lot of people, fellow players are shocked when they hear David Duval hasn't
won in 50 weeks.
TIGER WOODS: Hasn't won what?
Q. Hasn't won in 50 weeks. Does that kind of knock you off your chair a little bit?
TIGER WOODS: Not really. That's the way the game of golf is. You can come close. I
think it was more surprising hearing Davis hasn't won in almost two years now. But he's
had six seconds, so he's been right there. And David has been right there as well.
Sometimes it's difficult to get a win. People don't understand how hard it is to get a win
out here. I've come close. I've been able to win. I've lost as well. It's part of the game
to keep playing, and you're not going to win a high percentage of times. That's the way
this game is. If you get a few here and there over your career, your going to have a great
career. David has obviously won a lot of tournaments. He's going to win a lot more.
Q. What about the friendship with you and David?
TIGER WOODS: I think David and I have got along pretty well. People try to make us into
rivals and hate each other and stuff like that, but that's not the way David and I are. We
call each other every once in a while, see how we're doing. See how you're snowboarding up
in Idaho. We have a lot of fun. We call each other and talk. Sometimes we talk a long
time; sometimes we talk hardly at all. David has become one of my good friends. I value
Q. (Inaudible.) Do you separate sociopolitical issues from the sports?
TIGER WOODS: I grew up with it. All you have to do is look at me.
TIGER WOODS: Good point.
Q. Since you've become so dominant on the PGA Tour over the last year. Have your
expectations changed from week to week? Do you expect to win every tournament you enter
TIGER WOODS: That hasn't changed since probably I was about 4 years old, or maybe
earlier before that. I have always gone, always had the same feelings. Always to win. I've
never gone to any tournament to try and finish in the top 10 or make a cut. Even when I
was 16 and playing the L.A. Open. I was still out there trying to win the tournament.
Realistically I didn't have a good chance but you never know. There's no sense in my
opinion in turning up if you're not there to win. That's the way I believe in competing. I
don't think guys who, it would be like Michael Jordan going out and hoping his team maybe
gets in the playoffs. I don't think that's the drive that you want to see, you want to
TIGER WOODS: I guess it's a little difficult because I'm not that way. I like to
compete. I love to compete and have fun doing it. And win or lose, I just want to have a
chance at winning.
Q. Augusta this time, talk about The Masters (Inaudible.) Is that typical of weeks
before major championships? Are you at a tournament talking about the major a week or two
away, or is this different because it's a large tournament itself?
TIGER WOODS: I think when you're about a month out from a major championship, I think
that's usually when it starts gearing up. You know, the press starts writing about it.
Public wants to know what's on the player's minds leading up to the major championship.
The curiosity factor starts getting provoked a little bit. More questions are asked.
Because of that, I can answer more of them.
TIGER WOODS: That's the way it is. Hopefully I can shoot some good numbers along the
Q. With you, it's not only if he wins The Masters, but when he wins The Masters and
when he wins the Open, and the Grand Slam. The expectations are higher and higher. Do you
TIGER WOODS: I've won two Grand Slams already.
Q. I'm talking about all four.
TIGER WOODS: That's what I'm talking about (laughter). You mean the 4 big ones. Oh,
okay. Who knows? I figure if you can win four tournaments a year, just got to be the right
four. Last year I won nine. Too bad four of those nine couldn't have been majors.
TIGER WOODS: I won an Amateur here. I did all right back then. It was set up
differently. We had different grass then than we do now. But this golf course is obviously
very difficult for anybody. And over the last few years, they've made it even more
difficult by adding length or getting the greens harder and faster. I think after Greg,
what he did in '94, (inaudible) he went 24 deep? That they don't ever want to see that
again. And next few years after that, the winning score has been 3-under, 4-under,
5-under, somewhere around there. And I think that's where they want to have it around what
you would face in a major championship.
Q. How have you changed in your confidence, with all that has happened in the past
year? What's different about you now maybe as you stood here a year ago?
TIGER WOODS: What's different about me? From a personal standpoint, I think I'm still
the same. Nothing's changed. My life is still pretty good. Still well balanced. And my
only thing that's probably changed is my game's gotten a little bit better.
Q. Is your confidence the same? Better?
TIGER WOODS: It's probably increased obviously because I've hit the ball a bit better,
made a few more putts since then. My short game's gotten a little bit better. I think
that's part of the evolution of playing. If you're playing well, obviously, you'll be more
confident. If you're not playing well, you won't have that level of confidence you like.
Q. How do you see the Tour evolving with all the younger players like yourself, the
Sergios (inaudible). Where do you see it going?
TIGER WOODS: Where do I see it going? I see it getting younger and younger obviously.
The generation I grew up watching is now moving on the SENIOR TOUR with Watkins and
Watson. And I grew up watching Jack and even Andy North, who's now gone. The guys I grew
up watching in my generation on TV are all now moving on to the SENIOR TOUR. And the kids
now that are coming up, like Aaron Baddely and Adam Scott and a few young players like
Sergio who are already out here, they're going to make quite an impact and there's going
to be more of them. The technique is better. The technology has gotten better. From the
standpoint you now have a video camera to go ahead and fix swings. Swing faults are right
there, instead of trying to search for them for years. You just take a look at it right
there on video tape. You have a reference now. Obviously, that's improved. And the guys
have just become better athletes too.
Q. In certain sports like marathon running or gymnastics, there's a science of peaking.
Do you think it's possible? Is there a science of peaking in golf you can point towards
the championship that's important to you and work toward it? Is there just too many
factors involved and it's difficult?
TIGER WOODS: It is difficult. There's no doubt about it. But I believe it is possible.
Jack did a pretty good job of it. He peaked at the right times. He didn't win as many
tournaments as Sam Snead, but he peaked at the right times and won the right ones. I think
if you have a goal in mind and that's what you want to accomplish, and you go and put
everything you have into it, then I think you'll come close or you may even accomplish
your goal. It all depends on what your goal is.
Q. Self-knowledge is involved?
TIGER WOODS: Very. Depends what you want.
TIGER WOODS: I don't think -- he runs the tournament. But he has won it five times or
whatever. Eight times. Jeez. So he's one it a few times, and maybe one day I'll be able to
put my name on the trophy as well.
Q. (Inaudible.) How much better are you now?
TIGER WOODS: A lot better. I'm more consistent than I was back then. That was one of
the weeks where I played great golf. I had the timing of it, I had the feel in my swing
and my putting stroke. And everything was just working. Now, can I go ahead and play
poorly and still have a chance at winning? Back then, the answer was no. I had to hit the
ball well and putt well. Now, I can go out there and not hit the ball as well as I'd like
and putt as well as I'd like and still have a chance because my game's improved that much
Q. Tiger, do you do anything special nutritionally to keep yourself peak performance?
Special foods or diet?
TIGER WOODS: Cheeseburger, fries, shakes. That's about it.
End of FastScripts...