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February 25, 2000

Tiger Woods


LEE PATTERSON: Thank you, we appreciate you joining us. Another good day at the World Golf Championships - Andersen Consulting Match Play Championship. Maybe just a couple of comments about your match today and heading into tomorrow.

TIGER WOODS: Well, today I played beautifully. I hit a lot of good shots and made some key putts today. A couple of good up-and-downs. But today was a very important day I think for the rest of the week because of the fact I didn't play very well yesterday and was somehow able to win the match. And today, as emotional as Maruyama is, I knew if I could get off to a solid start and keep that emotion down, I'd have a good chance of coming off on top.

Q. With what you just said, when he birdied 5, you come back and get back and get a stroke back on 6. How big a point was that in the match?

TIGER WOODS: I have to do things like that. With an emotional player, or a player who plays in streaks, you have to pounce on them the next hole. It's like tennis, the best time to break them is the very next game. I was able to do that. And I was able to win the next hole and keep the emotion down. And from then on, I hit a lot of good, solid shots and put a lot of good heat on him.

Q. Speaking about emotion, how much of an emotional advantage was it? I remember a couple of weeks ago at Torrey Pines, Shigeki asked if he had a chance to break your streak, and he said no chance.

TIGER WOODS: I didn't read that.

Q. But I was wondering, with a player thinking that mentally, how much of an advantage is that to you?

TIGER WOODS: That's something I didn't know going into this match. I didn't know he was thinking that way. I really can't answer your question, sorry.

Q. Tiger, would you say your game overall is better in this type of format, match play?

TIGER WOODS: I don't know. Depends on who I'm playing. In stroke-play -- there are two different animals: Stroke-play and match play. Match play, you make a triple, who cares? It's one hole. Stroke-play, you make a triple, you're out of the tournament. Do that on Sunday, don't have a chance to win. Here, you just pick up and go to the next tee and start all over again. You play more conservative in stroke-play than match play. Even with conditions as soft as this, in stroke-play I wouldn't fire as many pins. But in match play you're afforded the luxury of being more aggressive.

Q. Do you like the idea of the four-man change? You go into a quarterfinal, semifinal Saturday now. Do you like this better?

TIGER WOODS: Doesn't matter. Either one is fine.

Q. What did you work on yesterday after your match that made a difference in your game?

TIGER WOODS: Well, we worked on my hip turn, my shoulder turn, my right knee flex, and the right foot on the way down. Make sure my left arm was high enough, get the club down in front of me, and working on my left wrist at impact.

Q. Did you putt well today?

TIGER WOODS: I putted beautifully today. I rolled the ball. I hit so many good putts today, even though they didn't go in, they're right on the edge. And a couple of putts, six feet from the hole, I was about ready to put the step on it, and they either quit breaking or broke too much.

Q. Did you miss a shot today, other than the drive on 12?

TIGER WOODS: I released a couple too much at impact, but that's about it. Today the shot I hit off 3 wasn't very good. It pulled low left in the bunker. But overall, I hit the ball beautifully today.

Q. Have you experienced three rounds in match play where you hadn't played well?

TIGER WOODS: Uh-huh, yeah.

Q. What happened on the third one?

TIGER WOODS: I won the first U.S. junior.

Q. We're talking in the current ages.


Q. Tiger, if it's Paul Lawrie tomorrow, you must feel confident having beaten him so easily in Hawaii.

TIGER WOODS: It doesn't matter. Either one, either Paul or Calc, they're going to be a tough match. If they got this far in the tournament, they're obviously playing well. Either one, they're good friends of mine. So either way it will be a nice round of golf.

Q. Tiger, aside from -- I know you're focused on your thing. Do you at all look at some other matches, like, for example, today's Garcia/Duval match? Do you find that compelling?

TIGER WOODS: I only saw that score twice today. I saw it all square and Duval 1-up. I don't know what it is now. But that's the only thing I've seen.

Q. Are you interested in that? If you separate yourself from your matches, is that compelling to you?

TIGER WOODS: No. You can't separate yourself from the match, so that's the thing. When you're out there, you have to be disciplined in the fact that you can't look at other matches, because what they're doing in their match, that's their match. And I don't think they really care what I do.

Q. Tiger, the drive at 12, what were you looking at? What did you -- what were you trying to do with that shot?

TIGER WOODS: I was trying to hit a nice, high hook, 2-iron out of that rough. If I hooked it, great. If I didn't, I figure I couldn't get to the right-hand bunker and I'd have a shot out of the rough coming straight across the entire part of the green. And I clipped one branch of the tree, kind of killed the shot. But I still ended up on the same spot I would have if I hit it a little more solid. The big limb, I was trying to go up over it.

Q. Tiger, you listed six things that you worked on with Butch, I assume; right?


Q. After yesterday's --?


Q. That seemed like a lengthy checklist. Is that longer than normal?

TIGER WOODS: That's shorter than normal.

Q. Those are the same six you told us at Louisiana?

TIGER WOODS: Exactly, yeah. Same things. Any player that plays this game are always going to have the same faults. And at this level, the guys tend to have just a few of them, but they seem to repeat them over and over and over again. And this is the same that I usually face. And I may throw in a couple more; I may take a couple out. But they usually run about like that.

Q. How was Shigeki emotionally? He smiles a bunch. Is he a fist-pumping nut like Sergio?

TIGER WOODS: I think if he gets on a roll, I think he will be. He was that in The Presidents Cup. But if you can keep that emotion down by hitting a lot of good shots and putting a lot of good pressure on him and getting up on him, and keep applying that heat, you keep that emotion down.

Q. Do you feel like you're finally back on top of your game, and if so, how do you feel confidence-wise?

TIGER WOODS: I don't know if I'm back on top of my game. I definitely feel that it's definitely coming to where I want it. And it's nice to be playing well going into the later stages of match play tournament. Just like when guys play in the Grand Slam of tennis, you always want to be peaking as you go throughout the two weeks. And this format is the same. You don't necessarily want to play your best golf early and not have anything left. You want to just get better each and every match. And I feel very pleased that I came out today, after yesterday's match, and I hit this many good shots and putt the ball as well as I did.

Q. So the slump is over?

TIGER WOODS: I guess in your mind it is.

Q. Tiger, what part of your game puts the most pressure on you opponent in match play?

TIGER WOODS: I think if I'm driving the ball well. Obviously, that's an enormous advantage, especially on wet conditions like this. To be able to step up there and not only hit the ball long, but to be able to keep it in the air -- I normally hit the ball pretty high with my driver, anyway, so it doesn't roll a whole lot. So in this type of condition, it's perfect. I throw it up and let it go. It just plugs out there, and any ball that lands in the fairway is going to stay in the fairway.

Q. You talk about tennis and guys who play themselves in Wimbledon, but they're playing a much lower seed who can't compete with them. Here, if you're not playing really well, you can get knocked out. You've got to have your game at least --?

TIGER WOODS: You can't play terrible going into a match. But you really don't want to go out there in the first round or first couple of rounds and shoot 263's or something. 9-iron through 14, both matches, it's very difficult to come back again and again and again and repeat that performance. You just want to keep getting better and better every match.

Q. Tiger, obviously you'd like to win three more matches. But in the big picture going through this, is there any advantage to having a match or two that doesn't grind 18, 19, 20? Or do you think it makes any difference along the way?

TIGER WOODS: Say that again.

Q. I'm trying to get a picture, is there any advantage to getting a match over, you think, quicker in the big picture, or does it make any difference?

TIGER WOODS: I don't think physically it matters too much, but I think more emotionally than anything else. I think if you're playing a match that goes to the 18th hole and beyond, three straight matches, and even four sometimes, I think that will definitely wear you out mentally. Physically, these guys are in good enough shape to handle it. But I think mentally it definitely fatigues you a little bit, and you may not be able to get up for the next match quite as high as you'd want.

Q. Tiger, in match play, can you put a percentage on how much entering a match, how much is just going out in your mind, your gameplan, to just go out and play very well, and how much percentage is actually gameplan against an opponent? Like you were saying, like you wanted to stay up on stop of Shigeki, with his emotions, and the same thing with Campbell the other day. Could you talk about the percentage of going out and playing well and being aggressive and what percentage is gameplan?

TIGER WOODS: Primarily if you can go ahead and take care of your own business and hit the ball well and make some putts, the rest of it will fall into place. But I think a lot of it is also dependent on what they're doing, as well. For example, today, on 6 he hit driver off the tee, he was -- and then put it in the right rough. And from that point on, I mean the entire week I've been hitting driver off the tee. Since he was in the right rough long enough, if I hit a 3-wood and put it in the fairway, I'll be hitting first, putting pressure on him coming out of the right rough, he might have to be more aggressive. I laid back far enough so I could hit first and be aggressive and put the ball on the green on the right shelf, and let him look at it from the rough, and he might be careless and be aggressive.

Q. I meant more as opposed to during the match, seeing what he's doing, I mean, knowing a guy's tendencies going into a match. If whoever you play tomorrow, if it's Calc, would you know his tendencies, like you're playing an opponent in tennis, if he's a baseline guy?

TIGER WOODS: Definitely, since you're not physically playing against them in that regard like tennis, in golf I think, as I say, if you can go out there and play your own game and take care of business, everything else will fall into place. But the more important thing is you have to take care of your own thing.

Q. What was the rest of the story on 6?

TIGER WOODS: I hit the ball up there with a little chip 8-iron to about 15 feet or so on the correct shelf, and he was out of the rough, put the ball on the back fringe, trying to get it up on top, because he saw my ball up there, and he missed and I made.

Q. When do you stop thinking about money? You reached the final, and we're thinking, the chance to win a million dollars, it doesn't cross your mind at all, does it?

TIGER WOODS: No. You have to take care of business, and that is to win matches.

Q. Tiger, can you talk a little bit about the World Golf Championships, and how that fits into your overall scheme of your schedule in relation to majors and other PGA TOUR events?

TIGER WOODS: Obviously, the World Golf Championships are big events, not only because of the purses, but more importantly the best players in the world are getting together more than just the Majors. And they're great events to have, not only for us, but for the fans as well to see the top players in the world get together more than just four times a year. And what you're seeing is some great golf and some extraordinary play, and it's fun to watch.

Q. Do you think about Argentina?

TIGER WOODS: If I'm ranked high enough they could pick somebody or they could pick me.

End of FastScripts...

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