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July 5, 2022

Tiger Woods

Adare County, Limeric, Ireland

Adare Manor Golf Club

Quick Quotes

NEIL AHERN: Thank you very much for your time. This is your fourth time back at the JP McManus Pro-Am.

TIGER WOODS: Yes, it is.

NEIL AHERN: Tell us how excited you are to be back at Adare Manor after a 12-year wait.

TIGER WOODS: As you said it's been over a decade since we've been back and it's pretty easy to see the changes they have made, the improvements they have made, the commitment to golf, and bringing a Ryder Cup to Ireland again, and they have done that. The people have all shown up to support this event, same as the pros.

We know how much JP means to golf and what he's done for our sport and any time we can help out any which way we possibly can, we do and this is one of the ways we can pay tribute to JP and what he's done. I know he hates limelight and he hates getting in front of cameras and all that but we'll go ahead and do that for him and make sure.

TIGER WOODS: Still train as hard as we do and each and every day, but as far as just the duration on my feet, let's just try to keep that to a minimum until we have to.

Q. Was the plan after the PGA all along to look ahead to St Andrews?

TIGER WOODS: No, the plan was to play the U.S. Open but physically I was not able to do that. There's no way physically I could have done that. I had some issues with my leg and it would have put this tournament in jeopardy and so there's no reason to do that.

This is a pretty historic Open that we are going to be playing. I'm lucky enough to be part of the past champions that have won there, and want to play there again, and I don't know when they are ever going to go back while I'm still able to play at a high level, and I want to be able to give it at least one more run at a high level.

Q. Can you just elaborate on what the open means to you and in particular, obviously St Andrews with those two great wins there?

TIGER WOODS: I think it goes back to, for me, it's more about history I think than anything else. For me personally, knowing Arnold, when Arnold's the one who made the British Open what it is and he came over and qualified, finished second, qualified, finished fist, qualified, finished first; if you ever make me qualify, I'm not coming back, so here we are.

But just look at the names on that and you just go right through time, it's like a time warp, and just how they put the names on and they start at the bottom and they added the lip and they added the bases and just the little things. And everyone who won that championship, they know how hard it was and looking at some of the scores, I'm thinking, even with a gutta percha, how did they shoot those scores. It's awfully impressive and to have won The Open Championship and for me specifically to have won at the Home of Golf is even more special.

As Jack says, your career is not complete unless you've won an Open Championship at the Home of Golf, and I feel like he's correct in that regard.

Q. And so when you look at all your many trophies and obviously the major ones, where do those three Claret Jugs sit for you on your mantelpiece or trophy cabinet?

TIGER WOODS: I have four shelves and so I've been lucky enough because I have four shelves, each one has their own section. They have their own row.

Q. Aesthetically when hole for you on this great course is the marquis hole?

TIGER WOODS: Here, Adare? I'd have to say the 18th just because I think it's pretty funny that, is it Robert Finch, is that his name? Richard Finch, fell in the water? That's pretty iconic.

Q. Given where you were in the final round at Augusta, shooting a round of 71 and everybody was so excited to see you back on the golf course let alone be in the top 10 after a first round, from there to here, the hills of Augusta and the hills of Southern Hills where you are now, has it all been worth it because of what's coming up in six days', eight days' time?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, it's been worth it. It's been hard. I've had some very difficult days and some days which moving off the couch is a hell of a task, and that's just the way it is. As I said, I'm very thankful for all the support I've gotten, my treatment staff, all of my surgeons who are repairing this leg and keeping it.

So I have my own two legs, which I think is not only -- I tell you, I'm not going to take it for granted anymore, some people do. But people who have come close or lost a limb understand what I'm saying, but you have difficult days and also you have great days and first are not what they used to be, that's for sure. But they are great days in which I can spend with my kids and do things that they can do at a slightly slower pace, but I can still do it with them.

Q. So at Southern Hills when you released the statement that you would not play the final round, but clearly your commitment to this event has been stellar since 2000; why?

TIGER WOODS: JP, what I said earlier. What JP does for charities, for any charitable organisation in the country of Ireland and some places around the world, second-to-none. He raises a lot of money, and all that money goes out. I mean, he doesn't keep any of it.

So it's important for us to be able to come together like this in this event, hopefully get some decent weather so the fans can enjoy the experience of having the pros out there, watching them hit shots. Not everyone gets an opportunity to see pros up that close, which is different, and I think it's a unique experience. Then on top of that, make the golf course slightly easier so that the amateurs can get around here because I know they made it a little more difficult to have a Ryder Cup.

I can see why and how they are able to do that, if they sped this place up -- wouldn't appreciate that very much.

Q. Yesterday in the practise, I saw you smiling and you had a big grin and everyone was smiling, and just the joy of being here. How is that? We hope to see you for many more years to come. I know we can't put a figure on it, but we want to see you; can you give us an answer to that?

TIGER WOODS: I've always loved coming to Ireland. I've loved coming here since first time, I think it was in '99 when Marco who just left here, me, Payne and Marco were over here and we were fishing down in Waterville here. We played Ballybunion. Payne made a hole-in-one. We've had some great times.

I've come here on several occasions to not only get over the time zone but get used to links golf. Been lucky enough to have either JP or Dermot or Michael helicopter us around and play different venues so we get used to playing links golf because it is Darren kind of game. I mean, it's played on the ground and it's totally different. Yardages are generally thrown out the window. Just because it's 176 doesn't mean it's an automatic 8-iron and throw it up in the hole.

Sometimes the 11th hole at St Andrews I've hit as much as 3-wood in there and I've hit as short as a little 9-iron in there. It can play interesting and that's the way, the nature of links golf, you have the option of playing on the ground and rolling it on the ground.

But with today's modern game, it will being it to see what the ball does in the wind. The ball doesn't move as much. You don't play as much of a penalty for hitting the ball in the air as you used to or even off-center hits. But that being said, there's a hundred guys who have all played the same way, so strength of field is deeper.

Q. You were saying you want to make the most as a high level competitor, any idea how long that window might and be whether going forward, Open setups will provide you with the best chance of that?

TIGER WOODS: I don't know. I really don't. If you asked me last year whether I would play golf again, all of my surgeons would have said no. But here I am playing two major championships this year.

I will always be able to play golf, whether it's this leg or someone else's leg or false leg or different body pieces that have been he placed or fused, I'll always be able to play. Now if you say play at a championship level, well, that window is definitely not as long as I would like it to be.

Q. Tiger, are you planning on staying here for a few days to get ready for links golf?


Q. Have you targeted any of the course yet?

TIGER WOODS: No, I don't want to tell you because I don't want everyone coming down and watching us. So, yes. Yes and yes (laughter).

Q. Perhaps you could tell me, what is your favourite of the golf courses on The Open rota?

TIGER WOODS: On The Open rota, well, I think that, well, first of all, you can't beat 1 and 18 at St Andrews. Let's just start there. There are a few holes at Muirfield I truly enjoy. Obviously The Postage Stamp. I'm sure I'm missing a few others. There's one at Birkdale that's pretty good, it was like the fourth or fifth hole, the long one, dogleg right. That's always a good one.

There's some good holes out there that we get a chance to play as part of the rota but nothing as iconic as the first and 18th at St Andrews. Being able to have, for me, as a youngster, knowing the short history of The Open Championship and to watch Arnold play, tee off in his last Open Championship, that was awesome. I was on my way to the range to warm up and he's playing that afternoon, he's playing before me, and I got a chance to see him and Ian Baker-Finch tee off, I forgot the third, but got to see Arnold tee off. That follow through of his is one-of-a-kind. People were so thankful.

We could hear -- I'm probably at least seven holes behind him and as he's making the turn on the way home after the loop, just to hear the appreciation and the crescendo growing, it was getting louder and louder, even though we're further away, it's getting louder and louder, that's what makes it so special.

And Jack retiring as well, I got a chance to win the Opens when Jack retired as well.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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