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February 21, 2006

Tiger Woods


Q. How do you feel?

TIGER WOODS: I feel good.

Q. How did you get over it?


Q. Can you elaborate?

TIGER WOODS: I just laid around and tried to recover and that was it.

Q. What did you do, get up Saturday morning and just feel awful?

TIGER WOODS: I had a fever for basically three days. And by playing and then playing in the rain on Friday pretty much just did me in there. So I just said, you know what, with the potential of having two long weeks, I need to get well. And I already lost enough weight, so I just wanted to try to get my strength up.

Q. Did you try everything to make the cut, which you did?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I tried. I grinded and made some mistakes on the last few holes. I tried as hard as I could, but didn't really have much. I just tried. And unfortunately it was the best I had.

Q. How are your expectations different this week than they were last week or the week before?

TIGER WOODS: Considering last week, just throw that week out, but overall I feel good about what we're working on and excited the way I've hit the ball the last two days here. I'm really excited about playing tomorrow.

Q. How are your expectations different given the format than they would be?

TIGER WOODS: Basically when you play match play events, it's the final round on the first day because anything can happen at any time. You can shoot 6 under par and you're packing your bags. There's also been matches when you're 7 over par and they've won. You never know what you're going to get. You have to play best and beat the guy you're playing against.

And it's a totally different mindset. You play basically three days, maybe three and a half days to come down to a one on one situation on a stroke play event. And a lot of times it doesn't happen with the guy in the group. But now it's right from the first tee, it's a boat race, 18 holes.

Q. (Inaudible).

TIGER WOODS: I think the Match Play at Wentworth has a better format. 36 holes is going to certainly be look at the winners; usually the better players have won that event, just because it's 36 holes. But even though you still see the guys on the top, Ernie has won there five times, six times, whatever it's been.

Q. You're definitely playing there?

TIGER WOODS: Not definitely yet.

Q. (Inaudible).

TIGER WOODS: I've played here since '97 was my first year, and I've had some great memories here. I've played well here. It's just unfortunate that they couldn't work out a deal. But this golf course didn't really handle the weather too well, and this time of year you get rains. We've been lucky to actually finish this tournament on time. With the format the way it is, you've got to play all six matches; that's just the way it is.

Q. (Inaudible).

TIGER WOODS: Well, this is for me it was my first full season as a pro and I got off to a good start here by luckily beating Tom Lehman in a playoff. It has a lot of sentimental value to me.

Q. What do you remember from Sunday and that whole 18 hole match?

TIGER WOODS: It was a tough match; we were both going at it. I was 2 back starting the day. I made a bunch of birdies and so did he. It came down to the very end. I thought I had a pretty good cushion after making eagle on 12, and all of a sudden he comes back with birdie, birdie. And it was just a great match. We had so much fun competing with each other down the stretch. It was good golf from the very getgo.

Q. I remember you mentioning something about the noise you had really from the very beginning, people lined up. Is that major championship type noise?

TIGER WOODS: No, just a touch below. In a major you have a lot more people out there. You get 40,000 and 50,000 people out there in a major. But for a regular TOUR event, you don't ever see it in an event like that unless it's Phoenix, and that's a different tournament in itself.

Q. How much have you played with Stephen Ames?

TIGER WOODS: Played with Stephen quite a bit over the years. And Stephen is very straight, very patient, and it's going to be a good match.

Q. Is it easier to beat someone in this than in an 18 hole TOUR event?

TIGER WOODS: Anyone is easier to play in an 18 hole event. If you're one of the top players in the world, anyone can shoot a number low number at any time. 18 hole is totally different than a 72 hole marathon.

Q. (Inaudible).

TIGER WOODS: It's important to get off to a positive start. It's hard in an 18 hole match to come from behind, and once you get three or four down it's difficult.

Q. How important is it to not have any hiccup in your game early?

TIGER WOODS: Well, it's important to get off to a positive start. It's hard in an 18 hole match to come from behind, once you get three or four down. In a 36 hole match or stroke play event, you can do that.

Q. Is there anything about this course that makes it harder?

TIGER WOODS: Not necessarily. I think the way the conditions are, the rough is starting to grow a bit; they haven't cut it. All it takes is a couple of mistakes. The par 5s are reachable. You can make birdies, eagles there. It's certainly a different tournament, because we're used to playing the other side last. That's usually some of the toughest holes in the golf course, and it's right in the middle of the round. A lot of matches swing both ways.

Q. Did you feel worse losing to Peter in the first round or

TIGER WOODS: First round, when I lost to Peter there, it was not a good feeling. Any time you get beat in the first round, it's always not a positive feeling.

Q. Could you review the playoff with Lehman in '97? You were young. Did you have any idea what was going on? You won a playoff with Davis a couple of months earlier?

TIGER WOODS: Correct. When we played, the golf course was totally unplayable. The only hole we could play at the time was 16 actually it was 7 at the time, now it's 16. But I just remember hitting a bunch of 7 irons out there on the range and sprinkling in a couple of 6 irons, just because maybe the wind might switch. I got up on the tee and it was a perfect 6 iron, and I ripped it up there. Tom had pulled his shot in the water, and I was trying to hit anything right of the flag, just make sure I hit it right of the flag. I aimed it way right and pulled it a little bit. The wind got it and tugged it over there and it ended up okay.

Q. (Inaudible).

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I mean I think it's the experience factor, too. I've been out here since I was 20. Two totally different deals. I was just back then trying to hopefully get on the Tour and keep my card. But now I'm looking forward to some of my best years ahead of me. The maturation process of understanding how to piece together a round of golf and how to hit shots, shot selections, where to place them, the balance in my life, the things I've changed. A lot of different things have happened.

Q. Can you speak more about the balance?

TIGER WOODS: For me it was I didn't have hardly any hobbies back then, either. I got worn out when I first came out on Tour because I played way too much golf. I wasn't used to playing a long season like that because amateur golf and college golf you don't do that.

Now we play around the world. I'm more used to that. I've got better balance now being married. My family life at home is so much better.

Q. (Inaudible).

TIGER WOODS: I was trying to get away from the game. If you play golf, you play all the time. For me I can't do it. I need to get away from it. And for me back then, I just would hang out with my buddies, and we'd hang out and do something else. But now I like to get away and spend time with my family and my wife. I have hobbies I love to do now. Getting away from the game re energizes you until you come out.

Q. (Inaudible).

TIGER WOODS: I love diving, spear fishing, skiing. Being married to a Swede, you have to ski, no choice.

Q. (Inaudible).

TIGER WOODS: No, never.

Q. (Inaudible).

TIGER WOODS: Just practice this afternoon, get a good workout in and then

Q. How was your practice right now?

TIGER WOODS: I feel pretty good. I need to touch up on a couple of things on the range after I'm done with you guys.

Q. Feeling confident?

TIGER WOODS: Feeling good, yeah.

Q. You stayed in bed, I assume, Saturday. Sunday you're starting to feel better, and you drive down here Monday. Is that the first shot you'd hit?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, didn't touch a club, didn't do anything. Tried to get my energy back up, break my fever and get on the good side of the flu. You don't want to be on the bad side.

Q. How long did it take you to drive home that day?

TIGER WOODS: With the traffic? A while.

Q. (Inaudible).

TIGER WOODS: I'm feeling a lot better; I'm on the good side now.

Q. Are you feeling 100 percent?

TIGER WOODS: Not quite yet, but good enough.

Q. That win at Doral, how important was that in terms of being a springboard to your majors, particularly for The Masters?

TIGER WOODS: I think it wasn't necessarily Doral that was the springboard for me that year, it was certainly San Diego, because I hadn't won a TOUR event yet. I'd won Japan, but I hadn't won a TOUR event. To go down a stretch and beat Lehman like I did, which gave me the confidence to play the way I did at Doral, so actually the big win was actually San Diego, which allowed me to feel more confident down the stretch with Phil.

Q. And Doral, you were able to go further on that?

TIGER WOODS: Without a doubt. And that showed me that the things that I was working on were the right things and I could shoot a low round when I had to on Sunday, which I hadn't done yet.

Q. Had you been on skis when you were at Stanford?

TIGER WOODS: No, I surfed.

Q. Are you a 5 handicap skier?

TIGER WOODS: I'm single digits.

Q. When you go out and do these other things, do you find yourself competing?

TIGER WOODS: Always, always, always. Life is not fun unless you're competing and trying to do something.

Q. (Inaudible).

TIGER WOODS: He's talked about some of the things he's working on. And I think that Sean is going to be fine. He's young. He's got a great understanding of how to play the game of golf. He's got a wonderful head on his shoulders. I've always enjoyed playing with him. It's been a real treat for me to get to play practice rounds with him and get to know him a little bit more. I look forward to doing it in the future.

Q. Have you had a chance to look at the Ryder Cup standings?

TIGER WOODS: I have no idea where anyone is. I don't even know how it's even done. I heard it's quadruple points.

Q. You are still leading, barely.


Q. You've got a good chance this year.

TIGER WOODS: If I play well this week.

Q. Do you have any thoughts about the quadruple points this year, but a 75 point bonus is going to allow us to

TIGER WOODS: I think so. I think it will allow us to field a team that's playing the best at that particular time. That's what you need to do. That's what the European team has done over the years. We've been on a two year cycle. I think the best way to do it is get the hottest players at the time.

Q. Do you remember the Western Intercollegiate?

TIGER WOODS: Oh, yeah, I finished 3rd.

Q. Aaron won it?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah. Joel finished second.

Q. And a great golf course, do you like that course?

TIGER WOODS: Pasatiempo is a great track, a great track. I remember it just being absolutely frigidly cold. We had to come out in the morning and finish up our round and go back and play again in the afternoon. Aaron played great. He just waxed us all.

Q. Any idea what your record is in match play?


Q. Something like 29 and 5?

TIGER WOODS: Professional or amateur?

Q. Professional.

TIGER WOODS: That's not bad.

Q. Any explanation for that?

TIGER WOODS: I enjoy it. I thoroughly enjoy playing match play, because it's as I said, we play sometimes three and a half days to get a point where it's one on one. And now it's right from the very getgo. That's a rush, knowing you have to go to that first tee and you have to beat this guy to go on. And that's an opportunity for me personally, I've always relished that opportunity. We don't get that opportunity very often in stroke play.

Q. (Inaudible).

TIGER WOODS: At least it's a tie.

Q. What do you consider your most satisfying match play? Not necessarily if it came with a trophy, but you found yourself not playing that well and scratching out a win or what have you?

TIGER WOODS: Most satisfying one?

Q. Yes.

TIGER WOODS: Maybe, probably against Trip Kuehne.

Q. As a pro.

TIGER WOODS: As a pro? I can't really tell you.

Q. Two years ago you were down a hole, weren't you?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, but that was against John Rollins. That was all luck. I was lucky to be here. No, I really don't know, sorry.

Q. You said earlier you'd lost enough weight last week. How much did you lose?

TIGER WOODS: Five pounds. Five pounds is a lot for me. I have a hard time putting on weight, so it's going to take a long time to put it back on.

End of FastScripts.

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