February 26, 1999
LEE PATTERSON We appreciate you joining us. We are just going to open it up for questions for Mr. Woods this afternoon.
Q. Where do you think the match swung?
TIGER WOODS: Probably about 12. He hit a 3-wood over the green, and I had a 5-iron in the green and yanked it left. Then hit a poor bunker shot, but I hit a really good putt just didn't go in. And he went I believe 1-up in the match right there, and it's just something I needed to make birdie, put a little pressure on him, put the ball on the green. I didn't do that, and consequently I got behind.
Q. You said yesterday was pretty mentally draining. How was it today with two rounds out there?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I am pretty fatigued. Physically, I am great. I can keep playing, but mentally, I am pretty tired. I put everything I had into both matches today and just wasn't enough I guess in the afternoon.
Q. Jeff said he thought he got the better of you on the par 5s. Is that where you think the difference was?
TIGER WOODS: Only one par 5, because we both birdied the other two. Just that I didn't birdie 12 and he did.
Q. Any of these matches been upsets, do you think, or do the seedings mean anything?
TIGER WOODS: As I have been saying all week, it doesn't really mean much once you get here and you are in the Top-64. Anybody can beat anybody. That is what has been happening all week.
Q. Did you like the tournament, anyway? I mean, you wanted to get to the finals.
TIGER WOODS: I did. I enjoyed my time here. I have always enjoyed playing Match Play, and it is nice to be able to play in a format that I am accustomed to, because I am not too far removed from the U.S. Amateur. I have had some pretty good memories back there, and it is nice to get back into a similar format.
Q. Is the feeling any different in Match Play, I guess, rather than medal play; coming up short at the end? I mean, the drama and the mental --
TIGER WOODS: Depends where you are in the tournament. If you have gone all four rounds and you have come up short, then I think that is a little more disconcerting. But then again, if you get all the way to the final in a Match Play event, which is usually six matches, then I think you are going to be a little more distraught at yourself.
Q. What is the best way of characterizing how you are feeling: Frustrated or disappointed?
TIGER WOODS: Yes.
TIGER WOODS: Why? I didn't win. Plain and simple.
Q. After the majors, where do you think this fits in now, or may fit in eventually, as it grows, this tournament?
TIGER WOODS: I don't think it will come closer to the Players Championship for quite a while. I think that is probably what most players will consider -- I guess what we have all said the fifth major. Granted, this is the Top-64 players. It is Match Play. But, you know, it is in its infancy stage and it is like comparing The Presidents Cup and the Ryder Cup. You really can't.
Q. Impressions of Jeff Maggert; his tenacity this afternoon?
TIGER WOODS: Well, Jeff has always been a very solid player, and he drove the ball exceptionally well today. I think he missed either one or two fairways, and they were in the first cut. He hit the ball great. He made a couple of key putts, and that is what you need to do. He was able to apply the pressure all day, and I countered him on a couple of occasions, but I just wasn't able to counter him enough times.
Q. You mentioned the U.S. Amateur and how they start out with 36 holes. Is that something that maybe you might like to see in this type of an event?
TIGER WOODS: I don't think you can get 312 guys playing here (laughs) because that is what the U.S. Amateur does, and I don't think the top 312 players will want to do that.
Q. I am saying 64 players playing 36 holes.
TIGER WOODS: They won't do it, no.
Q. Every match as you lose and you go home, but do you feel that more the deeper you go into the tournament, more of a weight on your shoulders today than there was yesterday?
TIGER WOODS: Not necessarily. I think that you are more proud of yourself for getting deeper into the tournament. If you do lose, you take the fact that you did win a few matches to get to where you are at. I think if I would have lost the opening round, then I think I would have been pretty upset at myself.
Q. But it is harder to concentrate? It is harder to just play golf the later you go?
TIGER WOODS: No. No. The same amount of pressure is out there. You have got to play the same way. It is just that you have gone a little deeper in the field, and that is about it.
Q. We have talked all week about the upsets, but still, is it difficult for you to imagine that none of the top, I think, 20 or even further got into the final four? I mean, that seems like almost a mathematically kind of stunning stat. Does that shock you?
TIGER WOODS: No, it doesn't.
Q. It is that equal; it is that level of a playing field?
TIGER WOODS: When you get the Top-64 players in the world and you give them just one round of golf, then, yeah, anything can happen. I think if you would make eight, 36-hole matches, then I think you are going to see the better player come out on top. But then again, playing I guess six, 36-hole matches would we are you out a little bit.
Q. Were there times when not having the professional caddy was an issue?
TIGER WOODS: Not at all.
TIGER WOODS: Brian did a great job again today. It is just that unfortunately I wasn't able to hit enough good shots.
Q. It is silly to almost think you were kind of carrying the banner for all the guys that had been knocked out, the top guys, you were the only guy left you get through this morning, is that sort of a -- you were --
TIGER WOODS: You are reaching a lot. (laughter) You are reaching.
Q. Jeff has had trouble closing out tournaments through the years. Did that weigh on your mind thinking maybe he would give you an opening down the stretch?
TIGER WOODS: No, I didn't think he would give me an opening unless I applied enough pressure. If I was to make two or three birdies in a row and really put a lot of heat on him, then I could see him possibly hitting one errant shot. But I wasn't able to do that. I didn't hit enough good shots close to the hole where I was going to make birdies, and I made three birdies and 14 pars today, and it wasn't good enough.
Q. Do you think the lack of star quality in tomorrow and possibly the final hurts the future of this event in any way?
TIGER WOODS: I don't think so. Playing for prize money that we are playing for this week, I don't think it can hurt. I think by not having the top players -- if I guess the Top-10 or so playing in the semifinals and as well as the final, I think that may hurt the ratings a little bit. But that is the problem of Match Play. That is what we have always said, but then again, that is the beauty of Match Play, too.
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