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August 2, 2009

Tiger Woods


JOHN BUSH: We have our 2009 Buick Open champion, Tiger Woods, with us here in the media center. Tiger picks up his 69th career victory on the PGA TOUR and his third title at the Buick Open. Along with his victory, he earns 500 points and moves to the top of the FedExCup standings. Tiger, if we can get some opening comments about your victory, at what we know is a special tournament for you.
TIGER WOODS: Well, today was one of those days. Like I said out there earlier, it was electric out there. Everyone was so into today's round. Everywhere you went on property, you could hear it on 17.
One of the unique things about this golf course is it is pretty intimate. There is not a lot of acreage out here. And you know, the spectators are a little bit closer than they normally would have been at most events. And it was loud all day. It was fun to play in front of, though.

Q. Not very quiet for you, but you got the job done. Just comment on the round as a whole for us.
TIGER WOODS: Yeah. I got fooled a few times today with the wind out there. It was dancing a little bit, and on top of that I hit some bad shots, so it was a day that -- I could see why the scores were good early, but the afternoon guys, they weren't making a lot of birdies.
The golf course got a little tricky, and the greens got a little bit bumpy. So it was more difficult to make a lot of birdies and really take it low. So I was really hoping I could shoot something in the 60s, high 60s, and I thought that would be good enough to win.
JOHN BUSH: All right. Questions?

Q. Tiger, from Wednesday through Sunday, seemed like every five seconds, somebody said "thanks for coming, Tiger. Thanks for coming." Do you recall ever being in a tournament where so many people thanked you? And just kind of talk about what that means to you, and this tournament.
TIGER WOODS: No. I've never played, as I said, in front of fans like this. This has been incredible, especially what's going on here in the area, for everyone to come out, it just makes it that much more special for all of us.
And as I said, I've been here since '99, and I've always enjoyed coming here. Only two years I haven't played here is because of the birth of my child, and my knee wasn't very good last year. So that's the only two times I haven't played here.

Q. Tiger, with the future of this event in doubt, combined with the fact there's no Majors scheduled in and around round Michigan or Oakland Hills in the next several years, do you have any thoughts of this potentially being your final competitive round playing in the state of Michigan?
TIGER WOODS: Well, it's unfortunate. But that's the case. As I said, the people here have always been excited for us to come out and play, and they've always supported this event.
All the years they've always come out in droves, and I'm very appreciative of that. Hopefully we do get to come back here in this area, this region soon, because the fans here are so excited about golf. They're pretty much sports nuts anyways, and for us to come out here and play, you know, it's always been special.

Q. Tiger, you talked a lot this week about process. How much of a process was it for you to put Turnberry behind you and go into a key stretch of the PGA Championship coming up with another victory?
TIGER WOODS: You have to. That's what golfers do. You win a golf tournament, you miss a cut. Either way, you gotta put it behind you because it doesn't do a damn bit of good the next week. It's a whole new tournament.

Q. That look on your face on 13, you covered your face with your cap. What was the expression on your face?
TIGER WOODS: I was a little angry. I was a little angry, because I was trying to hit the ball on the left bunker there.
And I did over-cut that ball into the wind and when you over-cut it against that much cross-wind, it's not going anywhere. I just kept telling myself just make sure you put the ball in that bunker. It's an easy bunker shot, easy up-and-down. And I came on too steep and over-cut it.

Q. I thought you just got bored on 13. Are you proudest of the times when you -- obviously you played great like at last round of Memorial, you hit every shot, made a lot of putts, played well. Are you as proud of days like this when you don't really have your swing and you still mentally stay in it? Do you think that's as much a part of what you're about as the actual good ball striking?
TIGER WOODS: Well, if you look at most events you play, you don't ever hit the ball great for four straight days. You're always going to have one off day, and even some of my best rounds that I've gone 25-under par were, four rounds, I had one off day.
But off day score wise can still be a pretty good score, but you still kind of don't feel quite right about your game, and you ask how I'm going to make up the score, and I did that, a little bit yesterday. I wasn't hitting the ball very good on my Back 9. Somehow I made a score, and today, as I say, I got pulled a few times and hit some bad shots on top of that and somehow made a score, and that's what you have to do.

Q. Would you say that separates like the great players from the good players?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah. Well, one, you have to miss the ball in the correct spots, and give yourself the best angles. And I really understand that, and I feel like my shots that I missed, I always had good angles.

Q. It looked like on the tee shot at 15 something zapped you a little bit. Did you hurt yourself?
TIGER WOODS: No. My ankle got a little stuck today on the Back 9 and I was trying to pop it, and it just wouldn't pop. And it's still stuck.

Q. After playing four rounds here, do you feel any differently about the state of your game entering the next two weeks?
TIGER WOODS: It's starting to feel better than I did last time I played. I hit -- as I said, I made a little bit of progress. I worked on it pretty good last week. Hank and I worked at it pretty good, and felt very comfortable coming in here, and unfortunately didn't do a very good job the first day, but after that I got it going pretty good.

Q. I know you're a grinder up until the final putt, but was there a moment today on the Back 9 where you glanced at the leaderboard and thought, I think we're doing okay here and were you able to soak in, then, 17 and 18?
TIGER WOODS: I'm doing okay, yes. I had the lead, but still, it's not over yet. John was at 17-under par, and I was at 19 after he birdied 14. And I had failed to make birdie at 12, 13 or 14. And two shots, you know, you can still make a mistake. I almost made bogey on 15, and if I don't make birdie on 15, John makes birdie and next thing you know we have a tie ball game.
I just had to make sure that -- I was trying to get to 20 or 21. I thought that would be good enough. And after I hit my tee shot down 18, it was pretty much in the bag, I had a three-shot lead with the ball in the middle of the fairway.

Q. Tiger, after 17, you threw the ball in the stands and kind of smiled as you walked off. You're normally so composed. Is that pretty usual for you before -- after 71, 72?
TIGER WOODS: I don't ever do that. But this is different. I think this is -- we're not coming back here, and you know, just want to say thank you to all the people here, and that's one reason I tossed it on 18 as well.
They came out and supported this event over all the years, especially this year. As I said, with the economy, how it's going on in this region, for them to come out and still support this event, it's very special to us as players.

Q. In the three-tournament run here, how do you feel about next week? Bridgestone, you've won there. You go to Minnesota where you almost won there, last time you hit four birdies to finish the round. Not quite enough, but can you give us an idea of how you're thinking, what you might think you need to do between now and the PGA?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah. Hopefully I'll get a little bit of work in the next few days, and I'll be ready come Thursday. I don't know how Firestone is playing, but I'm sure it'll be playing difficult. And Hazeltine will definitely be playing difficult. So got a few things to work on, which will be nice, and hopefully everything -- I can use this as maybe a little bit of momentum going into the next two weeks.

Q. Not to belabor that point, but when you -- going into the last Major of the year, in terms of, you know, getting that -- the swing to the point where you know where it's going, you can -- I mean are you close to that? Do you feel like you can, you know, turn it on and turn it off in a way, and how close were you this week? You started out great, but lost a little bit, and got it back. Where do you see yourself?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah. I didn't hit it very good the first day. Second day I hit it well. Yesterday I hit it good for the Front 9, didn't hit it very good on the Back 9. And today I just kind of got it around.
I know what I'm doing wrong. It's just a matter of getting enough reps in. Next few days I'll be able to do that and hopefully solidify come Thursday. You know, Firestone's always a difficult track, especially if it's dry. If we don't get any rain down there, it'll be hard and fast. The scores are never really that low if it's dry and fast.

Q. When you finished on 18, it looked like you were possibly able to throw a runner out trying to score from second, pretty good arm, one. With all the athletes out of the front area, do you mind accepting the invitation to be an honorary Flintstone?
TIGER WOODS: What's that?

Q. Kings, Queens, the Spartans, the Flint area players that are able to do well athletically.
TIGER WOODS: That's awfully nice. Thank you.
JOHN BUSH: All right. Anything else? Let's go through the card real quick. Your birdie on No. 4.
TIGER WOODS: What did I do on 4? I hit a 5-wood down there. I hit a pitching wedge to about 15 feet past the hole and made it.
7, I hit a driver and a 5-wood, and I two-putted from about 30 feet.
TIGER WOODS: 16 was a driver and a 5-wood just on the fringe and again, two-putt from about 30 feet.
JOHN BUSH: And the bogey on 18. (Laughs). I'm sorry. Par. It was a great bogey-free round. We'll take one more question in the back.

Q. You specifically mentioned a couple of times the 17th green and the greens guys and the audience and stuff. Is that place as unique as any place in golf and how sorry specifically will you be to see that gone?
TIGER WOODS: It's a mini version of 16 at TPC, Scottsdale. Certainly doesn't have as many people, but then again, it's a lot more confined as well.
I hadn't seen -- I don't know when they put the grand stands in on the tee area. That was new for me this year. I don't know if they had it last year or not. This year? That made it louder, and then we get to the green, and all those guys screaming and yelling, certainly probably the joints are pretty lubed up.
JOHN BUSH: Tiger, congratulations. Thanks for coming by.
TIGER WOODS: Thanks, guys. Appreciate it.

End of FastScripts

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