November 19, 2001
JULIUS MASON: Good morning. It's Julius Mason from the Hyatt Resort and see we've got all four players with us, Tiger Woods, Retief Goosen, David Duval and David Toms.
Q. Tiger, I was looking for one defining shot from your win in the majors this year, the Masters, when you think back on it the one shot that you always go back to; and also, if there was one shot that you are particularly proud of that maybe no one else paid attention to?
TIGER WOODS: Well, I think the shot I hit on 13 off the tee was the one that really got me going on the back nine, just made bogey on 12. I hit 3-wood and actually bombed it right around the corner and put myself in position to possibly make eagle there and hit the exact same shot again on 14. So the tee shot on 13 really got me going after making bogey on 12.
Q. Secondly, you've said before that the 2000 season arrived a lot sooner than you are probably ready for. I'm just curious now, even with the same hectic international schedule that you find yourself any more fresher than you were at this time of year ago as a new season gets closer to us?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I do feel a lot more fresh this year than I did last year, unfortunately with the break that we were all forced to take, the American Express was cancelled; and I was supposed to go to France and the Ryder Cup was cancelled. So I ended up taking five weeks off there with a little break, and it was something that I needed to take advantage of and I was able to take advantage of it and get some rest.
Q. Was it anything related to the fact that you were spent emotionally after last summer, the pressure of three straight majors and finishing off the year that way?
TIGER WOODS: No. Because I thought I played pretty well at the beginning of the season. I just didn't make any putts until I got to Dubai and putted well in Florida and up until Augusta. So I really can't that I say was tired going into the year.
Q. What do you plan to serve for dinner at the Masters?
TIGER WOODS: I really haven't thought about it yet, really. I'd like to -- probably serve a little sushi for appetizers, but I don't know what I'm going to serve for the main course.
Q. Will it be different, you suppose, than cheeseburgers and chicken sandwiches?
TIGER WOODS: Probably.
Q. One last thing, Tiger. Coming off an LPGA TOUR championship yesterday, I ask you this having played with Annika at Bighorn, even though that's probably not the greatest example. But there is a sense or perception that if the scores are really bad, that women can't play; and when there are good scores then the course was set up too easy? Wheras, with the men, if the scores are high, they say, "Gee, when a tough course." And if the scores are low, they say, "Gee, these guys are good." Any thoughts on that? Do you think these women face an unfair double standard?
TIGER WOODS: I do think the golf courses we play are generally a little more difficult. You can hit the ball further and the ball out of the rough; so the golf courses are generally going to be set up a little more difficult. They do have a lot of talent and Annika has proved that this year with Karrie and Se Ri, winning majority of the tournaments all four major championships. So they can definitely play.
Q. Retief, when you look back at Southern Hills, is there one shot that comes to mind more than others? And also one shot that you're particularly pleased with that maybe no one else noticed?
RETIEF GOOSEN: Yes, I think the third round on the 17th hole when I hit it over the back of the green. I could hardly see the ball, I hit it dead and nearly holed it for birdie. That really stands out to me. And I think that up-and-down I made there, as well.
Q. Was there a point after the U.S. Open where it finally sunk in what you had accomplished? Was it a week, was it a month later?
RETIEF GOOSEN: No, I think that night when I was driving back to the airport, I think, you know, when the President from South Africa rung me and congratulated me on what I had done; and also Nelson Mandella, that really got to me, you know, with all of the people back home.
Q. Do you have an idea what you're going to do next year in terms of a U.S. PGA TOUR schedule?
RETIEF GOOSEN: Next year I'm till going to play the European Tour, but I'm also going to be playing the U.S. Tour more. I'll be playing 15 in the U.S. and (inaudible).
Q. Do you have an idea of whether you'll stack a lot of the U.S. stuff early, the West Coast Swing to try to get your 15 throughout?
RETIEF GOOSEN: Yeah, the first one I'll be playing is from Bay Hill on. I haven't really thought about every tournament yet for the whole year; but from Bay Hill on.
Q. Are you playing Mercedes?
RETIEF GOOSEN: Yeah, I'm coming out for Mercedes.
Q. David, your defining shot from the British? You've said 15 quite a bit; is that going to stand?
DAVID DUVAL: Yeah, and also the chip out on Saturday from over the 17th green. That shot kind of kept my round together. And then 15 on Sunday.
Q. How do you measure a good year, and how many have you had since '95, since your rookie season?
DAVID DUVAL: I don't know if there's a certain standard I would use. I probably have, I think, '95 was a good year, my rookie year. I would say '97 was a good year. '98 was a good year. I don't think I would say '99 was a good year.
Q. '99 was not a good year?
DAVID DUVAL : No, I don't think so. It was a good half-year.
2000 was a good half year at the end to come back from an injury and win the Buick and then the World Cup. And this year was a good year because of the Open, and I played well at some other events: I had the win in Japan two weeks ago and then we had a good week last week, although we didn't win. So a few good weeks this year. But I think I've had what I would say three good, solid years, full years.
Q. Which was the best one?
DAVID DUVAL: '98 was the best I played the year, from the beginning to the end. I was on top of my game almost all of the year.
Q. What kind of feeling is it like being in Hawaii? Is there any kind of feeling that sinks in that when you look at Tiger and David and Retief that, you know, what kind of company you're in and what you've done this year?
DAVID DUVAL: Well, I think this event helps to make you realize what was accomplished because I am sitting among the four big winners of the year. At the same time, I'm coming in here off of a whirlwind trip and I'm a little beat up, tired. But sitting up here at this table, I can see what I've accomplished.
Q. David, did you hear the question on the defining shot?
DAVID TOMS: Yes, I did.
Q. Do you have a good answer?
DAVID TOMS: I guess I have to say the hole-in-one at the PGA on Saturday. But I really think the one that everybody wants to talk about is that lay-up on 18 on Sunday. The more I look at that shot, really, you know, people say it was the smart thing, but really it was the only thing to do at the time. It's just a smart shot. The hole-in-one for me will always stick out, but I think what everybody wants to talk about was what happened on 18.
Q. Which was the better shot, the lay-up or the wedge?
DAVID TOMS: The wedge really wasn't that great of a shot. I had a nice little 60-degree wedge and I hit it 12 feet, which by our standards was not that great of a shot. The putt was actually a better shot than the wedge shot.
Q. Now that you've won a major and that was the first time you seriously contended for a major, will you try to build your -- to build your year so much around the majors to the point that you overlooked the importance of winning regular PGA TOUR events or put less emphasis on your preparation for tournaments that are not a major?
DAVID TOMS: Well, obviously, the majors are a big deal. That's why we're even here this week. But you know, I try to approach every tournament the same, just do the best I can, prepare the best I can. It's a bad feeling when you show up to a golf tournament and you feel like you're unprepared. No. 1, you're probably not going to play very well and you're going to get beat up and you're going to lose confidence. So I approach every tournament the same. The majors take a lot out of you, and like you said, I haven't really ever contended that much in them. I don't know what it would be like, like some of the guys on the Tour --basically, Tiger, when he contends at every major; it has to take a lot out of you. Just look forward to that challenge and hopefully do better in them from now on.
Q. Also wanted to ask you, coming up on Q-School next week and you got through there in '91. How hard is it for those guys who make it to keep their card next season? There's not a big success rate there.
DAVID TOMS: It's difficult. Unless you're one of the top finishers, you can't necessarily make out a schedule. If you don't play well early when you do get to play, you get shuffled down and it's a difficult situation. You just have to make the best of each and every opportunity. It's a learning experience. I mean, I've been to that Fall Classic way too many times. I don't have want to have to do that again.
Q. Is it pretty much excitement when you get your card and when does it sink in that you've got your hands full?
DAVID TOMS: It sinks in probably the first tournament. Especially if you make the cut and you get paired with somebody on Saturday and Sunday that you've watched on television and that you maybe have looked up to for a long time, especially if you are a young player; so it sinks in right away.
Q. For all of you, has Tiger taken the game to a certain level of marketability and all that stuff? Do you see the game going to any higher level stars fan interest outside of the game, for all four of you?
TIGER WOODS: Well, I do think we have more fans in the game now, and it's a pretty exciting time I think for every one of us who is involved if the game of golf. More players are coming to our sport. They are younger, more diverse and I think it's a great time to be involved in the sport and it's a great time to watch changes occur right in front of your face.
Q. With that in mind, do you think the game can go even to a higher level and pique fan interest even for?
RETIEF GOOSEN: Well, yeah I think the game can definitely go to a higher level. I think all of the players on TOUR are really working hard on trying to raise their level of golf, trying to compete more against Tiger. I think everybody is really trying to change their own game in a way, just to try and improve their score. That's been my goal over the last four or five years to just try and improve every year. If I can just improve my game every year, hopefully my scoring can get better and I'll have a better year every year. But competition is getting tough out there. I think Tiger has done a lot for the game of golf over the last few year. It's grown to such a level now that, you know, worldwide, South Africa, I can see that there are so many junior clinics around and foundations going up, trying to promote the game down there. And we've also got a great climate in South Africa to play golf. You know, what he's done for the game is growing worldwide, and especially in South Africa.
Q. Do you want to follow-up on that, David?
DAVID DUVAL: I think that we can increase the fan interest. I think that's obviously would be the goal. How that's accomplished, I'm not sure. The only way I can give you is the players improve the product that's being put out, and by that, I mean improve the level of golf, just as players become better. I think as the younger players are getting into the game and bringing more talent, maybe that goal can be accomplished. That's the way I would see it.
Q. Mr. Toms?
DAVID TOMS: I think as far as increasing fan support from a player like myself or any of the others who are players, I think that the more that we can get back to junior golf, the more fan interest we'll have. And whether it's from the kids wanting to follow golf more, play basketball, football or baseball, whatever it might be, if they are interested in it, if they get their parents to take them out to tournaments, get them to sit down and watch it on television. I think that's where we need to start. I know that obviously Tiger has done a lot of work through his foundation for the kids and everything, and I've tried to do as much as I possibly can with the limited time that we do have as tour players. But I think as far as making a real impact, that's the spot to make it.
Q. Another question for all four participants here. With the economy slowing down a little bit and sponsors pulling out of sports, do you guys fear that your sponsorships for some of these events will dry up and you'll have a lot of tournaments without sponsorships, which will create a decrease in the purses?
TIGER WOODS: Well, just from the conversations I've had the Tour, there are a few tournaments that won't have sponsors, but we go through that every year. That's not uncommon. It's not unusual. There are permanent sponsors that drop out every single year, and that's just the nature of being in the business world. I think that our tour looks very good for the future. A lot of sponsors have been locked in for several years, and I think we're going to have a good future for quite some time.
RETIEF GOOSEN: Yeah, I think, obviously, the economy is going through a touch patch at the moment. I think and hope that it will come all right. I think like Tiger said, I see a good future for golf. There are a lot of sponsors who would like to get into golf and there is some who are obviously trying to stay in at the moment. I know in South Africa, we have a bit of a problem down there with sponsors. I think it is going to keep growing. I think the future of the game is good.
Q. Mr. Duval?
DAVID DUVAL: I think this goes back a little bit to fan interest, again. Hopefully, as that continues to increase, it will help the weak economy and it would seem to me that the companies would want to be involved in something that is of high interest to a lot of people. So if we continue to put out a good product, continue to keep the game as a gentleman's game and have good people out there playing, I think we'll be all right.
Q. Mr. Toms?
DAVID TOMS: First of all, talking about PGA TOUR events and sponsors, I think that we have a good organization in the PGA TOUR and I think that they know what to do in tough times. I think we'll be fine because of that, because of their involvement running our tournament. I also think that maybe we could look at sponsors of other professional sports that might not be involved with the Tour. I think it's a good time to be involved because of our product and our players. So I think that we might be able to look at people that are not already involved and get them involved when we do lose a sponsor.
Q. You guys have mentioned how the quality has improved and we all know that technology has also improved. Has this created a sense that many of the golf courses are just not good enough for you guys to play on, or just not as big of a challenge for you guys to play on?
TIGER WOODS: I think the golf courses are always going to be a challenge. The technology has improved, but it's improved throughout the course of time. I think also what you're seeing now, as players are trying to get in better shape and getting stronger and hitting the ball further, which, along with that technology, is making some of these golf courses that we play a little bit shorter than they used to play in the past. But they are lengthening golf courses, they are adding bunkers, they are growing rough, they are doing all different types of things to make the golf courses more difficult. I just think that the players are just getting better and so much more efficient now than ever was in the past through technology. We have videocameras and a lot of different teaching aids that they never used to have in the past. So kids are getting a better start fundamentally from the very get-go. And I think you are starting to see an improvement I think as a whole because of all of those things combined.
RETIEF GOOSEN: Definitely. I think that the depth of the players is getting so much better as well nowadays. Everybody is working out. Even the caddies are working out. Everybody is getting stronger and I think that's why the players, everybody, is starting to it hit it further. The equipment obviously brings a lot more intensity to the game and I think, you know, growing rough and the bunkers, players are hitting it a lot straighter and manage to keep it more on the fairway. Overall, I think it's a combination of equipment and fitness of the players.
DAVID DUVAL: I think the improvement of on-course technology, the equipment is certainly a good thing. But I think the depth of field is the biggest change. When we play each week, there's 100-plus guys who have the ability to play great, as opposed to maybe 30 years ago it might not have been as many. And because of that, you're always seeing very good scores. Regardless of whether the scores are a few shots better than they were a few years ago, you're still having to shoot those scores and compete against the players who are sitting up here among others. I don't think that's a bad thing. I think that's a good thing. I think the health of the game is good. I think that like any courses, they change and they grow. People get bigger and faster and better and technique gets better, and I think you're seeing the same thing happen in golf.
DAVID TOMS: I think we need the new technology with the golf courses we play. I know I need it. Every time we show up to a Tour event now, they have lengthened the golf course. I don't think the general public understands the difficulty of the golf courses that we do play. They see us shooting good scores and they say, well, it must be easy. But if you are not hitting it straight and you are in rough that's four or five inches deep, if you are not in the fairway and you can't hit a green that's rolling 10 or 13 on the Stimpmeter, hitting into basically a pool table, I don't think the public understands because they don't play under those conditions that we do. Playing in Pro-Ams and so forth, I've talked to the players or the Amateurs we play with and they talk about how we never play a golf course like this, either it never plays this long or it never plays this difficult. You're paired in Pro-Ams you're paired with a guy who is an 8 handicap; and playing our golf course, he can't hold the greens. Or he gets on the greens, he has a 10-foot putt and knocks it four or five feet by the hole. I just don't think that the people who watch it on television understand what we go through and how good you actually have to play to shoot good scores on our courses and how good you have to play to beat the best players in the world week-in and week-out. It's very difficult. So especially for a player like myself, I think to continue to keep up and be able to shoot good scores on these golf courses, we need that new technology.
Q. Gentlemen this is icing on the cake as far as what has been a terrific year for all of you. Tiger, no offense, but you've been here, done that and won three times in a row. I'll ask the other three: You've got to be excited to be there?
DAVID TOMS: I'm very excited. Quite an honor. Kind of a reward for a job well done and you have to have a lot of things go your way, obviously, to be at this event. This year has been an incredible ride for me, and hopefully just continue to build on that going into next year and if I can contend, maybe a little bit more in the majors. It's been fun and I'd like to get a taste of that tomorrow.
Q. Let me ask all four of you -- Tiger, what is the one moment or the one shot that sticks out in your mind?
TIGER WOODS: Well, I think the shot that I hit at 13 for me during the Masters on the final day was the shot that kind of turned things around because I had just made bogey on 12 and hit a great drive on 13 right around the corner of the drive; and I bombed a 3-wood right around the corner to put myself in position to possibly make 3. Ended up making 4, but it really got me going on the back nine. Hit another good shot on 14. Same exact shot as I hit on 13; and from there, I hit played pretty solid coming in. Just blocked out that shot on 15, but overall that one shot really felt good because I really needed to putt myself in position.
Q. Retief, what moment do you remember?
RETIEF GOOSEN: It's the whole experience I remember the most, but if there's a shot that stands out, I think it's what I played on the 17 from behind the green. I hit it over the back and I could not see the ball from where I was standing and just played a great chip shot. It was one of those that I think you had one chance. I played it actually perfect and nearly holed it to the green. I think that shot really stands out for me. But the whole week, and to be here, it's been a great year for me, to win a major, and it's been a great experience this year and I'm looking forward to see if I can build on what's happened this year.
Q. David Duval, the 2001 Open Champion, that's got to sound good and Lytham has good memories. What's your favorite from there?
DAVID DUVAL: As far as shots would go, Saturday the chip shot I hit on 17 from over the green to hold my round together and then Sunday, the shot I hit on 15 out of the rough will be something I won't soon forget. Of course, walking up on 18 with all of the crowd in tow and struggling to get through was a wonderful experience, as well. It was just a great experience for me and I'm happy to be here.
Q. David Toms, your first major victory. A couple of things come to mind: The ace and the decision there at the last. What memories do you have will stick out the most?
DAVID TOMS: I think I will always remember the hole-in-one, the way it happened. It was such a long-shot. It was a delayed reaction. The crowd reacted behind the green so I could tell on the tee that I had made the shot. The 18th hole, just the way it all went down, the lay-up, and the position I was in. I'll always remember that, also. Especially the putt on the last hole. It was kind of a putt that you dream about all your life, a putt that you made when you were a kid on the putting green; that was your last putt of the night before you went home and your parents picked you up. So I'll always remember that, also.
Q. We talk about motivation and you are at the point in the year where you have all done such extraordinary things, what's the motivation this week among the four of you? Is it a matter of pride or do you have a little five dollar bill on the side? What's the motivation to win this week?
DAVID TOMS: I think that any time you tee it up, you want to do your best. So I think that's motivation. We're on national television., You want to do your best. Like I said, if you don't want to -- if you're not prepared when you show up to an event and you don't think you're going to play well, you're probably not. I just try to approach every event the same.
Q. What's your motivation, Retief?
RETIEF GOOSEN: This is, obviously, playing with these three great players here this week, it's going to be a great experience for me. I think all four of us are really going to enjoy it out there. Sort of a celebration tournament of the four majors that we won. It's going to be a great experience for me, definitely, being out there. It's going to be my first Grand Slam, and I think the main thing is the four of us are really going to enjoy it out there. It's going to be a lot of fun and I'm looking forward to playing.
Q. Tiger, I'll ask you, I know you've just come from Japan and you're here in Hawaii and are off to California for the Skins Game. Travel is nothing new to you, are you getting a little beat with all of it?
TIGER WOODS: I'll a little tired. Today, I'm a little more tired than I normally am, but I've come to this tournament in worse condition. The last few years, I've gotten here on the morning of the event and it's been tough. But this is the hardest event to qualify for. You've got to win a major championship. We're all thankful for being in this position and being here to enjoy a nice time in Hawaii. I'm looking forward to getting out there and playing the tournament.
Q. Is there any time to enjoy the environment or is it pretty much one week to the next?
TIGER WOODS: I did a little bit yesterday. I had probably the longest Sunday you could have -- David and Retief did, too. Yesterday, I laid around and did nothing, tried to even out my farmer tan. I didn't really do much of anything. (Laughs).
Q. David, what are your plans in the off-season when you do actually have some time to just crash?
DAVID DUVAL: Well, I've tried to figure out when my off-season is going to be, and I think it's going to be sometime around next September, unfortunately, the way the game of golf has grown and evolved. You know, we played this game for a couple of weeks in Japan, play here, have approximately two weeks off and head back out to Los Angeles for the Williams. Then it's about ten days off and back out here to Hawaii for the first part of the '02 season which ironically enough starts in '01. I've always tended to play a fairly heavy West Coast schedule and then kept it going through Augusta. So I'm not going have a ton of time off here and there. That's why I tried to take a big block a few months ago. But I'm looking forward to it. I feel like I've started to play well again. Certainly, last week I didn't play particularly well. But it is nice to be here. Yesterday, I think I'm still in a fog because of yesterday, because of trying to figure out what happened with the golf and then to have a full day off after the travel of Sunday, again, I'm still confused about. But, you know, I'm tired today. But it's beautiful weather here. It's a lot better than at that time the Taiheiyo Club where it was quite cold. I'm just looking forward to a little bit of time off, but I am ready at the same time to get the new year started.
Q. As you look at the three other men seated around you, Tiger, in a word, tell me what you think those other three players greatest strengths are as a golfer?
TIGER WOODS: One word?
Q. Just briefly. What's Retief's strength and David's strength?
TIGER WOODS: I think they all have talent. It's as simple as that. They can all play the game and they have won major championships in order to get here and be at this tournament. They have to have won a major championship and to have the talent. They have proven it and they are here, and it's a credit to them and how good they really are.
Q. Retief, what are Tiger's greatest strengths?
RETIEF GOOSEN: Well, I don't think he has a weakness. I think everything about him is his strength. There's nothing I can talk about his game. David Duval, it's the same. He's such a hard worker and really has changed his life around over the last five years and has become an unbelievable golfer. And David Toms, I've watched him on TV a lot on the European Tour before I really came over here. So I've learned a lot from these three guys and I'm still learning from them and trying to raise my game to their level.
DAVID DUVAL: Well, I think my one word would be: Champion, champion and champion. I think that's the highest compliment you can get paid.
DAVID TOMS: They are all similar in that they are champions and great players. Obviously Tiger, he's a powerful player. But his mental game, I've played with him at the British Open a couple of years ago, and I guess we were in the final group, and just to watch how focused somebody can be, I was really impressed with that, involved with the stuff that goes on around him. I've gotten a small taste of it after winning the PGA of what a sideshow it really is, and to be able to have to deal with that every week and still be a great champion, that's very impressive. Retief, to be able to come back Monday after what transpired on Sunday at the U.S. Open, I think that showed a lot of class, a lot of determination, and a lot of confidence in himself, which was really impressive. And for David, to be able to shoot low scores, I think that I've always seen that in him. You know, a lot of players that play the Tour, you know, a lot of guys can shoot 68 or 69, but to be able to really go low, I think that's important to win PGA TOUR events and I think that's why he's won so many. And you never know what he's thinking. I don't know if it's because he wears glasses or what; you never really see his eyes and as a competitor playing against him know if he's rattled or not. He never seems to get rattled and I think that's the mark of a true champion.
Q. David, I wanted to ask you, how much has your life changed since winning your first major?
DAVID TOMS: Really, to be honest with you, I never knew that as a professional golfer, a person who is used to having about 25 weeks off a year, that I could be so busy. You know, you show up -- I used to show up on Tuesday morning and play nine holes or 18 holes and play my Pro-Am on Wednesday and tee it up on Thursday and leave on Sunday and go start over the next week doing the same thing. And I haven't had one week like that since. You know, people pulling at you in every direction; a lot more than I had to do before, which I don't like to do, but I'm going to have to start doing a lot more of that. That's really the only thing that's changed. Maybe recognized a little bit more in the public as far as autographs or so on. But as a golfer, I guess you just have a little more confidence, but obviously, I'm the same person. So just in one way, I've just been so busy. It's been really crazy.
Q. Looking back on that, what is probably your greatest memory?
DAVID TOMS: The whole experience the whole week was a lot of incredible things happened, with the hole-in-one and winning the tournament on the last hole there. But after every round it was more like fog, with all of the television stuff. Just the whole experience was neat. A lot of fans, a lot of people out there a lot of excitement. And having my father and some friends show up on the last day when I didn't even know they were coming in and having them there after the I won the tournament.
Q. David Duval, I felt like we saw a different side of you at the British Open, especially when you were making your speech. Is this more of the Duval we are going to start to see or the more stone-faced, hard-to-read golfer?
DAVID DUVAL: Well, I don't know if it's entirely up to me as to how you want to see me in the future. You know, as one thing I have thought that has happened since I won over at Lytham is that people, the writers and television people in general have heard what I've had to say and thought about it, as opposed to just kind of listening and going on and putting their own spin on it. I think that the media, as well, has wanted to see me in a different way for one reason or another. I don't believe I've changed at all. I think -- inaudible -- all in what I say, but I'm very committed to it, as well. You know, I am the same person as I was five years ago that you saw Sunday over at Lytham. But for one reason or another, maybe it's because after having won, some of those questions that had been asked for the last few years could no longer be asked, so you saw me differently. That's the difference I've seen. Certainly, I would help hope that continues because I'm not stone-faced, hard-blooded kind of person. But I just take what I do very seriously. I take pride if what I do. And I try to do it as a professional and I will continue to be that way.
Q. Retief, I want to ask you, too. How much has your life changed since winning the U.S. Open and also after winning the Volvo Order of Merit this year? Are you going to continue to play a lot in Europe or are you going to try to balance your schedule between U.S. and European events?
RETIEF GOOSEN: Personally I have not changed. But like David said, off the golf course it's changed a bit. You don't have as much time as you had to yourself in the past. You know, you're on a golf course walking away and off the golf course, you are working, as well. It has really changed that way. South Africa, I have not been back to South Africa this year since I won the U.S. Open. So I'll find out this weekend when I get back there and what it's going to be like. I'm sure I'll get a bit of a reception when I get back home. That should be a great experience, as well. At the moment, it's all an experience for me and every week, you know, getting recognized more by people is a great feeling. I'm just taking it as it's coming at the moment. I am really enjoying every moment of it.
Q. What odds did you think you had of making that chip-in on 18 in Tokyo yesterday?
TIGER WOODS: My odds? They weren't very good, I'll tell you that. It was a tough shot. I had a place to land it. You know, I hit a good shot, but then again, it's a lot of luck, too, because the bounce, it could have gone any which way. And when the ball got on the green, actually I thought I missed it high, and as it was rolling down there it started breaking and it snapped at the end. If it snapped at the end -- I still had three or four feet to go. I thought I missed it high, but it snapped right in there and went in the hole and it was a pretty exciting moment to force a playoff under those circumstances. Unfortunately, I was not able to finish it off in the playoffs, but to get there I think was kind of a cool accomplishment.
Q. How motivated are to you end this on a high note, with the three other major winners?
TIGER WOODS: I've said this before: It's the hardest tournament to qualify for. We play a field that takes great pride in being here because, obviously, you are one of the best players who has won a major championship to be in this position. You're playing with champions. And to go out there the next couple of days and compete against them is what it's all about. I'm looking forward to getting out there, and competing and I know they are, too. The weather out here is absolutely perfect and we're going to enjoy it and have a good time.
Q. Not the only first-time major winner here, but yours, David was the most recent. I wanted to ask, I'm guessing this is merely one more in a long line of really cool things you've gotten to do as a major championship winner?
DAVID TOMS: I'm over here in Hawaii with my whole family and enjoying the sunshine. I know back home in Louisiana it is going to start raining soon and getting cold. So any time you go back home with a nice suntan they will think you've been in the fake-and-bake, so it will be nice. It will be nice out here competing against these other players. This late in the season, I know we are all trying to wind down, but having an event like this to get excited for makes you keep want to go play golf. Hopefully do some good this week and use it to build on going into next season.
Q. Have you figured out for us yet what LSU has to do to win the Southeastern Conference this year?
DAVID TOMS: They have to beat Arkansas and Auburn. They control their own destiny. I will be at both football games cheering them on. Hopefully, they can do well. The only problem with winning the west is we'll have to play the Gators again, so then I'll have to listen to Chris DiMarco, Dudley Hart, and all of though other guys about losing to them twice this one season. I guess there's a positive and a negative to winning out.
Q. Retief, also a first time major winner, also the European Order of Merit, the money leader on the European Tour this year. First time since Greg Norman in '92 that a non-European player has led the European Tour Money List. What combination of factors came together for you to produce the kind of season that you had?
RETIEF GOOSEN: I felt like I was starting to play well actually at the beginning of the year. Two tournaments early on in South Africa, but I was not putting well enough. I've been working quite hard on my putting and finally started putting well a few weeks, probably, before the U.S. Open. Then it all came to go with the putter that week and I really hit the ball well. I think winning the U.S. Open has obviously helped me to win the order of merit in Europe. The prize money counted towards that; so I took a pretty big lead there and managed to win a couple of more times to stay ahead on the Order of Merit. It's been a great year, winning the Order of Merit, winning a major; and winning the World Cup with Ernie was also unbelievable. Now here I am playing in the Grand Slam with these three great players, it's a great experience and I'm looking forward to it.
Q. As someone who obviously made the most of his opportunities both in the U.S. and elsewhere this year, in the wake of September 11, do you foresee a change to your travel schedule in 2002?
RETIEF GOOSEN: No. My schedule will pretty much stay the same as it was this year. I'm going to play probably a few more events on the U.S. tour, but I'm still going to play the European Tour as well and a few events in south Africa. I'll also be traveling all over the place. I think it's a good time to fly now. Planes are empty and it's easy to get around and it's quite safe to travel.
Q. Tiger, the chip-in or eagle on 18, where does that shot rank?
TIGER WOODS: Definitely ranks up in the Top-10, without a doubt. I hit a good shot and got a good hop up on the green; and I honestly thought I missed it a little bit high, but it snapped in there to go in the hole. It was a pretty neat for us to come back at the end like that because we were not looking good. We were four back with four to go and somehow were able to get into a playoff where we could challenge for the title, which was being an accomplishment in itself.
Q. David Duval, you've got the major championship in your pocket. As you look ahead towards the year to come, obviously Augusta is one that you have been very close at on many occasions and one that's very important to you, but now that you have the major championship on the resume, do you approach majors with a different outlook?
DAVID DUVAL: I don't think so. I didn't at least at the PGA. Certainly, probably go in with a little bit different swagger, though, knowing what it takes now. So I do look forward to the run up to Augusta, I have played well there the past few years and I like my chances, so I just have to prepare and get ready for each of them like I have for the past four or five years. Kind of like playing on TOUR when you are struggling for your first win you just have to continually give yourself the opportunity; and I had done that and gave myself another one at Lytham this year and managed to finish it off.
Q. Can you talk about preparing for a regular -- inaudible -- event versus a major championship?
DAVID DUVAL: One of the differences is maybe going into the majors, probably more rested. With the exception of Augusta, we are playing new golf courses; not a golf course you can go to year after year after year. Certainly we might play a course every five, six, seven years, but then because of that, more practice rounds at least for me are required which makes the week longer. The media requests are a lot greater. There's more tension that week and people come in from all over the world. So the days are longer and that's why I think the biggest difference for me is making sure I'm that much more rested.
Q. Which rising star will be the most competition for the four of you in the next few years?
TIGER WOODS: There are a lot of good players coming up right now: Charles Howell, Adam Scott, Bryce Mulder. There's a lot of young players who are 20, 21, 18, 19, somewhere around there that are going to be pretty good players. It's a matter of time to see how good they are going to really be, but they have obviously got a lot of talent. There are a lot of kids coming out of college now lot of talent. Just a matter of getting the right breaks at the right time with a lot of determination and a lot of focus. Combine those things together and you are going to see a lot of good things coming up.
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