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September 2, 2010

Tiger Woods


JOHN BUSH: We'd like to welcome Tiger Woods into the interview room here at the Deutsche Bank Championship. He's making his seventh start here. He won this tournament in 2006. Tiger, we know this is an extremely important week for you with the Tiger Woods Foundation and the learning center. Just talk a little bit about that and also being back.
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, this is a big event for us. Deutsche Bank has been a great partner of ours over the years and been instrumental on us building our learning center out in California and then obviously supporting what we're doing in D.C., as well, as well as the local charities here in this region. Deutsche Bank has been a great partner of ours, as I said, over the years, and I believe Seth is going to have some further good news here later.
But it's great to be back here playing. The golf course is in absolutely perfect shape. The greens are pure, fairways are pretty quick as of now. I don't know about obviously the weather coming in, but if we don't get any rain here, it's going to be quite a challenge come Monday with the greens getting a little bit more baked out, and I believe the humidity dropping a little bit and temperatures cooling. It'll be pretty quick if it doesn't rain.

Q. I was just wondering if you could talk about, do you feel like you've kind of turned a corner in the last week between the Barclays and how you feel coming in here?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I hit the ball a lot better. Some of the things that Sean and I have been working on are starting to feel a little bit more natural. I hit some really good shots last week. I drove the ball great all week, and the only thing that kept me from really contending with the middle two rounds was my putter. Other than that, it was a really good week, and hopefully I can build on that this week.

Q. You talked about working with Sean. What's been the biggest difference between a guy like Sean and gentlemen like Hank Haney and Butch Harmon in the past?
TIGER WOODS: Well, they're three different philosophies, three different ways to hit a golf ball. I went through two changes with Butch, a swing change again with Hank and now with Sean. There's a lot of learning to different philosophies, and that's probably the biggest thing is you first have to understand the philosophy in order to buy into it and then be committed to it. That's been kind of where I was at.
But I'm starting to see some progress, which is nice. It's nice to see that the things that I was trying to do earlier at the PGA I'm trying to do now.

Q. How has it affected your game mentally as well as physically?
TIGER WOODS: Let's see, mentally I'm hitting the ball much better, hence I have more confidence. I'm driving the ball much straighter, hitting the ball a little bit farther, especially with my irons, and those are all positive signs. It's just a matter of, as I said, making it a little bit more natural, and that's just reps.

Q. You drove it real well last week, but a lot of times you were using 3-woods and 5-woods. Is this the kind of golf course that you are going to hit driver a lot do you expect?
TIGER WOODS: I did today just to get some practice because I really didn't hit it a whole lot of times last week. I hit it, what, two times on a par-4 which I could drive, and I think I hit it like four other times and hit the fairway three of the other four. Just trying to build on that. Today I hit drivers when I normally don't ever hit driver, just to get some practice in, some reps. It all depends.
If the place is fast, I'm not going to hit driver as much as I have here in the past, if it's this fast. But if it slows down, if we get rain, then yeah, I'm going to have to hit driver a lot.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about the Ryder Cup? Does that enter your mind this weekend or are you kind of focused on the here and now and the Playoffs?
TIGER WOODS: I'm focused on just winning. If I win golf tournaments, then I think our captain hopefully will pick me.

Q. I think you said before the fourth round last week you were working on some kind of particular putting drills. I wonder if you could just talk about that a little bit. Was it something new or an old standard or --
TIGER WOODS: No, I've been doing the same drills since I was eight. Yeah, it's the same one. You've seen me, the two tees, the gate drill I always use. Only difference was I was just spending more time doing it, and I found something in my setup that I had been missing, and one of the reasons why my lines -- what I was seeing, how the ball was taking off wasn't right. Once I figured that out, I really putted good on Sunday, hit a lot of good putts. I hit one bad putt, a putt on the par-3, 15; I blocked it. Other than that, it was a good putting day.

Q. You mentioned that winning will sort of even everything out and Corey will pick you. But you haven't tried to suck up to him at all, tell him the UCLA football team is going to have a good year or anything?
TIGER WOODS: Absolutely not because Stanford is going to beat UCLA. That's just the way it is.

Q. The group of players that immediately followed you, the generation after, no one really offered you a consistent challenge. But what about this new crop of 20-somethings that seem to be -- how impressed are you with these bunch of guys?
TIGER WOODS: Well, it's not just the 20-somethings; now they've got the teens. Ryo is, what, 19, 18 now? 18? He's won, what, six times I think over there in Japan? He shot 58. I mean, it's not just the 20-somethings. Now it's the teens. These guys are just better earlier.
Obviously with technology and video cameras and all that, guys have more sound swings at an earlier age. You go to junior golf tournaments, and I've taught a lot of juniors all over the country during clinics, and it's phenomenal to see how pure the swings are at an early age now, even compared to when I first came out on TOUR. It's just amazing to see.
It's just a matter of them getting confidence, and you can just see it. I mean, if you look at the U.S. Amateur, I saw some of the highlights from the U.S. Am, most of the winners have been 25 or younger of the U.S. Am. It's just amazing how young it's become.

Q. Last week at the Barclays as well as today it looks like you broke out the white belt. Is there anything we should look into that?
TIGER WOODS: No, I wore it at the U.S. Open for the first time this year. I actually played pretty good that day.

Q. You said you were never going to wear one.
TIGER WOODS: This is true.

Q. A couple housekeeping items, I wonder what your reaction was to the recension of the pro-am rule since you have to play in every one of these things. And secondly, what would you think if they took say 20 percent of the compression or helium or whatever out of the golf ball, which is apparently being studied in earnest now by the USGA, how you think that would affect the game, and would it be good or bad?
TIGER WOODS: Okay, as far as the suspension of the rule with the pro-am, yeah, I would think they would have waited until after the season was completed. It's only affected one player so far this year, and that was Jim. But I can understand it; I just thought it might have been a little premature, a little early to do that. But that's just the way it is.
But as far as taking a little bit off the golf ball, I believe -- I'm not sure about this, but I believe Canada is doing something like that up on the Canadian Tour, but I'm not sure. It's something I just heard.

Q. They ran a test.
TIGER WOODS: It's just something -- the guys are hitting it a long way. For instance, last week, No. 8 is a par-3 down the hill, playing 207 the last day, and I hit 7-iron. I don't ever hit 7-iron that far. And I watched Dustin Johnson hit 9-iron. I mean, it's just -- so I can understand them wanting to obviously pull the game back a little bit, because the guys are just becoming more athletic. Here I am six foot, and I'm considered short at six foot. Most of the guys now are 6'3", 6'2", 6'4". Just like every other sport, it's evolved, become more athletic. The guys have speed, and now we're getting some great athletes playing the game.

Q. If you're short, what does that make Mike Weir?
TIGER WOODS: Really short. (Laughter.)

Q. Is it weird at all to see yourself at No. 65?
TIGER WOODS: Yes, and a little bit of a no there, too, as well, just because of obviously what's transpired this year. It's been a different year.

Q. Just talk about the difference of coming into a tournament and trying to win being 1 or 2 or 3 in the standings and the difference of trying to win a tournament when you're on the bubble.
TIGER WOODS: It hasn't changed. It's the same mindset. For me I go out there and tee it up to win the tournament and do everything I possibly can mentally and physically to win the golf tournament.

Q. You obviously played your way into this event last week, but I'm curious, can you remember when is the last tournament that you wanted to play in and you were healthy to play in and you weren't eligible to play in? Has that happened as a pro?
TIGER WOODS: Not that I can recall, no. You'd have to do your research on that one.

Q. Back to your amateur days --
TIGER WOODS: Do your research. I don't know.

Q. What would it mean to you to have your first win of 2010 being here in Boston at a tournament that benefits the Tiger Woods Foundation?
TIGER WOODS: It would be nice. It would be really nice. I've played well here over the years. I've only won once, but I've contended a few times. I like the layout and hopefully I can get it done this week.
JOHN BUSH: Tiger, thanks for coming in.

End of FastScripts

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