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THE HONDA CLASSIC


February 26, 2014


Tiger Woods


PALM BEACH GARDENS, FLORIDA

Q. How were the changes?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, they're pleasant changes. There were some good changes made. Overall the golf course is playing, fairways are a little bit spotty right now with all the rain we've had, and it's still wet out there. I know most of the balls I hit, the lie in the fairway had mud on them, so it'll be interesting to see what they do tomorrow with the forecast for the rest of the week.

Q. Where would you say your game is right now after a couple weeks away?
TIGER WOODS: It feels good. I was pleasantly surprised how well I was hitting it today, and just getting a feel for the greens and how the short game is playing out of this grass versus up at Medalist.

Q. Besides being close and convenient, how does this venue help you get ready for the Masters?
TIGER WOODS: Well, I think once we get to Florida I think we're all thinking about our way to Augusta. Some guys usually start at Doral, some guys start here, but once we get to Florida, now most of the guys are getting pretty serious about their prep to Augusta. This week I think it's‑‑ you can understand now with the field the way it is, the quality and the depth of the field has gotten so much better over the years, plus I think a lot of the guys have moved down here, as well, and they're playing the event.

Q. I meant more from the sense of this golf course, how tough a test it is getting ready for Augusta?
TIGER WOODS: No, it's not really because it's going to be so different. There are so many different types of venues that we're playing. We go from a short and tight golf course like this one to a big one next week to a tight one in Tampa and then Orlando is pretty big. Texas, both of them are pretty big, and you have the Masters, which has gotten pretty long over the years. It's just a very different type of venue.

Q. What do you think about the Eisenhower tree?
TIGER WOODS: I've hit it a few times. I can't say that I haven't hit it. You know, it's one of those, it's like probably like the cypress tree out there at Pebble, kind of that iconic landmark. I can't say some of the guys are going to miss it, but we are going to certainly see a difference, there's no doubt about that.

Q. What do you expect to see on that hole?
TIGER WOODS: Well, because of the two sides of the forest they planted on both sides, you don't really see the trees on the left because Eisenhower blocks it out. They were saplings and now they've grown up a little taller and now they're above the Eisenhower tree. Before you could only see the bottom of the them through the Eisenhower tree, but now you're seeing them over the top, but now it's gone so now you'll be able to see them a little bit better.

Q. How does playing here in Jupiter affect your game?
TIGER WOODS: I love it. I love playing here. It's always nice to be in your own bed, in your own home. When I lived in Orlando, I played Bay Hill and it was always to be at home. This is my new home, and I absolutely love it down here.

Q. Does it give you any advantage do you think?
TIGER WOODS: I think it's just comfort. As I said, I'm going home to my own remote, my own bed, and those are things that we don't get a chance to do very often. Most sports you spend half the year on the road and half the year at home. Most golfers spend pretty much their entire career on the road.

Q. This is one of the courses you typically don't play. Is there anything different you're planning to do in preparation for the Masters?
TIGER WOODS: Still looking into that, yeah. Still looking to possibly make some changes going in there.

Q. I know W is always the end result you're looking for, but what is the measure for success this week?
TIGER WOODS: That.

Q. How about hitting the ball, just getting your game where you want it?
TIGER WOODS: If I hit it great and win, if I slap it all over the place and win, I win. That's the intent.

Q. What was the focus at home, what you felt you had to work on or get dialed in on?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I worked quite a bit on my short game, my putting, made sure I got that dialed in. I felt that that was a bit off. Coming out here, I didn't expect the greens to be this slow. We've heard rumors that they're going to keep it pretty slow because of the wind forecast, and they have kept them slower than they normally are. We're going to have to make a few adjustments there.

Q. How does it compare when you have perhaps difficulties in your personal or business life off the course compared to when things are all good at home and on the course? Have you ever had that and how do you think Rory is going to‑‑ has dealt with it?
TIGER WOODS: How he does it is how he does it.

Q. At 38 compared to 21, is your outlook on a season different? What I mean by that, is it all geared almost exclusively toward the majors at this stage in your career where earlier in your career you might have looked differently at the body of work?
TIGER WOODS: You know what, I'd have to say at 21 that was my first full year on TOUR‑‑

Q. Well, 22.
TIGER WOODS: 22 I was still making adjustments on my scheduling. Didn't know what to play and how much to play. I played too much in '97 and wore myself out, never played that much golf in my life. Made a few adjustments in '98, and in '99 I think I got it right.
Back then if I looked at it, I was still‑‑ all the golf courses were new. I had never played them before. Now most of the courses I've seen 15 times or so sometimes, and it makes a big difference. The practice rounds and the pro‑ams, you already know that when you're at home practicing, the sight lines. You already know how the golf course is going to be playing. There's an added comfort to that.
As you've seen over the course of my career, I've won at certain venues quite a few times because I just know it, and that's probably the biggest difference when you're a rookie or your first few years on TOUR, you don't know golf courses, and you're a little bit behind the curve on the veterans.

Q. Does not performing well at a regular Tour event bug you less?
TIGER WOODS: No, it still bugs me.

Q. Why do you think you've never won here?
TIGER WOODS: I've come close. I've only played it a few times. It's possibly just that.

Q. It looked like you and Sean had some good discussions out there today. Was he helpful to you?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah. We're just working on the same things. He's just doing a lot of video, and he's looking at it. I'm not really looking at it. I know what I need to do and the feels that are associated with certain parts of the video, and I'm just focused on that. He focuses on a more technical level of it.

Q. How much time did you spend with Sean since Torrey Pines and how much has it just been you working on your own?
TIGER WOODS: We spent a little bit of time, not that much. It's more like he comes in, we come up with a game plan of what I need to work on, and then I go off and work on it. A few days later we do the same thing, so the process is I've always done it in the past, and it's worked pretty well for me that way.

Q. Are you surprised by Greg's decision, or is it something you guys have been talking about?
TIGER WOODS: Certainly it's a decision we've known was coming. Weren't really caught off guard by it, but he's meant, as I said earlier, he meant so much to us, and meant a lot to my career and what we've done as a foundation. He's moving on to a great opportunity for him and his family, and he's certainly going to still be around to help us in our transition, which is nice.

Q. Do you know who runs the Washington chapter?
TIGER WOODS: They're working all that out right now.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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