home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


May 11, 2005

Tiger Woods


Q. Can you wear a blue shirt with brown pants?

TIGER WOODS: It matches kind of. There's blue in the pants.

Q. That's the best I've got.

TIGER WOODS: That doesn't surprise me.

Q. How is your game coming into this tournament, Tiger?

TIGER WOODS: It feels good. Last week I drove it well, putted well, just my iron game wasn't very sharp. Consequently I wasn't right there with a chance to win.

Hopefully this week I'll fix a couple things and should be good to go by tomorrow.

Q. Most of the top players are here. Is that a challenge for you?

TIGER WOODS: It's a challenge playing this golf course with this wind, so that's enough. We just kind of worry about ourselves and see where we are come Sunday afternoon. Hopefully we'll be there with a chance to win.

Q. Do you think that that course is markedly easier than the course here?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah. You know, with the wind obviously blowing, it makes it a little bit harder. But the two par 5s there, you can hit iron to probably both of them. Maybe a couple par 4s there you can drive within 100 yards of the green. Yeah, it is considerably easier. But still, you've still got to hit good golf shots. Now the wind is blowing so it makes it a lot harder.

Q. It's the 60th anniversary of Byron's '45 season when he basically won everything. Greatest year in golf? Do you have an opinion on that, Bobby Jones in 1930 or you in 2000 or Hogan in '53 where he won five out of six?

TIGER WOODS: All different for different reasons, but I have to say his feat, winning 11 in a row, I mean, I don't care that some of the guys were gone with the war and stuff. Still, winning 11 in a row, do you realize how good you have to play? You're going to have one bad week in there somewhere, but his bad week still won by probably, what, three, four, five shots? It wasn't like he was just winning by a little bit; he was winning by convincing margins.

His stroke average says it all. He had the lowest stroke average in the history of the game until I got lucky one year (laughter). But, I mean, it's stood the test of time so you can understand -- you also have to understand the agronomy wasn't as good, either, so to shoot those kind of scores and make that many putts and hit that many quality golf shots -- yeah.

Q. Do you ever wonder what he might have won with today's technology?

TIGER WOODS: Kicked all of our butts probably. He drove it on a string, and he was a wonderful iron player, very solid putter. But it was just a different game, and they played stymies back then. Do you remember the time you'd see him chipping over a ball there and knocking it out of the way? I thought that was the coolest part, when he knocked it out of the way.

It's just a different era. I'll tell you, with today's equipment, if you had his game and his swing in his prime here, easily one of the best players in the world.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about your relationship with Byron and how you guys go back a way?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, Mr. Nelson was so nice to me when I was a amateur. I must have been probably 16 years old or so. We had Friends of Golf, the tournament up in Bel Air, and Jack was the person doing the exhibition that day. But I was kind of the warm-up act. I did the warm-up act for Jack and then Jack did his deal and then I had to leave to go play a high school match. But on the way out, Mr. Nelson made a point to come see me. We talked for about a half hour about my future in the game and what I needed to do to stay focused on this path. It looked like I had a decent game, keep it going and blah blah blah, and next thing you know, I come here and play here as an amateur because Mr. Nelson gave me an exemption.

These are things that people don't realize. Every time -- he writes notes to you all the time. I've saved every single one I've ever gotten from Mr. Nelson. That's something I'll always cherish. He doesn't have to do these things, but that's the kind of guy he really is.

Q. How many guys do you call Mister?

TIGER WOODS: Not too many, but he deserves it.

Q. This is a field like a major, Tiger. It is all because of Byron?

TIGER WOODS: Without a doubt. Without a doubt. A lot of the guys come here to play Mr. Nelson's tournament just because it's him. If he asks you to come play, how can you say no? I had a hard enough time that one year when I didn't come because I had to go defend in Germany. You feel kind of bad, but he understood, which was great.

But you still feel kind of bad because it's his tournament, you want to support his cause and what they -- what they do here at this event, all the money that goes to charity is truly remarkable. It's such a great event.

Q. What one piece of advice has he given to you that you've carried through --

TIGER WOODS: It's not just one, let me tell you. All the conversations I've had with him, whether it's the state of the course or how's your game.

One of the great stories that I tell all the time is when I won The Masters in '97 and I was hosting the champions' dinner in '98. I had Mr. Nelson to my left, I had Ben Crenshaw to my right, and we had our knives out showing each other our grips. Mr. Nelson said, "I used this grip back in the '30s and in the '40s I changed to this." I'm thinking, "Wow, my dad was just born." It was just a wild -- it was a great time just to soak it up and listen to these guys talk and how Mr. Nelson believes the grip should be and the pressure points and all these different things. It was definitely eye-opening and it's one I've never forgotten.

Q. You said you didn't hit your irons as well last week. Overall the changes that you've made, would you say that they've pretty well kicked in?

TIGER WOODS: Well, it's just a simple fix and that's the great thing. It's not a swing overhaul. I've done all the big stuff, now it's just tweaking here and there. That's what you do anyways as a player. Every day you wake up and it's just a little bit different, so you've got to tweak it and move on about your business.

At least it's not something where I say I've got to work on ten different things in order to have one shot. Now it's just a simple little fix and move on.

Q. A lot has happened last year in your life and on the golf course -- (inaudible).

TIGER WOODS: Still the same. Here to win. That's why you play. That's why I enter is to give it my best to try to win the tournament. The focus doesn't change once you're in the event. Once you get in between the ropes and you start competing, the juices get going.

Q. How much -- (inaudible) -- was this process?

TIGER WOODS: It's significant. Just because it's totally different. I've never gone -- it's a different philosophy, hence it's a different technique, but still, it's something I believed in, and I've stayed the course and I'm happy I stayed the course.

Q. Did you do it to challenge yourself as much as anything? What you were doing was working pretty well.

TIGER WOODS: It was, but also it wasn't. I was having some physical problems at the time and I needed a change. Now I don't have those problems anymore, which is great.

Q. Does a small change to you in a swing feel as major as it does to us?

TIGER WOODS: Without a doubt. Without a doubt. You move the club at the top an inch and that feels like a foot. For an amateur, you're trying to work with amateurs and they say you're asking for a mile and you probably get maybe an inch. It's the same with us.

The hard part is we've got to go out there and hit it over water and try and hit it out there and compete under the toughest conditions, and that's the hard part. You can do it on the range all day, and then you need to progress and do it in a tournament and then eventually do it down the stretch with a chance to win. So that's the different progressions. For most weekend warriors, they don't have to go through that progression as severe as us, but it's still out there. We still face the same things you guys fight all the time.

Q. We didn't have a chance to talk to you on Sunday. Would you comment on the penalty? Obviously you didn't agree with it.

TIGER WOODS: I didn't know that rule. I thought it was like a gallery stake. The thing that surprised me, it was surrounding a Port-a-john so all these different bathrooms are right there, so I figured I'd move the fence, no big deal. Obviously you can't move mesh fence, staked fence and then these other new metal fences, whatever they've got going on, these barriers. So you get line-of-sight relief, which is different. I never knew that rule.

Q. When is the last time you've been penalized?


Q. Match Play one year, but that was in the middle of the match.

TIGER WOODS: When was that?

Q. Didn't you take a swing back and accidently a branch fell down?


Q. Maybe that was someone else.

TIGER WOODS: It wasn't me. I've never had a penalty in my entire life like that.

Q. What upset you more?

TIGER WOODS: The fact that I didn't get that --

Q. That you ended your streak?

TIGER WOODS: I didn't get that Top 10.

Q. Lost your Ryder Cup points (laughter)?

TIGER WOODS: Exactly. I felt like I played my ass off coming in. You know, I eagled 15, I birdied 18 to get a back-door Top 10, and when things aren't going well that week, you always want to finish on a Top 10 somehow. It's a cool thing to have. Didn't play all that great but still got a Top 10 out of it. That penalty cost me.

Q. You knew right then it cost you?


Q. What was The Masters -- can you demonstrate kind of what that was with the ball, the video review and all that?

TIGER WOODS: It's not even a half inch. It's hanging on the lip. But it's the path of my putter. If you go from the hole back through the golf ball that's an imaginary line that you can't cross, can't straddle, you can't have any part of your body going through that line, and it's just some viewer called in and thought that I had violated a rule.

I had another viewer call on Sunday, as well, saying that my ball -- why was he able to mark his ball on 13. Well, they didn't know that if any ball is touching the green, it's deemed to be on the green. I had a whole bunch of callers call in on that one, too. It was an interesting week.

Q. Asking guys about the relationships with their caddie, can you put a value on what your caddie does for you out there?

TIGER WOODS: Well, Stevie, he's the best, because one, he's one of my best friends. I have a lot of trust in what he says to me. I value his opinion. He's not just a bag carrier. We're in it as a team. We're in there to try and win together.

It's not too often that a caddie has the guts to call you off a shot because he can see the wind change at the green and you're over the shot and about ready to pull the trigger. Most caddies won't do that but he's done that numerous times. It gave me a chance to win the PGA in 2000, I can tell you that. He did it on the back nine on Sunday.

I mean, most caddies won't do that on the back nine on Sunday to win a major championship, call you off a shot when they know that's the shot you're trying to play when they see the wind change, and he was totally right. We changed our distances and hit it up there and made birdie, so it was a big deal.

Q. There's been talk about possibly THE PLAYERS moving into this position and this tournament getting pushed back. Do you think guys will still play it if it's at a different date at the end of the year?

TIGER WOODS: I think so, with Mr. Nelson's involvement and what he does here and this tournament, the crowds that they bring out. It's a great atmosphere. I don't see it changing.

End of FastScripts.

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297