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March 15, 2005

Tiger Woods


Q. What's a good field?

TIGER WOODS: The top players in the world.

Q. A David Toms --

TIGER WOODS: What is he, 6 in the world?

Q. A couple of weeks ago, he was 15.

TIGER WOODS: But you can always put that up there. You can always put that in the papers, someone is ranked 6 in the world, someone is ranked 3 in the world, someone is ranked 2 in the world. You can always put that in there, and that does draw people to the event.

Q. Who do you think it means more to, the media or the tournament director?

TIGER WOODS: Tournament director, without a doubt.

Q. Under pressure from title sponsors?

TIGER WOODS: Without a doubt. It's hard, with the economy right, now it's hard to get the dollars that the TOUR is asking for, especially with this many events. We're trying to get, what is it, 46 events for the year, 44?

Q. 44 plus four.

TIGER WOODS: So what is it, 48 total now? There are 48 events, and all of the title sponsors -- inaudible -- with the economy the way it is at right now, the players aren't going to be playing, you know, 38 events. So it's tough to get all of the guys and that's one way of getting the guys.

Q. Do you think it's necessary on this TOUR for some of the events -- inaudible -- to be able to have that opportunity?

TIGER WOODS: If that's what it takes. You've seen what they did up in Nemacolin, down at Doral. They do perks, and that's one way of getting around it, to make sure you get a quality field.

Q. Didn't you do a deal with Nemacolin years ago?

TIGER WOODS: Mmm-mm. I did a deal, I did an outing just for one day.

Q. Nothing in cash?

TIGER WOODS: No. I just came there on a Monday just to play.

Q. So that thing last year, that wasn't part of the package when you committed to play?


Q. Do you feel any pressure that you can make or break an event, just your name?

TIGER WOODS: No. If that was the case, I would play all 48 events. Can't do that. I mean, I've got to have a life, guys, you know. I have to enjoy my life and playing the events that I play. And the things that I have to deal with at a tournament site is more than most people have to deal with at tournament sites. With all of that being said, I enjoy what I like to do off the golf course. I enjoy being with my friends, my family, all of the vacations we take. And when I do compete, give it my best.

Q. Why do you think about playing one tournament at least once every four years won't work, what's the non-selling point to that?

TIGER WOODS: The whole idea that we are independent contractors. That's the whole point to it. If you get to that point, then you're going to get into maybe a players' union, and hence going down that road and I don't think we're going to go there.

Q. Do you think at times in certain situations you are deferential to the TOUR, even though you are independent contractors, certain situations?


Q. Licensing rights, image rights. There's a lot of different things that being a member of the TOUR, you give back to the TOUR that normally as an independent contractor you would be able to keep as your own, so don't you think that you've already given them some?

TIGER WOODS: Some, not all.

Q. You think that particular hurdle --

TIGER WOODS: Well, it's like they are not allowed to use a player's image when they are not playing in the event, but if you're playing as a part of union, yeah, you could do that; I would give that right away. So then obviously that's a huge right there, especially from the sponsor's point of view. For me, I represent -- the company that I represent, that wouldn't be right for someone who is a competitor, using my name and my image to promote their event; that wouldn't be right to the people I do commercials for and do outings for.

So from that standpoint, no, I don't think that would be beneficial.

Q. You mentioned the economics of the situation where the economy is right now, when you hear people from the TOUR talking about they see the TV deal getting better the next four years, what do you say to that?

TIGER WOODS: It would be very difficult. We've had some of the sponsors that I represented who are on the TOUR who have been on the TOUR for a while are having a hard time with it. So it's just the nature of right now and what the TOUR is asking for. For big events, I mean, for a big events, spending a half million dollars, that's not pocket change, for what they get out of it. And you can't really promise them the best players in the world and the best fields; it's kind of tough for a title sponsor to accept.

Q. And at the same time, you're saying, don't pay appearance fees.

TIGER WOODS: I'm not saying that.

Q. But I'm saying they are.

TIGER WOODS: They are; right.

Q. Would it be strange to play for smaller purses in the next TV contract?

TIGER WOODS: That's one of the reasons why I suggested to you guys earlier that we condense the field, or condense the playing schedule. If you did that, yeah, I think that we could then allocate more funds to certain events. You won't feel the pressure to try and do all of these different fields. If you play a shorter schedule, more of the top players would be playing against each other more often and we would not be spread out so much since we play a higher percentage of events with each other. I think that would provide more of a competitive atmosphere, that would be great for the public, great for you guys as writers, TV as well, and for us as competitors it would be the best thing.

Q. If there was an event every week, that's kind of been the -- inaudible -- the silly season?

TIGER WOODS: There are ways around it. It's like I said to you guys earlier at Doral, I think I feel sorry for Australia. I mean, for them to have -- we have to have a Nationwide Tour down there now. They used to be one of best tours in the world. The Aussie Open was basically the fifth major. Now they are having a hard time getting the players to play.

Q. What do you think about an occasional break in the schedule like a couple of weeks off after a major?

TIGER WOODS: A bye week? Why don't you just shorten the season, period, and don't have a bye? End it earlier. I think it would be beneficial for all of us.

Q. Mickelson said keep the season as long as you want to make it, and if you don't want to play it, don't play?

TIGER WOODS: What his argument is, you don't get the top players playing at all events. And then you want us to play every fourth event -- if you condense the tournament schedule, we would have to play more against each other and we would have to play more events.

Q. Why is this going on, by the way? We are talking about shorter seasons, we are talking about appearance money and yet we have great golf. Where is there so much attention on it right now?

TIGER WOODS: Because the TV contract is coming up now and we're not in the big boom like we were the last time around. Every dot-com, everybody wanted to get involved and we were on an incredible high.

Q. Inaudible -- you're on it more than we are.

TIGER WOODS: Well, we are because I'm part of the TOUR. I want to see what's best for the TOUR, and sometimes my opinions don't please everybody on the TOUR, but you know I just want to see what's best for the entire TOUR. I don't ever want to see us go backwards and take a step back by lowering the prices in our purses, I think it would be extremely devastating for all of us because we're not heading in the right direction. If we consolidated a little bit more, I think it would be the best environment for all of us.

Q. Chances are what, do you think?

TIGER WOODS: I don't know.

End of FastScripts.

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