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


July 13, 2004

Tiger Woods


STEWART McDOUGALL: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Tiger Woods. Tiger, you had the 64 score in The Open Championship. Do you think the course is on for that low score this week.

TIGER WOODS: As usual, it all depends on the weather. If it blows like today, I don't see any reason why the guys won't shoot a low round, but if it blows like yesterday afternoon, that's a different story.

Q. You played with Tom Weiskopf this morning. Can you tell us why you did that and how it maybe helped you getting around the course?

TIGER WOODS: It was an absolutely pleasure. I've only met Tom. I've never played with Tom before. To get a chance to play with a great champion like that is quite an honor, and we had an absolute blast talking about whatever it might be, and telling great stories. And for me, I was just on the receiving end just listening, soaking it all up. It's great to have an opportunity like that to listen to some of the stories and just history that he's been through and Stevie has caddied for him a few times, and it was neat to listen to the stories.

We had an absolute blast. He told me about a couple of times how the golf course was back in '73 versus this year, and it was absolutely -- it rained hard that year, and it's totally different than this year. It was kind of neat to hear that. And to see how he played then versus now and hitting it further now than he did then at age 61. So it was kind of fun.

Q. Tiger, how did you prepare for The Open Championship? Did you spend some time here and did you play any golf?

TIGER WOODS: I did not. I was at home.

Q. Last year's venue, Royal St. Georges, in some eyes was considered a little bit quirky. Obviously there were some issues on the weekend at Shinnecock in terms of the setup. How is the course in terms of its ability to reward shots and penalize bad ones?

TIGER WOODS: I think this course is set up very fair. The rough is spotty. There's some places where it's pretty deep. But I think the whole golf course is dependent on the weather. If that wind blows it becomes quite a challenge and your lines and your numbers and the clubs you hit off the tees and approach shots are just completely different. Today we played the first few holes into the wind. This is my third round, and the first two rounds it was howling downwind. And there's just a different setup. It was nice to play that way. In case it ever changed, you can get some kind of feel for it.

But this golf course is a hundred percent dependent on the weather. And if it doesn't blow, then the guys are going to shoot some good numbers. If it does blow, it presents quite a challenge, especially coming home.

Q. You mentioned the weather a couple of times already. Does Muirfield come to mind at all?

TIGER WOODS: That was the worst conditions I've ever played in before, as far as rain and wind and cold. I've never played on anything like that before.

Q. What makes No. 8 so difficult? Is it a certain mindset or strategy, and what variance in clubs could you be hitting in there?

TIGER WOODS: If the wind doesn't blow and the pins are up front, I'm sure some of the guys could hit sand wedge. If the wind is howling off the right, you could hit as much as a 7 or 6-iron. It all depends on what kind of shot -- if you're going to cut it, you can take more club. If you're going to hit a flat one, you don't need as much club. But it's the penalty of missing the green, if you miss it left. But if you miss it right, you have one heck of a difficult bunker shot to get it up, because you're playing downwind now. So it presents quite a challenge.

Q. Tiger, what's your mindset coming into The Open, given that it's now more than two years since you won your last major?

TIGER WOODS: Same, just go out there and be prepared and play my best.

Q. Does it load any extra pressure on you, the fact that obviously we're all counting the number of tournaments as they go by? Are you counting them, as well?

TIGER WOODS: No, you go out and try your best. That's all you can do. You can't do anything more than that.

Q. A few months ago you told us that after knee surgery you couldn't beat balls as much as you used to. Just checking in a few months later, are you able to practice as much as you did presurgery?


Q. You're back to full schedule?


Q. Does that make a difference, as far as how crisp you feel over the ball?

TIGER WOODS: It makes a difference if you're working on things. If you're trying to work a couple of things out then you need time. It takes time to develop some of your new swing thoughts and your swing keys, and it's nice to be able to go out there and work on things like that.

Q. How long has that been, that you've been able to get after it?

TIGER WOODS: Probably for about a year now.

Q. When you played yesterday and when the wind comes the other direction, could you give us an idea of your clubs for the second shots to 11 and the two short holes on the back 9 and indeed the long par-4s?

TIGER WOODS: Long par-4, which one?

Q. All of them, please.

TIGER WOODS: Depends on which way the wind is blowing.

Q. No, in yesterday's wind, into the wind.

TIGER WOODS: You're not being specific on which holes. You said 1?

Q. I really meant the back 9.

TIGER WOODS: You want me to go through every hole? 11, I hit the first day, which was Sunday, I hit a driver and 2-iron. And yesterday I hit driver, 4-iron. And today the wind kind of kicked up a little bit, but it came off a different direction, it was more left-to-right, I hit 3-wood and 4-iron.

Q. And 17?

TIGER WOODS: 17, I've hit 3-iron every day.

Q. No trouble getting to the fairway on 18?


Q. The courses you've played around the world, where would you rate this back 9 in degree of difficulty? And if you can think of any harder ones, where would they be?

TIGER WOODS: If the wind is blowing like it did yesterday afternoon or how I played it the first couple of days, then I don't see many golf courses where they've got tougher finishing holes or nine holes than this one, because it was really only one hole, No. 12, where the wind is off the right. And every hole on the back nine is off the left. And as a right-handed golfer, that's the toughest wind there is, especially with the new tee on 15. But it's not -- it's a tough angle to try to hit that fairway with the wind blowing in off the left, because you have the fairway hard and fast, and you're running it at an angle, which is opposite of how the hole was meant to be designed, to be played. So it presents quite a challenge.

And then 11 is tough and 17, 18 coming in, they're some very difficult holes.

Q. Is this the major where you may be less in control than any of the others? You've already mentioned the weather, we know the weather can have a big impact. But I'm thinking of bounces and different things that can happen in the links. Is this possibly a U.S. Open or a Masters, you maybe know better what can happen than here?

TIGER WOODS: Yes, here it is depending on the weather and the bounces. But at Augusta they're swirling winds. And a U.S. Open you can get lucky with the lies in the rough. It all depends. This one presents a different challenge. You know that everyone is going to be dealing with it. You're going to hit a good shot and get a bad bounce or hit a marginal shot and get a great bounce. That's the nature of playing links golf. You're hoping at the start of The Open Championship you get a good draw.

So there is a certain part of luck being involved, if the weather does turn poor. And hopefully you're on that side where you can capitalize on it.

Q. Just by way of a follow-up, is your enjoyment of links golf, does that give you an extra edge when you come here?

TIGER WOODS: I thoroughly enjoy it, I always have. My first tournament on the other side of the Atlantic of links golf was at Carnoustie. That's a great introduction. And the very next week was at St. Andrews. It doesn't get any better than that for your first two. That's why I fell in love with playing links golf.

Q. Do you think links golf, this tournament, by the end of the week identifies the best player?

TIGER WOODS: The person who probably controls their ball the best, yes.

Q. Along those lines, a typical round for you of late would be maybe 2, 3 or 4 shots that maybe aren't your best. Given the wind, are you better off right now with the wind blowing or with it not?

TIGER WOODS: Definitely blowing.

Q. Because?

TIGER WOODS: It always rewards guys who are striking the ball well. And it certainly makes you -- it forces you to hit different golf shots and be more creative and work the golf ball.

Q. Regarding the major run here without wins, as the gentleman over here was talking about, we and the media count, it's 7, 8 now. Do you become more hungry? I know you're very hungry and driven for the Majors anyway, and that's how you've balanced your career. As the time has gone on does it make you more hungry as you go, and can you talk about whether you visualize that next one you do win?

TIGER WOODS: No, see, I've never played that way. I've never played for that same -- that reason that you're saying. And for me, I've always played my best when I've gone out and played and stayed -- focused on what I have to do and not worry about anything else. And that's when I play successfully and that's what I've been doing. I'm going to try to keep doing.

Q. Do you have a psychologist and do you believe in that sort of stuff?

TIGER WOODS: I had a psychologist for a while, yes. And he certainly helped. He's been a great friend of the family. I grew up playing golf with him, and I never knew he was a psychologist. We played together every Saturday. My father and I just knew he was in the Navy and he was a great golfer. And we always had great money games, and that was it.

Q. How long ago was that?

TIGER WOODS: Probably when I was in my early teens.

Q. Oh, I see. So nothing recently, at all?


Q. So you don't actually believe in it?

TIGER WOODS: It certainly helped, no doubt about it, it certainly helped. It's just trying to get different techniques and different philosophies on concentration. That part does help.

Q. Along those lines about the major, a few of the guys seem to be closing the gap in the world rankings, is that something that you want to keep going, obviously, or how do you view the world rankings?

TIGER WOODS: I think that if you play well and play consistently and win, then obviously that kind of takes care of itself.

Q. Can you use '97 as any kind of reference for formulating a game plan for this week or was that just too long ago?

TIGER WOODS: I've been asked that a couple of times this week and I'm having a hard time remembering. I had a hard time remembering all the holes back in '97. I do remember 16 and 17 on Saturday when I knocked it on in 2 on 16, driver, driver, and then I chipped in on 17. But other than, that I don't really -- I'm having a hard time remembering the golf course and the tournament.

Q. Why do you think that is?

TIGER WOODS: Old age, probably.

Q. At the U.S. Open you were telling us that you were feeling very, very close to returning to absolute top form. Obviously that was a couple of weeks ago. What's the sort of state of the curve since then in terms of your feeling about your form?

TIGER WOODS: I think it certainly helped the last two rounds I played at the Western. I really played well. And I just didn't make anything on Sunday. I might have made more of a run at it. And Saturday's round was fun to play, and I know that's the way I can play and I played the same way on Sunday, I just didn't make any putts. Hopefully I can play that same way.

Q. Do you feel like you've brought that confidence with you?

TIGER WOODS: I think so. It will be good that I had a week off to work on those things and try to solidify those things.

Q. You talked about the disappointment last year of coming close at Royal St. Georges. How long did it take you to get over that? And also what interaction or advice have you given to Ben Curtis in the year since he won?

TIGER WOODS: As far as getting over it, I had to get over it quite quickly. I think I had a week off, I believe, until Flint. And I had to get ready for that. But on the plane ride home, it wasn't a fun plane ride home, knowing I bogeyed 15 and 17 and missed a playoff by two. And I missed probably three birdie putts on the back nine. At least if I made one, it would have been a different story, and had some kind of momentum. From that standpoint it was frustrating. Especially we didn't think that Tom was going to do what he did. He was kind of running away with it.

But as far as talking to Ben about it, I haven't really spoken to him about being The Open champion. I said congratulations and we've had lunch a few times , but that's about it. You usually don't talk about that. You're usually talking about baseball or football or any other sport.

Q. He hasn't asked you about dealing with success?

TIGER WOODS: He hasn't, no.

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