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August 28, 2003

Tiger Woods


TODD BUDNICK: It's a new event, new course, a new course for everybody out there. Talk a little bit about that.

TIGER WOODS: I think a lot of it is going to depend on how they set up the pins here because every green has their own specific quadrants you need to get the ball into. And if you hit the ball in that quadrant, a lot of the balls will funnel towards the holes. A marginal shot hit on an edge along those bowls will filter down towards the hole. But if you miss, obviously, you are going to be in a world of hurt trying to get up-and-down in two. With all of that said, I think the guys are going to shoot some pretty good numbers this week.

Q. (Inaudible.)

TIGER WOODS: I think it's great the times that I've played in junior golf and the Ryder Cup, the people here just absolutely love their sport, period. It's nice for us to come back and have a golfing event here in this area because it's one of those areas that's underserved, I think, golf-wise, and to have an event like this of this stature come to an area like this, fans are going to show up and they are going to love it.

Q. (Inaudible.)

TIGER WOODS: My approach is just to play the golf course. Always has been. You've just got to take care of your own business and hopefully that will be enough to beat everyone else.

Q. (Inaudible.)

TIGER WOODS: I only hit the ball on one today. But the back nine is much more of a driving nine than the front nine. Front nine has got some weird angles and stuff, and you can tell where they put some of the tees, the hole wasn't designed for that, for that specific tee box. For instance, No. 4, it wasn't supposed to be played that far back and now we are driving it to just a little narrow chute. It was interesting on 9 today. It was blowing so hard into the wind, the hole is designed for us to carry the ball over those bunkers, and there's plenty of room over there; I couldn't get to the bunkers today. It's different to see how the new tee boxes have obviously altered how the golf course was meant to be played. Some of the holes where you were supposed to be driving the ball, you can't get to, you can't physically get there. So it's going to be interesting to see how that happens if the wind stays up like this.

Q. (Inaudible.)

TIGER WOODS: It's not something I'm interested in. The TOUR came to me and asked me if I wanted to be involved in a TOUR event. Yes, to a certain extent. Yeah, to have my foundation involved, that's fantastic. But to be personally involved in the event, and have your own name associated to the event, there's so many different responsibilities that come with it. I'm just starting to learn that, and I've had to learn a lot with my tournament in Thousand Oaks. I don't want to have to go there and have to ask players to play an event. We do that as it is with my event, only have 16 players, and I find it hard to do because a lot of players, they have their lives. They have other things to do that specific week, whether it's taking time off because it's their scheduled time off or it's their family or whatever the reasons are, I understand that. I don't want to have to be put in a position where I have to ask guys to play because it's just -- it's just not me. I feel uncomfortable with that.

Q. (Inaudible.)

TIGER WOODS: Yes, without a doubt. My foundation is involved in it; hence, you can see the association with it, but that's as far as it goes.

Q. A little more relaxed today, can you talk about interacting with the fans, are you able to do any of that?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, they were out there, that's for sure. You could hear them. The fans were very supportive. Again, they love their golf. They came out today. A lot of kids were out there, too, which is pretty neat.

Q. With the majors over, what's going to motivate you the rest of the year, does Player of the Year motivate you for the rest of the year?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, it's certainly a motivation. But the thing is, each and every -- my goal hasn't changed. I don't have foresee it changing. Every event that I tee it up in, I try and win, and that's my goal. It has been since I was a little boy until now. That's not going to change.

Q. Any truth to the rumor -- Red Sox and Yankees?

TIGER WOODS: You know what guys, I was born and raised in L.A. i'm Dodger blue.

Q. Can you just talk about some of your memories playing in the New England area?

TIGER WOODS: I came here back when he was 16 to Wallestone (ph) over there in Milton and played in the U.S. Junior. I think the very following year, I came and played at Wyannosette (ph) in the Northeast Am. I played obviously in Newport. I played in the Ryder Cup. So I've played here and I've had some success here, which is nice.

Q. What was the most enjoyable of those four?

TIGER WOODS: The most enjoyable, probably the Junior, because I had done something no one has ever done -- second. No one has ever won two, ever, and it was nice to be able to win two U.S. Juniors. Because you only have a certain amount of time until you're 17, and all of the players that have ever played the game, no one has ever won two. I thought it was pretty at the time to do something no one has ever done in the game of golf.

Q. More and more professional athletes are getting involved in charities -- can you talk about the foundation -- inaudible?

TIGER WOODS: We started our foundation primarily because we wanted to continue what we have done, my father and I have done, when I was in junior golf. I wasn't allowed to do the clinics and do all of the exhibitions that I had done in junior golf because I was under the auspices of the NCAA. Because of that, you're promoting university, and it gets into that type of dilemma. But afterwards, I had free rein to continue what I had been doing and I thoroughly enjoy it. Without the help that I had received as a kid from certain teachers, certain mentors around my club that I played at, there's no way I could ever have had the success that I had. They took me under their wings and really showed me how life, how you should conduct yourself in life. I wanted to be able to pass that on so that's one of the reasons why I started the foundation. As far as other athletes starting up their own foundations, I think it's admirable. They don't have to do it, but I think they are in a position where they can influence lives in a positive way, and I think any time you're in the position like that, you should take advantage of it. You can influence a lot of kids all over the country, if not the world, because you're in that type of position. If you're in that position, I think you're very lucky to be in that type of role. Not too many people have that opportunity, and when you are, I think you should take advantage of it and help as many people as you possibly can.

Q. I know it's been a few years since the Ryder Cup, but there's still a lot of talk about the reaction of the crowd, what's your feeling of that in international play?

TIGER WOODS: Well, the crowds at Boston during that particular Ryder Cup, were they supportive? Yes. Did they cross the line? Yes. I played with Monty in one of the matches. It was brutal to see the things that people were saying about him personally. You know, golf is not like that. Golf is different. It's apart from that. I think that's where it crossed the line. It wasn't like that in the morning, that's the funny thing. It's amazing when you get under the influence of a couple beverages of your choice, what happens. People get slightly more opinionated and I think that's exactly what happened, because the morning matches were fine. They were played in great spirit. Was it by partisan? Yes, that's the way it should have been. But in the afternoon, it got personal with some of the fans and some of the players and it got over the top.

Q. Can that be prevented by --

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, cut off the sales, cut off the sales of the alcohol. That's a huge generator. That's one of those things that you have to make a choice at how you want the fans to behave, and I think if you give them a chance to be under the influence, then that's what can happen.

Q. What's your schedule like coming up?

TIGER WOODS: I'm not going to touch a club for a little bit. It will be nice to kind of put away the sticks for a little bit and just get some rest. I've been going pretty hard this summer. Haven't really taken that much time off this summer. I've played a lot of golf. Even when I've been away from the tour, I've been at home practicing and preparing. So I haven't really taken a big break, and it's nice to be able to take the big break. Jim Furyk said it best: His body is a little sore. It's sore, yes. My body is a little bit sore from all of the practicing and playing and training, and your mind gets a little tired of it, too. It's nice to be able to recharge and come back fresh for the remainder of the year.

Q. What's your next event?

TIGER WOODS: American Express.

Q. Can you talk about the change in the format, Friday through Monday instead of Thursday through Sunday?

TIGER WOODS: As far as Friday through Monday, I've played that way in Germany at this event, the Deutsche Bank at Heidelberg. It was Friday through Monday. So from that standpoint, I've played that, and it's been nice. Because over there in Germany, we had a bank holiday on Monday, so we actually had more people on Monday than we did on Saturday and Sunday. I think here will probably be the same way. We'll get a ton of people probably on Sunday and Monday than we will on Saturday. The field is pretty solid. It's a world-class field. We've got players from the Presidents Cup teams on both sides. So we've got a lot of not only domestic guys, but we have some international players, which is great.

Q. With a handful of tournaments left, probably four, thereabouts, Davis, I don't know what he's playing, six, seven, eight; Vijay might play 12 -- 13; would you be tempted at all if it got really close at the end to add another tournament? And if the answer is going to be no, would you elaborate on it?

TIGER WOODS: It would be hard to add one in there, it really would be. I figure if I -- we've got three $1 million first place prizes coming up: This week, AMEX and THE TOUR Championship. I mean, if you play well in all three of those, then that should take care of itself. I'd find it very hard to add one. I have a busy fall. I've been going so hard this summer. As I said, I've been playing -- excluding the time I've been playing the Tour, at home, as I said, I've been practicing quite a bit, training quite a bit. Your body needs a break.

Q. What would be one thing you would add to your visit that you haven't --

TIGER WOODS: If anything I would probably go check out the Sox. That's about it. I've been to Fenway before, so it won't be anything new. It will be interesting to see the seats out there on top of the wall. But, I don't know, we'll see. A lot of it depends on how I play.

Q. (Inaudible.)

TIGER WOODS: Well, see, I think -- see, the thing is, a lot of the sports celebrities have been put into a position where they -- people feel as if they need to be a champion of all causes, and I don't think that's particularly right. Everyone has their own view but and I think everyone has their own desires and their own passions. For me, it's kids. It's helping kids have a better life, and that's my passion. That's why I have my foundation. As far as all of the other political stances that we're asked to take, sometimes that can be a little perturbing at times because the fact is, if you answer one way, you get ripped. You answer another way, you get ripped. If you don't answer it at all, you get ripped. So from that standpoint, it gets difficult. A lot of guys really don't feel as if they need to be in that position. They have their own causes, whether it's -- a lot of guys are into cancer research or whether it's children's hospitals or whatever it may be. They have their own little niche and can be focused on that.

Q. What's the longest roll you've been on this year?

TIGER WOODS: What do you mean?

Q. Well, when you get it going, sometimes it will last five holes, sometimes it will last five days, sometimes five weeks, in 2000, it lasted a year and a half --

TIGER WOODS: The longest roll where I've really played well? I think for the entire event, it has to be The Match Play this year, earlier in the year. I played well every day at The Match Play. The only thing that separated each day was the quality of putts. But I hit the -- but I made my share, I shot 8-under par in several of my matches, if I don't, I was shooting 3 or 4 (under). I was hitting the ball particularly well that week. Just got to keep working at it. Things kind of just gel. You feel as if you're in rhythm, your timing's there, because of all that, you're more at ease because you feel like you can hit shots. You don't feel as if the fairways are narrowing on you or anything like that. You feel that you can aim at a stripe down there, mower stripe down there and put it there, or on the green you can put it within half a yard of your distance. It's pretty easy when it's like that. But when it's not, obviously it's a little different.

Q. (Inaudible)?

TIGER WOODS: I feel good. Obviously, I've played the last two weeks and still feel fresh, but it will be nice to actually get away and to completely relax.

Q. (Inaudible.)

TIGER WOODS: It's better. Each and every day last week I got a little bit better. Sunday I hit it the best; I just didn't make any putts. I hit two bad shots back-to-back on, what was it, 12 and 13, which really cost me. But that day, I mean, I drove it great. I hit my irons really well. Just didn't make enough putts.

Q. You've had times this year obviously where you have not played well and times where you have not scored well. Which is more aggravating?

TIGER WOODS: You know, ultimately, it's about scoring. It's about getting the ball in the hole. It is some kind of frustrating as a player to go out there and hit the ball well all day and not put up a good number. A lot of times, it's rewarding to go out there and more satisfying to go out there and not hit the ball that well and shoot a 68, 67, something like that and not really play particularly well. But you get it in the house, you keep yourself in the tournament. I guess what I'm trying to say, it's frustrating when you don't quite have it, but then again, it's all about scoring. It's about shooting a number.

Q. Have you been more angry this year on a day or a week when you're just not playing that well or you felt like it was not there, you were just maybe a putt away from getting it going and it doesn't happen?

TIGER WOODS: I wouldn't say more angry. I would have to say there are more times this year that I've had an opportunity to turn things around and around. You know, pitch-out, hit a wedge to six feet you've got to make that putt for par, keep the momentum going; I miss it. Or, you hit a 2-iron into a par 5 to about ten feet and you have to make that for eagle just to get some big momentum going; you miss it. Or there's a big tee shot, you have to get the ball in play here to keep the momentum going, you just made a big save on the last hole or you have three birdies in a row, keep something going. So I haven't been able to keep stretches going. From that standpoint, it's been frustrating. But then again, I look at the flip side of it, too. There have been a lot of times where I've really saved myself this year because I haven't hit the ball as particularly sharp and as crisp consistently. I've had to make some big saves, some big up-and-downs. At the PGA, I made everything, just to shoot the score I shot, putting great.

Q. (Inaudible.)

TIGER WOODS: At the Western, yeah.

Q. Having watched Ben Curtis last Saturday, are you ready to head down the aisle?

TIGER WOODS: No. (Laughing).

Q. (Inaudible.)

TIGER WOODS: Overall golf course, yes, there are a couple tee shots that I think are a little bit contrived because of the added length. But the overall golf course, yes. You have plenty of room to drive out there except for a couple of holes. The greens, you have to be precise coming into greens which is fine -- they are creative and use the slopes. I think from that standpoint, it's a fair golf course.

Q. If you were asked who you admire --

TIGER WOODS: I admire a lot of people but I only know one way to be and that's myself.

Q. (Inaudible.)

TIGER WOODS: No, I haven't played any more events than I have in the past. I've practiced, a lot more practice sessions, and obviously when you're not quite on and you're having to work a little bit harder on the golf course to try and shoot numbers, it takes a little more out of you. The flip side of it, too, I remember in 2000, I was a heck of a lot more tired then than I am now because I was in contention every week. That's more of a mental drain; it takes it out of you. Either way, golf is not easy opponent the mind.

Q. (Inaudible.)

TIGER WOODS: You've got to try and stay as tall as possible and pick it. A lot of it depends on what part of the divot, too. If you're toward the back of the divot, you're fine. If you're more towards the front where you have sand behind the ball, potentially, it's like playing a fairway bunker shot. You have to just try and go ahead and sweep it and pick it. On the back, you're okay, because obviously you have grass behind it.

Q. (Inaudible.)

TIGER WOODS: I'll hit some fairway bunker shots out of our bunker, but that's about it. I won't practice out of a divot or sand-filed divot or anything like that.

Q. In the middle of a divot, what's the ball going to do?

TIGER WOODS: Generally it will go straighter if you're trying to pick it. Any time you hit any ball thin, it's going to go straighter than when you're steep. To go nowhere, you're hitting it fat, it's like hitting out of a fairway bunker.

End of FastScripts...

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