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November 3, 2002

Tiger Woods


TIGER WOODS: Actually, it hurt quite a bit. You just know that you've got to play through it.

Q. Did you think you could make it back --?

TIGER WOODS: I caught a flyer coming out of there and it was just ought of here and I compounded the problem by not getting on the green and missed the putt. Starting out with 6, not a good start. Had a lot of holes left.

When I made birdies on 9, I saw that Vijay was only at 8, I figured if I could shoot something like 30 on the back nine, I might have a chance, but he birdied 9, 10, and 11.

Q. (Inaudible.)

TIGER WOODS: Well, I didn't really drive it very good today. I don't know how many fairways I hit, but it certainly was low, single digits. Just one of those things where I just couldn't get the ball in play.

Q. Would you grade your year for us, 2002?

TIGER WOODS: Oh, it's been a great year. Winning two majors in a year -- one major in a year is a great year, and I'm lucky enough to get two.

Q. Vijay's score is impressive given the conditions.

TIGER WOODS: He played solid all week. From what I've seen and from what I've read, he didn't really put himself in a whole lot of danger this week. Drove it pretty good. Irons are nice and solid and from what I've seen he left himself a lot of uphill putts. That's what you need to do when the greens are starting to speed up.

Q. Is the billboard issue resolved?

TIGER WOODS: We're trying to resolve it. I have no idea where it came from or what they were doing on it. Evidently, they were doing the right thing.

Q. Talk a little bit about your new irons and how that developed --?

TIGER WOODS: Well, it's been a long process. It's taken over a year to get it to where it's at now. We've gone through countless sets to get it just right.

I've always been a big believer, I'm not changing unless the product is the same if not better than what I've been using.

When I won The Masters in '97, I was with Titleist and I played with my Mizuno irons from college still. I was not going to switch until I found something as good or if not better and certainly these clubs fit that.

Q. How much did you deal with Tom?

TIGER WOODS: We worked pretty hard. Him and Mike, they have done a fantastic job of listening and doing all of the labor because that's not exactly something that is easy to do.

Q. Do you think you're pretty set for a while?

TIGER WOODS: I'm pretty solid right now. I'm pretty happy with what I've got.

Q. Does this driver work as well for you?

TIGER WOODS: Well, I think the trade-off with any of the new technology now is the work ability of it. The faster that ball comes off, the less you can maneuver the ball. As you all know, I love to draw the ball and when you draw the ball, you need to have a slower ball speed.

The hardest part is when you want to get the ball further, getting out there further, you hit these long bombs out there, you have to sacrifice a little bit. Turning the ball over is one of my trademarks and I'm kind of struggling with that. We've slowed down my ball speed -- mine is not as fast as what's been sold in the public just because I want to be able to turn that thing over. It's been something that's tough. I've struggled with it with Titleist. When they came out with a new product, I was still stuck with the driver that came out awhile ago, and on top of that, I was using a shaft that's pretty short. That has not changed. Still using a short shaft but tried to lighten it up, trying to get a chance to draw the ball, with the new speed. It's a tough -- a tough trade-off because a lot of the guys who are having success with the new technology are all faders. Hang it down the left side, beat it. Because when the ball comes off fast it tends to knuckle and drop off to the right, and I've kind of struggled with that.

Q. As short as the off-season is and how busy you are, how do you recharge for next year?

TIGER WOODS: Well, I've got two weeks off and overseas I go, play three weeks in a row, four tournaments.

Then after that, I've taken a month off before Mercedes. I have that break, a movement but the West Coast is where I like to play anyways. I love playing there. I've always traditionally played a lot because it's something I'm very familiar with. It's kind of hard to believe that our season is going to start up pretty soon, as soon as I'm finished with the Target World Challenge.

Q. This was Charles' first appearance in the last twosome in a tournament. Has it gotten to the point where you expect to see him in the vicinity?

TIGER WOODS: Certainly, yes. We've all known, he has a talent to win big tournaments and play well and contend. He just needed that shot of confidence of getting over the hump and getting that first win. The first win is always your hardest win. It's always the hardest one. It took him a little bit longer than he wanted it to have happen, but he'll be all right.

Q. Are you considering playing some other tournaments that you might normally not play?


Q. Are you considering altering your scheduling to allow you to play tournaments you have not played in the past?

TIGER WOODS: I try and add one or two tournaments a year that I either haven't been there in a while or a new tournament.

Q. Do you feel obligated to do that?

TIGER WOODS: No obligation at all. We are independent contractors.

Q. Deutsche Bank, I know the schedule has not been released, but is that for sure, considering you are a two-time defending champion?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I'm going back.

Q. You look so comfortable with your swing through 2000, can you compare how your swing has felt this year, compared to 2000?

TIGER WOODS: Well, it's come in streaks. Not only that, I hit the ball almost as good as I did in 2000. But I just didn't hit it as close. You know when you've got the confidence, you're rolling, you can fire at just about any flag because you know you are not going to short-side yourself and that's what I did in 2000. I fired at a lot of flags because I knew I was not going to short-side myself.

This year I was more conservative, but nonetheless, six world wide wins, it's not bad.

To finish this solid, to play from Doral on, as solid as I've played, my record has been pretty good from Doral on.

End of FastScripts....

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