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February 27, 2002

Tiger Woods


Q. It's been a while since you have been to Miami. Fans are happy. What kept you from coming to Doral?

TIGER WOODS: Scheduling. When I pulled out of L.A., we really wanted to get (inaudible). I had a good last time last time I was here, just unfortunate for me, just couldn't get back here because of my schedule. It just was too much. Just happened to work out perfectly.

Q. Do you get a good feeling, excited that the fans are here to see you?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, it is pretty neat. They are out today and especially at 6:40 in the morning, we teed off and I wouldn't get up that early to watch me play.

Q. Would you have played (inaudible)--

TIGER WOODS: This was the decision after I missed L.A.. If I would have gone all the way I still would have come over here to play.

Q. How away from you are from your A-game?

TIGER WOODS: I am working on it. I don't know how far I am away. I know that pieces are starting to come together. It is pretty neat to see progress being made. To be able to use things I have been working on in play and have them work, this is the beauty of why I practice so hard.

Q. Greatest concern (inaudible) putting, driver?

TIGER WOODS: Greatest concern is just getting everything right for Augusta, make sure everything is in sound shape and things have come along.

Q. So many of the best players are here --

TIGER WOODS: I haven't really looked at the field, be honest with you. 8 of the Top-10 in the world?

Q. Yes.

TIGER WOODS: Obviously they've got a wonderful field. This field normally is pretty good in years past. I guess this year is no exception.

Q. Do you like playing this course?

TIGER WOODS: I do. It was calm early. Now it is blowing pretty good. I don't know how cold it will be tomorrow, but at least I am teeing off in the afternoon. I can sleep in a little bit.

Q. (Inaudible)

TIGER WOODS: I think it all depends on the wind. If the wind doesn't blow, I think you are going to see some low scores like you did last year. Joe shooting 18-under par, and it can be done if there's no wind. For the first three days there wasn't really a whole lot of wind last year.

Q. So it is not scary?

TIGER WOODS: Depends on how the wind is blowing. If the wind is blowing (inaudible) coming out of the south, last few holes are dead into the wind, it could make for a tough finish.

Q. You have talked about the way you prepared for Augusta already. Kind of sounds like the way Nicklaus used to talk. Pretty much your schedule is now gearing up for those four majors?

TIGER WOODS: That's the way it has been pretty much since 1997. '96 I was just trying to get my card. Once I got that, I wanted to be ready for the majors and try and peak four times a year.

Q. (Inaudible)

TIGER WOODS: Bunkers are a little bit different than they were when I played. Little bit bigger. Overall shape of the greens is still the same and I think the way it's set up now, is very similar to how it was when I played. Except there's a little bit more rough than the last time I played in '98.

Q. You joked about the 6:30 gallery. Do you generally get less or more people than that?

TIGER WOODS: It's interesting to see people coming out, period, that early in the morning. (Laughs)

Q. One girl who was walking with a broken ankle, is that amazing just to see that, the dedication?

TIGER WOODS: It is neat to see them come out like that and support not only myself but other players, but to have her out there walking around like that, it's pretty cool.

Q. Are you sick?

TIGER WOODS: Allergies. When the wind comes up, you know....

Q. (Inaudible)

TIGER WOODS: Trying to get the club up a little earlier, elbow opening as I am coming back, left arm a little higher, right elbow more in front of the elbow at the top of the swing. On the way down rotate the left arm, meanwhile holding the hips, swinging my (inaudible) heart more out to the right, having a higher finish with the right elbow a little bit higher.

Q. Obviously not one of those things that --

TIGER WOODS: You have got to piece it together and that's what I am working on.

Q. How hard is it for you four times a year? Obviously you have done pretty well. Can you turn it off and on --

TIGER WOODS: It's not one of those easy things. It is hard to get mind and body coming together four times a year. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn't. That's part of the learning process and also part of being human too. Can't always do it. The challenge is trying to get it there and you know that once a major comes around if you can just hang around, you never know what can happen whether you are playing well or not just trying to be there on Sunday afternoon with a chance to win, anything can happen.

Q. Does that mean you are okay where you are at?

TIGER WOODS: Without a doubt. I am pleased the way things are coming along and it is fun to see the progress I am making.

Q. Greens rolling a little better?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, greens are rolling beautifully today. It was nice, you hit good putts and get rewarded for hitting good putts.

End of FastScripts....

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