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February 26, 2000

Tiger Woods


NELSON LUIS: Tiger, another fine round by you today, winning 5 and 4. Why don't you give us your final thoughts here on another great round here at World Golf Championships - Andersen Consulting Match Play Championship.

TIGER WOODS: Well, I hit the ball beautifully this afternoon. I drove it well and hit a lot of good iron shots; made a few good putts, and was able to get up early in the match. Made an eagle on 2, and birdie on 4, and conceded birdie on 5. It was nice to get up to a 3-up lead early in the match. And there I needed to execute golf shots, which I needed to do and keep applying pressure to Davis, which I did.

Q. Is that as good as it gets?


Q. What's better?

TIGER WOODS: Well, how many holes did I play, 14? I could have been 14-under or better. You always ask me that question (laughter.)

Q. That's because you keep getting better. As far as, though, Tiger for 14 holes, anyway, is that about as complete a performance as you've had in some time?

TIGER WOODS: Definitely the best I've played in a while, which is nice. It was nice -- as I said, it was nice to go out there and execute the golf shots the way I know I can and make a few putts.

Q. Could you make any adjustment from the morning round to the afternoon?

TIGER WOODS: I did. I tried to get my swing play a little better going back, and I was able to do that. So I could go ahead and shallow out coming through and start the ball on-line with the correct shape, which was nice.

Q. How many marks out of ten from this morning and this afternoon, what would you give yourself?

TIGER WOODS: I'm not going to get into that, either.

Q. Tiger, you were pretty upset with yourself early in the first match this morning. What did you do to get your mental attitude right?

TIGER WOODS: Well, each shot I'm fine. But it's just frustrating knowing that you're not executing golf shots and applying the pressure the way I know I can and should, especially in match play. This golf course is not playing that hard. The fairways are soft and the greens are soft. And we're playing lift clean and place, and so there's really no excuses. I wasn't able to hit the ball correctly; I didn't make any putts in the morning. But I just hung around and was able to squeak out the match. And this afternoon Butch and I fixed it, and went out there this afternoon and just really played well.

Q. Tiger, during the week, you've said that the key to your success is to keep playing better and improving, match by match, do you feel you've done that?

TIGER WOODS: For the most part. I didn't play as well as I'd like in the second match, but I feel like every round I seemed to be hitting the ball a little more crisp, a little more flush, and able to control my ball a little better.

Q. The hole locations were the same in the afternoon. Did that help you in any way?

TIGER WOODS: I didn't have one putt that was the same. So from that standpoint, no. But it was nice to -- especially on the par-3s, to know exactly what club to hit and what wind and what shape of shot, from this morning, because the wind didn't change much, it just blew a little harder. So it was nice from that standpoint.

Q. Where would you rank winning this tournament? Would it make it any more special than a regular event?

TIGER WOODS: I think anytime you get to play against the best players, it's going to be more special than a normal Tour event, just because normal Tour events don't have the best players in the world. They may have the best players from our Tour, and maybe a few others, but not collectively.

Q. So the NEC, the American Express, were those more significant to you than say the Western?

TIGER WOODS: No doubt about it.

Q. Tiger, have you ever played with Darren, and what do you expect from him?

TIGER WOODS: Darren and I are great friends. Darren and I have played a few practice rounds together. I think we played the last time competitively was in the Ryder Cup against each other. Darren and I, we talk all the time, call each other. Either way, it would be playing against one friend or another friend. David and I are good friends, as well.

Q. Butch kind of stand between you at all tomorrow in the practice range?

TIGER WOODS: It would be interesting to see.

Q. Can you assess Darren's game as you see it?

TIGER WOODS: Darren is hitting the ball well. I know we were in Vegas together working out right before we came to this -- this event -- we were both out there hitting balls. And Darren was working a couple of things and just trying to make it work out. And it looked like he was hitting the ball a lot better now.

Q. Do you think the difference in your putting made the difference in your semifinal match, where you made so many putts?

TIGER WOODS: I made a few putts, yes, but also I gave myself chances to make putts, too. I think that's the most important thing in match play, is that it's always tough on an opponent knowing that you always have a birdie putt each and every hole, and you're inside of them.

Q. Tiger, could you take us through what happened in your morning match on the back 9 when you hit the restricted backswing on your second shot? You called the referee over.

TIGER WOODS: On 10? I took it back, and I hit a pine cone, and it dropped on my shoulder -- back of my neck, actually. I know that's a penalty, but I didn't realize it was loss of hole in match play.

Q. How close were you on 2, 4, and 5?

TIGER WOODS: 2, I was about 18 feet. 4, about the same. And 5, I was about 15 feet.

Q. What did you hit into 2?

TIGER WOODS: I hit a 3-iron.

Q. The distance?


Q. Tiger, there's been a lot of talk about guys skipping this event next year. Are you prepared to commit?

TIGER WOODS: Am I prepared?

Q. To commit, barring injury or illness?

TIGER WOODS: I don't know. I don't look that far ahead on my schedule.

Q. Tiger, how would you describe your confidence level right now?

TIGER WOODS: It's pretty good right now. Yeah, that pretty much sums it up.

Q. You won the 3 U.S. amateur finals in 36 holes. Do you have any other 36-hole matches -- what's your record?

TIGER WOODS: I won the Pacific Northwest Amateur on 11-10, 36-hole final. I was 13 under through 26 holes. I think that might have been the only one.

Q. 4 and 0?


Q. Tiger, can you talk about the advantage maybe versus disadvantage of 18 holes, 18 versus 36?

TIGER WOODS: I'd definitely prefer 36. 36-hole final I lost in World Match Play in England. Marko beat me 1-up.

Q. Why would you prefer 36?

TIGER WOODS: Because if you get off to a bad start, you can always make it up. And it's a great format for that one reason. The best player that day is going to win the match. In 18 holes, the best player doesn't necessarily win.

Q. Tiger, do you sometimes conceive of how far ahead you are of the rest of the field in terms of your play right now? Do you reflect on that at all?

TIGER WOODS: To be honest, I don't.

Q. Tiger, you -- he was mentioning -- you won two matches in that World Match Play, you were 6 and 1 in world matches?

TIGER WOODS: I guess. I think so, yeah. I think that's about right.

Q. How much disappointment that it's not Mr. Duval?

TIGER WOODS: It could be David. I don't know. If he makes a huge comeback, I don't know. But either way it's going to be a tough match. Darren is playing well. And from that standpoint, it's going to be a tough match. And obviously David is No. 2 in the world and has won a lot of tournaments, and Darren is hitting the ball beautifully and putting well. It's going to be a challenge either way.

Q. Did you play a round of golf in Vegas?

TIGER WOODS: We were just hitting balls.

Q. What did you see in Davis Love's game today? Was he off or were you particularly on?

TIGER WOODS: I think anytime you're able to play well, especially well enough, you can actually make the other person start mis-hitting shots. And I think that's what I was able to do today. I was hitting the ball so well and making some putts that Davis had to push a little bit to try to hit the ball closer, to try to hit the ball beside me and make a few birdies. And I was able to -- he didn't hit the ball -- he short-sighted himself a couple of times, let's put it that way.

Q. Tell us about the shot out of the rough on the par-5. What did you hit there?

TIGER WOODS: I had 221 on the front. And I hit a 6-iron. I tried to hit a nice little high hook off that out of the rough and I had downgrade lie, which was a little bit of a jumper. If I can open the face and then arc it off properly with the right release and right time, maybe I might be able to squirt it, catch a squirter up there. I was able to do that. It got up and flat-lined.

Q. No thought of laying up because of the big lead?

TIGER WOODS: I had plenty of room for that shot. Even in stroke-play I would have hit it. If I was against the grain, it would be a different story. I would have laid up.

Q. Do you practice that shot?

TIGER WOODS: That shot?

Q. Yes.

TIGER WOODS: Unfortunately, I've put myself in a lot of trees (laughter.)

Q. So you've practiced it --?

TIGER WOODS: Unfortunately, I've hit a lot of those shots.

Q. Tiger, just to go back a little bit to Andrew's question. It is January 1 next year, the match play. Is that something that is going to affect your decision about whether you will do it or not, fly down to Australia for that?

TIGER WOODS: I don't know yet. Is it January 1?

Q. I'm sorry, January 3.

TIGER WOODS: Okay. Who knows. I know that I've got to play at Mercedes, so I might make that a two-week swing.

Q. Do you buy yourself anything when you win a million dollars?

TIGER WOODS: I buy a piece of gum (laughter.) If you're going to ask a question like that (laughter.)

NELSON LUIS: I just want to make mention here with your victory yesterday, Tiger you won the Palm Performance award, which is given annually to the PGA TOUR's West Coast Swing best performance player. I'd like to bring up Denny Riley.

DENNY RILEY: It's a great pleasure to be here, and congratulations today. As a sponsor of the Palm Performance award, it's really a great pleasure to be part of the PGA Tour and a world-class event like this World Golf Championship. And today I'm pleased to present the Palm Performance award to Tiger for winning the PGA West Coast Swing. And with that, we are going to present him with a $200,000 check for the Palm Performance award bonus. And on top of that, we are going to give him an award-winning product, the Palm VII. In addition to the Palm VII, we are going to activate the service on the Palm VII, so he can go out on the course tomorrow so he can track his opponents live. So congratulations, and a great start to the year.

TIGER WOODS: No. 2, hit driver, 3-iron, to about 18 feet for a 3. No. 4, 2-iron and an 8-iron -- sorry, 2-iron, 9-iron to about 18 feet, and made that. A conceded birdie on 5 from about 15 feet. A birdie on 8, a driver and a sand wedge to about 15 feet. No. 9, a driver, 3-wood, to the front right bunker; blasted out to about 15 feet again, and made that. No. 12, driver in the right trees. A 6-iron from 221 plus. 16, 237 to the hole, and made about a 30-footer there for eagle. I think that's it.

Q. Any up-and-downs?

TIGER WOODS: No. Technically up-and-down was on 10, but I putted it.

Q. Did Davis say anything --?

TIGER WOODS: I'm sorry, the last one, 14.

Q. Did Davis say anything kiddingly, like "ease off" or "what are you doing to me"?

TIGER WOODS: We didn't talk out there.

Q. What was the last one, 14?

TIGER WOODS: 14. I hit a pulled 5-iron in the left rough. And an embedded ball and got a drop. It was one of those lies you look at and say, "No way you can get it on the green." You just kind of hit it and hope. And it came out absolutely perfect. That's all I can say. It was just a terrible lie.

Q. Why did he concede on 5? He was over the green in two.

TIGER WOODS: He left it in the bunker, and then blasted long to about six feet.

Q. You were smiling in your first round today on that one bunker shot with Lawrie, where -- I forget which hole it was, but I think you were 2-down, and then you hit a sand wedge out, and you kind of came to the green kind of smiling like you didn't quite hit it well, and then you knocked it in. Do you remember that hole? I think you cut the lead -- I think you kept it at 2. You had to hit about a 5-footer. Do you remember that?


Q. It happened, honest.


Q. Yeah.

TIGER WOODS: It was the lip of the bunker up on the grass. What wound up happening was I didn't have a very good lie. When I hit it, I didn't hit it hard enough, and it actually hit the fringe between the green and the fringe, and actually shot it, and it rolled up there to about a foot. If I would have carried it another inch or two further, it would have just been about probably 8 to 10 feet short.

Q. That shot on 14 this afternoon, hitting the fringe, too, and died?

TIGER WOODS: It landed on the green about six inches.

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