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November 2, 2005

Tiger Woods


Q. They unveiled some more particulars of the points race today, a playoff type vibe. Are you on board for playing in all that and signed off?

TIGER WOODS: Well, it's going to be a lot for us, for the guys to play at the end of the year, but knowing the fact that you have an off season now for the first time, I understand that hopefully we'll hold up so they can play at the end of the year.

Q. It's sort of the end of the year.

TIGER WOODS: But most of the top players probably won't be playing those events. Once you're solidified in the Top 30 it's concrete. You know, the guys who's 31st can't squeeze in the Top 30 in those subsequent weeks.

Q. How does this golf course fit you?

TIGER WOODS: This course? I mean, I absolutely love this golf course.

Q. But you've had the misfortune of losing to low scores, like 2000, 2001 and last year.


Q. Was that a coincidence? Because there was a time when you were leading going into the final round.

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, if you play well here, you can shoot some good numbers here. But if you don't put the ball in the right spots, especially off the tees with the rough the way it is this year and the greens a little bit firmer and a little bit faster, you cannot get the ball close and you're going to shoot some high numbers.

Q. Are you using your old driver or the one

TIGER WOODS: I'm using the one I used at Amex, which is different than the one I used middle of the summer.

Q. They structured this thing a lot like NASCAR's Nextel Cup series.


Q. Are you a NASCAR fan?

TIGER WOODS: I don't watch NASCAR, no. Stevie does. That's enough for us.

Q. Being a guy that kind of likes to pick and choose where you play, are you concerned about scheduling?

TIGER WOODS: You can still pick and choose. You don't have to play in those events at the end of the year, but if you want to win the title of a cup series, you're going to have to play those events.

You're only asking for the guys to play it's going to be a lot, six out of seven weeks at the end of the year, then a week off, then probably the Ryder Cup or probably a Presidents Cup. That is a lot of golf, but after that you're pretty much done, which is great because our schedule goes on for so long.

Granted, our season I mean, if our seasons would have ended where it's going to end, it would be nice to have this break before I go to Asia and play a couple events. Now the season runs long and I've got to go to Asia and play some more after that.

Q. What about the Greensboros and guys that have a late fall season window that are sort of being marginalized? What about those guys? I'm being provincial but I have to ask that question.

TIGER WOODS: There are certain events that are probably not going to get the featured players. Unfortunately it's just the way it works out. But they're still going to get a great field. There's still going to be a lot of interest because the guys are trying to get their cards. Those weeks are going to be built up as the guys trying to make the top whatever it's going to be, and we'll see what happens.

Q. How much input did you have? I mean, all this started really being discussed at the Match Play, and you and Phil both mentioned shorter seasons. How much input did you have?

TIGER WOODS: I certainly gave my opinion quite a bit. The Commissioner and I, we had a nice relationship where we could pick up the phone and talk to each other, which has been fantastic, open communication like that is always key. It's been going back and forth for a while like that.

Q. As the season comes to a close and you do have this, quote unquote, "off season," what are some of the things you look forward to professionally and personally to get ready for 2006.

TIGER WOODS: Obviously I want to solidify some of the things I've been working on throughout the year. I'm basically going to be playing my way into next year, which is different. Actually not really different, it's what I normally do, so last year was a big turning point for me with the swing changes with Hank. It kind of solidified for the middle two rounds here and then I went to Japan and I won by ten, which was great. This was a big turning point for me, and hopefully this will become another spring board into next year.

Q. A few fishing trips in there somewhere?

TIGER WOODS: I might go shoot a couple fish here and there.

Q. Do you see any scenario where post TOUR Championship in September, mid September '07, are you through with this Tour at that point or do you play Disney, maybe take off one or two?

TIGER WOODS: You still have the option of playing.

Q. I'm asking you to commit a year and a half in advance when you usually don't do it until Friday of a tournament.

TIGER WOODS: You still have the option of playing, and whether it's me or anyone else, if you feel like you want to get some more work in, you can still play. But the great thing is that Top 30 is solidified. It's concrete. So basically you're playing either to get more money or to get another pension point or to just get some work in getting ready for next year, whatever it may be, whatever your strategy may be.

Q. In your opinion was this a change that needed to be done to keep this sport

TIGER WOODS: Without a doubt. I think we have no interest after basically the PGA. NEC is a big event, but it's not really that big a deal. The one time that week becomes a big deal is when we have to pick for the Ryder Cup teams, so that week becomes a big week. But other than that, our season hits kind of a low period and we try and pick it up here this week, but it's gone through such a long period of a lull, and there's so many great things, NBA is kicking off now, football season is in the middle of the season, great races, things like that, everything is going on, hockey, so many different sports already in their season or in the finishing part of the seasons, and here we are trying to get some TV time, and it's just not working out.

Q. Talk about the season a little bit. You win a couple of majors, you're very close to getting a Grand Slam, you do miss a couple of cuts. There were a lot of things that happened for you all year. Would you sort of encapsulate what this year meant to you?

TIGER WOODS: I had a great year, an absolute great year. The changes that I've made were become more consistent in major championships to be there more often, and that's exactly what happened. I was there with a chance to win on the back nine on Sunday on every one, and that's a great feeling. If I can continue to do that, then I'll win my share, but the key is to put yourself there. It's not like you're trying to play and trying to back door a Top 10 or something like that. When you're in the hunt on the back nine, at least you still have a chance.

Q. By the time you show up at the Mercedes last year, you'll be 30. Can you sort of put in perspective what that means for you, and have you thought about what you've been able to do before you even turned 30?

TIGER WOODS: Well, the 20s have been certainly better than I thought they could ever be. I have always thought that golfers' peak years are going to be in their 30s, and hopefully that will be the same for me. I've got a lot of great things I've been working on, and I see my best golf certainly being in the future, not in the past.

Q. You mentioned not long ago about workouts and how your body has kind of changed over the year and you have to more carefully monitor the extra strenuous stuff like running and stuff. Any other physical changes to the knees, any other back injuries, old age stuff that we all know about chapter and verse?

TIGER WOODS: If I'd go to the first tee and try to hit a ball 300 yards, I used to never feel it. Now I tee it up and go ahead and bomb it 300 in the air, it's not easy anymore. I will certainly feel it.

Q. Do you feel it harder with being married, having actual hobbies now apart from being a guy who lived across the street from the driving range and spent most of his life over there?

TIGER WOODS: No, it's been a lot better. To have balance in one's life is something I've always tried to strive for. Before I was married it was doing over hobbies like fishing with O'Meara or trying to hang out with my friends, trying to get away from the game of golf and put the clubs away and not let it consume you. Any time you have balance, I think you're going to be more successful.

Q. Does that help you because you don't stress out over the small stuff as much?

TIGER WOODS: I think that's just maturity, going through experiences. If you look if I look back on my life at 21 versus my life here at 29, it's totally different. The things that used to worry me don't worry me. Things that I thought were important really aren't, that kind of stuff. You just understand, you've got a better grasp. Being out here enough times, enough years, you really start to get an understanding of what it takes to be out here. For me it probably took I'd say four to five years before I felt really comfortable out here.

Q. Do you have a special focus on this week, like to win this tournament here? Is there anything special about this or just give it your best shot?

TIGER WOODS: I'm just going to try and win this thing. I've won a TOUR Championship but I haven't won here, so hopefully I can get it done this week.

Q. Because of the history of this place, is that part of the desire?

TIGER WOODS: Not necessarily, it's just because it's such a wonderful golf course. We don't get a chance to play venues like this very often anymore. Old style golf courses are right in front of you and still very difficult.

Q. Do you want to see this event stay here permanently?

TIGER WOODS: I think it should. There's no reason why it shouldn't. It's such a great golf course for us to play. All the players enjoy it. We don't get a chance to play classic golf courses anymore. There are a lot of TPC golf courses. This is one of the great ones, and hopefully we can continue to have it here for a while.

Q. What do you think of the changes to the 5th hole?

TIGER WOODS: I didn't think it was necessary. 520 yards, I don't think that's I don't think we need to be making par 4s 520.

Q. Is that the posted yardage?

TIGER WOODS: That's the longest par 4 we play.

Q. What did you hit today?

TIGER WOODS: I hit 5 iron today.

Q. On 13 you pushed it right in the rough and you made an adjustment in your practice swing there, center cut blistered a drive. Do you know what you called upon to go back to that or is that something you can go back to during a round?

TIGER WOODS: I know exactly what happened. I didn't get the face moving fast enough in the middle of my swing, just get the face moving a little bit more, and once I was able to do that I was able to get the club back square again.

Q. With this new schedule does that allow for more balance like you were talking about, and what do you do to achieve that balance?

TIGER WOODS: You've got to sit down at the beginning of the year and try to plan your schedule because you're going to be playing the same amount of events probably or a little bit more, a condensed version of it. You still want to be able to peak for major championships and see how that goes. That part will be interesting, to try and find a balance some golf courses you like playing and you play it and still fit in your preparation for major championships. That's something you need to sit down once we have it all organized, it's still up in the air what tournaments are going to be where.

Q. Do you think there might be a slight drain on the European Tour since a lot of their top guys are playing over here anyway?

TIGER WOODS: It's going to be hard.

Q. Through August everyone is going to be here.

TIGER WOODS: Well, the commissioner is working with our commissioner is working with their commissioner trying to get a balance so that the guys can still play in Europe and still have full time playing privileges on both tours. Granted, some are cross overs like World Golf Championships and the players, majors, but they still need to get over there and play and support their Tour because a lot of the guys, that's where they came from, and they need to go and support their Tour.

Q. Are you saying it's more likely that guys will play events that they normally don't play because of the competition aspect of it? Do you see that at all?

TIGER WOODS: I see that because not only that aspect that you just mentioned, but also because of where the tournaments fall and your preparation for major championships, when you like to play, how many you like to play. I think that guys will be playing different events because of that, just because tournaments are in different areas.

Q. You pretty much have played the same events every year. Would you be inclined to play more do you think?

TIGER WOODS: That's the thing. You know, I'll probably play the same, maybe more, who knows, but a lot of it depends on how your body goes. You're asking for more play in a shorter period of time with less off time, so we'll see.

Q. Is the money a carrot at all to a player like you or Vijay, guys at the top of the Money List who are obviously doing well financially? Finch was talking about the biggest payoff ever in professional sports. Is that a carrot to you at all or wouldn't it make you want to play anymore?

TIGER WOODS: If I could just win four tournaments a year (laughter).

Q. You'd give up the FedEx Cup then?

TIGER WOODS: We'll figure it out.

Q. You mentioned that you feel a 300 yard drive that you didn't feel in your 20s. What are the things you see later in your career that you might change in your game? We know MJ went to the fade away later in his career. What are some of the things you may incorporate into your game later on?

TIGER WOODS: I don't know. Certainly that's dependent on equipment changes, whether or not we're going to make any equipment changes, whether I can roll the ball back or not, reduce the club face or whatever we're going to do. You're going to have to adjust. I think that's the great thing about this game. You have to keep it fluid. Things always have to adjust. I have plenty on my plate to work on, all the changes I'm trying to incorporate in my game. That will keep me busy for a long time.

Q. Just to clarify, you said winning one major or winning the FedEx Cup?

TIGER WOODS: I said four majors, four.

End of FastScripts.

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