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October 1, 2006

Tiger Woods


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Tiger Woods, congratulations on your fifth American Express Championship and your 54th career title as well as your sixth straight on the PGA TOUR. Opening comments on a great week. I don't know what else to say (laughter).

TIGER WOODS: Well, I hit it good. This was a fun week. I hit the ball really well this week. You know, all 72 holes, really. It's fun when you can control your golf ball that well.

You know, I didn't make the putts I wanted to on the weekend, but I still kept hitting the ball and gave myself plenty of looks and opportunities. It was overall just a fantastic week.

Q. Given that you obviously missed nine weeks this year because of the loss of your father, taking that into account, how is 2006 shaping up from 2000, because you seem to be back to that kind of level.


Q. Do you think this is turning into a vintage year?

TIGER WOODS: I think if you look at it overall, I've had a pretty good year. I think eight times here and once in Dubai; so nine wins, that's a good year. Two majors in there, as well, and a couple World Golf Championships.

So overall, the things that I've been working on the past couple years are finally starting to come together. It's nice to see that the fruits of all the hard labour.

Q. Would you say this is your best year taking into account what happened off the golf course?

TIGER WOODS: If you take into account what happened off the golf course, it's my worst year. I mean, people asked me that there on the 18th year, how do you consider this year; I consider it as a loss. In the grand scheme of things, golf, it doesn't even compare to losing a parent.

Q. On Wednesday you said that Byron Nelson's record of the 11 streak might not be possible, but you're 6/11 of the way now. Do you think that might change your mind?

TIGER WOODS: It's still a long way away (laughing). If you look at it, I'm barely halfway. What he did was absolutely remarkable, and I'm just thrilled that I've been able to win six in a row twice. That to me is a pretty neat accomplishment in itself.

Q. Did you feel challenged over the last three rounds by any of the guys in the field?

TIGER WOODS: Oh, yeah. All it takes is with the greens being so good, some guy gets hot and shoots a good nine holes and shoots 30, and I don't play well, make a few bogeys, and give them an opportunity to get back in the ballgame, it's a totally different deal.

But my whole objective was not to make a bogey on the weekend, and I made two. But I offset that with enough birdies.

Q. In Boston when comparisons of 2000 were brought up, you by yourself raised the issue of big margins of victory, of the big blowouts. Does that mean something to you? Does that indicate anything to you more than just the number of victories?

TIGER WOODS: You know, I think it's just quality of play. If you're able to win like that, and for me not to make that many putts on the weekend and still win by a large margin, that goes to show you that I was doing something right out there.

Q. People have said that if you don't putt well, you still might win; and if you do putt well, there's no chance that anyone else will win. Do you believe that?

TIGER WOODS: When I'm playing well.

Q. You expect this when you're playing well, this size of

TIGER WOODS: I expect you always have to believe in yourself, and if I play well, I feel I should win. That's just the belief I have within me. It's what every player has to feel.

Q. Given the money that you've earned in these European Tour events, is it enough to keep your European Tour card?

TIGER WOODS: Bernie, don't go there (laughter).

Q. You did this earlier in the week, but could you just clarify now about the streak, how you would like us to consider it? Did it end at Wentworth?


Q. Or is it still going?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, it did. I lost two times between my five in a row and now, so yeah.

Q. Will you feel any pressure if you happen to get to ten on the PGA TOUR, or will it be five or something like that?

TIGER WOODS: Let's just try and get there. Let's just talk about that if that day ever happens. That will be a nice thing to talk about.

Q. Next appearance is?


Q. Tournament wise?

TIGER WOODS: Don't know.

Q. Care to guess?

TIGER WOODS: No (laughter).

Q. You said afterwards that getting up in the morning and wanting to win is enough motivation, but I'm sure you're already looking forward to next year. Do you need the other guys to come back at you, or can you motivate yourself to keep performing to that level without the guys giving you a tougher challenge?

TIGER WOODS: You've got to always keep pushing yourself to get better. Getting better comes from within. This is a game that's fluid, it's always changing, it's always evolving, and every facet of the game can always improve.

As good as I hit it this week, did I hit some bad shots, yes; did I not putt well on the weekend, yeah. So there you go.

Q. You said you've retooled your swing so you can get better. Right now at this moment are you better than you were in 2000 at your peak?

TIGER WOODS: My iron game is better, no doubt about that. I have a lot more shots and I'm able to control my ball better now, without a doubt.

Q. Is that to say then the putting, chipping, driving, the other three aspects, are not as good as they were in 2000?

TIGER WOODS: Well, I'm hitting the ball 20 or 30 yards further than I was in 2000, so technology has changed so much.

Q. So that changes the accuracy, you're saying?

TIGER WOODS: Totally changes it. I mean, the lines that I've taken at Torrey Pines since 2000 versus now are totally different, just the way the game has evolved and has changed. I never even thought about I'll say, for instance, at the North Course, No. 2, you never even thought about driving that hole. I drove it on the green on the fly this year. That's totally different. The game has changed so much that way.

As far as putting, still kind of streaky, though. I have my weeks when I putt well, but I still can improve on that.

Q. What do you think you have to do where someone can say "he's better than he was in 2000," because that's always been the benchmark.

TIGER WOODS: I know, and it always will be.

Q. Always?

TIGER WOODS: People want to compare it to the past, and I'm trying to get better in the future, not the past.

Q. If you were to win the TOUR Championship, that would be nine wins, two majors, but would it be the same?

TIGER WOODS: No, if I won three majors.

Q. But you won Dubai this year.

TIGER WOODS: Good point. Yeah, I did lose to Thomas.

Q. In the last two or three years, there's no chance of anybody winning the Grand Slam, not even Tiger. Now you're looking back at a point where it's looking more possible. Do you want us to start writing that stuff or do you care?

TIGER WOODS: I think it's interesting how I was getting ripped for making my swing changes, now here we are. That's why I made those changes. It's nice to have the opportunity to do the things I know I can do in this game of golf.

Q. Do you think you can do it next year?

TIGER WOODS: I always think I can do it. I won four tournaments this year, I've just got to win the right four. You've got to have a lot of things go your way, but it's still only four.

Q. The other day, you ranked your round a 5 or 6 out or 10. How would you rank your overall performance this week?

TIGER WOODS: That was exciting. Overall I'm not going to rank it. As far as overall consistency, it's one of the best tournaments I've had all year.

Q. How much does the Vardon Trophy mean to you?

TIGER WOODS: Not much. Overall consistency, yes. I've had a good year, but if you don't play enough rounds, you don't play enough rounds.

Q. Would you take any satisfaction

TIGER WOODS: Like Annika. Annika didn't qualify for hers, either.

Q. Would you take any satisfaction, especially in a year in which he's passed, of having your name attached the only place would be attached to the Byron Nelson award?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, it would be nice, but Mr. Nelson that's his award. I just know that I've had a good year. My stroke average has been pretty good all year. Without missing the cut at the U.S. Open, I think I've had a really good season.

Q. Just on a quick side note, do you find it odd that the three rounds from Accenture even count toward the Vardon?


Q. Yeah.

TIGER WOODS: I didn't know that.

Q. Should they do you think?

TIGER WOODS: No, it's match play.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Tiger Woods, congratulations.

End of FastScripts.

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