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December 14, 2006

Tiger Woods


DAVE SENKO: Tiger, thank you for joining us. Maybe get us started, talk about your 4-under 68 today.
TIGER WOODS: I guess it was all right. I guess I hit it decent today, just not -- my speed on the greens was not very good. I had two three-putts and I actually made a few others just to avoid three-putting. I've got to obviously get my speed a little more under control for tomorrow and the rest of the week.

Q. Why did you invite John Daly and what does he bring to a tournament for the fans and everyone else?
TIGER WOODS: Well, he's one of the biggest draws in all of golf all over the world. Anywhere he goes, he brings one of the biggest galleries. We're running a business and we're trying to obviously make as much money as we possibly can to obviously put everything into a learning center. So obviously by John being here bringing all the fans out, brings more awareness to what we're trying to do with our Foundation. So it's a win-win for everybody.

Q. Even if he finishes last this week, he's guaranteed his biggest paycheck of the year.
TIGER WOODS: That is surprising because with as much talent as J.D. has, it's hard to believe that he doesn't have any status next year on any Tour. Obviously he's gone through some interesting things last year off the golf course. It's understandable that he was distracted when he was playing.

Q. He said the injuries were the key thing, his back, he just couldn't swing for weeks at a time.
TIGER WOODS: Well, his back is bothering him because he's got front to deal with (laughter).

Q. He said he doesn't do yoga or yogurt.
TIGER WOODS: The easiest thing to do is work on the back, work on the front.

Q. This is your first tournament in almost a month, maybe a little bit less than that. Obviously you want to win, but what do you look to do? How do you evaluate yourself this week as far as where your game is?
TIGER WOODS: Well, that's a great question. I'm just trying to basically work on the same things that I have done pretty consistently when I was in Asia and then obviously Hawaii for the Grand Slam. I played those two and a half weeks, played pretty good. I just need to keep doing those things.
I played nine holes Tuesday and then I played all 18 yesterday in a Pro-Am and hit some really nice shots. I didn't do it consistently, but I was kind of hoping that it would be more consistent today. Actually I drove it pretty good today, which was nice. My iron play was decent, but things that I was working on during that stretch I'm pretty excited about because I think that's something that hopefully when it comes together will be pretty good for next year.

Q. Did you use a similar driver at Dunlop?
TIGER WOODS: I did not, no. I tested right before I went to Dunlop, I tested a couple golf balls over at Dunlop, but I never put one in play.

Q. It'll be in your bag for all of next year?
TIGER WOODS: I don't know. I don't know. I've got to get the launch conditions better. Because of the geometry of it, I'm launching it too high. I like hitting a little lower shot.

Q. Why did you pick Ollie to play with for the first round?
TIGER WOODS: Ollie has been one of my friends for a long time. I've considered Ollie a friend since I first played with him in the '95 Masters, the first round. He was great, and all the times I've played practice rounds with him when Butch and I were -- when Butch was working with myself and Ollie, we'd always play practice rounds together, and usually if there was another one we'd have Darren in there. We all know each other pretty well.

Q. (Inaudible.)
TIGER WOODS: He's got me beat. He actually looks like he tees it underground.

Q. This is a little bit off the wall, but in your opinion is it more surprising that you missed the cut in a major for the first time in your pro career or that it took ten years to do it?
TIGER WOODS: Probably ten years. I mean, you would think that somewhere along the line you'd have a bad week somewhere under the the most difficult conditions in all of golf. It seems I've gotten lucky a lot.

Q. (Inaudible.)
TIGER WOODS: I've come close, and the PGA in Atlanta, yeah, in '01. On No. 9 at Augusta, right?

Q. And in the rain and everything else.
TIGER WOODS: Top 10'd it, though. I got Ryder Cup points.

Q. During Ryder Cup time, for Daly, why were you pushing John?
TIGER WOODS: Well, one, he's long. Anybody who can hit the ball long and has got that much talent, you want on the team. Like Freddie. And J.D. is usually a pretty good putter and he's got a pretty good short game. Any time you have length going out there and the best ball atmosphere, or even alternate shot, you can put a lot of pressure on guys. Considering that golf course, how it was playing, you figured it was going to be soft and not rolling, so I figured a longer hitter would have a tremendous advantage.
The matches I played, I had a huge advantage, put the ball in play and I was so far down there that the rest of the guys couldn't get it to roll out. J.D. hits it further than I do.

Q. (Inaudible.)
TIGER WOODS: I think they're probably right on that one. I think the last two Presidents Cup teams that we've been on, every one of them is a member of our Tour, the international team as well as us obviously. We all play the same Tour, so it's the same guys. But the Europeans don't see John all the time.
I also just think that if you get him with the right partner who's pretty consistent and allow him to go ahead and free-wheel it, there's no telling what he can do. But he's never been given the opportunity.

Q. Top three players in the world according to World Rankings are Americans, but that's in terms of the Top 10. I know maybe you answered this earlier in the week, but does that say more about where American golf is or how good golf has gotten globally?
TIGER WOODS: Golf has expanded. It's now become a global sport. I don't think anyone would have guessed that one of the top players in the world would be from Paraguay, when Carlos Franco got on Presidents Cup teams a couple times. That's how the game of golf has expanded and has grown. The youth of South Africa and Australia and the guys in Japan now playing well, you know, if you just look at our Tour, it's not primarily Americans that are up there anymore in the Top 10; it's mostly international guys with Americans sprinkled in there. I think that's changed and a lot of guys are coming over here and playing here in America and showing the way for the guys back home. And all of a sudden it spreads.

Q. We've seen guys with talent and they finally break through, and they usually play out the year pretty well, for example, Geoff Ogilvy at the PGA and whatnot. What do you expect from him because sometimes we've seen guys like that maybe take a year off, so to speak, and then come back and hit some stride. What are you expecting to see from him next year?
TIGER WOODS: As much talent as Geoff has and the times I've gotten to play with him this year, he's playing a lot better. He's done some good work on his swing, he's always been a pretty good putter. He's got great touch around the greens. For him, he's getting out of his own way. He can get a little hot out there at times on the golf course, and he's got that under control a lot more now.
I think that's one of the reasons why he's done well in major championships. You have to focus a lot more in majors, and for him I think it settles him down.

End of FastScripts…

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