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December 21, 2008

Tiger Woods


Q. How did the week go?
TIGER WOODS: The week was a big success again. It didn't look that way on Wednesday with the weather in here. It blew out of here on Wednesday, and people came out and supported the event. We had a pretty darned good finish. Stricker just missed the green, but great finish.

Q. Is this a good date for this thing because you still lose a lot of guys because of Australia?
TIGER WOODS: November would be great. The date of the Skins Game would be the ideal date.

Q. People would suggest you get whatever you want. Have you mentioned this to Tim and did he have any feedback?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, still got to work things out, see what kind of TV contracts they have and the Shark Shootout; you've got to work those out. We'll see what happens.

Q. How much will the Foundation get from the event; do you know yet?
TIGER WOODS: Roughly around $2 million this year. Probably a little bit under that since I didn't play (laughter). Yeah, I think all in all with ticket sales and everything, merchandising, I think it's going to be just under $2 million this year.

Q. What kind of profile will you keep until you come back? This is a very public week for you.
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I'm just going to go home and celebrate Christmas with Sam and just kind of hang out at home and then just gradually start building back into the game. It's going to take a little bit of time, but I'm really looking forward to it.

Q. When is Elin due?
TIGER WOODS: February.

Q. Early, late, just February?
TIGER WOODS: Just February, close enough.

Q. (Inaudible.)
TIGER WOODS: I'll tell you what, I've moved so far down the list. She calls me up, and first thing is how's Sam, how's Elin, how's the baby, how are the dogs, okay, goodbye. I'm below the dogs now.

Q. How many people do you think benefitted from your absence? Not the obvious, not tie breakers or winners, but the fact that you take up so much attention usually when you're at a tournament, and now the focus has shifted to whom?
TIGER WOODS: I think the young guys. The way they've played this year with Anthony and Camilo and Sergio, they've all played well, and it's that generation right behind me. I think you have the older generation right ahead of me with Phil and Ernie and Furyk. Vijay is one step ahead of that. I guess Davis would be up there, along with Ernie. My generation of guys didn't really do a lot, just because of maybe just timing or who knows, but the generation right behind me, they're just hitting their stride now. They're coming into their own.

Q. Most importantly, next year, I think probably Sergio and Adam are the only guys who have done well and then done well the next year.
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I mean, you've got to do it back-to-back, and then back-to-back-to-back, and you keep doing it year after year after year. This is their first time around. Hunter is just now starting to learn how to do it. I was impressed with him during the Ryder Cup. Being around the guys, that's how I learned a lot, being on that Ryder Cup team. It helped a lot, in '98 with Jack and the rest of the guys. You start picking guys' brains, and those experiences are invaluable.

Q. How close are you to picking up a driver?
TIGER WOODS: I can hit every club, I didn't say how hard. That's the trick. Nothing is full out. It's going to take some time to progress through the bag.

Q. Few weeks though until you're actually full swing hard?
TIGER WOODS: I don't know, it's just the recovery day-to-day. I don't know how my legs are going to start recovering, then swinging more full, progressing through the ball, and the ball count. If I start upping my ball count, I think this will be the most interesting to see what happens, getting out there and hitting balls, response rate to that. I think I can handle a full swing now, but I'm not there yet. In my expert opinion, yeah, I think I could, but more than anything, it's building up to a ball count.

Q. (Inaudible.)
TIGER WOODS: It'll be interesting to see how it progresses.

Q. (Inaudible.)
TIGER WOODS: There's no doubt. I'm really not all that fired up about playing just because I can't play. I would be embarrassed to go out there and try to play with the guys now. I can't hit a full shot. I can't hit any of the shots that they're hitting because I haven't done it. I've got to do a lot of work here, and it'll be an arduous task.

Q. You talked about competition. If you were not allowed to use "you" as an answer, what didn't you miss about your time off?
TIGER WOODS: What do you mean by that?

Q. What didn't you miss? I mean, you missed the competition. What didn't you miss about not being out here?
TIGER WOODS: You guys? (Laughter.) Can I use that for an answer?
You know, sometimes you forget, I'm on the operational side this week, so you forget all the distractions that a player goes through. Even though it's only been six months, I'm usually inside the ropes focusing on what I'm trying to do. There's so much that goes on that this week I've had to do all that, but also I'm not focused on preparing. I used to be able to block all that out. I used to have responsibilities but block them out; do it, but understand, okay, hit the shot, I'm not thinking about it.

Q. Did you get Finchem's video?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah. If he wants me to play three or four more tournaments, that puts me at eight or nine (laughter).

Q. What did you think of his message?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I totally understand. We're in an economic environment where he wants us to help out, and some of the tournaments are having some troubles. Our contract is coming up on a bunch of them. He needs help. And for us to play whatever purses we want to play for going forward, he wants guys to try and help out the best we can.

Q. (Inaudible.)
TIGER WOODS: I have some friends that are out here this week. Even though I didn't play, I'm glad they're here supporting the event. I haven't been around them as much as I'd like to, I've been in Florida a lot. I'll be out here for the holidays so I'll be able to hang with them a lot, but it's been fun.

Q. Luke was saying with the injury he's gotten a greater appreciation for the game because he's not been able to play. Any similar feelings for you? Do you maybe have a better appreciation for what you're able to do normally that you haven't been able to do for a while?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, just an appreciation of just going out there and practicing. That's what I used to love to do, just late in the evenings and practicing alone late on the golf course. Now it's been get out on the golf course with the dogs and a Frisbee. It's not the same. But it's just going for walks with Sam, you know, I had to do it a different way.

Q. Have you played Turnberry?
TIGER WOODS: Never been there.

Q. Have you seen it?
TIGER WOODS: No. Some of the guys played there and got helicoptered over. I didn't do that that year.

Q. (Inaudible.)
TIGER WOODS: I'm looking forward to going back there. I know they made it a little longer. It was ridiculously long the first time, but technology has changed. I remember DiMarco and I getting on the fairway on 10 first day, first shot out of the box. I believe that was the first year we ever played off two tees.
He wasn't too happy about it, and a bunch of guys were complaining about it. I think they'll make an attempt this year to cut that back, that length so you can still get to the fairway, but it's just going to be a longer hole.

Q. When you get to Augusta, how will you feel after almost an entire year off?
TIGER WOODS: Hey, I'm the underdog. I want to sneak in there so nobody even knows I'm playing.

Q. Do you think Harrington will have more pressure at Augusta going for three in a row or going for three in a row with you finally in the field?
TIGER WOODS: Three in a row, period. There will be a ton of questions leading up to that. You can't avoid that. He'll be asked that every tournament he plays at.

Q. What did you think about -- there was a lot of discussion about the asterisk at the Open, not so much the PGA. What were your feelings when you heard that?
TIGER WOODS: I mean, if I'm in the field or not, it is what it is, you've still got to go out there and earn it. It's not like they were giving that trophy out; you have to earn it, and he did.

End of FastScripts

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