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August 26, 2009

Tiger Woods


CHRIS REIMER: We have Tiger Woods, first time here since 2003 and winner of the 2007 FedExCup. Just talk about what it was like to get 18 in out there today.
TIGER WOODS: Since 2003? I guess it's good to be back. I haven't played this tournament in a while and looking forward to it.

Q. What did you think of the golf course?
TIGER WOODS: It's interesting. (Laughter).

Q. In a good way?
TIGER WOODS: It's interesting.

Q. What do you think of the green complexes?
TIGER WOODS: They are tough. They are going to be severe this week. If the wind blows like this, it's going to be tough, tough to get the ball close. Some of the more severe greens actually are the longest holes on the golf course. And the holes that are 480 and above, it's going to be hard to get the ball close, but everyone's got to play them.

Q. What's the most interesting thing about it?
TIGER WOODS: I think just the whole thing, the angles you have, green complexes, the wind blowing, a lot of cross-wind shots. So it's going to definitely test your ball-striking and if you miss the green, it's very tight, you have so many options, you can spin the ball or carry it or bump it or you can use a lot of putters around the golf course.
So it's going to be a lot of options around the greens.

Q. What was behind your decision to play this week?
TIGER WOODS: I want to play. I qualified, so --

Q. You didn't play in 2007?
TIGER WOODS: Didn't play in 2007. Didn't play in last year, either. But I'm playing this year.

Q. Do you think when you have a situation where so many points, FedExCup points are at stake in these last three events that you can't really afford to take a week off anymore?
TIGER WOODS: You can't, unless you go ahead and really win. The points structure is different, no doubt, and on top of that, you're playing for a position in THE TOUR Championship, which is different. It's not cumulative. So that's a bit of a change from the last time I played. I haven't played under this system, so I guess no one else has, either. It will be interesting to see how that works going into THE TOUR Championship.

Q. How would you like to see it?
TIGER WOODS: I think it's just interesting. You keep resetting. The entire year, you work hard, say you won 25 tournaments this year, it doesn't really matter. You come here, you don't play well, you're not getting in THE TOUR Championship.
It is different. You want to put more weight at the end of the season which they are trying to do, trying to make it a little more interesting. They have changed the system twice and now it's the third time changing. Hopefully this will work. We'll see what happens.

Q. How long did it take you to shake off Hazeltine?
TIGER WOODS: That night was tough, no doubt. It was disappointing that I didn't win, especially since I was hitting it so well on Sunday. But it's just like golf, you move on to the very next week, and went home and took a few days off away from golf and didn't touch the clubs after three straight weeks of playing golf just about every day. I was a little tired of it, and started working for it this week.

Q. As you look back on it, those three weeks, obviously that was a lot of golf being in contention every week.
TIGER WOODS: That's the thing, three weeks is fine, but being in contention just about every day, it puts a toll on you. And still, I was in position to win the championship on the last day and just didn't get it done. But it was a long three weeks. Seeing you guys just about every day for three weeks is a long week. (Smiling).

Q. Would that make you rethink doing something like that again where the third week is a major?
TIGER WOODS: No doubt.

Q. You might not do that again?
TIGER WOODS: No doubt.

Q. And this stretch again is what seven tournaments in nine weeks?
TIGER WOODS: I think that's about right.

Q. I wonder if you can talk about that, and how you're holding up.
TIGER WOODS: That's one of the reasons why I played so little in the beginning of the year, to make sure I didn't stretch out my ACL which can happen very easily and on top of that, just kind of build as the year goes along and get stronger and stronger physically.
It's worked. I feel great now. And that's the whole idea is to make sure that I was ready for this long haul at the end of the season, and I didn't hurt myself at the beginning of the season, which some guys have.

Q. Did you think about adding one early in the year?

Q. Just to see?
TIGER WOODS: No. After what I was coming back from, if it was the right knee, then you could have done it, but the left knee, no.

Q. Everyone knows about Jack's record in majors, one of the things he was known for was maybe being a gracious loser. Is that at all something -- that's a weird question, but is that also something you aspire to, in how you handle losses is something that people would admire?
TIGER WOODS: Well, you play, you win or lose. And the way you handle yourself in defeat and the way you handle yourself in victory, you've got to always shake the other person's hand.
I won my share of championships and I've also lost more. But the whole idea is that the end of the day, you shake your hand and go out for a beer later. But between the ropes, we're going at it. But afterwards, hey, win or lose, you move on. Y.E. played great at the PGA. He deserved to win the Championship and he deserved all of the things he needed to do, and hats off to him.

Q. Do you think it's fair if you could win the next three weeks and not win the FedExCup with eight wins this year?
TIGER WOODS: It could happen.

Q. It could very well happen?
TIGER WOODS: It could very well happen, no doubt. Guys who haven't won a tournament all year could win the FedExCup.
It is quite interesting how it could work out that way.

Q. Should it be a season-long marathon, or the four-week sweepstakes that it has become? It's like it's trying to serve two masters and not really successfully doing either one.
TIGER WOODS: It used to be season-long, but also season-long for Player of the Year, Money List title, I guess it was the Arnold Palmer Award, and that's what you're playing for all year is the money title. You win the money title here, you could lose the FedExCup. So it is different, there's no doubt. But then again, this is what we're playing for. This is our opportunity to play well. You play well at the right time, you should be all right.

Q. If you had to vote today, who would be your Player of the Year?
TIGER WOODS: Well, the four guys who won major championships, and I think my name might be up there, as well.

Q. That wasn't really an answer, was it.
TIGER WOODS: No. (Laughter).

Q. Do you think this could shake anyone's vote?
TIGER WOODS: Absolutely.

Q. If any of the four major champions wins this thing?
TIGER WOODS: Playing well at the end of the year in the big events, that will usually -- it can swing votes, because usually guys remember what you've done later in the year. There have been guys that have won three or four tournaments, but they were all at the beginning of the year and somebody does it all late in the year, then people remember those.

Q. Has the grooves thing and the irons that you guys thought were conforming that aren't conforming, does that affect you at all, or are the ones other than your wedges --
TIGER WOODS: For me it's just my two sand wedges. Otherwise I'm fine. A lot of guys actually have it through the bag. I've never been one who likes that. I like the flyer. You need it sometimes to help you get the ball to the green.
But around the greens, having those sharper wedges has helped, especially since the TOUR has made a conscious effort to make the pins more difficult, three and four from the sides. When I came to the TOUR in '96, a tight pin was five, or even six. That was considered a tight pin, now they are three or four. That's one of the reasons guys have gone to more lofts on their wedges and sharper grooves. But I think the next year you'll see quite a few 62s and 64-degree wedges in the guys' bags.

Q. A lot it made of this tournament coming to this venue, being in the metropolitan area, a big media market. Barclays, one of the stronger sponsors out here; does that matter to you to show up this week?
TIGER WOODS: I think we have to support the TOUR, there's no doubt, especially in this economy right now. That's one of the reasons why I played Flint, to show my support and my thank you to the Buick and a lot of guys did the same thing. They didn't have Buick on the schedule, but as soon as they found out unfortunately that tournament isn't coming back, they put it in. That's what you have to do. And certainly Barclays has been just a great sponsor over the years, and hopefully they will continue and we can continue building this partnership.

Q. You obviously can't gain on Jack in majors but you --

Q. But you have in overall PGA TOUR victories. Curious if that list at all matters to you, if you looked overall at where you stand?
TIGER WOODS: It's nice to be consistent like I have been throughout my career winning events. Only four major championships you can win per year but you have other opportunities to win championships. I think I've done a decent job of that over the years, being very consistent at winning tournaments, and learning how to do it different ways.

Q. Considering it's just as hard to win here as it is other places, is that almost as impressive an accomplishment?
TIGER WOODS: Say that again.

Q. Considering it's as hard to win a tournament here as a major, is it also as impressive an accomplishment?
TIGER WOODS: Especially when you're playing a different style of golf courses. The majors are similar in the sense that you have to play a certain way, a certain mentality in order to win major championships. Some of these TOUR events, you've got to go 20-some-odd deep. For two rounds, sometimes you have guys at 17-under par leading tournaments. You just don't ever see that in major championships.
So different mentalities in how aggressive you can play, how conservative you have to play. Yeah, that's something that you have to make those adjustments.

Q. Would you ever really be prepared for a course you've never seen before?
TIGER WOODS: You can be somewhat prepared, I won't say completely, because you don't know how the TOUR is going to set it up. You don't know the feel of how they are going to do it.
Today I have to say we played just about every tee box all the way back. But I don't know how aggressive they are going to be on pin locations and how tough they are going to make it. The complexes are very difficult. But they could even make the pins even more difficult if they wanted to. So I think that's the feel we are going to get over the next probably two days and we'll have a better idea going into the weekend.
Generally the first two days, guys go pretty low. Depends how low, is it going to be a few under par or 10-under par, you start to get a feel for that.

Q. Given who you are, your ranking, what you've accomplished and Tim asking everyone to do more this year, did you feel a greater responsibility than in years past?
TIGER WOODS: I would say yes. But then again, I really had a hard time at the beginning of the year to play more. Granted, you want to help out and you want to help the TOUR, and especially the way our economy is going. Our TOUR is coming up -- some of the contracts are coming up and you want to support it. I certainly couldn't do that at the beginning of the year. I was just hoping to not hurt myself at the beginning of the year.

Q. In what ways do you think you've pulled your weight?
TIGER WOODS: A couple outings for the TOUR, helping with a luncheon, playing the Buick, just little things here and there, writing letters.

Q. And the third part I guess to that, as the No. 1 seed, do you feel a responsibility to be here at the start of the Playoffs?
TIGER WOODS: You want to be here, you want to be in the Playoffs, and ultimately this is our opportunity to get in THE TOUR Championship. So it starts here.

End of FastScripts

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