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September 3, 2009

Tiger Woods


Q. Talk about the course.
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, the course is -- I haven't played it in a couple years. There was one change I saw out there at 15 tee, but that's about it. A couple mounds they've added here and there throughout the golf course, but it's virtually the same. The greens are perfect, the fairways are in great shape. Surprising how dry it is considering how much rain they've gotten here. The golf course is really draining well.

Q. In a pro-am like this do you find yourself talking to these guys about golfer business?
TIGER WOODS: We're all over the map on that. Very little about business and what they do because I'm sure they want to get away from that. We're out there just telling jokes, having a great time, telling stories. A lot of needling, a lot of needling. It was good. We had a great time. Some of the guys I've either met or played with before, so it was good to see them again.

Q. You've had a lot of victories. Have you ever been pleased with second place?
TIGER WOODS: No. There are sometimes when you are somewhat pleased, but you got to that position because you were so far out of it, but ultimately you didn't win the tournament. Can you be completely pleased with second place, no. But sometimes it is not too bad considering that you made a big run, shot a low round on Sunday to give yourself a chance, which I've done that a few times.

Q. Do you remember the last time you did that?
TIGER WOODS: Maybe sometime this year, I don't know.

Q. Can you talk about the relationship of this tournament to your foundation?
TIGER WOODS: It's been huge. What Deutsche Bank has done for us, getting our brand awareness not just in this area but they've helped us around the United States. It was our first part of being part of the PGA TOUR. Seth has been so nice to us to let us be a part of it, and we've tried to help as mutually as we possibly could in the last six, seven years.
I think it's been a great relationship and one we want to continue.

Q. Do you like this area?
TIGER WOODS: I've always liked this area. I've played well here, and the people are thoroughly enthusiastic about sport. You don't find that everywhere you go. Growing up in LA at the time, we had a lot of different sports. Some have moved on, but it's just neat to come to an area like this where you see it is truly a sports town.

Q. You've come back pretty well from your knee surgery. Any hints for a guy playing football coming back?
TIGER WOODS: Well, you have to understand that you've done the legwork, you've busted your butt all these months to get to this position, which I know Tom has. He's worked extremely hard. He's taken a few shots, and obviously I think it's good. He needs the experience. For me it was about being out here and playing under the gun, on the back nine on Sunday, and see how it feels.
The thing is about my sport is I can continue to get better as the year goes on. He's going to continue to get hit pretty hard. That is always going to be the case for football players.
For me you have days where you think there's no way it's going to get any better, and a week later it's unbelievable again, it's even better.
Hopefully Tom will continue to get better throughout the season and the line protects him.

Q. Do you kind of have that common bond?
TIGER WOODS: It's not a bond you want; blowing out ACLs is definitely not a bond you want. But certainly I've always admired him for what he's done, even though that tough rule got us.

Q. Ernie Els had a three-year plan to catch you for No. 1 in the world. What did you think about that at the time and what do you think about how he's playing lately?
TIGER WOODS: After he came off that knee surgery, it takes time. Ernie is not a big worker physically, and that's one of the things that you have to do with an ACL repair is you've got to really do a lot of work. I feel pretty good with what I've done, and I think Ernie, he could have worked a little bit harder.
But Ernie travels all around the world, more than any other golfer. He plays all over the place, and it's harder for him. He's not just here in the United States, he's not just in Europe, he's not just in South Africa, he's all over the place. Ernie is starting to put it together a little bit. Obviously he changed coaches in the last couple years, and we all know he's got the talent. We've seen it. It's just a matter of him getting the confidence in what he's doing.

Q. How much work have you done on putting the last few days?
TIGER WOODS: I've worked on it just a little bit, not much, though. I really putted well on the weekend, I just didn't make a lot of putts. When you're lipping out a lot of putts, you're not putting forward. Those greens were a tough read for a bunch of people. As I said earlier to Doug, when you have ball in hand and you're playing the tees way up on Saturday and the lead over the weekend only goes 2-under par, that's something to say about how the golf course is playing.

Q. (On kids emulating Tiger.)
TIGER WOODS: It's pretty flattering, no doubt. Having kids of my own certainly has changed that. You always want to do the right thing and you always try. You don't always do it, but you always try.

Q. What kind of positives did you take away from the PGA and last week?
TIGER WOODS: Well, I think this last stretch there, I think I've hit the ball pretty good. I've putted well in stretches. Win one, second, second. That's not too bad. Some people have alluded to other things, but that's not too bad for my last four events. The overall year has been very consistent, especially at this time last year I was just coming off crutches. It's still pretty cool.

Q. Your putting on the last two golf courses you've never seen, Hazeltine and Liberty National. How do you think you did on the putting side?
TIGER WOODS: Well, Hazeltine, not a lot of guys made a lot of putts there, either. I don't know if you played there on Monday afterwards like some of the media guys did, but I don't know how anyone made anything. It is what it is, we all have to deal with it. It's like playing on the West Coast early in the year. It's hard to make putts on those greens, and you get in stretches where you make everything and you get in stretches where you make nothing.
Last week was just tough reading for me. I just had a tough time reading the greens. That's just the way it goes. You have weeks like that and you have stretches like that and sometimes you have years like that. But I think in the overall, this year I've putted a little bit better, been a little bit more consistent. But overall the year, I think, has been pretty good.

Q. How do you feel about these greens?
TIGER WOODS: They're rolling perfect. They're rolling great. I was telling Stevie, every time we come here we think the greens are undulating. Not after last week.

Q. From a teaching standpoint, could you explain or share the toughest thing for the average golfer to understand?
TIGER WOODS: One of the hardest things about understanding the golf swing is, one, I think trying to get your ball flight consistent because there's so many different things that go into it, how your swing plane is, how tall you are, how your body feels, club head speed, how fast you can swing the club. A lot of these things go into it. One of the things I've always alluded to, you have to get clubs that fit you, and if you look at my upbringing, I'm very lucky that my dad was such a stickler for having clubs that fit me and I didn't have to make concessions in my golf swing because the clubs fit; they were never too big, too heavy, too long. I think that's one thing before you even get started that all amateurs can do is to get something that fits, and then from there keep expanding your knowledge and understanding how to play.

End of FastScripts

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