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December 2, 2010

Tiger Woods


MARK STEVENS: Welcome back, Tiger, first round 65. It's the best opening round score since '05 at the Chevron World Challenge. Talk a little bit about your round and then we'll take some questions.
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I played good today. I really striped it, hit a lot of good shots. It's weird, I was telling Steve down there, it's not too often you can say I shot 65 and only made one putt, but that's kind of what I did today. I only made one putt and it was on 9. The rest were either two-putts or kick-ins. It was a good ball-striking day.

Q. Are you back?
TIGER WOODS: It's like what I told you guys earlier in the week. It's a process. I was putting together streaks of holes earlier, two, three, four, five holes of this, and then I'd lose it for a little bit. Eventually I told you I needed to get to a full round and then eventually a full tournament, and today was a full round, so that's a good start.

Q. More special that it's here, too?
TIGER WOODS: Absolutely, yeah.

Q. Watching you hit the ball the front nine, it looked like you were hitting it as clean as you've hit it in a while. At what point with all the new changes and all during a round do you know, hey, this is a day it's working, I can kind of be a little aggressive? Is there a point where it clicks in, okay, it's going to be there today?
TIGER WOODS: No, it's just more of a commitment to what I was doing. You know, there's so many different parts that I have to do right. It's not totally natural yet, and it's just one of those things where -- that's one of the things I was proud of today. I hit a couple loose shots during the middle part of the round, hit a bad shot on 10, lost it a little bit there at 12, but I fixed it and I got it right back. So that's something that earlier when I was first working with Sean I couldn't do. But now I know what the fixes are.

Q. You've said a couple times that you thought it's been coming a little quicker than you might have expected working with Sean. Why did you think at first it might take so long? And why do you think maybe it's going faster than you would have thought?
TIGER WOODS: Well, it's taken a long time for my other three changes, two with Butch and then one with Hank. It took a while for both of those. But this is -- like Sean said, this is something, I've been here before. This impact position, I've been here as a junior. I just got there a different way.
So that's the hard part is that I'm doing it a different way getting there, but I've been here before. So some of the patterns are -- it's muscle memory. I've been here before.

Q. You beat up on the par-5s, which has always been an important part of your scoring. How did it feel to do that today?
TIGER WOODS: Well, you know, it's the only way to shoot low here. You have to take care of the par-5s. There's five of them, and with today's technology and warm weather, you have to get the most of them. I think four of the five I was actually two-putting, I was on the green. Yeah, you had to handle the par-5s here, and there's a couple other short little holes that you can handle, as well, but you've got to take care of the par-5s.

Q. When you have a day like that, I know obviously you have many years like that, but when you have a day where you look at it, it didn't look like you were moving the ball around too much, it was very much compressed, are you happy with trajectory? You don't seem to be looking to shape it so much and you seem quite confident about aiming and pointing and going at it. And then secondly, on 12, in this year where you've got things going, typically something has come up and you've made a bogey, you've made a mistake and then suddenly you start going the other way. Your short game seemed -- obviously it was a great shot, but it looked like a bogey. How important was that to keep everything going?
TIGER WOODS: Well, as far as the first part of your question, or statement (laughter), it was actually pretty interesting because I don't shape the ball as much as I used to, but the pattern is tighter, but I'm still shaping it. The ball is going right to left, it's going left to right, I'm changing trajectories all the time. But it's a tighter form of the shot. Not the big draws, not the big cuts, but I'm still moving the ball.
You're right, most of this year if I did get something going, I'd make some kind of mistake and leave myself in a bad spot and make bogey. That was a bad spot, a bad leave. You can't miss it long there, and I did. That was a sweet little shot. It was actually interesting because the move of -- what I'm working on with Sean actually helps me with that shot, helps me get the ball up in the air. I'm hitting the ball higher. People think I hit the ball lower with this move and I actually hit the ball higher, so that shot was actually a little bit easier.

Q. What did Sean say to you on your way up here? Was it something about 18?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, the old residual patterns.

Q. That drive?
TIGER WOODS: Absolutely. It was beautiful, wasn't it?

Q. We've talked a lot about how both Graeme and Jim sort of used this tournament last year as a springboard for their success. Can you talk about if you were to put the holes together, the rounds together and put the tournament together and were to win this, what that would maybe mean for you for the rest of the year?
TIGER WOODS: Well, I think it's just those two guys having a field like this and a tournament like this at the very end of the year, if you play well, it does give you a shot of confidence. I've played well in this event, I've won it a few times, and I've gone on to get off to quick starts the following year. Late in the season a lot of guys are either traveling, not practicing or playing all over the globe. But for some reason for me if I can end the year on a high note, it does give you a shot of confidence going into your practice sessions going over and getting ready for the next event over the off-season because you know what you were doing was working.

Q. What did you hit on 2 for your second shot?
TIGER WOODS: 3-iron.

Q. And you twirled the club. You haven't done that much this year.
TIGER WOODS: I have not. Usually it's pointing which way the ball is going to go, incoming somewhere.

Q. Secondly, what's the difference in the quality and time of work you put in from the end of Ryder Cup to Shanghai, from Australia to here?
TIGER WOODS: The quality has been the same, but it's -- we don't spend an inordinate amount of time on the range. A lot of it is talking about the move, rehearsing, a lot of shadow swinging and making sure I do it right and just trying to get the patterns. You know, as I would hit shots, it's nice to have Sean there, we'd just end up talking about one shot and we'd talk about it for a while. That's been a big difference is that because this is so different to me, the move going back, that we spend a lot of time just talking about what my feels need to be. I'd ask either Sean or Hunter or Stephen or Rosy what their feels are because they're all a little different. It's nice to kind of bounce ideas off them.

Q. (No microphone.)
TIGER WOODS: No, it's steady progress. I'm just getting more efficient at it, and I'm understanding, as I said today, after I miss, what my fixes have to be, and that's huge. I didn't understand it when I first started working with Sean at the PGA and Barclays and a few other events after that. It's just like, I don't know. I'd hit these stranger shots and then I didn't know what to do about it, but now I know.

Q. When you went to the first tee today, what did you hope or expect? Was there a good feeling, maybe it's going to come along?
TIGER WOODS: Well, with the warm weather I thought I had to shoot something in the 4-, 5-under-par range. I thought that would be a pretty good score today. I just -- the only thing I didn't know was how the green speeds were going to be, and these things are quick. When I got out there, they were quick, but the guys were handling the par-5s. It's so warm and the ball was flying a long way today, a lot longer than it usually does here.

Q. In other words, you obviously -- every day you go out there, you want to shoot a good score. Were you a little intrepid at all, a little, hey, is it finally come, that type of thing?
TIGER WOODS: It's time to hit shots. First hole, time to put the ball down the right side and give myself an angle at the left flag. Overdid it. But just because I'm working on something or making changes doesn't change how I go about managing myself around a golf course. I'm still trying to play the proper shot and hit the ball in the proper spots.

Q. How much longer are you now with the new swing?
TIGER WOODS: I don't know, I'd say carry, probably anywhere from six to eight in the air with the driver. But it's a higher launch, but it's also flatter at the same time. You get a little bit of roll-out at the end of it, which I haven't done in a while. So that's been good.
MARK STEVENS: Thanks a lot. Good luck the rest of the week.

End of FastScripts

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