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December 5, 2010

Tiger Woods


MARK STEVENS: Welcome, Tiger. Fantastic finish. Have to be happy at least as the host of this tournament. It was a great tournament.
Talk a little bit about the ending, and then we'll take some questions.
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, the ending was I think pretty dramatic for all the fans. 13 was a big swing hole obviously. He picked up three shots there and then he made a couple mistakes coming in.
I thought 16 was going to be our swing hole, and ended up being a moot point. 17 ended up being the swing hole.
Then 18 in regulation we both hit good shots in there. He made a great putt, I made mine, and we came to the playoff. We both hit good shots into the green, and he made another good putt. I hit mine right where I was looking. I just didn't think it was going to be a double-breaking putt. It went right to left early and then peeled at the end.
MARK STEVENS: Questions.

Q. What do you take out of this week? Obviously I'm sure disappointed to not win today, but a lot of good things early and got yourself in a place you really hadn't been most of the year.
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, Bob, it was a great week, even though I didn't win. Today was -- I'm proud of today even though I lost, because I putted awful of starting out. I missed three short putts, which I don't do.
Then I lost my swing in the middle part of the round, and pieced it back together again piece by piece. I was proud of that. I was very committed coming in, and hit some really, really good shots coming in, which was good.
If anything, I thought that's when there might be a breakdown, but I was very pleased that I was able to put that back together then.
Unfortunately, during the middle part of the round I lost all those shots and Graeme was playing really well.

Q. You talk about how you're proud of today and stuff, but can you when is the last time you could say that when you didn't win? But considering the year and the swing change and everything, where you could say, I'm proud even though you didn't win?
TIGER WOODS: I don't know. Sorry.

Q. 18 in regulation, the yardage and club?
TIGER WOODS: I had -- what did I have there? 72 and 10, 82, 8-iron.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about the day, the start, in terms of you got out of the gate slow obviously. With the couple putts you missed, it looked like you left them in spots you didn't want to leave them, obviously, above the hole. Just talk about the slow start and then trying to kind of make it back.
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, well it's actually kind of interesting. I'm glad you made that point, because this putter with the groove technology, there's less loft because of it. I was unfortunately trying to get my face to look like it normally does and address the same amount of face I normally see, and my hands were getting back and I kept scooping it to the left or I would hold onto it because it was going to come.
But then I figured, you know what, just put your hands and body right where you used to have it and just go putt and see what happens. I made a big putt at 5 -- sorry, 6 for par, and another big one at 8.
I hit good putts all the way through the rest of the day, but I just had to be committed to that, even though it didn't quite look right. But, you know, the other days it was fine; today was just different.

Q. This the first time you've had the new swing that has kind of abandoned you and you were able to bring it back. What that process like?
TIGER WOODS: Very difficult. I was trying to piece together what the misses were, what the fix had to be. Rehearsed it, did a few right, and, no, I didn't quite have it there. Had to do more of in this, this, and this, and put I back together again.
As I said, middle part of the round wasn't very good. I hit some good shots on 17, 18, and then 18 again, so that was a good sign.

Q. Did you say on TV that you expected Graeme to make both of those putts?
TIGER WOODS: Absolutely.

Q. Why?
TIGER WOODS: Because you have to.

Q. But those were...
TIGER WOODS: I had to make my putt either way. Whether he makes or misses, it's irrelevant. I have to make my putt either way.
Again, to win the tournament or to get into a playoff, I still had to make it. And then to extend or to win, I still had to make it.

Q. You talked about this earlier in the week about giving yourself confidence going into this off-season with the new swing. Does this validate what you're working? Not that you needed it, but do you feel that because you were able to piece it back together today it gave you confidence?
TIGER WOODS: Well, the shot I hit on 18 in regulation, that was nice, you know, especially since the middle part of the round I wasn't swinging very good.
To absolutely hit one in there, what, three feet when I was struggling during the middle part of the round, to put it together again when I needed it the most, it was there. It was a good feeling.

Q. Are you glad, happy to close the door on this year on the golf course, or would you just as soon continue playing?
TIGER WOODS: Well, the way I'm playing right now, yeah, I would like to continue playing. I'm playing well. I'm also excited about my practice sessions coming up. Today, even though I lost and made countless mistakes in the middle part of the round, it said a lot for me to come back and put my swing back together again.
I haven't done that yet, and I haven't done it down the stretch when I needed to the most. That's exciting for me to know that it was there when I needed it.

Q. Do you have a sense of when you're going to be playing next year, if you'll start earlier or playing more tournaments than typical?
TIGER WOODS: I'll probably play more tournaments than I did this year. (Laughter.) When, I don't know, no.

Q. From a golf standpoint anyway, you really haven't had a typical off-season for a couple years going back even two, three years ago.

Q. I think year before that you were having issues with it. Can you just talk about -- you know, it appears that maybe you will go into this off-season now with stability golf-wise, and how important that's going to be.
TIGER WOODS: Yeah. I'm excited. I'm excited about this off-season. We - we meaning Sean and I - know the direction we need to go. That's exciting.
I hit some good shots this week and I played really well for most of the week. The middle part of the round today was an exception, but, boy, I thought I did some good things this week.

Q. Is it easier for old swings or flaws to creep in under the heat?
TIGER WOODS: Absolutely.

Q. Can you talk about that?
TIGER WOODS: It's very difficult, and that's what was creeping it. I kept making some of the same backswings I used to make and hitting some bad shots. I had to fix it and had to be committed to it, and that was difficult.
17 is when I was really -- well, 16 tee. I had to hit that fade off the tee and I was really committed to what I was doing. Hit the shot in the fairway. Second shot I wasn't committed; obviously hit a bad shot.
17 I stepped up there and said, This is what I have to do. I know what the fix is, just go ahead and do it. I hit a good shot. Then just continued doing it on the next hole and I did it, and I did it in the playoff as well.
But, yeah, it's difficult, because the middle of the round it started breaking down and I started making the same old swing patterns.

Q. (No microphone.)
TIGER WOODS: Absolutely does. Absolutely does. Graeme was three under early and I wasn't swinging very good and missing a lot putts. That compounds it. But I had to battle through, and I did.

Q. Given how far you've come since the PLAYERS, was this the last tournament of a disappointing 2010 or the first of a 2011 that you're really looking forward to?
TIGER WOODS: I think that starting probably at the Ryder Cup on that Monday, that was -- that's the way I know I can strike the golf ball, and I putted well.
From there, I've built on it since then and got some good momentum going. I've played well in stretches, and now the stretches are lasting longer. It was just a few holes, and then it became nine holes. First day it was all 18 holes.
So it was a progress, but I think that -- whether it's the beginning or end I don't know, but I'm just really excited about this off-season. I haven't been that way in a while.

Q. When is the last time you went a year without winning, do you think, from age three?
TIGER WOODS: I don't know. Probably been a while.
MARK STEVENS: Thanks a lot. Good luck next year, Tiger.
TIGER WOODS: Thanks. Appreciate it.

End of FastScripts

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