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October 1, 2013

Tiger Woods


THE MODERATOR:  You want to just start off, talk about the course.
TIGER WOODS:  Yeah, our group played 1 through 9 and we played 18 to take a look at the new look there.  Golf course is pretty soft.  Not really running out.  The greens are very soft, very receptive, so if it stays like this, then there will be plenty of birdies.

Q.  What are you hoping to see from the fans this week and what are you hoping the atmosphere will be like?
TIGER WOODS:  Well, it will be fun.  And just like it is for every year during Memorial, people come out and really support this event, and this whole town is obviously a sports‑mad town.  I think this week will be no exception to that.  It will be a lot of fun, and hopefully we can make some birdies and get these people going.

Q.  Looking for a fit with a partner, is personality more important or playing style, can you talk about‑‑
TIGER WOODS:  Yeah, I've played on these teams for so long now, I've had all different types of partners; guys who hit the ball for miles, guys who are short, guys who are pretty mellow, guys who are pretty volatile.  I've had it all.
So I think it's just a matter of trying to gel that particular week, and, you know, sometimes we do, sometimes we don't.  But the whole idea is to go out there and just play.  You know, the thing about this format, which is I think really kind of more like a regular tournament coming in is that you know you're guaranteed to play all four rounds, four days in a row.
So I think the guys prepare a little differently.  Okay, you're not going to sit out the first session, you're not going to sit out the second session; am I going to play on the Saturday; am I not going to play.  And things are a little bit more set in stone than at The Ryder Cup where things tend to ebb and flow, partners kind of change in and out; guys are sat down; guys are in.  Kind of a roundabout answer to your question.

Q.  Do you have a preference?
TIGER WOODS:  Whoever is playing well, whoever can carry me is great (smiling).

Q.  As many of these as you've played in, do you like that you have a neutral party, the PGA TOUR, who is charge of setting up hole location, or do you like it more at The Ryder Cup where the home team can pull some tricks, make it fast, slow, get the rough up high?
TIGER WOODS:  I like it the way The Ryder Cup has it.  I think you're home and away, and you're supposed to have an advantage and have a road game and a home game.  That's kind of how it's supposed to be.  But with the TOUR setting it up, it's just like our normal TOUR events, so we know the style and we know how it's going to be prepared.  We know where the pin locations are going to be generally.
When we played in Europe during The Ryder Cup, you know they are not going to be three or four from the side, they are going to be more towards the middle.  We like to have it a little more difficult.  They pinched the rough in at 280.  Things of that nature happens.
With our normal TOUR staff setting it up, they set it up the same way each and every week.

Q.  Do you feel do you recall from Wales when you got the pin sheet for that next session, was it that morning?
TIGER WOODS:  No, we have no indication.  The away team doesn't until the pin sheets are made, which is‑‑ that's fine.  That's how it is every week.  But if you're the home team, you get to putt and have an idea where the pins are going to be, so that is an advantage, yes.

Q.  A little different than the Memorial in that the rough is a little lower and more playable, which will probably lend itself to probably be a little more aggressive, or is there a danger that you can be overly aggressive?
TIGER WOODS:  Yeah, certainly, you can get overly aggressive here.  Jack's golf courses, they are designed that way.  You know, pretty ample, wide fairways, and the greens, if you miss it, you're going to be penalized.  You have to be very precise coming into the greens.
And you know, for whatever reason, the greens are softer than we all thought and they are certainly not as fast as what we thought coming in.  They were certainly faster during the Memorial this year than they are right now, but granted, we do have time and if the front comes through, then it starts slowing things down; who knows.

Q.  Run us through your off week.  What did you do besides rest?
TIGER WOODS:  Chased a four‑ and a six‑year‑old.  That's what I did.  I didn't touch a club until Friday and Friday was just putting.  Just shut it down.  Did a lot of training.  Got my body feeling good.  Then started to practice and get ready and then by the weekend, I was full‑go.

Q.  Did you ever catch them?
TIGER WOODS:  I'm taller, so yeah.  (Laughter).

Q.  Other than singles, what's your favorite format and why?
TIGER WOODS:  You know, I think there's a‑‑ depends on how you're playing.  If you're playing really well, you want to get out there in that four‑ball use you're on your own ball and if you're making a bunch of birdies and playing really well‑‑ there's been sessions where I've shot 8‑ or 9‑under par, and it's been great.
But I think the true team work comes into play when you're playing foursomes.  You have to really gel as a pairing because you're alternating shots.  You're changing balls, strategy.  It all flows and you're having to sit out half a hole, not putt for three, four, five six holes and all of a sudden you have to make a crucial putt.  It puts a little more stress on you mentally to play the foursomes match than it does the four‑ball.  Four‑ball you can get your natural rhythm, play every shot, play it like you normally would.

Q.  You've obviously been on a lot of these and chemistry plays a huge part typically in who goes onto win these type of events.  It's early obviously but do you like the way this team is made up and the chemistry?
TIGER WOODS:  Yeah, we've got a lot of players who have been on these teams before.  I believe‑‑ I think Jordan is the only rookie on here.  Everyone has played on teams prior to this, whether Ryder Cup or Presidents Cup, and that certainly helps.
Some of us have been on the team for a very long time.  Phil has been on here for, what, 20 years now or something like that, 19, 20 years.  I'm not too far behind him.  We've got some older players with Stricks on here, and with Jordan and the youth, it's a great balance.  I think it's fun because a lot of the guys, it's a good group of guys.  We all take a pretty good ribbing, and it's constant.

Q.  Is there anything that you would prefer about The Presidents Cup over The Ryder Cup, or vice versa, is there anything at The Ryder Cup that you wish they did here?
TIGER WOODS:  Well, I think that the neat thing about The Presidents Cup, I think is fantastic, is how they do the pairings.  You can really set up some pairings and really get some key match‑ups or guys who are not playing well put them out against another group that's not playing well.  You can do those kind of match‑ups.
Having the captains do it, it puts a little more emphasis on what happens, what the captains' responsibilities are; it's not just putting in the Ryder Cup, putting four pairings out there and blindly seeing what happens.  There's a lot of thinking and a lot of shuffling going on.  Things can happen and guys have messed up, too, because of the pressure of doing that.

Q.  Jack Nicklaus was in here earlier and he used the example of one year when you said you really wanted to play Greg Norman the last day, the year it was in Australia, was that the best example that you could think of personally, how much that you really wanted to play him that time and how it worked out?
TIGER WOODS:  Yeah, that was one of them.  In 2000, I believe it was 2000 at RTJ, I wanted a piece of Vijay (laughter) and was able to get him that singles match.
You can do things of that nature.  You can get guys who have been battling for a number of years who have rivalries, you can put them out there.  Or you can play guys with similar games.  You've got short hitter versus a short hitter, long hitter versus a long hitter, guys who are aggressive and guys who are very methodical; you can get pairings like that.  It puts a lot of stress on the captains and assistant captains in The Presidents Cup versus The Ryder Cup when it comes to those pairings.

Q.  What did you think of the 18th tee, and you have played in so many of these, what keeps getting you excited to keep playing?
TIGER WOODS:  The 18th tee is certainly different being further back.  We see less of the fairway.  You know, being‑‑ from what I was told previously before seeing it today, that it was raised up a little bit higher than what I thought, and I thought you could see more of the fairway, but you see probably ‑‑ you know, probably two thirds into the landing area and you can see all the way to the base of the tree which is 280, you can see all that, but short of that, you really can't.  But all these teams I've been on, it's just the guys‑‑ what goes on in the team room is a lot of fun.  The ribbing and a lot of‑‑ there's a lot of needling going on and I think that's what people probably don't really understand is how close these teams are.

Q.  In foursomes, using a different ball‑‑ I don't think amateurs even think about that.  How big of a deal is it having to switch?
TIGER WOODS:  There used to be that one‑ball rule, and I think after what happened at Kiawah with Seve and Ollie, and ‑‑ and Zinger.  We went back to the one‑ball rule and we played one ball for a number of years and now we've gone to whatever ball‑‑ you can start any hole with whatever ball you want.  And generally what you want to do is have whoever is hitting the second shot, the iron shot, that's the ball you want to use, because you know how far your ball goes.
And so there's some getting used to it because some balls spin, some guys have higher launch, lower launch, very little spin, and there's a process and there's a lot of‑‑ you see a lot of guys doing a lot of practicing on the range getting used to the feels of the golf balls.  Just in case guys miss greens with their ball, now you're chipping with another ball, so you're trying to get a feel for that, and especially if some of the years I've been on some of these teams where you're probably going to go out with one, two or three different guys, you don't know who you're going to go out with, you have to be prepared for sometimes three different golf balls and they are doing a lot more practicing than you normally would and getting your feels and trying to get a sense of what each ball does off the tee and around the greens.

Q.  You guys obviously play Ryder Cup in the alternate years; how much of an advantage does that give you, and has that contributed to your dominant record?
TIGER WOODS:  I think one of the reasons why our record is pretty good in this event is that if you look at the Top‑10 guys who are in their spots, they are ranked pretty high, generally in the Top‑20 in the world, maybe even Top‑25, all ten guys, and sometimes even 12 guys.
And we are very deep‑‑ and because you have‑‑ every player has to play every day, I think our depth helps.  We are not just top‑loaded.  We have a lot of depth.
I think that certainly has helped us in the Presidents Cups over the years.

Q.  What would it mean for you to win the event on Jack's course, a course that you've had so much success at?
TIGER WOODS:  Well, we have a long way before that happens, but it would be fun.  It would be fun to win in front of the home fans.  We did it at RTJ and we did it at Harding, and hopefully we can do it here.

Q.  You were talking about Jordan Spieth earlier.  How do you see him fitting into this team and the overall format?
TIGER WOODS:  He's a little wide‑eyed.  He's getting used to it.  It's his first time and this is his first year on TOUR.  This is all new to him, and it's up to us who have been on these teams to help him out and make him feel comfortable.  He's earned his way on here and he's played exceptional golf and his talent is going to take him a long way over the years.
It does help knowing the fact that you're going to play four rounds, guaranteed and it's basically getting ready for another tournament.  And that helps with his rhythm and I think he's got some pretty good guys who potentially he could go out and play with.

Q.  You were talking about the team room; who is the chattiest guy in there we would be surprised to hear is chatty?
TIGER WOODS:  Duf; Kuch.

Q.  He seems to amuse you.  What is it about him?
TIGER WOODS:  You wouldn't expect the things that come out of his mouth.

Q.  Could you share any of them?
TIGER WOODS:  Nooo.  (Laughter).
Kuch is the same way.  They are pretty funny guys and you just don't expect‑‑ you expect the unexpected with those two.

Q.  Are they funny ha‑ha or funny peculiar?
TIGER WOODS:  Both; it could be in the same sentence.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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