Thursday, August 03, 2006

Tiger's pre-Buick interview

Excerpts from Tiger's pre-Buick interview


PGA Tour: You've tied Walter Hagen with winning 11 majors, talk a little about that

TIGER WOODS: Well, it was just an emotional win for me. I think any time you win a major
championship, it brings up so many different emotions, because it's so hard to do. Then when
you are actually able to come out on top, you feel the elation, the euphoria that goes on,
all of the hard work, all of the nervousness, the things you've got to deal with in major
championships, all of these things just wear you down and if you're able to come out on top,
it's one of the greatest feelings you could possibly have.

Q. Looking ahead at the PGA, do you feel like whether you win it or Phil wins it, one of you
can kind of have 2006 be the memorable Player of the Year so to speak?

TIGER WOODS: Well, right now as of right now, I think with, you know, having the two World Golf Championships, THE TOUR Championship and a major championship ahead of us, four big
events, anything can happen. Hopefully I can get it done in those four events check, four
bigger events like that, especially in a couple of weeks.

Q. How much motivation was what happened at the U.S. Open for you at the British to rebound
from missing the cut there for the first time?

TIGER WOODS: I think the Western was pretty important. I did not start off well. I shot my
first round over par and I got it going from there. I had a chance with a few holes to go to
win the golf tournament. That to me was what I needed to have happen going to the British. I
needed to have it turn around like that kick quickly and get back into playing mode again.
By the time I got into playing mode at the U.S. Open, I was already 2 , 3 , 4 over. You
can't do that in the U.S. Open, you have to get into the rhythm of the round quickly. I
didn't do that. At the British Open, because of the Western, I got into the rhythm of the
round so much faster and I didn't put myself behind the 8 ball right out of the gate.

Q. You talked a little bit about the Ryder Cup, you have a very young team, what do you
think about the chances of the USA team up against the Europeans?

TIGER WOODS: Well, as of right now, both sides are going to have some players that have
never been on any team before. So as of right now but you know, the points can swing so
fast. We've got basically three tournaments left and with the major being worth so many
points, I mean, every time I look at it, it's like, okay, he's in, he's out. It keeps
changing every week and it's changed a lot.

But as it stands right now, yeah, we have a lot of inexperience versus the top 5 guys on the
team have all been on teams before and then the other guys haven't. The Europeans are
finding the same thing. Right now I think there's four guys that have never played on a team

So it will be interesting to see for both sides to see what transpires and also see how the
picks go and see what the two captains are going to do for their picks.

Q. You've been in the public spotlight, a fan favorite for quite a few years now, but one
kind of senses that with the passing of your father and the emotional win a couple of weeks
ago, that there's even more love for you more as a person than as an athlete, is that
something that you sense?

TIGER WOODS: People have come up to me and said really nice things since the Open and that's awfully nice of them. They can say all these nice things, but I still miss my dad. It is
what it is. It's awfully nice that people especially that have had loss before come up and
share their experiences. That's rewarding in that sense to hear so much about other people's
lives and how we're all basically in the same boat at one time or another. From that
standpoint, it's been remarkable, really.

Q. Last year in a question I posed to you, I referred to you as a "wily veteran" now on Tour
and you said, "don't put me out to pasture yet." But with time, and now with success, you're
tied with Walter Hagen. There's only one more name on the list and that great history and
tradition of golf leaves you one more target. I know it's a one tournament at a time type of
situation, but what does it mean to you now as one more of those accomplishments on the
major list adds to a total that gets you closer to the greatest maybe of all time, Jack

TIGER WOODS: Well, starting out, if you're lucky enough to get anywhere near Jack's record, awfully lucky to pass him, if it happens, it's going to take a career. It took Jack over 20
years to get his. There's no way you can ever have it happen quickly. I've played ten years
out here and I'm just barely passed halfway and realizing how many he won.

Certainly looking at Jack's record, I think the most important thing about Jack's record is
he had 18 wins and he got 19 seconds. When you put in 27 Top 2s, it puts it in perspective
he good he was in the biggest events. When you look at his whole record, you look at how
good he was for the longest period of time. No other player in the history of the game has
done that, be that good for that long.

Q. You've had Chris DiMarco on your heels for a couple of majors last two years. You've
shared team rooms with him at the Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup. What have you learned about him over the last couple of years as a player and as a person?

TIGER WOODS: Well, what a fantastic competitor. He's a guy that will continue to fight. He
needs to just hang in there and gut it out and give it his best. That's one thing that you
have to admire about any player is that ability not to quit. People quit, you see it all the
time, but I think it's more remarkable that people never quit.

Q. You talk about liking this course and obviously you have a relationship with. Beyond
those things, does the timing work out really well, this year in particular, to have a break
after the emotional win and time after this before the PGA?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, it works out perfect because I got a chance to unwind for a few days and then get back up and start getting ready for this event. I have all of next week to go home
well, maybe go home, hurricane might be blasting through there again. But I get to go
somewhere and practice and get ready. I always find it nice to get ready in solitude and
have my game where I want it when I go into a major championship, rather than playing my way into shape.

Q. It's been 12 days since Hoylake now. When you think back on the emotions that came
pouring out on the 18th green, do you have a different perspective about what that was all
about or why that happened, because as you said afterward, that's really not you, but it
happened. Have you thought about that in the last week and a half?

TIGER WOODS: I try not to. Only because I never really lose my emotions like that. And for
me to feel that type of loss, it doesn't feel very good. I haven't seen the coverage, so I
haven't seen that part of it. I haven't even seen a golf shot yet. I've been asking for
somebody to send me a DVD or some kind of tape and I haven't got it yet. So I haven't seen
anything of the golf tournament.

All I know is I remember being in Stevie's arms and crying like a baby and him pushing me
away into my wife saying you deal with him and just bawling there. I've never done that. I
never have. It's because I've never, ever played a golf tournament without Dad. It's the
first time where I've ever within a golf tournament without Dad either seeing me or being
around physically where I could call him up and say, hey, we can talk and rap about it. But
those days I'll never have that day again.

What hurt so much for me this year at Augusta not winning, because I knew that was Dad's
last tournament he would ever see me play in. And it hurt quite a bit, I've never been as
disappointed walking off a golf tournament. I just wanted to play well at the U.S. Open and
I was able to win the British. I kept coming back, why couldn't I have done this a few
majors ago and give him one more thing to see.

But I don't think I could have probably won at the British Open without Dad because I had a
sense of calmness that I don't have I'm usually pretty calm at majors but I was unusually
calm at this major. I think it was Pop up there just keeping me cool and level headed.

Q. There's so many great young players in the field this week and I think I counted a dozen
major winners just playing in the Pro Am alone today, and yet everybody likes to come
gunning for Tiger. Is that still something that you kind of feed off of and enjoy, the fact
that you know, wherever I tee it up, everybody wants to get a shot at me?

TIGER WOODS: Well, it is and it isn't, one of the guys in the field. That's about it. The
ones that are playing this week, you've got to beat everybody here, not just one of those
guys. Hopefully I can put my name up there with a chance on Sunday and get the W somehow.
But there are a bunch of major championship winners, as you said. But, you know, whoever is
in the field, you've got to beat them all in order to win the golf tournament.

Q. How did getting back and playing golf again help you kind of recover a sense of normalcy
after your father's passing?

TIGER WOODS: Well, it was interesting because it was actually probably the hardest thing for me to do was get back and play again because that's how I learned the game. I learned it
from Dad. Every time I take time off when I come back, I always focus on the basics, grip,
posture, stance, alignment. I learned every one of those things from Dad. So that was the
hard part is coming back and getting started. Once I got started it was all right. But
getting over the hurdle of getting started and knowing that he'll never be there to talk
about these little things in detail.

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