What they said: Tiger WoodsSeptember 22, 2012
PGA TOUR staff
MORE INTERVIEWS: TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola transcripts archive Q. Tiger, got yourself back into the tournament today??
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, as of right now I'm only 4 back, so we'll see how that stacks up at the end of the day. But right now it looks like I've got a shot at it tomorrow.
Q. Can you talk about 16 and just the value of not dropping a shot in your position coming in??
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, that was nice because obviously, it was a bad, bad tee shot over there, and to be able to get a par, that kept the momentum going and not drop. As of right now, I'm only 4 back, but those guys haven't played 15 yet. If they pick up a shot there, and I drop a shot there, all of a sudden, I'm 6 and that's big.
Q. What shot were you trying to play??
TIGER WOODS: Well, I had a gap through the trees. I went for the little one because I looked at a pitch outside ways and there is no guarantee I could actually keep it on the fairway, because my lie wasn't very good. And I figured if the only thing I had to worry about, I thought, was not the line, was the trajectory. With it sitting down in the rough, I was afraid it might drive too low or pop up. I was so focused on that, I ended up pulling it just a touch, and it was about two feet, a foot and a half.
Q. The last tree in the gap??
TIGER WOODS: It hit the left one. There were two I was trying to go through, and I hit the left one.
Q. What was the yardage??
TIGER WOODS: To be honest with you, I don't know. I had 173 front, and that's all I was focusing on.
Q. You had a bunch of good looks on the back nine, in terms of putts for birdie. Can you talk about some of those??
TIGER WOODS: Well, 10 I pulled, but 11 I peered it, and the grain just snagged it. But other than that, I hit a lot of good putts and those are the only two misses I had on the back nine.
Q. What about the bunker shot on 7??
TIGER WOODS: That was tasty right there. I had -- what did I have? I had 56 to the hole, and I had the a little 9-iron out of there.
Q. When you have a good start to a tournament like Thursday, and then you don't play well Friday, how do you get back into it on Saturday when you're coming off not a good day??
TIGER WOODS: I've done it before. I've been out here a long time, and just claw your way back into it, and usually I'll take a round in the 60s. I figured the guys aren't going to go out and run off and hide on this golf course. It's just playing too difficult.
Q. There is obviously a lot of money on the line tomorrow. Early in your career, did you ever recall thinking about that? Thinking about the actual difference between the shots meaning so much money when you first came out?
TIGER WOODS: The only time I actually thought about it after a round was cancelled at the B.C. Open, and that was the only time. The final round was washed out, and I thought at the time I think I was top 5 or something like that, and I really wanted to play that day to get my card. I ended up by not playing I was guaranteed 150, so I had some kind of exempt status going into the following year.
But I really wanted to play and move up that board and secure my card. That was the only day I actually really thought about the money.
Q. Is it strange to you not to have to worry about that??
TIGER WOODS: I got off to a great start in my career. I had seven exemptions and played really well during those spots, and ended winning up a couple times that year.
At the time, back in '97, a major championship was ten years. So, winning the Masters that year, I was locked up for ten years. So I got off to a great start in my career that way.
Q. Just I know you've made a lot of money in your career but with $10 million up for grabs tomorrow, does that still get the juices flowing?
TIGER WOODS: Well, that's not why we play. I'm playing for the W, and tomorrow I get a great shot at it. You know, all the money and awards and all of that stuff, that comes along with winning championships. That's the way I've always looked at it, and right now I'm 4 back. If I win the golf tournament, everything's kind of taken care of.
Q. How much does tomorrow mean on how you look at the season??
TIGER WOODS: Well, I've had a really good season so far. So I'm pleased with the way I've played this entire year. It's been a good year.
Q. Can you take me back to the first tee shot you hit at the Ryder Cup? How did it feel and what advice would you give to the four rookies on your team?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, it was quite different because it was -- I played my Walker Cup at Portmarnock, and I was introduced and just got a huge ovation of boos. I'm like oh, okay, welcome to the Walker Cup. Well, I got to Spain, and it was even more so. And that was nice. That was good.
It was fun being in that atmosphere, because we don't get to play home and road matches, so this is fun for me. My first time I was lucky I got to go out with my big brother, and he kind of basically wet nursed me around and we ended up winning the match.
Q. What did you hit? How did you hit it, and what advice would you give to the rookies?
TIGER WOODS: I hit like a little 3-wood out there, a 3-wood or a 2-iron, but it wasn't a driver. It was a short hole up the Hill. I was pretty nervous starting out. I remember Davis telling us he wanted to switch up spots with TK when he went out in '93 and didn't want to have to hit the first tee shot, and I kind of felt the same way. It was like, wow, this is so different. Once I teed off and got into the match, it was like, this is like any other golf. Let's go beat these guys. Let's get a point for our side, and that's what Marcus and I focused on.
Q. What would you tell the rookies on your team??
TIGER WOODS: Just go out there and win your point, period. The golf doesn't change, just because the atmosphere is slightly different, it's still the same. Put the ball on the fairway, put the ball on the green, hole every putt, and get your point.
Q. You've been friendly with Olazabal a long time. Does he go back to that Ryder Cup, and what does that stem from??
TIGER WOODS: I got to play with Seve at Augusta, and for me that's when my friend with Ollie started. He was so nice, same with Seve. They were great, showing me how to hit shots around the greens. Back then Augusta was very different around the greens. You had to hit shots, and they were running through all the repertoire of shots. And it was cool, because Seve does it differently than Ollie does, and Ollie is more of the feels that I have. And over the years I've picked his brain so many times about shots around the greens and how he played it and why the bounce does this and that and the body positioning and the hands and all these different things. We've had just a great friendship.
I think being paired with him and also the champions dinner and I sat next to him, it's just been a great friendship.
Q. How about Luke's shot from the fairways??
TIGER WOODS: I didn't see much. I was over in the trees, but I sure heard it.
Q. Talk about Medinah next week??
TIGER WOODS: I'll be a lot more excited tomorrow night. We have one more big round to go.
Q. Does one W tomorrow mean more than the other??
TIGER WOODS: What do you mean?
Q. FedExCup versus winning the TOUR Championship??
TIGER WOODS: What are you trying to say?
Q. Does one matter more to you than the other??
TIGER WOODS: Winning the FedExCup or winning the TOUR Championship?
TIGER WOODS: I think they go hand in hand.