Farmers Insurance Open interview: Tiger Woods

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January 25, 2013

MORE INTERVIEWS: Farmers Insurance Open transcripts archive

DOUG MILNE:  We'll jump right in and get started.  Tiger, thanks for joining us for a few minutes after a wet but successful second round, 7‑under, 65, here at the Farmers Insurance Open.  Just a few comments on the round, and we'll take a few questions.

TIGER WOODS:  Yeah, I played well today.  I drove the ball great and took advantage of the par‑5s, and I think I played them 5‑under.  So, that's basically where the round could be had
On the North Course, drive the ball well here and you're going to probably have 4‑iron shots into the par‑5s.  Just happened to have the wind turn into us on nine, so I ended up hitting 5‑wood.  But, you sprinkle that in with probably four or five wedge shots in there, a round of 6‑ or 7‑under par is definitely conceivable.

Q.  Where's your short game right now?
TIGER WOODS:  Well, it feels good.  That's something that I needed to work on, and as you saw toward the end of last season, it started coming around.  Basically, I just continue doing what I've been doing with it, and I haven't had to hit as many golf balls, so I've been able to dedicate more time to my short game and consequently, it's better.

Q.  You seem very confident, just your demeanor the last couple of days.  Does your confidence come from rolling in putts, from hitting good shots?  What is it that gives you confidence?
TIGER WOODS:  Well, I think the practice sessions more than anything.  I've had beautiful practice sessions at home.  If I can do it there, I can do it out here.  Even though last week I only played two days, I felt like I hit the ball well enough to shoot a better score than I did.  The golf course was a little bit tricky, so just keep doing what we're doing.  I had a couple days at home to work on it, and I came out here and felt pretty good about it.

Q.  Last year you had trouble bringing it to the course.  You played well in your practice rounds or Pro‑Am and didn't quite get it to the course.  Does it feel differently?
TIGER WOODS:  Yeah, I've had another year in the system of working with Sean.  It's not like something that you can do overnight and make changes and all of a sudden it's great.  From where I came from to where I'm at now, it's a big change.

Q.  On the run you made around the turn, what was the most pleasing part of that to you?
TIGER WOODS:  I hit good shots all the way.  I hit a driver and a 5‑iron to, what, 18?  I hit a driver and 8‑iron to 1, and a driver and flip sand wedge to 2.  So I didn't really miss a shot through that stretch.

Q.  Secondly, on some of the short par‑4s you're talking about with little wedges into the green, you didn't get them particularly close.  Just curious what you're thinking there?  Are you trying to keep kind of dead arm it around the pin or bring it back or what was going on there?
TIGER WOODS:  It depends on the shot.  It depends on where the flag was.  A couple of times I tried to spin it, a couple times I tried to hit a softy in there, and put a little bit of hook spin on it to hold it against the hill and it still came back.
A couple of the pins were different than we're used to.  I think with the weather coming in, they allowed for that and put them on some pretty good little ridges.  Boy, you had to hit the perfect number with the correct spin.  I felt it hard to do out there with this soft, because sometimes it will hit and kick straight up, other times it will skid.  It's tough.

Q.  Erik Compton is in the Top 10 right now.  This guy's on his third heart.  This guy had to go through Q‑School.  To just be competing right now let alone contending, how remarkable do you think that is?
TIGER WOODS:  It's an unbelievable story.  The attitude that it takes to go through something like that, I don't think any of us could possibly understand it.  There are very few people who have had organ transplants and who have survived and had great lives.  They understand it.
But to do what he's doing out here and being a professional and work his way to this level is just remarkable.

Q.  Continuing on the theme of another year with Sean, allowing yourself to work on the short game as you've gotten to this year.  Can you just talk a little bit about do you allow yourself to look ahead at the possibilities this year now that things are rounding in a little bit more and there are less distractions of the injuries and whatnot?  How encouraged are you moving forward this early in the year?
TIGER WOODS:  As I said earlier this week, I'm excited about this year.  I had a good year last year.  I won three tournaments and was in contention in a few others, and that's a pretty good year.  I felt that understanding the game a little bit better, and I'm really excited about this year.

Q.  Is there a particular hole you're worried about with this heavy rain coming in for the weekend?
TIGER WOODS:  No.  I'm playing the South Course now, so going to get out there, and I don't know what the forecast was or is for tomorrow because today was supposed to lighten up (smiling).  It was supposed to rain a little harder and then lighten up, so, I think they got it a little flipped.  But we'll see what happens tomorrow.

Q.  A lot has been made of you on this golf course, the success that you've had.  Is it possible for a player to almost have a home‑field advantage in golf as you would in baseball, football, some other sport?
TIGER WOODS:  Well, there are certain golf courses where I've had some success on.  This is one of them.  Firestone, Augusta, Doral, I've done pretty good at.  So there are few courses that have‑‑ Bay Hill‑‑ there are few courses over the course of my career that I've really played well.  This happens to be one of them, and we happen to have a major on it, and I've won it.

Q.  I noticed you didn't use an umbrella.  Did it start becoming a problem with the wetness later in the round, and do you wish you used one in hindsight?
TIGER WOODS:  No, I don't like rain gear very much, and I'd much rather play in sweaters, if I can.  Hey, you can only get wet once, right?  Once you're wet, you're wet.  Deal with it.

Q.  When you play, do you feel when your life off the course is balanced and things are good, do you feel‑‑ I mean, I know this is probably logical, but do you feel better?  Do you feel more comfortable, ready to play, and more focused and happier in general?  Does that reflect in your play?
TIGER WOODS:  Sometimes yes, sometimes no.  I've had it both ways.

Q.  What about now?
TIGER WOODS:  Well, I feel good right now.  I'm leading the tournament.

Q.  If it hadn't rained last night, do you think you would have had the success you had today?  And, secondly, when the rain started coming down harder as you were finishing, how did that affect the end of your round?
TIGER WOODS:  It certainly softened it up.  The greens became pretty soft, and they became pretty bumpy.  Poa like this is a ‑‑ and I tried to hit every putt where it was just falling in and not having any putts coming back because they're a little testy from about two feet.
When it started coming down like this, I only had probably, I think, maybe two and a half holes where it came down like it is right now.  Most of the day, it was just kind of spitting lightly.

Q.  Don't read anything into this question, but when you hear the name Tim Clark, what do you think of as a player and a person?
TIGER WOODS:  Straight.

Q.  What kind of player he is?
TIGER WOODS:  Short.  Okay, good.

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