Interview: Tiger Woods

Courtesy of EA SPORTS
March 04, 2013
D.J. Piehowski,

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- EA SPORTS is set to release Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 14 on March 26. The game’s namesake answered questions during a recent ad shoot. 

Q: You’ve said you never play the video game as yourself. But with the Legends of the Majors mode in this game, who would you most like to see yourself play against and where would you guys play?

TIGER WOODS: If it was me against anybody… I’d probably play against Hogan or Jack. We’d either play St. Andrews or Augusta.

Q: Kids everywhere go out on the putting green and say, “This putt is to beat Tiger Woods and win the U.S. Open.” Is this Legends Mode the video game equivalent of that?

WOODS: That’s how I grew up – trying to make putts to beat Jack, or to beat Arnold, Gary, Bobby Jones; you name it. I did all that as a kid. But now you get to do it here. That’s pretty amazing.

Q: For the first time, users can go to playoffs if scores are tied after regulation. Can you imagine the frustration you’d have if you guys didn’t have playoffs on TOUR? How important was it to implement this into the game?

WOODS: Playoffs are nerve-wracking. You always want to have a final result. To understand what it feels like to have it come down to a make-or-break – you don’t have any other options here – it’s awesome. If you mess up sometime during a round, you still have an option of coming back, you still have the ability to do it. But if you mess up on a playoff it’s over. You spent all that time playing – It might be hours in the game or four days for us – and it’s all for naught. That’s what it’s all about. The nervousness.

Q: What was your reaction the first time you saw Arnold Palmer on the cover of your video game?

WOODS: It’s so neat because that’s a completely different generation. For us to honor the past like that is so important. We’ve done it with the younger generation of guys, with Rickie and Rory. Now it’s important to honor the past. Arnold was the game-changer. He was the one that brought golf to the modern times. He introduced it to TV. For me, I grew up a gamer, so it’s awesome to have the ability to bring golf to gamers. For us to have the guy who basically put it on TV is important.

On the other hand, Bubba Watson and Bobby Jones are on the cover of The Masters Historic Edition. Are there two more different people than Bobby Jones and Bubba Watson to share a cover?

WOODS: That’s the neat thing about this technology, we’re able to do that now. We have that ability to go back to the late 1800s and play with that gear and we can also have the new Masters champion in there. It adds a type of validity to what we’re able to do for this brand. It adds so much more for all the gamers.

Q: Have you spoken to Bubba about being in the game? What were his thoughts?

WOODS: He loves it. He absolutely loves it. He’s part of that generation too; we grew up with it. He has his console at home and he and Angie are always playing it. It’s pretty appropriate to have him in there.

Q: What’s the reaction you get from other players? Do they talk to you about playing the game?

WOODS: It’s not so much the players that talk about it, it’s their kids. Most of the guys that I’m friends with out there and the guys that I started out playing against are older, so they never really grew up gaming. But their kids are that generation. All they do is play.

It’s pretty neat to be a part of these latest Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup turnovers and to have this new generation of kids coming up. They’re in their 20s and they are playing in the team room. It’s just a new generation.

Q: What is the most realistic part of the game?

WOODS: I think the most realistic part of the game is the golf courses. What they are able to do with the accuracy is just phenomenal. I have books at home charted with all these different breaks and to actually pull out one of those books and have that same putt in the game and see that it breaks the same 2 or 3 inches… it’s remarkable. For me, as a player, to actually have played these different golf courses and to know what it looks like and what it feels like and the shot values and challenges you have – now to experience that in the game is just remarkable.