BMW Championship interview: Tiger Woods

September 11, 2013

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TIGER WOODS:  It helps that Joey has been out here a couple days getting the lines out, and we were discussing a lot of it today.  It was a little bit of work.  I normally don't work this hard in a pro‑am, but I had to do a little bit of work because I wasn't out here yesterday.  Trying to get the speed of the greens a little bit.  They were a little bit quicker early on, slowed up a little bit as the day went on.  But overall the golf course is in absolutely perfect shape, so it's going to be a fun week.

Q.  It is actually a rarity for you to go to a course not having played it before.  What kind of a challenge is that?  Can you ever know everything as well as you need to?

TIGER WOODS:  Yeah, that's where I have to rely on Joey a little bit, and we were discussing the weather forecast and how it's going to change a little bit, and discussing the different lines and different options.  As I said, we did a little bit of work today, more so than we normally do.

Q.  How big a drive do you have to put on 18 to feel comfortable?

TIGER WOODS:  You know, actually it's one of those things where I hit a good drive down there and had between a 3‑ and 4‑iron.  Joey thought if it starts picking up a little bit, it's a 3‑wood off the tee and put it down there where you're going to have 5‑wood or 3‑iron in there.  A lot of it is dependent on the wind.

Q.  You've had a lot of success here in Chicago, obviously different golf courses.  How does this one stack up or compare to the other courses that you've played around this area?

TIGER WOODS:  Obviously it's very different compared to Cog Hill and Medinah, but it is a nice track.  It's a little confined in the sense that it's going to be interesting to see how they're going to get the gallery around here, especially on the front nine, the bottlenecks over on 5 and 6, but I think that all the times I've been in Chicago, it's a great sporting town.  They come out and support their events.  This will be a fun crowd.

Q.  What do you consider your single greatest moment in Chicago?

TIGER WOODS:  Probably Medinah, winning there twice.

Q.  Which one?

TIGER WOODS:  I said winning there twice.  (Laughter.)

Q.  I said the single greatest moment.

TIGER WOODS:  Winning there twice.

Q.  Did you play here in college?

TIGER WOODS:  No, I did not.  I left the year before.  They came here in '97, and I was already a pro.

Q.  The last four holes you just finished, 15 through 18, how would you describe their design and how you feel you'll play them?

TIGER WOODS:  Yeah, the last four holes, there's some tough ones in there, and there's also a drivable one.  It'll be interesting to see where they move the tees around and either give us a chance or not a chance.  You know, two of the holes are pretty simple.  It's two good birdie holes, and 18 is obviously a good drive, you can make a 3 depending on the pin.  But if the pin is on the left side, you're going to see some 3s.

Q.  Is this a good crowd for a Wednesday or is this normal for you?


Q.  I know winning never gets old for you, but in terms of (inaudible) how does that compare to just coming out?

TIGER WOODS:  I think I'm a better ball striker now than I was then, so I had a few more of those back in the day.  But it's fun pulling it off.  Every now and again if you get the right situation and are able to pull it off, it turns tournaments around, and sometimes that's the difference between winning and losing.  At the moment you actually sense it and you know it, whether it could turn a whole tournament around, especially on a Sunday.

Q.  Do you like it better, an event like this, where you know people are going to go pretty low, can go for birdies, rather than trying to hold par in a bigger tournament?

TIGER WOODS:  Well, it's just a different mindset.  We know we've got some easier holes out there, and if you drive the ball well here, you're going to have a lot of 8‑iron on down, and those are some scoring clubs.  There's a lot of funneling where you can get to some of these pins.  You don't have to fire right at the flag, you can funnel it in there.  You can get the ball pretty stiff.

Yeah, the scores are going to be low.  It'll be interesting to see what happens on Friday, if the weather is supposed to be what it's supposed to be, and if we get a different wind and different temperature where the ball is not traveling like it is now.  It'll be a totally different golf course.

Q.  How is your back now?

TIGER WOODS:  That was nice, it was nice to have that week of treatment, strengthening, so that was all good, and practicing towards the end of the week.

Q.  Is it better do you think to go two, one off, two and then Ryder Cup, or have all four, which essentially would be six out of seven, and then a week off before the Ryder Cup?

TIGER WOODS:  I mean, once we start ‑‑ once we play the British Open, it's a lot of golf, period.  There's not a lot of time off, and they're all big events.  You've got two majors, a World Golf Championship, and the Playoffs, and then you've got at the back end a Ryder Cup or a Presidents Cup, at least every year for the Americans.  It's a lot of golf.

You know that, and I try to pace my scheduling since we started the FedEx so that I'm more fresh towards the end of the year than ‑‑ because it used to end in November.  TOUR Championship could go until November 1st sometimes, so it's a little bit different.

Q.  How different will this course play do you think with the climate getting down to 60?

TIGER WOODS:  Yeah, you know, I'm sure the greens will be a lot faster because they'll obviously be dry, and the fairways will dry out a little bit, but obviously the ball won't be carrying as far.

Q.  How much less would you say?

TIGER WOODS:  Probably maybe about 5 percent less.