Tiger’s Wyndham Championship press conference: Wednesday
Q: Tiger, how did you play and how did you like the course?
TIGER WOODS: I played all right. Bunch of fun playing with — Chris was a blast, you know, obviously a hell of an athlete but he’s a great dude to play with. We had a lot of fun. He comes to a lot of my foundation events. I’ve gotten to know him over the years. Never played golf. Always wanted to. This was the first time and had an actual blast.
Q: What did you think of the course?
TIGER WOODS: The course from what I’ve been told, it’s going to be a lot of irons off the tee but it wasn’t the case because it’s so wet. Balls are plugging. Lot of mud balls out there. We played the ball up today. Lot of holes where Davis was saying you hit 3-iron, 4-iron off the tees, we’re hitting 2-irons and 3-woods today because it’s so wet, and with the forecast, thunderstorms tomorrow afternoon it’s not going to get any better. Pretty wet week.
Q: Last week sort of indicated you might not play this week. What sort of changed your mind? Why did you come and play this week?
TIGER WOODS: I just wanted to see, first of all, how my body was going to be feeling. After grinding it out trying to play Whistling Straits, practicing, to see how everything felt if I was ready to go and then make a push to try and get in The Playoffs.
Q: Is it still difficult for you to play two weeks in a row?
TIGER WOODS: Not difficult in a sense. I had a soccer game to go to, I had to take my kids to school for the first day of school. I didn’t want to miss any of those. Those are more important than any golf tournament.
Q: How do you adjust with the course, you played most courses on the Tour, you haven’t played this one much, how do you adjust to that?
TIGER WOODS: This is fun. I don’t get a chance to play a golf course that I get to use my 2-iron anymore. Mainly it’s lot of 5-woods now because the par-5s you got to bring the ball in so high. Here it’s not really the case. Only two of them here. Lot of tee shots with the 2-iron. I used my 2-iron a lot when I go to Australia and Japan. Those are the type golf courses that fit, or British Open. We don’t play hardly any golf courses anymore in the States for me, anyways, that I got my 2-iron. This is one of those courses.
TIGER WOODS: It’s kind of fun. This is like a small town atmosphere. They come out and support the event for years and Davis says he’s played this thing forever and even sees the same people each and every year in the same spots. Even though he won at the other golf course, coming over here, people have been fantastic. As I said, he still sees the same people all these years.
Q: The rest of your game, what are you optimistic about and what are your concerns?
TIGER WOODS: My biggest concern is learning the greens so fast. I hadn’t putted on bermuda greens that are this fast in a very long time, probably not since my greens in the backyard right before Augusta. We get them running about 15, 16. But bermuda doesn’t really get like this. Even with the rain, they’re still fast. They dried out, down-grain, downhill they’re rolling out pretty good. That’s one of the adjustments I had to make today and I talked to Davis about it. We haven’t — we were both shocked last night how fast they were with that much rain.
Q: Tiger, do you feel like No. 286 in the world is a fair representation of where you game is right now?
TIGER WOODS: The fact I hadn’t played. I’ve been hurt. I had surgery last year and I haven’t played hardly at all. I think this is either my 10th or 11th event for the year. It’s not a real big sample size.
Q: 286 in the world — (inaudible)?
TIGER WOODS: You can’t take away the 14 Majors.
Q: Seven of the last 12 weeks that you’ve played. You talked about that long stretch before it started. Have you made the kind of progress you wanted to?
TIGER WOODS: I have. I have. I started to build — I need to get more consistent with everything and start stringing together not just holes, not just rounds but tournaments. That’s why this tournament is important to me, hopefully I can win and get in The Playoffs and start playing a bunch of golf. If not, then I got a big break and some Overseas stuff to do later in the year, and so that — I’ll basically if I don’t win this event I’ll have my offseason early and start getting ready for a lot of my tournaments that I go Overseas as well as in the States.
Q: These greens seem pretty pure?
TIGER WOODS: They’re really smooth.
Q: Rolling pretty fast?
TIGER WOODS: They’re really quick downhill, down-grain, really fast. Even with this amount of rain, they are still rolling out. Uphill in the grain obviously it’s going to be slow but they’re holding. I think the hardest thing is that if we ever play the ball down it’s going to be interesting because these lies are as wet as they are with the bermuda and the ball sitting down a little bit. Most of my balls I had mud balls on them and we didn’t have a chance to put our hands on it. It would have been interesting.
Q: This is the most significant injury, you’ve mentioned that numerous times. You seem to have a peace about you because of where are you in your life as a father. Has that been maybe, in a way, easier to handle because of how at peace you seem to be with everything else in your life?
TIGER WOODS: Well, I think that the hardest part when I first had — well, right before the surgery and right after the surgery last year is I wasn’t able to live life with my kids anymore. I just — I was laying on the bed or laying on the couch. I couldn’t participate in their life. I couldn’t do anything. My kids are very, very active, like I am. Right now that I’m healthy I’m playing soccer everyday, running everyday. That’s one of the reasons I’m as skinny as I am, we’re running everyday, and, to me, that’s fun. To be able to be with them and do those type of things again and be a part of their life like that, to teach them free diving, to play soccer all day and that to me is what life is all about and I can do that again and play my sport as well.
Q: Jason Day. How pleased were you for him?
TIGER WOODS: I couldn’t be more proud of him. The progress he’s made and, you know, the times he hasn’t gotten it done, they all hurt. As a player and competitor, those instances really do hurt but he built on them. He learned from them and now he’s a Major champion and it wasn’t like he backed into it. He went out there and earned it. I think that’s what’s more impressive than anything else is that Jordan put up one hell of a fight and it wasn’t — it wasn’t like these guys were throwing up on themselves making bogies down the stretch. They were both making birdies and they were both pushing each other but Jason just flat-out played great and obviously Jordan really pushed him hard but it was neat to see both of them play at that high level. I’ve had a couple of times where we’ve been able to do it that at a high level. It is so much more fun that way than having two guys throw up on themselves coming down the stretch.