December 07, 2014

Tiger’s Hero World Challenge press conference: Sunday

Q: What you can take from this week? 

TIGER WOODS: You know, I made some progress. I hadn’t played in four months and I’m in absolutely no pain, which is nice.

To be able to go out on some of these drives like I did this week really enforces that what I’m doing is the right thing for my body.

Q: Could your 2013 self have beaten Jordan this week? He’s at 25-under right now. 

TIGER WOODS: 25-under is pretty low, isn’t it? I think that’s probably the lowest I’ve ever gone. I think I’ve gone 25 twice: I did it in I think Thailand and maybe Ireland. Ireland or England. One of the two. One of the American Express Championships.

But what he’s doing out here is pretty impressive. I know he won here not too long ago. Hard to believe he was only in college a couple years ago, but he ended up winning out here, and he’s doing it again this week. 

Q: What do you need to do to compete with the 21‑year‑old Jordan, 25‑year‑old Rory, 24‑year‑old Patrick week in and week out?

TIGER WOODS: Well, I’ve got my speed back now. Look how far I’m hitting it again now. That’s nice. I just obviously need to clean up my short game. That still needs a lot of work.

Again, it’s progress. I hadn’t played in four months. To come out here and not play in any kind of pain is great progress, and to be able to hit the ball as hard as I want really without flinching. 

Q: (Question regarding new swing and no pain being an indication it is more natural.)

TIGER WOODS: Yeah. As I told you, it’s an old new, you know. My body knows this pattern, so I don’t have to do much. 

Q: In terms of next year, let’s just look at the Masters. Rory is going for three in a row. You’ve always been you show up it’s like the Tiger Show. Now it’ll be the Rory Show. Do you want to do something about that? Is that something that’s going to inspire you to return back to where you were?

TIGER WOODS: So I don’t have to do any media that week? (Laughter.)

Q: Oh, all right. Answer the question. 

TIGER WOODS: No, it’s one of those things where I’ve been in this position before. You know, I’ve been hurt. I’ve been out of it for a long time. I’ve had to make my run to get back there.

It takes winning. I was out for a while with my Achilles, and in two years I won eight times. It’s a process to get back to that level. You got to build up to it.

I got some time.

Q: (Question regarding Cheyenne.)

TIGER WOODS: Oh, she did? That’s awesome. I knew she was right there, so can’t wait to call her. 

Q: What do you do now?

TIGER WOODS: I’ll probably practice maybe for the next week, and then I’ll shut it down for the holidays and then get back up and do it.

I like what I’m doing right now. I just want to reinforce it before I take my break. Obviously there are some things that I can do with my short game that I definitely can work on.

Overall, it’s so nice to be able to go out there and hit drives that hard again, take bunkers out of play, cut corners.
Hadn’t felt healthy enough to be able to do that in a very long time.

Q: (No microphone.)

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, well, I’m just instituting some in things. I’m just looking at it that way.

First things first: playing a golf tournament without being in pain, without having to call my physio every day or having to put out fires with my body. Well, swing‑wise. 

My gut was a different deal. That was a different issue. But it was nice to be able to hit the ball the way I did this week.

Q: (No microphone.)

TIGER WOODS: Well, it’s making changes, you know. It’s a different release pattern, and so my chipping is off; my putting is just a touch off.

But I started to figure something out today, which was nice. I’m just trying to‑‑ I got to get used to a different release pattern, different release point.

With that being said, the short game is off because of it, but my long game is better. All it is is practice. I just need to work. 

Q: (No microphone.)

TIGER WOODS: Absolutely. Yeah. I’m caught‑‑ if I put my backswing in the same position that I used to have it in and then make this new‑‑ with this release pattern, I’m going to hit fat every time.

So I’ve got to get things in a different position, a different order. From about 40 yards out it’s pretty solid, pretty good, which is nice. I hit all those shots really well. 

Anything inside of that, I got to get used to a new release pattern.

Q: (Question regarding Lindsay’s return and does he draw inspiration from that.) 

TIGER WOODS: Well, it’s a lot of hard work. You have to understand she really hadn’t skied that competitively in two years. So to be able to get into a position where she felt comfortable to push the physical limits, absolute limits‑ because that’s what you have to do in order to win in her sport ‑ and to be able to take those chances and take these risks without having her knee blow out on her is pretty cool. 

She almost won today, which is even better. She’s got her confidence back.

Q: Who has less margin for error, you or Lindsay?

TIGER WOODS: I’m not going to die in my sport. You know, what they do and the surfaces they’re on, injected snow, it’s just scary how fast it is and how dangerous and how much focus you have to bring to the table.

You know, probably the biggest thing besides that is our sport is about playing a physical chess match that takes time and lots and lots of patience, whereas theirs is just pure aggression.

Q: (No microphone.)

TIGER WOODS: Well, I think if I stay the course that I’m on right now that I’ll be physically able to do what I want to do, and that’s the biggest difference.

I hadn’t been able to practice and dedicate myself as much as I used to just because my body just wasn’t there. 

My practice sessions were so limited. I had so many different times where I’ve had ball counts. Just couldn’t hit beyond a certain amount of golf balls.

Hard to make progress that way.

Q: (No microphone.)

TIGER WOODS: Probably see him here in about 10 minutes. We’ll talk about it before I get out of here and before he gets out of here.

Q: (No microphone.)

TIGER WOODS: Well, hopefully I will be on the President’s Cup team. 

Q: Individual events. 

TIGER WOODS: Individual events? I know it’s a pretty full schedule. I’ll leave it at that.

Q: (No microphone.)

TIGER WOODS: It’s a pretty full schedule. 

Thanks, guys, appreciate it. 

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