SUNDAY’S Q & A WITH TIGER WOODS
Here is the full text of the interview conducted by the international media with Tiger Woods after his crushing victory of Stewart Cink.
Here is the fulltext of the interview conducted by the media with Tiger Woods after his crushing victory of Stewart Cink. The WGC’s Laura Nel leads off:
LAURA NEAL: Tiger, congrats. Third Accenture Match Play Championship win and your 15th World Golf Championships title. Do you want to talk about winning and what the day was like today?
TIGER WOODS: Today was a lot of fun, actually. I made a bunch of birdies. I put a bunch of heat on Stew today and got off to a quick start and never really let him get back in the match.
Q. You’d mentioned, I think, at the Target and at the Buick that you felt like you were in the best stretch of your career. Why do you suppose that is, or what about you is better now? Because I think some of us are finally starting to believe you.
TIGER WOODS: There’s a shock. I just have a better understanding of how to play the game, how to fix my game, and have a lot more shots than I’ve ever had.
Q. Of all the amazing numbers, 15 — is it 15 of 26 or whatever it is, World Golf Championships is pretty amazing. Are you kind of committed to these things? And you’ve obviously done well at them. What does that number mean to you?
TIGER WOODS: Well, I think it’s — well, they’re exactly what they were meant to be, and that’s putting the best up against each other more often than just the four majors and THE PLAYERS. I think that’s why we as players and competitors love them, love the idea that we can go head-to-head more often. Most of the guys play in Europe or some other part of the world, and we don’t get a chance to buck heads. Maybe, like I said, just five times. And now we can do it more frequently, and I think it’s been a huge success.
Q. If that’s the case, is this a true reflection of the gap between you and everyone else?
TIGER WOODS: That’s a good question, Fergie, but I don’t know how to answer that one.
Q. Can you try?
TIGER WOODS: I can try. All I know is that I just love playing against the best players in the world. That’s the fun part because we don’t get to do it that often.
Q. Stewart Cink said during his press conference that he didn’t think there was any course out there that you couldn’t adapt to. Can you comment on that?
TIGER WOODS: That’s awfully nice of Stew to say that. Understanding how to play and obviously making changes and adapting your game to the golf course, and that’s what you have to do in order to be successful on all venues. It helps that I’ve played all around the world and have got an understanding of how to play on different places and different styles.
Q. We were asking Stew what he thought made you the champion you are. He thought that you basically never relax and you have great composure. You were saying yesterday you couldn’t wait to kick your dad’s butt in putting. Have you always been this incredibly competitive? And is insatiable a good word to describe you?
TIGER WOODS: I love winning and I hate losing. But, you know, that’s how my father was. My father was the same way. Anyone in here who knows my mom, my mom is probably more fiery than my dad. That’s kind of the household I grew up in. We were always competitive. You never backed down to anybody. And that’s the fun part about competing, it’s the fun thing about playing sports. My dad, in his former occupation, you back down, you die. So you can’t have that mentality.
Q. As great as your record is in the majors, in the WGC events it’s even better. Do you have a theory as to why you play so well when the fields are so strong?
TIGER WOODS: Well, I don’t know. As I said I’ve always enjoyed playing these championships, even though they’ve been all around the world. And for some reason I’ve had success all different places. I can’t say it’s the venues. Maybe I just enjoyed playing the fields, just like I enjoy playing major championships.
Q. Stewart said that he wasn’t intimidated by you in terms of his golf game, but he says there is something there that’s a bit daunting when you go head-to-head against you. Is that something that you see in the eyes of those guys that you’re playing head-to-head?
TIGER WOODS: Probably, because I’m shorter (laughter), and if he acts up, I hit him in the ribs. No, you just go out there and you focus on your game. If people perceive that as intimidating or what have you, that’s to each his own. I’m trying to go out there and shoot the lowest score I possibly can and win an event. That’s all I’m trying to do.
Q. In this familiar position to win the match again or win the tournament again, what do you do as far as not getting comfortable being No. 1 and being on top the way you’ve been?
TIGER WOODS: It’s very simple; you can always be better.
Q. Yesterday you talked at length as to how difficult it is to win the Match Play Championship, and yet here you are, sitting with this Walter Hagen Cup again. You’ve won it three times in the last six years. You can understand that a fan’s perception could find a very interesting contrast between your words and your actions. How do you respond to that?
TIGER WOODS: Well, they told me today I played 107 holes this week. I could have easily played 16 and then been home. That’s the fickleness of match play. And if I didn’t make a run against J.B., I wouldn’t be here.
When you put the best players against the world against each other on a venue like this where you have reachable par-5s and two par-4s you can drive and perfect greens, you know these guys aren’t going to back up. If you get down early, you’re in a world of hurt because then you have to make a bunch of birdies to get back in it. So that’s why I said what I said.
It’s not like we’re going out to play the U.S. Open golf course; we’re playing a golf course in which you have to make birdies.
Q. Can you tell us, will you contact Mr. Palmer? And if so, will you tell us what you might say to him?
TIGER WOODS: I will definitely — I can’t say what I might say. Never mind. When I see him I will give him an earful, and I’m sure he’ll probably do the same.
Q. You’ve probably enjoyed the start that you’ve had this year, but because of the way you’re playing, to use your words, is it within reason that you could win every tournament this year?
TIGER WOODS: That’s my intent. That’s why you play. If you don’t believe you can’t win an event, don’t show up.
Q. Welcome back. Talk about winning in Tucson for us. We’re very glad to have you here, obviously.
TIGER WOODS: Thank you. I haven’t won this event here yet. It was nice to actually go out there this week and play as well as I did and make as many putts as I did. Very fortunate to get by some of the matches I got by, and here we are.
Q. Was this what you had in mind when you heard the event was coming here?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, the W? Yes.
Q. In the context of Nelson’s record of 11 in a row, do you think Dubai
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