Tiger Woods Victory Interview - Target World Challenge
BY iseekgolf.com | US PGA Tour | 2004 Target World Challenge | Final Round | 13 Dec 2004
Q: Congratulations, Tiger, on your second championship here at the Target World Challenge. It’s been pretty special to have your dad hand you that trophy again.
Tiger Woods: It is pretty cool. Obviously to have my dad around, as focused and driven as he is with the foundation, it’s exciting. And to have him out there makes it even more special. I think it was two days ago, it’s the first time I’ve seen him on the golf course following my play in a lot of years. It was pretty exciting for me.
Q: Did you follow your usual habit for the donation of your prize winnings?
Tiger Woods: Yes.
Q: Where does that rank, ball striking?
Tiger Woods: This year?
Tiger Woods: Not quite as good as Japan, but it was close. I didn’t play all that well this year, but Japan, I actually hit it better than this.
Q: You must be fairly excited about next year?
Tiger Woods: I am. After the Tour Championship and going into it, it was so exciting that the things that I had been working on started to come together. It’s nice, as I said earlier this week, not to have a big laundry list out there. Have a key thought here and there and hit a golf shot.
Q: More consistent?
Tiger Woods: It’s a matter of getting the reps in and getting the reps in in competition. I was trying to explain earlier this week, I was able to do it at home, I was able to do it with my buddies, I was able to do it on the range, I could do it at the range on tournament sites, but I never did it on the golf course in competition.
I had to take baby steps and I did that all year. I was working in the right direction. Sometimes it might have been just three, four holes in one round that I played great, the way I know I can, and then the rest of it wasn’t so good. Then eventually it became 9 holes and 18, then 36 and 54, now a whole tournament. It’s exciting.
Q: Do you think you’ve got some people’s attention again this week, the last few weeks actually?
Tiger Woods: Yes, considering people don’t follow what happens in Japan. Outside of the United States, people don’t really follow it. It is exciting, obviously, to win this tournament, but I think people obviously watched this event and probably saw it.
Q: And other players too?
Tiger Woods: Yes.
Q: If you could have putted halfway decent today the tournament would have been over at the turn. Was that a nice test, to have to be able to make these shots Inaudible?
Tiger Woods: Obviously I didn’t putt well. I had great speed, except for 17, a little bad putt I hit, speedwise. But I could just not start the ball on line, sometimes a little right, sometimes a little left, the putt I did hit perfect didn’t go in. It was one of those days. I had on to rely on my ball striking to get me around. Considering the year, it makes it even more gratifying to be able to hit the ball as well as I did, knowing I wasn’t putting that well.
Q: Is there one thing or two things that stand out that you were working on that now have come together for you?
Tiger Woods: There were a lot of different things.
Q: Was there anything
Tiger Woods: There was a lot. I had to change a lot different things. I’m not going to get into that, but it was a lot of different things. I had to take baby steps and I had to keep progressing, and I did that all year, even though my results didn’t show it. I look at the fact that this year, from the middle of May, I’ve had two tournaments out of the Top 10, and that’s a pretty good run.
Q: You’ve said quite frequently, and you have mentioned again, you didn’t trust your swing. Everything else you did on the range. Was there one round and all of a sudden you started believing in it?
Tiger Woods: I putted really well at Deutche Bank. I just didn’t get it done down the stretch. I caught Vijay and I just didn’t keep pace with him down the stretch. I made a 3 putt there, made a mistake there.
That was a nice tournament. And then from there on I started hitting my irons better, and then my driver started coming around. It was sporadic. I would drive great for three or four or five holes and then I would lose it again. The TOUR Championship was a great week for me, even though I lost the tournament tied for the lead. I played those two middle rounds the way I know I can play, and I took that confidence to Japan, and boom, off I went.
Q: We know about your temper, we all have tempers, did you get mad at yourself and think, God, I have it and now I don’t?
Tiger Woods: It’s frustrating because I know it’s in me. I know I can do it. There’s no trouble out there, with I have a 9 iron in my hand, all the green in the world to hit two and. That’s frustrating. Some shots are more difficult than others, and I can understand it, not trusting it, but some of the simple shots, when I start messing those ups, I don’t accept that very well.
Q: The main club was your driver?
Tiger Woods: It wasn’t the driver, it was everything, because if I don’t do a sand wedge right, how am I going to do the driver right. It works all the way up, progressing through the bag. That’s all the things that I’ve had to try to work on, is make sure I took it step by step and work through the entire bag. And obviously the driver is going to be the last thing to come around.
Q: I realize the swing change in 98 and this year were different in terms of what you did. This laundry list that you’re talking about, was the pile about the same size when you started?
Tiger Woods: Yes.
Q: You had just as much to work on now that you did in 90 whatever?
Tiger Woods: Middle of 97. Basically after I won the Western, I started dismantling the swing.
Q: When we were here earlier you side minor tinkering here and there.
Tiger Woods: It was a different philosophy, one that was different to me. The swing changes that I’ve never done before. And obviously back in the middle of 97, I was I mean, you guys all saw it, I had a Harley grip and the club face was shutting across the line. Hitting nine irons I went 150, 160 yards with the old ball.
Strong grip. What do you do from like 110 yards? You’re not going to beat a 60 all day.
Q: Does this change prove more difficult than the one in 98?
Tiger Woods: Probably 98 was more difficult, but certainly this one I got a lot more badgering from you guys. (Laughter). I got a lot more questions, What are you doing? Because I had a great run for like five years, back in 97. Yeah, I was dismantling my golf swing and won 6, 8 tournaments, not that many tournaments. You can kind of understand why I did it, but even though I won the matches by 12, people thought I was crazy there.
Q: In your wildest dreams, if you could be a journalist, would you have questioned you too?
Tiger Woods: I would have looked at the faults and tried to understand the faults of why I changed. Jaime is the only one I think did, some good work on that trying to figure it out
Q: I’m not sure I follow you. What do you mean look for the faults?
Tiger Woods: The faults in the swing. Even though I had a great run, what was I still doing wrong in my golf swing.
Q: Could you tell us?
Tiger Woods: I could, but I don’t want to.
Q: Can you talk about winning back here and how that’s more special?
Tiger Woods: Any time you can win your own golf tournament is huge, because then I can donate more money to my foundation. That’s exciting for us.
Q: The L.A. fans?
Tiger Woods: To play in front of fans this is where I grew up basically, not too far from here, so it is huge. And on top of that, to have perfect weather finally. Last year wasn’t very good. This year, early in the week was horrific, and then all of a sudden we get the perfect weather now, so it couldn’t have been a better week.
Q: I guess that one fan didn’t grow up in your neighborhood?
Tiger Woods: How about that guy?
Q: Have you ever had anything like that?
Tiger Woods: I take that back. 16, at Phoenix. They got me a couple of times earlier.
Q: Talk about that.
Tiger Woods: I obviously was agitated and had to get my focus back, try to put it out of me. The tournament was still on. I mean, if I missed that putt I only have a one shot lead with the last two holes. Luckily I made that putt because Paddie on 17. That was a huge one to make.
Q: You’re obviously on quite a nice little roll here, and now you have a 3 week break. How much do you break? How much do you keep working and getting ready for
Tiger Woods: I’ll take a little time off during the holidays, but also I’ll be working, especially towards the end of it. Obviously getting ready for the Mercedes and hopefully I’ll be ready for that.
Q: Thanks, Tiger.
Source – Target World Challenge