Tiger On Augusta: Interesting, Very Interesting

Translation: yuck, very yucky.

Amazingly (or is frighteningly), I read all of Tiger's press conferences and continue to marvel at his ability to answer the same questions over and over again. He's also become quite good at acting like he's enjoying some lame question about a player he's played with twice. And he can be so positive when talking about a course he probably thinks is mediocre at best.

So I think it's safe to say--lacking much in the way of complimentary talk--that this is a not-so-flattering assessment of Augusta:

Tiger at Bay Hill:

Q. Speaking of The Masters, now that you've had a chance to play the course firsthand, what do you think of the changes?

TIGER WOODS: Interesting, very interesting.

 Hey, at least he didn't say it was the best of its kind! Sorry, continue...

I didn't hit enough club to No. 4. I needed wood to get to 4. 7 is certainly changed. It's a totally different hole now. 1 is 300 yards just to get to the bunker now. If we get any kind of cool north wind like we have today, you won't be able to see the flag. You won't be able to see the green. Some of the changes are pretty dramatic and certainly going to be very interesting if the wind ever blows.

Q. Do you think they accomplished (inaudible)?

TIGER WOODS: I've talked to some of the older guys who played there back in the '50s, '60s and '70s and they never had to hit wood into 4 before, but you'll see a lot of guys hitting wood in 4 this year.

Q. What do you think will happen if there's rain?

TIGER WOODS: It will be brutal because now you're hitting some really long clubs into the holes. Again, we haven't seen the greens hard and fast either. With the rain, with or without rain last year, we were thinking in the practice rounds that over par is going to win the tournament. If you can keep it around even par, you're going to win it easily.

So, you know this, year, if it stays dry, probably the same thing.

Q. Did anyone ask you about Jack's comments, and do you agree that there's only ten or a dozen or so guys that are capable of winning because of the changes, because of the length?

TIGER WOODS: It eliminates a lot of guys, yeah. If you hit it low and rely on your game that way to get the ball out there and hit your irons not so high, if you have a flatter ball flight, you're going to be struggling there.

Q. If even par were to win there, is it a shame in a sense that you guys already have a U.S. Open?

TIGER WOODS: It's just different. I think it they should get rid of that second cut and get rid of and bring the pine needles and the pine trees back into play. But they see it differently than a lot of us do as players.

I remember pulling that ball off the first tee and it's going straight through the pine trees. Now you have a chance of it stopping in that second cut. They think it's harder to play out of that than it is out of the trees.

Q. Ernie was saying how The Masters used to be most fun major and now it's become the toughest, do you think it has gotten up to that?

TIGER WOODS: Without a doubt, it's gotten so much more difficult now. With the added length, with those greens being the way they are, it just makes it so hard out there. You're hitting clubs that, granted, they are trying to get you to hit clubs like the older guys used to hit, and yeah, but the greens were not running at 13 on the Stimpmeter either. So it just makes that much more difficult now.

With the speed of these greens now, each and every year, it all depends if they are firm. I mean, if they are firm, that golf course is probably the most difficult golf course you'll ever play.

Q. Could you have imagine them dialing some of those changes back a little bit, get rid of the rough or move the tees forward a little bit?

TIGER WOODS: They may move tees around. I think that's what they did with some of the tee boxes. Like on 4 and 7, they are really long tee boxes, so they have the ability to move it around and play with the tee markers a little bit. Because if you get soft, yeah, you can go ahead and move the tees up a little bit and give the guys a chance. So I think that's one of the smart things they have done.