Decent questions today from the scribblers, except one from a foreign land.
TIGER WOODS: Thanks. It was a special day out there. I just had one of those magical days on the greens today. I just felt like if I got the ball anywhere on the green, I could make it. It's not too often you get days like that, and I happened to have it on the final round of a major championship. So it was a really neat feeling to have.More modesty...
I was just trying to get the ball in the fairway, trying to get the ball anywhere on the green, and I knew that I felt like I could make anything. It's a special day on the greens today, and I just happened to make some nice bombs early in the front nine to stay ahead.
Q. You told us years ago the fact that you'd tape Nicklaus' records on the wall when you were a kid. Well, you're approaching him now, become No. 2 in majors. Can you discuss that, and is that 18 majors now like the big goal now that you've done everything else?The lack of root structure seems to be the developing theme with regard to the greens...
TIGER WOODS: Well, it's still a long way away. It's not something I could get next year. You know, as I said, it took Jack over 20 years to get to his. It's going to take a career, and I've just got to keep plugging along and keep trying to win these things.
These are the most fun events to play in, the major championships. I just thoroughly enjoy coming down the stretch on the back nine with a chance to win it. That's why I practice as hard as I do and what I live for. That to me is the ultimate rush in our sport is on that back nine on Sunday with a chance to win a major championship.
To answer your question, I've still got a long way to go. 18 is a pretty big number.
Q. Some players talked about the greens and said they were really able to hold them well, and the reason being is because they're only a few years old and the root structures hadn't set in there. Wondering what your opinion on that is.
Also, you said you prefer major championships to be single digits. Having won at 18 under, do you take that? Is that okay, too?
TIGER WOODS: I'm never going to say no if I win. No, the guys are right. The root structure wasn't there, and every ball is just splashing and bringing up making huge ball marks. We're bringing up dirt. You're never going to get balls bouncing on these greens at all, this week, and then with the rain this week it just made it worse.
You just had the feeling early in the week even when you played the practice rounds that guys were going to make some birdies this week. All the par 5s with good drives, except for 14, so basically three of the four par 5s were reachable, pretty much for all players. You knew that guys were going to be bunched up making a bunch of birdies. Then you had the soft greens, and guys were going to continue making birdies.
One thing they never got this week is they never got the greens quick. Even if you had downhill putts you were never afraid the ball was going to run out. You never were cautious on a downhill putt, you thought you could still ram it in there and knock it in there. That's normally not the case in most majors. But this week it just happened to be an aberration.
It will be interesting to see if anyone parades this next quote out in defense of the state of the game and equipment (they will be ignoring the millions people spend to get golf courses playing somewhat similar):
...I played it basically the same positions I played in '99, just the ball has changed since '99. The ball is going a lot further. But I'm basically hitting 3 wood or 5 wood to the same exact spots I hit 3 wood or 2 iron the last time we played. I basically played it to the same spots I did last time and accepted that, didn't try and cut over any of the doglegs with driver. For instance, today on 5, it was blowing down off the right so I went with 3 wood off the tee because if I hit driver I would have to take it over the corner of the trees down there and I wouldn't have any room. I could run it in a far bunker so I laid it back. That's basically the way I played the golf course in '99.
And what would a week at a tree lined inland layout be without a "right in front of you" quote from Tiger...
TIGER WOODS: Well, as far as the first part of your question, Medinah Country Club is one of the neat places. I've played here a few times actually, as well as in the '99 PGA. And 2006 PGA I've come out here with M.J. and we've played a little bit. I've always loved playing here. It's a straightforward golf course. We don't get to play golf courses like this. That's why guys love Charlotte, love playing at Firestone next week, why guys love playing Riviera.
These are golf courses that are straightforward, classic golf courses that are just right in front of you. They're difficult but they're not tricked up like how most of the modern golf courses are now. It's a very straightforward the membership has done a fantastic job of getting prepared for us and having open arms and just having a great event this weekend.
This was funny...
Q. What did you first think when you saw that Luke came out wearing a red shirt today? And can you recall the last time anyone wore a red shirt when paired with you on Sunday at a major?
TIGER WOODS: I don't recall, no. No, sorry. I didn't think anything of it. I thought it was kind of weird to have a blue belt with it (laughter).
Here's why Tiger is a saint. I don't care how bad this person's English is, lost in translation is no excuse for first askig this question, and then following up obnoxiously.
Q. When I was out there on the putting green, I found that Phil Mickelson signed autographs for kids every day all the time and you seldom did or never did. What's the reason? And does that mean you don't like kids or you love golf more than kids?
TIGER WOODS: I sign at the range, but I didn't do it around the clubhouse, no. There are too many people, and kids get run over. It actually gets pretty dangerous. We had a barricade go down this week. It gets a little dangerous at times.
Q. And a follow up, I know that you will come to China this November for HSBC Championship. Will you give more autographs to Chinese kids than last year? I think you did it once or twice.
TIGER WOODS: Trust me, I did more than that.
Q. I'd appreciate it.
TIGER WOODS: You got it.
Like I said. A saint.