Tiger Woods addressed the scribblers and television bobbleheads in his now-annual PGA Tour Player of the Year acceptance speech and annual state of all things Tiger.
Some highlights...at least those left in the transcript. (I'll explain momentarily.)
Q. If you look at just your performance on the course, you have one fewer win this year, one less major, and yet it looked like it was a pretty good year if not better than the year before. I wonder if you could just square with that, why the numbers would show last year --Fast forward...
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I think it was a better year this year, even though I didn't quite -- I had a chance probably -- a great chance to win three of the four majors this year. I finished second in two of them. I was just a few shots away from basically doing what I did in 2000, the number of seconds I had, it wasn't that far away. What did I finish, second to Phil, and then the two major championships. If I get those done, get those squared away, people would probably be comparing it to 2000 if not better.
Q. When you do come close like you did at Oakmont and other situations like that, I think you said that you'll go back and reassess what you did that week. What was that process like and what did you find out from it?And now a word from our censors...
TIGER WOODS: Frustrating because I thought I played well enough to win the championship, and that's one of the most frustrating things. I didn't capitalize on my opportunities, like at Augusta I did not finish the last two holes well. What did I play them, like 3-over or 5-over par in three days -- no, 4-over par in two days. I bogeyed 17 and 18 both Friday and Saturday. You can't do that and expect to win a major championship.
And then what I did on Saturday at the Open, not capitalizing on the best ball-striking round I had in any of the four majors, and I wind up with -- what did I shoot, even par or 1-under, something like that? That was a day I could have taken the lead and separated myself a little bit, and I didn't do that.
Because this is a family values web site, I will try to explain what happened.
There was a lovely looking young television reporter type lurking in the interview area, who seated herself well before the start of Tiger's talk. Behind her was her cameraman. She took the mike for her question, which, I should note was in a British accent and went something like this: When my boyfriend and I are having sex he keeps calling out your name, Tiger. Does this mean he's gay?
There was then a follow-up that included some sort of reference to her boyfriend's woods missing her holes, followed by a plug for some kind of dating web site, and well, I was just wondering at this point why I wasn't rolling my video camera so you could see Steve Brenner remove this credentialed "reporter" from the interview room.
Then, after a series of inane fatherhood questions he's been asked about a million times, we got back to business.
Q. I was just wondering, given your business interests in Dubai, whether you could ever envision maybe a couple Tour stops and maybe picking up your European Tour card for '09 since they're adding that big tournament on the back end.
TIGER WOODS: That's a good question. I've contemplated that since basically '99 and since I started going over to Europe and playing over there in Europe. I started playing in Germany, I believe, in '99. I've always been one or two short of keeping my status over there, and there's really no way I can keep up the commitment level that I have by playing that much golf on both sides of the continent and all the things that I have to deal with at a venue. It tends to wear you out a little bit.
So much for that theory.
Q. Welcome back home. I have a question for you -- two of them. First was all, your schedule in early '08, do you plan on playing at Riviera this year?
TIGER WOODS: I haven't looked at my schedule yet for next year. As soon as this tournament is over, within the next week after this tournament, I'll figure out what my schedule will be for my run up to Augusta and making sure I get all the tournaments in that I need to get ready and prepare and make sure everything is on schedule for that.
That's a no.
Q. You've probably heard that Golf Digest and the USGA is kind of following up on something you said at the U.S. Open last year when you were asked how a 10-handicapper would do on a U.S. Open course, and they're going to have three celebrity amateurs and another amateur play just a week or so before you guys tee it up there. What do you think of the idea?
TIGER WOODS: I think it's an interesting idea. I think they should play the Monday after the tournament. That's when it's the hardest. A week or two before is not so bad. It's just amazing how the grass seems to grow in the last couple weeks for USGA events.
No, I mean, they'll finally get an understanding of how difficult it is and how narrow the fairways are and generally how fast it is, the overall golf course. The USGA loves to have it quick and demanding.
I think what separates -- what amateurs don't really probably truly understand is the pin locations, how difficult they can be. At Oakmont -- I've played Augusta all these years. I've never seen pins that difficult, and they were actually being nice to us. I think that's the difference is that at say Pinehurst and at Oakmont, you felt you could easily putt the ball off greens. You don't find that feeling very often in tournaments.
And my contribution for the greater good of mankind:
Q. In the new Golf Digest you were quoted as saying if you ruled the game you guys would be playing persimmon and balata. Can you talk about that, and can you speak to whether you think there would be any interest in a tournament once a year where you guys actually use that kind of equipment?
TIGER WOODS: Well, I think that any time a player likes to shape a golf ball, understands how to shape a golf ball or bend -- who can consistently hit the ball flush, you're going to want the ball to move more and the equipment to be less forgiving. It puts a premium on quality. There's a lot of guys that just go out there and just hit it, they mis-hit it, but the golf balls and the club heads, they're so forgiving that the ball goes the same distance.
Like my old persimmon driver that I grew up with, it's only maybe 15 yards behind my driver now. If I mis-hit it, it was like hitting a 3-iron out there. It goes nowhere. That's the biggest difference. You have to hit the ball flush, perfectly struck shots. It goes just about the same distance.
You know, if you -- this is a good story. I actually played the 9th hole at St. Andrews in 2000 with a gutta-percha ball and with my old golf ball, which was the first Nike ball I put out there, and I drove the green with my ball. And then with the gutta-percha ball I hit a driver and a 5-iron and just barely rolled it to the middle of the green. Big difference in technology. But that's basically the difference in -- it wouldn't be that big a difference, but there would be certainly a distinct difference. It would be fun to play a tournament that way, there's no doubt.
All you tournaments out there wanting to get Tiger Woods to show up, now you know what might get his attention.
Q. How familiar are you with a website that's been around for a few years, TigerWoodsisGod.com, which claims to be the First Church of Tiger Woods? What's your reaction to the basic premise?
TIGER WOODS: I've heard of it, there's no doubt, I've heard of it. I've never been on-line to take a look at it. I think just the name itself, I really don't want to take a look at it.
Q. So are you denying your divinity? Are you officially denying your divinity?
TIGER WOODS: I am so far away from that (laughter).
And stay away from the site Tiger. It's the kind of thing that would keep any normal person up at night.