Way too many dog, fatherhood and 1997 questions, but a few things of interest related to the matter at hand, starting with the fiery greens:
Q. You talk a little about the greens here. It seems universally all greens are compared to Augusta greens. Do you think they are the toughest, or is it the nuances --
TIGER WOODS: Are they the toughest I've ever played? I haven't played Oakmont; everyone says Oakmont rivals this, but I haven't played there yet. This course, the amount of break you have to play and the creativity you have to use when you read putts, it's different from anything you ever have played. You may try and practice at home and you may try to do other things. But you get here, you just don't find slopes this speed. You try as best you can to get greens at home or putt on your kitchen floor or whatever it may be. But nothing really prepares you for a ball, especially when it's dry like this right now, how much the ball rolls out. You hit a good putt, oh, that's a good putt. You think it's going to be a foot or two past the hole and all of a sudden it rolls out to three, four, five feet; wait a minute.
That happens quite a bit. And if you get a little wind out here that same putt can go six, seven, eight feet by; Augusta wind. That makes it so difficult and if you hit it in the wrong spots, it's an automatic 3-putt unless you make a 15- or 20-footer, because sometimes that's the best you can do.
The best of the 1997 questions:
Q. In the ten years since you've won here, there have been so many changes, not only here on the Tour, the technology, the money, the TV, a lot of it is brought on by you. Could you have ever envisioned that when you were starting? I know your dad talked about things like that happening, but could you have ever envisioned that? And as a guy who likes challenges, do you prefer that there are these changes, or would you just have been happy to leave things as they were?
TIGER WOODS: Well, would I have ever foreseen it happening? No. I would never have foreseen the changes that they made, not only in this event alone. I was joking about it the other week, when I played Davis in a playoff in '96 to win in Vegas, Davis was using a Persimmon driver. That's amazing how the game has changed in 11 years.
It just -- every driver was 43 and a half inches, steel was standard, wound balls. Now everything is 45 inches and plus. Heads have obviously grown gynormously. There is no wound ball out here anymore.
The game has certainly changed. If we played the same golf course now with the technology, the scores would be ridiculous, because you would have short irons into just about every par 5. Most of the holes, you could drive it with a wedge on most of the par 4 and the only defense it would have if the weather turned bad. If the weather was perfect for all four days, guys would have probably broken my record easily.
Q. Do you realize that you are responsible for most of these things as much as the technology -- most of that can be funneled back to your appearance on the Tour?
TIGER WOODS: I guess it's all my fault, huh. (Laughter).