Tiger's sit down with the scribblers Thursday included all of the right FedEx Cup answers...
Q. What would be meaningful about winning the FedExCup?
TIGER WOODS: Well, any time you win something that's never been done before, it's always meaningful. This is an experiment for the TOUR, and I equated it out there to very similar to what NASCAR went through. No one really understood it until after it happened, and then after a couple years people really got behind it. As we can all see, it's been flourishing.
Q. Several players have said this week, Rich Beem the other day said, let's be honest, without Tiger in the field, the Playoffs -- a Playoff event doesn't really matter. What's your take on the reaction you've received for taking a week off from players, from media, from fans? What's your take on you taking a week off?
TIGER WOODS: As far as the players, I really haven't heard much. I know that a bunch of my buddies were giving me some grief (laughter). But as far as any of the media stuff, I haven't seen it. I've been out on the boat and getting away from it.
Q. What kind of grief?
TIGER WOODS: Any kind of grief imaginable, just like we always do. We do it each and every day.
Q. No details, though?
TIGER WOODS: We just need to find an excuse and we're going to needle each other.
And for today's rally killer, courtesy of a television reporter (like that needed clarification!)...
Q. One of our local sports celebrities Tom Brady just had a baby, and I'm wondering do you have any new dad advice for him?
TIGER WOODS: Well, you don't sleep, that's for sure (laughter). It's fantastic. You hear from every parent who's ever had their first child that it's an experience that you'll never forget. You always want to be there. It's the little things. I've only been a dad for about two months now, but it's just the little things each and every day.
I'm away from home this week, and you miss those things. Granted, when you're at home it drives you crazy at times, especially late nights, 3:00 and 4:00 in the morning gets a little tough. But those times actually you really do sort of miss them, as well.
On the golf course...
Q. Can you talk about coming back here as the defending champion, and also now that you've played a full Pro-Am round, what about the changes on this course? What are your thoughts about that?
TIGER WOODS: Well, every time we've played here, this has been one of the greatest sporting towns you could ever play in front of. These fans, they love their sport, and they've supported this event. I know they've changed the golf course several times, and this time they've really done I think just a heck of a job and made it much more natural to the surroundings.
They made it probably slightly more difficult. The greens are a little faster right now, the fairways are giving it up a little bit, and you're really going to have to make sure you manage your game a little bit.
Before in some of the years we've played, we just had to make a bunch of birdies, just go super-low. It's going to be a little more difficult to do that this year.
On short par-4's, including this week's 4th hole...
Q. Can you talk about drivable par 4s and specifically the 4th hole out here this week?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I've always thought that's been a neat attribute to a golf course if you have one par 4 you can drive. But generally if you don't play it well, you're going to probably make bogey or even double. I think that's one of the neat things about having a par 4 like that.
You've got to hit -- you think you ought to just blow it in the bunker up there or whatever, but that's one of the harder bunker shots, too. You've got to make sure you know what you're doing, where the pin is, and it's a little more strategic than you think. It's very similar to No. 10 at Riviera. You think, oh, this is no big deal, driver down there, and up-and-down easy. We see a lot of bogeys for some reason on that hole when guys take a run at it.
And one more...
Q. In follow-up to that question about the 4th hole, how did you play it today and what is the game plan?
TIGER WOODS: Well, I drove it just short of the green probably maybe about two yards short of the bunker. I just hit kind of a flop shot. Pin was right in the middle of the green.
You know, if I hit a really good drive, I might be able to fly it to the front. I've got to really hit a good one. But generally my normal shot is going to be just slightly short of the green. A lot of it just depends on the angles you want. Obviously the green goes basically from back left to front right is the angle. To try to hit the ball to the right you've got to hit it a lot further, which makes it a little more interesting.
It's a very clever hole. You think it's pretty easy, you think you should be able to walk away for the week playing it 3-under par, 2-under par at the worst, but you'll see some bogeys there.
And they say there is no such thing as a dumb question...this isn't even a point misser.
Q. Are you presently designing any golf courses? If yes, where are they; if no, will you do some in the future?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, one in Dubai and one in Nashville [Asheville]. We have two that we're working on. You know, we're probably going to limit it to that.
Sounds like it's fun to build in Dubai...
Q. I want you to talk about maybe a couple of things that you've learned as you've started these first two projects.
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, there's quite a few headaches that are involved. Just like anything, you're trying to create something from nothing, so there always are going to be some impediments along the way.
For instance, like the Dubai project, we've -- how do you get water that far into the desert? You think, okay, it's pretty easy, build a couple lakes, dump the water in. Well, it's 130 degrees, it's humid, everything is evaporating and all gone. Trying to create and shape the golf course and keep the dirt from blowing away, the wind blows there, too, it's not like it's calm every day, is a challenge. This is something that we didn't really think about at the beginning. We thought, okay, we can get around this, no big deal. All of a sudden it's a reality and it's presenting quite a problem.
On the Westchester television ratings...
Q. Did you get a chance to watch any of last week's at all and did you happen to see what the TV ratings were?
TIGER WOODS: No and then yes. I didn't watch any of it, but I read the paper on Monday.
Q. Were you a little surprised it was as low as it was given kind of the hype and the lead-in?
TIGER WOODS: I was surprised.
This did not exactly put the Hank-Tiger breakup rumors to rest...
Q. You mentioned practice. Over the last couple weeks there have been a couple reports about Hank and you guys' status and how much he's going to be intimately involved. Can you give us your view on how that's going to go going forward?
TIGER WOODS: Well, we're still working together.
Q. Just not as often?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, definitely not as often. He has some things that he needs to take care of, which is totally understandable, and he really should be there.
And last question on getting a cut of the real estate in his design ventures...
Q. When it comes to your courses and your design and the structure of them, I know they won't all be tied to real estate, but the first couple having the design part and then the real estate part on the back end for years to come, why is that? And can you just talk a little bit about the structure of that? And some other players, Jack has done deals like that that have kind of backfired on the real estate part of it for him. What are your thoughts on having it structured that way, and can you talk a little bit about it?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, that structure has its faults and can be fallible. But also if you're lucky enough, you can hit the home run, too. So it's a hit-and-miss.
But yeah, you definitely do take a chance when you do that. But that's the whole idea of being around people who are reputable, who understand what they're doing, and who have created projects in the past that have been very successful. And these people are the ones you want to partner up with.
Like Donald Trump!