Woods finished at 10-under, two better than his Sunday playing partner, Brett Wetterich, who despite a late charge could not close the gap.
The road to his 13th WGC title started slowly, with Woods struggling with his putter and tied for 10th place after the first round. But a weekend of steady golf chipped away at the field, and Woods started Sunday up strokes on the field.
Here's what Woods had to say after the win, as he looks ahead to Augusta National and The Masters in two weeks.
Q. Brett said you make it look easy out there. Was it easy for you?
TIGER WOODS: No, today I struggled a little bit on the greens today, getting the pace down. The wind was a little blustery and I had a hard time figuring out the grain and which way it was going, because some of the putts, the grain, like on 8, over the years past, that putt is dead downgrain, if not right-to-left. And that putt was in the grain, you know, coming out of the left, and that's complete opposite of how it used to play. Again, I was putting by memory and probably shouldn't have done that.
Q. Can you take us through 18?
TIGER WOODS: I had a three-shot lead, if I dump the ball in the water, you know, and I've got a three-shot lead so if I dump the ball in the water I try and go from it there. Obviously the scenario is draw back, put the ball in the bunker, blast out two, putt, and next thing you know I'm making 7, he makes 3, he wins the tournament. I make 5, he can't win the tournament. So I laid up, hit 3-iron off the tee and 8-iron and a wedge and just 2-putted and tournament was over.
Q. Obviously you couldn't have known that Calc had putted off the green and into the water from that very same spot, but how fast was that putt?
TIGER WOODS: It was pretty quick. I saw Vijay putt his putt from right-to-left, it was just a little short of the hole and to the right. It kept rolling off that slope, and when I got up there I could see why. That was probably the driest green on the entire property. I could see how you can run that putt by and I just kept telling myself, just lag it down there and trust your speed, trust your stroke, release the blade, and then get it down there.
Q. You get asked a lot about Firestone and Torrey Pines and other tournaments you keep winning, but this is one where you've won on six courses six times. Can you talk about that; if it's meaningful at all?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, well, this tournament's been good to me.
Q. It's been an annuity.
TIGER WOODS: I don't know why I've won on six different venues; probably because we play all the different venues.
I don't know, I love this golf course. I've always played well here, and when it was decided that we were going to come here, I just thought that this was a wonderful opportunity for me to win the championship.
Q. When all is said and done now, is this a good way to go to Augusta?
TIGER WOODS: Well, you can't have any better way. Getting a W right before you go.
So I'm very excited about the things that I've been able to rectify on Monday and Tuesday, and then obviously applied it to Thursday through Sunday.
Q. Could you just talk a little about Brett's game today?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, Brett, he hit the ball pretty good all day. He hit driver on just about every single hole out there today. He was just pretty aggressive off the tee, was getting the ball down there and driving it pretty straight.
He missed a couple of putts out there early, but, you know, I think everyone was doing that out there. From what I could see, nobody shot a low round today. So it was pretty difficult.
Q. I cannot recall a tournament where you laid up on the 18th to win. Do you recall one?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, Firestone. I hit 2-iron and I think like a wedge and a pitch shot and 2-putted for bogey.
Q. Was that last year?
TIGER WOODS: No. One of the times I won there. (Laughter)
Q. Hey, Tiger, could you talk about if Brett had made that putt at 17, how that would have changed your club selection?
TIGER WOODS: Well, if Brett makes that putt, I have to hit driver, plain and simple, unless he soups it left; if he hits it right, I still have to hit driver and be committed to it and get it down there, and basically try and make par just in case he makes birdie, somehow.
Since he missed that putt on 17, he makes 3 all day, it doesn't really matter if I play a three-shot hole and make 5.
Q. Wonder, back to the 18th, would you have done the same thing earlier in your career?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah. I've done that in junior golf, amateur golf, doesn't matter.
Q. So there's no --
TIGER WOODS: A W is a W.
Q. Shoulder bugging you at all this week?
TIGER WOODS: I slept kind of funky one night, and my neck's been stiff for about three days now.
Q. Once again you've come back from less than a top 20 finish with a victory. I think the numbers on that are like 13 in 23 times. What's your thoughts on that, the ability to come back from a disappointing performance with a victory?
TIGER WOODS: I think you have to analyze your performance and where you went wrong. Too many people are afraid to look deep down and look at where you made mistakes. That's not always easy to do, to be honest with yourself. That's something my father always instilled in me and even to this day, sometimes it's difficult, but you have to take an honest look and have an honest evaluation of your performance.
I made too many mental mistakes, which I never do. Physical mistakes I can handle, but since this is not a reactionary sport, it's just frustrating for me to make a mental mistake.
Q. Can you say that again? (Phone ringing)
TIGER WOODS: I kept it going pretty good, didn't I. (Laughter)
Q. Tiger -- your urn in the way or whatever that thing is, somebody's ashes?
TIGER WOODS: I have a really good joke, but I'm not going to say it. Okay. Go ahead.
Q. Do you enjoy the tactical ebb and flow of the last day when you're up six, you're up four, you're up three, up two, all that, versus, you know, just the first three rounds when it's more you against yourself?
TIGER WOODS: Well, the first three rounds is just to situate yourself for Sunday. And then obviously Sunday, you have to get a feel for what the golf course is doing obviously, first, how you're feeling, and then what the guys are doing either ahead of you or behind you; or, in this case, Brett was playing with me.
But it's just, you know, years and years of experience of going through these circumstances help.
Q. Even before 18, did you find yourself playing more protectively than you thought you would, or is that just a matter of the conditions?
TIGER WOODS: No, I just kept telling myself all day, if I shoot under par, it's over. Get to the back nine, if I just could shoot under par on the back nine, just put it away, I'd go ahead and get the W that way. But didn't happen that way.
Q. I'd just be curious, given your record in the final round, when is the last time you even saw Ed Fiori?
TIGER WOODS: I haven't seen him, since maybe '97.
Q. Did he ever say anything to you?
TIGER WOODS: He's been hurt for all those years. Obviously now he's on the Senior Tour. So I'm a little ways away from that Tour.
Q. We're waiting for you. TIGER WOODS: (Smiling)
Q. Since working with Hank, do you feel better about your swing? Do you feel like it's easier now to self-correct and in mid-round?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I have a better understanding of my golf swing and how to rectify it from shot to shot. It's not always easy to do, but I can figure out through ball flight and how I felt through the shot, and, you know, draw a conclusion.
Q. How crucial has that been for you?
TIGER WOODS: It's everything. That's how you win tournaments. You're not going to hit it perfect every day on every shot. You've got to figure out somehow to get it around and piece it together and turn days when you're not feeling well, 73s and 74s into 69s and 68s.
Q. When you get to six, up through ten or 11, whatever it was, does that change your approach when you play those last eight or nine holes, or are you still thinking, shoot under par?
TIGER WOODS: Shoot under par, keep going. Didn't quite work out that way, birdied 10, 3-putted 11, I kept telling myself, I'm at even par on the back nine right now, so just keep plugging along and see if we can sneak one more birdie in here somewhere.
Q. How would you rate this entrance into Augusta National and The Masters with past years?
TIGER WOODS: Pretty good. I feel good about the things that I've been working on, and I'm feeling more comfortable with it and looking forward to my practice sessions this week and leading up to Augusta.
Q. How many times in the years you've played the Masters have you gone to Augusta the week before you get there?
TIGER WOODS: Only when there's changes. Only when they decide to rebuild the place.
Transcripts provided by ASAP Sports.
March 26, 2007
Coming off his thrilling British Open victory over Sergio Garcia in 2007, Padraig Harrington sat down to discuss his game and his chances at the 2008 U.S. Open. "I have spent my last 10 years trying to adapt my swing to play U.S. Open golf," Harrington said. "I'd say the last two years, that and the Masters have attracted my attention more than anything else."
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