In typical fashion, Tiger Woods entered the final round of the PGA Championship at Southern Hills with a solid lead over the field - and he did not give up that lead.
Woods shot a final round 69 to finish 8-under-par for the tournament, surviving charges from Ernie Els and Woody Austin.
The win was Woods' 13th PGA Tour major, and he now trails Jack Nicklaus by five.
Woods spoke with reporters after his round.
Q. Can you explain your emotion about winning for the first time as a father, and also you know red is your power color on Sundays. Were you the one that picked out what baby Sam wore today, the color she wore?
TIGER WOODS: Well, it's a feeling I've never had before, having Sam there and having Elin there it feels a lot more special when you have your family there. And it used to be my mom and dad. And now Elin and now we have our own daughter. So it's evolved, and this one feels so much more special than the other majors. The British Open last year was different, but this one was certainly so special and so right to have Elin and Sam there. I wasn't really paying attention when I saw them. I was so excited and just want to give Elin and Sam a kiss and get back to signing my score card.
Q. You've always said you define yourself by majors, this was glory's last shot at a major this year. How important was it for you. And what does it mean for your 2007 year?
TIGER WOODS: It turned into a great year. I felt like I've played well most of the year. And just didn't quite get it done in the first two major championships. I was right there. And I had the lead at one time. And then on Sunday afternoon, just didn't get it done. This time I did. So any time when you win a major championship in the year it's always going to be a great year and this certainly is.
Q. Ernie used to say a few years ago about having the little guy on his shoulder and the doubts that would creep in. When you were out there today, all of us, obviously here, pretty much everybody on this property thought you were going to win this and win it comfortably, and it was just a procession. But when you were out there in the thick of it, it didn't turn out to be that way. How do you personally handle the pressure of that moment and the expectation when, you know, in the past it's gone well but today obviously for a while there it was looking dicey?
TIGER WOODS: I just kept telling myself, Ernie and Woody were making runs. But I still had the lead. And if I made pars they would have to come get me. And if they ever made a birdie on one of the holes to tie me, I can birdie the same hole and it was all square, I had the lead again. Even when I made that bogey at 14, I kept telling myself going to the next hole I need to bear down and get things done, place the ball correctly. But I'm still in control of the tournament; I still have the lead. If I par in, they're going to have to make a birdie somewhere. And 16, 18 aren't exactly birdie holes.
So if I can just go ahead and just bear down and hit good shots, put the ball in play, put the ball in the green, give myself looks at it even though I 3-putted 14, I felt like I putted well all day. Give myself more looks at it. I felt if I gave myself four looks I'd make one or two of them, and I made one.
Q. When you add up all the components of your game, the physical, the mental, the experience, the conditioning, do you feel like you're a better play now than you were in 2000, and if so, why?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, by far. Just experience. Understanding how to handle it and how to manage my game around the golf course. I have more shots than I did then just because that many more years to learn 'em. And how to make adjustments on the fly, just comes with experience. And I'll say the same thing seven years from now, more experienced then than I am now. So it certainly helps having that experience and having been in that position and have gotten things done in the past along the way in those seven years, it makes things a little bit more easy coming down the stretch.
Q. Could you explain the difference in personal satisfaction between a win like last Sunday and then a win today, when you've got to really grind and dig it out? And secondly, what was that dance on 8? You looked like you almost blew a tendon?
TIGER WOODS: Well, last week at the World Golf Championship, it's a big event. I feel pretty comfortable at Firestone. And going out there on Sunday, I just had it going. I hit good shot after good shot, made a few good putts got off to a great start. Put a lot of pressure on Rory. He wasn't playing the way he did the first three days. And all of a sudden he had a nice cush. But today was different. Those guys made a run at me. I got off to a good start today. I was 2-under through 8 and I was in control of the tournament and made a bogey there at 9 and bogeyed 14 and let the guys back in it. But got it done somehow coming down the stretch, which was nice. And then at No. 8, that was a nice putt to make, just a big left-to-righter and got pretty excited there and just felt pretty good.
Q. At what point do you determine that it's time to go after it and win the championship as opposed to making pars and playing it safe?
TIGER WOODS: Well, I had a one-shot lead after 14. I still had four holes to go. And I just felt that those guys having played 16, 18, more likely aren't going to birdie those two holes. The only hole they were going to probably make birdie there was 17. Tough pin to make birdie; you can't get it deep enough, come off that ridge. So I just felt if I just give myself looks -- I kept yelling at myself, Give myself four looks at it. The way I was putting I was going to make 'em. And I hit good shot for good shot. Gave myself looks. I made the one at 15. Misread the one at 16. Lagged the putt up at 17 and 18. And that was about it. But never really had to switch and go after saying, you know what? I have to make birdies to win this championship. Because I just felt like I still had the lead.
Q. This is a great victory on Thai Mother's Day. Would you like to make a special message to children in Thailand that look up to you?
TIGER WOODS: Well, every time I go back there it's been fantastic. We do junior clinics there and my mom helps with a few shelters there in Bangkok. So we try and help the kids as much as we possibly can. And what my mom's done back there no one really knows about it, but she's done a lot for a lot of kids. And awfully proud of her.
Q. I was wondering if you go back to the 63 for a second. How important was that in this victory? How tough was it to come back from that? And now that you looked one out for 62, how doable is that number in a major?
TIGER WOODS: Well, the 63 was -- it got me back in the tournament. I was -- it wasn't like I was out of the tournament, but I just felt that winning score this year was going to probably be around 4-, 5-under par and to go ahead and get it in one lump sum felt pretty good. And then going into the weekend, the way I was hitting the golf ball the first two days I didn't get anything out of it the first day. Felt like I was hitting the ball well enough to go ahead and shoot rounds in the 60s, and I felt that would be good enough to win the championship. Now, as far as the 62 being doable, I mean, it all depends on the golf course. It all depends on the venue. Obviously it's a lot easier when it's on a par 70 and you have soft greens. This year the greens were not firm, it was too hot. They had to syringe them. And they didn't really syringe them on the weekend. And guys had a harder time going low. But the first two days they were out there syringing them, and they were backing golf balls up but not on the weekend.
Q. Do you still feel that ball lipped out?
TIGER WOODS: Do I still feel the ball lipped out? I hit a good putt and I thought I made it. To be honest with you, I thought I made it. Oh, well.
Q. As you edge closer to Jack's record of 18 majors, do you dare to look beyond that and what might be possible, fitness permitting?
TIGER WOODS: Well, when you first start your career, it's -- 18 is just a long way away. And even though I'm at 13, it's still a long way away. You can't get it done in one year. It's going to take time, as I've said before in the past. It took Jack 20 years to get it done. 20-plus years. It's one of those things where it's going to take some time. And hopefully health permitting and everything goes right and I keep improving, that I'll one day surpass that.
Q. This gives you 13 majors tying Bobby Jones. What does it mean to be in that company?
TIGER WOODS:Any time you're in conversations with Bobby Jones and Jack Nicklaus, Walter Hagen, just in general it makes it -- it makes you understand that you've had a nice run in your career. And I could not ask for a better start to my career. If you would ask me that 12 years into my career would I have had this many wins and this many majors, there's no way. I've exceeded my own expectations and I'm certainly not against that (smiling).
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August 12, 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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