CNN’s ‘Living Golf’ programme has an exclusive interview with Tiger Woods this week. Extracts can be viewed here via GBN.com. The full programme airs at the following times on CNN International:
Highlights from the interview carried out by Shane O’Donoghue for ‘CNN’s ‘Living Golf’.
Shane O’Donoghue: You are always very focused on the majors. You’ve got those 14 obviously in the bag. How much desire is still there with you when it comes to matching Jack’s total of 18 and perhaps beyond?
Tiger Woods: Well, I’m not trying to match it, that’s for sure. Trying to get there, trying to get past it, it takes times. It took Jack over 20 years to get to where he’s at… and been out here a little bit, but still need to make improvements, to get more efficient on what I’m doing, its about giving myself plenty of opportunities
Shane O’Donoghue: Now, at the moment we are supposedly talking about those who have come through the Tiger era, those who have looked up to you as youngsters, and they are coming through the real elite ones like Rory Mcllroy, Ryo Ishikawa, Rickie Fowler. Obviously, we’ve got Noh Seung Yul here, from Korea. What you make of these younger players, the younger generation?
Tiger Woods: I would have to say that this new crop of players, they are just longer. They hit the ball certainly a lot further than what I used to, but also the generation right before me. We had a lot of guys like a Jim Furyk, Justin Leonard, who are shorter hitters, but have managed their game really well and got around the golf course.
All these kids hit the ball long way. Some of them do work the golf ball, but a lot of them just pound it out there. It’s a different game. Guys don’t maneuver the golf ball like they used to. The ball doesn’t move as much. So, movement now is not necessarily shape, more into trajectories changes, I’ve seen Ryo hit the ball pretty high, but he tries to play different shots. Some guys try to play different shots, some guys don’t. It will be interesting to see how these guys mature and see what happens.
Shane O’Donoghue: The Masters is obviously on the horizon and you made an incredible comeback there last year. How did you do that, given it all taken place, to be able to raise your game and perform the way the way you did.
Tiger Woods: I still don’t know how I did that. I think it helped to come back to a golf course that I know. I know how to play it, I know here I need to put the golf ball, I know each and every flag, I know how to play it. And that helped a lot.
Shane O’Donoghue: Have you thought about though what took, I mean, have you analyzed how you managed to actually just bring it all together for that just one week, given the lack of tournament play.
Tiger Woods: Yeah, that was hard. That was very hard, because I wasn’t as prepared physically or mentally for the event, but like I said, I came back to a golf course that I had success on, and I knew how to play it.
On His Kids
Shane O’Donoghue: And when it comes to your kids and everything that I got similar to you, four year old and a two year old, a girl and a boy… they demand a lot of attention… so how do you juggle it when you are at home you’re looking after your kids and getting on with your practice and preparing as you do, for your tournaments?
Tiger Woods: It’s all about them! Whatever they want to do we do. Obviously when I don’t have them that’s when I can practice a little more, but when I’m around them, it’s all about them!
Shane O’Donoghue: And what they are into? Are they into golf at all?
Tiger Woods: Charlie likes to play a little bit. Sam’s different. She’s more creative, more artsy, so… two very different people…
Shane O’Donoghue: But you just love spending time with them, obviously.
Tiger Woods: Absolutely! It’s the greatest thing in the world! I mean… It really is!
Shane O’Donoghue: I mean, you have stated that to be a great father is much more important than winning major titles.
Tiger Woods: Absolutely. Being present for your kids is far more valuable than anything you do. To be around them, to be with them and help them grow… to share these experiences with them… it’s something so special!
Shane O’Donoghue: And with regard to you psychologically, mentally, you know you are renowned to this great focus, this great competitive zeal, this drive on the course. Personally how are you fairing with everything that’s gone on and looking ahead into the future
Tiger Woods: We’ve moved on. We’ve moved forward. It’s about getting my life in a balance and that’s been good! it feels good!
Shane O’Donoghue: And you’re feeling much better than say 12 months ago, when you were just about to get back into playing a bit of golf.
Tiger Woods: Absolutely. My life is certainly a lot more balanced where it needs to be now, than it was then.