Competitors break down their two days of play
In their news conference after Wednesday's final round, Tiger Woods, Jim Furyk, Geoff Ogilvy and Mike Weir discussed their closing 18 at Poipu Bay and how they used this week to prepare for the 2007 season.
JULIUS MASON (PGA Grand Slam of Golf moderator): Your results of the 24th PGA Grand Slam of Golf: Tiger Woods first place, 70-66--136, minus-8; Jim Furyk, 67-710--138, minus-6; Geoff Ogilvy, 68-74--142, minus-2; Mike Weir, 71-740--145, plus-1.
Mr. Woods, congratulations again for the seventh time. Some comments on your round today. We'll go through your card, then go to Q&A if you don't mind.
TIGER WOODS: Well, I certainly hit it better than I did yesterday. Gave myself some chances. I putted well again. But more importantly, I got the threehot lead that Jim had on me down to one for the first three holes. The conditions being that tough, I thought that was probably the most ideal start I could have had, is to be able to pick up two shots that fast. Chipped in on 9, which was a lot of luck. Overall, I really hit the ball crisp and clean today, which was nice.
JULIUS MASON: Your card. Birdie on 2.
TIGER WOODS: Hit a driver and a 5-wood just left of the green. Putted from about 50 feet, two-putted.
No. 3, I hit a 4-iron to about six feet.
6, I hit a driver and 9-iron, kind of hacked it up there, rolled it up on the green. Two-putted from about 40 feet.
No. 9, I hit a 3-wood off the tee. I hit a 6-iron just left of the green. Chipped in there.
15, I hit a 3-iron off the tee there, pitching wedge to about 12 feet, made that.
On 18, I hit a driver and an 8-iron and two-putted from about 30 feet.
JULIUS MASON: Questions, folks.
Q. Seemed like there was a lot of highlights for you today. The chip on 9, saves on 10 and 11, a dagger on 15, so to speak. In addition, it seemed like you also had makable putts you missed on 4, 7, 8, 14 and 17. Would you like to describe any of those, especially the chip?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, well, the chip was nice. But I think the biggest putt I made all day was actually at 5. I drove it just in the right rough, caught a flyer, went over the green, chipped a path to the hole, had about a 7-footer there for par. I just birdied 2 and 3. I missed a short one there at 4. I didn't want to give any shots back that soon after I just picked up two shots on Jim. I was able to knock that one in. That basically I felt got me going.
From there, I hit some good shots, just kept trying to put the pressure on Jim. He played really solid today. I mean, he didn't really have it as he did yesterday, but he was still very consistent. He missed the ball on the correct sides, always had room, made a couple of good saves.
The chip-in at 9, then obviously two up and downs as you said, on 10 and 11, which were key to start the back nine. I felt like I had the momentum back on my side after chipping in on 9 and didn't want to give it back to him.
Q. I know you always want to win. Did you ever feel maybe after 9 or 10, I got this in my pocket?
TIGER WOODS: No, not yet, no. Only time I really felt like I pretty much had everything under control is when Jim didn't hole his third shot on 18. I figured I could three-putt from there and be okay.
Q. Maybe get into a little, if you could, where you're going to open the season next year, Mercedes [-Benz Championship in Hawaii]. If you could talk about if the event doesn't come back, will you miss not going to Kauai, if you do qualify?
TIGER WOODS: As far as next year is concerned, I really don't know yet. I don't know what the order of events are yet next year, to be honest with you (laughter). I haven't looked at the schedule yet. I was just trying to get through this Asian trip here, then get on my vacation here, you know, start thinking ahead to that, start planning my schedule and my practice time.
This has been basically like one of the great vacations for us as players to come here. The resort's fantastic. The people that come out and watch, support, there's just genuine people here. They're so nice. I've been coming here enough times where you see the same people year after year. My high school teacher was out there on ProAm day. That was kind of interesting.
As I said, I've always loved coming here. It's just a shame that if it doesn't happen, we don't come back. But first thing's first. I got to qualify. I got four chances next year. We'll see.
JULIUS MASON: Tiger Woods, thanks very much. Jim, if you wouldn't mind, let's talk about the round today. Let's talk about your birdies and about your second-place finish.
JIM FURYK: It will be short talking about the birdies (laughter).
You know, obviously not extremely happy with the way I played today. You know, I really struggled. If anything, I struggled with my ball striking quite a bit. My swing was not quite as good as I would like it to be. I scrambled well, got the ball up and down well, I putted pretty well for two days. I didn't putt nearly as well today as I did yesterday, but still got it in the hole.
I managed to go through 36 holes only making one bogey, so I did a lot right. But I just wasn't hitting the ball well enough and giving myself enough opportunities to make enough birdies.
I'm a little disappointed in the way I played, but I guess in the way I hit the ball. I played well for what I gave myself. I just didn't -- I wasn't firing on all cylinders and not swinging at it nearly as well as I would like to.
JULIUS MASON: Questions.
Q. Jim, there were two crucial putts on 15. You had a downhill, I don't know, 6-footer. Tiger had a 12-footer uphill.
JIM FURYK: His was probably like 15. Mine was probably like 8 or 9.
Q. Crucial situations. It went the wrong way for you. Got to be disappointing.
JIM FURYK: He had a good opportunity to go two up on the par 5 the hole before. His putt missed. I, of course, am hoping to get a birdie there. He hit a good putt, knocked it in the middle. Looked like it was going in from the time it left the club. I misread mine and got it a touch left also. Obviously didn't come real close to the hole. Probably one of the worst putts, worst chances I gave myself putting this week because I did hit a lot of good putts. That didn't do me in, but being up one there or two is a big difference.
Then I wasn't able to really hit the ball close on 16 or 17. He kind of had to just put it in the fairway, put it in the middle of the green, two-putt, get out of there. I wasn't able to put any heat on him.
Q. (No microphone.)
JIM FURYK: I asked him to read it. He thought it was a left-edge putt. I thought it was too actually. In hindsight, it might not have been, but we both agreed it was left edge (laughter). I was thinking the same thing. It probably was more of a left center putt.
Q. Jim, did you have a target score in mind starting out today? You probably figured Tiger would make some kind of charge.
JIM FURYK: Yeah. I think you expect that. I didn't really look at it as a target score. I felt like the only time I ever put a target out there, we had five holes left on the 14th tee. I just lipped one out on 13. I was thinking to myself, I'm probably going to have to make at least three birdies, birdie three of the last five to probably have a chance. That would have gotten me to 8-under.
Tiger finished at 8. I was right on the guess. I just wasn't -- like I said, didn't hit a good wedge at 14. I missed the putt at 15. Didn't hit good shots really in 16, 17. I did make birdie on 18. Again, hit a bad drive in the left rough.
I didn't put the ball in the fairway which is usually a real strength. I don't think I hit half the fairways. I think I only hit six fairways. As we talked yesterday, you got short irons in your hand for the middle of the fairway, you can make a bunch of birdies. When you are out there in the rough, have to aim away from the pin, it's very difficult. I just didn't put the ball on the fairway enough.
Q. Was that, Jim, where you felt it was really slipping away, standing on the 14th, or had you gotten signs that it wasn't going to kind of fall your way today earlier on? If so, when?
JIM FURYK: I just keep plugging away, keep trying hard. He made a good chip, good pitch at 9. I lipped my putt out. I hit it too hard again uphill into the green. I wanted to hit it firm. He was able to birdie. That got him to even. I made a bogey at 10 off an errant drive. I missed about a 6- or 7-footer. One down, I'm still right there in the thick of things.
15 was critical, going two down. You got to keep plugging away. I've never been on the course and thought, Wow, it's really slipping away right now. You're always plugging away, always trying, always just keep going as hard as you can because you never know what's going to happen. He might make a bogey, you could make a birdie, get two shots real quick. Just keep trying and hope for the best.
JULIUS MASON: Jim Furyk is your runner-up in the 2006 PGA Grand Slam of Golf. Jim, thanks for joining us. We have Mr. Ogilvy and Mr. Weir joining us now. Geoff, how about some comments on today's final round.
GEOFF OGILVY: Yeah, obviously I didn't play very well. It was a lot tougher today I think than yesterday. A bit windier.
Had a bad start. I bogeyed the second hole, which is one of the birdie holes. Just couldn't really work it out with the putter. I didn't putt very well. It's not my favorite surface. I seemed to work it out yesterday. Today the way I putted it really wasn't good enough in the end. I could have made a few on the back nine, salvaged a decent score, but I didn't manage to do it. Not my best day, but it was all right. Tough out there.
MIKE WEIR: I agree with Geoff. Played tougher. For myself, I had trouble on the greens as well. I had two bad holes this week, a double yesterday and a triple today on 7. Outside of that, I felt like I played pretty good. Felt like I struck it a little better today than yesterday.
But still, you know, just didn't make a thing. I made one putt I think on No. 8 today from about 12 feet. I think that's the only putt I made in two days. Just tough to catch those guys when you're not making anything.
JULIUS MASON: Questions, folks.
Q. Geoff, it seemed like you left a lot of putts short. Uncharacteristic. Can you describe what the problem was? Mike, the water. Sounds like you had some fun in the water. I'm being sarcastic. Maybe talk about your disappointment about the water.
GEOFF OGILVY: The greens are just really, really, really -- I grew up on bentgrass, really fast bentgrass in Australia. I played enough Bermuda to know it's slow. These are especially slow into the grain. It's just hard to get myself to hit it that hard. I played the Australian Open last week. If I hit some of those putts that hard, I would have been bouncing off the shins of the people in the crowd.
It's not bad; it's just different. My instinct is to not hit putts that hard. I really struggled with hit. If I play a whole week here, I'll get into it by the weekend. We're only here for a few days.
A bit of that water on the greens, again. That rain slowed them down an extra foot. That's just not my thing. I have to get better putting into the grain on Bermuda. We play on it enough I should know.
MIKE WEIR: Yeah, to answer your question (laughter). Hitting it in the water is not fun. I had a good number on 7, just hit it a little heavy. The ball didn't carry. That was about the strongest that the wind was getting there, when we were out in that green. It was hard putting.
My back was to the wind. I took my putter back, my putter was going straight this way. It was blowing so hard. That was disappointing. Then, again, I seemed to catch that little rain squall trying to drive that green. The ball came up funny. I don't know if there was a lot of water on my club. Came off the club kind of funny.
Like I said, there's two shots in the whole day really that I didn't hit great. Other than that, I played pretty good.
Q. Geoff, your first time out here. What do you take from this experience? Did you learn anything hanging around with these other guys?
GEOFF OGILVY: Yeah, I mean, you learn. Tiger played a pretty impressive round today really. As I said, it was a lot tougher today than it was yesterday. He doesn't really put a foot wrong when it comes to like when it means business on Sunday, on the land round. He played smarter and smarter. Almost like he got smarter during the tournament. Hits better and better shots the further through the tournament he gets.
You can always learn when you play with Tiger. Tiger's certainly the best player at Poipu Bay in history and probably is going to be one of the best players, if not the best player in history at all. Any time you get to play with him, it's a privilege, you can learn something from him.
Jim is the same. You can learn a lot from Jim. He's one of the smartest golfers in the world. Weir, he is a man of experience, good to watch play, too. Every time you play with top 10 players in the world, you're going to learn something.
I don't know what I've learnt yet, but I'll sit down tonight and see if I can learn something from it.
Q. Mike, you talked this week about your experience last time versus your experience this time. Compare the two, the way you played, what you got out of this time compared to when you were here three years ago.
MIKE WEIR: Yeah, I guess I came in 2003. I didn't put much into my game at all really. Came over at a good time. I was surfing every day. I didn't spend much time on my golf game.
This week, I've been making some changes. I had my coaches over here. Spent a lot of time on the range because I know when I go home, it's going to be cold. I'm not going to be able to practice a whole lot. I got four or five days in a row here of some good practicing in. Kind of using this as some rounds under my belt for next year really. I was hoping to play better than this. You know, I got a lot done this week, a lot accomplished.
Q. I noticed you probably have been asked this a lot. You do have that back once, then swing again. Is there a reason for that? Do you think it's a good thing for you?
MIKE WEIR: Well, I've always kind of done that in my swing. I've always had a longer waggle, I guess.
Like I said, I'm working on some different things in my swing. Without getting into it too much, some of the stuff I do before I swing there is just kind of getting my mind right to what I have to do. That's the best way I can explain it really.
JULIUS MASON: Geoff, Mike, thanks for hanging out with us in Hawaii.