Tiger Woods press conference
|04.05.10 at 10:35 pm ET|
Here is the complete transcript of Tiger Woods’ press conference on Monday at Augusta National.
Today I got a chance to play with Freddy [Couples}, and Jim [Furyk] joined us on the 13th hole and it was just a great day today. I didn’t know what to expect with regards to reception and I tell you what, the galleries couldn’t be nicer, it was just incredible. The encouragement I got blew me away, to be honest with you it really did. The people here over the years have treated me respectful, but today was just something that really touched my heart pretty good. I’d also like to make another comment before we start. I know that the players over the past few months have been bombarded by questions by all of you and the public as well. To all the players hopefully after asking questions at this press conference the players can be left alone to focus on the Masters and focus on their game. Not only for this week but going forward as we. I apologize to them for having to endure what they’ve had to endure over the past few months. A lot has happened in my life over the past five months. I’m here at the Masters to play and compete and I’m really excited about doing that. I missed the competition. I missed the guys out there, a lot of my friends I haven’t seen in a while. It was great to play with Freddy and Jim, two of my best friends out here. I played with Mark [O’Meara] yesterday for nine holes and I plan on playing with him tomorrow, as well as Steve Stricker. It’s been an incredible experience here at the Masters.
What injuries sent you to the hospital?
I had a busted up lip and a pretty sore neck, and that was it. I took five stitches in my lip.
Why didn’t you speak to the media that has covered you year round?
I did everything to the letter of the law. My lawyers gave me advice and I followed that advice and again I did everything to the letter of the law. I did talk to my sponsors and people who I was close to in the various companies, but mainly I spent a lot of time with my family.
What’s been the most difficult thing the past few months?
Probably two things, one being having to look at myself in a light that I never wanted to look at myself in. That was difficult. How far astray I got from my core fundamentals and core values that my mom and dad taught me. Having to break all that down with all the denial and rationalization, to cut through that and really take a hard look at myself and that’s where I started finding strength and peace. The other difficult part over the past few months has been the constant harassment to my family. My wife and kids being photographed everywhere they go, being badgered, that’s tough. That’s tough because it’s real hard for us to heal and try and get through this as best we can.
What way will be see difference between the ropes and outside the ropes?
I’m going to try to not get as hot when I play, but if I’m not as hot then I’m not going to be as exuberant either. I can’t play one without the other. I made a conscious decision to tone down my negative outbursts and consequentially my positive outbursts will be calmed down as well. Just try to be more respectful of the game and acknowledge the fans like I did today and I got an incredible reception all day, all 18 holes and show my appreciation for them. I haven’t done that in the past few years and that was wrong of me. So many kids have looked up to me and so many fans have supported me over the years and I just want to say thank you to them, especially going through all of this. Over the past few months is really put things in prospective for me, and how much I underappreciated the fans and the game of golf.
How were you able to play at a high level with such a secret life and how do you think you will be going forward?
I think it’s how it was earlier in my career. I was at peace. I’ve had some great years and unfortuanatlely what I’ve done over the past few years has been just terrible to my family. The fact I won golf tournaments has been irrelevant, it’s the pain I’ve caused. My wife, my mom, my wife’s family, my kids going forward I’m going to have to explain this to them. That’s my responsibility. I did it and I take full responsibility for it. As I’ve said, winning golf tournaments through all of this is irrelevant compared to the damage that I’ve caused.
Why did you feel Dr. Anthony Galea should come to your home and what did he do for you?
He did come to my house. He never gave me HGH or any PEDs. I’ve never taken that my entire life, I’ve never taken any illegal drug ever for that matter. I had PRP, platelet enriched plasma treatments, basically that’s when they draw blood from your arm, spit in a centrifuge and take the plasma out and insert it into the injuries. As you all know I blew out my ACL and part of my reconstruction of my LCL wasn’t reacting properly, it was a little bit stuck. I had a PRP injection into my LCL. In December I started to train and started running again and I tore my Achilles in my right leg. I then had PRP injections throughout the year. I kept tearing it throughout the year and throughout the summer. I used tape most of the year to play. I also went into hyperbaric chambers after the injection to help drive, because it does help you heal faster. I did everything I possibly could to heal faster so I could get back on the golf course through the PRP injections.
How nervous are you?
Sitting here I’m not that nervous. As far as getting out there I was definitely more nervous. On that first tee I didn’t know what to expect. It was one of those things where I’ve never been in this position. To be out there in front of the people where I’ve done some things that are horrible. For the fans that really want to see me play golf again that felt great, it really did. Usually I focus on placement of shots and getting ready but today it was a little bit different. I kind of took it in a little bit more. More than I think I have in a long time, and it felt really good.
Will you be able to keep your competitive edge as high as it was and also be more engaging to the fans?
I think come game time it might be a little bit different. I’m going to try and get the ball in the hole as best as I can. In the practice rounds just acknowledging the fans and their support for me, especially with what has transpired in my life, for them to still cheer for me is just incredible, it really is.
What is your response to the mainstream media and how they treated you?
I was surprised with mainstream media and I think the times has changed as well. With 24 hour news you are looking for any kind of news to get out there. I know a lot of my friends are in here, and I haven’t seen them or talked to them but I’ve read their articles, and of course they are going to be critical of me, they should be, because what I’ve done was wrong. But again, I know a lot of you in here are my friends and you will always be my friends.
When did you start taking Ambien and Vicodin, and did you receive treatment for that?
I’ve taken them, yes. I’ve had some pretty interesting knee situations over the years. I’ve had four operations on my left knee and last year with my torn Achilles it hurt quite a bit at time. Yeah, I did that and most of the time I was on the Ambien when my dad was sick and when my dad died. It was a tough time in my life and I was taking some of those things to help me sleep. That’s about it.
Did you ever receive treatment for it?
How is your knee?
My knee feels great. The only time it doesn’t feel good is when a front comes through. Most people realize who have arthritis when you get a little older, but other than that it feels great. It’s strong. It’s explosive again, which is great. Now my Achilles is good now, so I’m training like I used to years ago.
What made you go do Dr. Galea?
He works with so many athletes and it’s part of the reason why I went to see Dr. Mark Whitten for my eyes. He’s done a lot of different athletes and there is a certain comfort level when a person has worked with athletes.
Are you still in rehab and what is that rehab for?
I was in there for 45 days and it was to take a hard look at myself and I did. I’ve come out better and I’m a much better person for it than I was going in. Does that mean I’m ever going to stop doing that, no. I have to continue with my treatment and that’s not going to stop.
What was the treatment for?
That’s personal, thank you.
Have federal investigators contacted you?
They actually contacted [Mark Steinberg]. I’m in full cooperation whenever they need me. As of right now they haven’t asked for my time.
How were able to rationalize all the things you were doing?
That’s part of the problem I had. The way I was thinking was not correct. I was rationalizing. I was denying and in total denial at times. Whatever I did I lied to myself, I lied to others. Just because I said winning golf tournaments doesn’t mean a thing, I caused so much harm with the people that love and care about the most on this planet.
Did you realize this after everything came out?
After treatment, that’s when they start stripping all that stuff away from you.
Do you think your behavior affected you on the course and do you think you could have played better if you weren’t doing these things?
I’d like to say yes. I would have been more centered, more balanced and that’s what I’m heading towards. That’s what I’m working towards each and every day. I meditate religiously again. I’m going back to my roots in Buddhism with my mom. I need to do these things the way I used to do it and unfortunately I got away from it. I just lost that and I also lost my life in the process.
Why not talk about the PED’s earlier, and when was the Achilles injury?
Why didn’t I come out? I haven’t done any interviews. When I did Kelly Tilghman and Tom Rinaldi I don’t believe asked me those questions. As far as the injury it was a week before the Chevron Tournament, so it was a couple months prior. It was part of the reason when I did come back that I was hitting the ball so much short. I couldn’t push off of my right side. I tore it a couple of more times throughout the year and I needed more injections to try and heal the wound.
Did you believe that you weren’t going to come back after you made the statement a few months ago?
When I gave my speech I had no intentions of playing golf in the near future at all. I had barely started practicing two days prior, it was the first time I started to hit balls. I started hitting more balls and more balls and I started getting the itch to start playing again. Hank [Haney] came down and we started working again and that felt great, it felt like old times. So much has transpired that it felt like old times to have Hank out there. We were working on my game for hours and hours and hours on end, and that’s why I made the decision to come play. The reason why I didn’t come back to play earlier than that, whether it was the Tavistock Cup or Bay Hill, was because I wasn’t ready for it. I wasn’t even near physically ready to play at this level and I needed more time. Hank has come down quite a bit. We’ve come up here on the last two Monday and Tuesdays to do some work on the golf course and here we are.
Was there support from your family?
I’ve had a lot of support and that’s been the great thing about it.
When did you make the decision that you would have to deal with the problems?
Probably just prior to Christmas I made the decision to enter rehab. Having spent Christmas Day with my family was incredible. Having to go off to treatment was a difficult time. People probably don’t realize that because of the time frame I missed my son’s first birthday and that hurts. That hurts a lot. I vowed I’d never miss another one after that. I can’t go back to where I was. I want to be a part of my sons life and my daughters life and I missed his first birthday and that was very hard that day. It’s something I regret and probably will the rest of my life.
Will Elin and the kids be here this week?
Elin is not coming this week.
Shouldn’t you be using this time to repair your relationship?
I’m excited to play this week.
Will you keep your management team in tact and how much did they know about the transgressions?
I will certainly have everyone around me. I’ve lied and deceived a lot of people and a lot of people didn’t know what I was doing either. I’ve had a tremendous amount of support from others on the outside. I’m actually surprised how much support I’ve gotten as well.
Was there some element of you that wanted to get caught?
I don’t know. I did just terribly, poorly, incredibly bad decisions. Decisions that have hurt so many people close to me, and that’s enough.
How did you fool so many people for so long?
I fooled myself as well. I lied to a lot of people. Deceived a lot of people. Kept others in the dark. Rationalized and even lied to myself and when you strip all that away and started to realized what I’ve done, the full magnitude of it, it’s pretty brutal. I take full responsibility for what I’ve done and I don’t take that lightly.
What do you think happens to your legacy?
My dad, it’s amazing how he says things that keep coming back. In order to help people you have to help yourself, it’s what he used to say. I never understood that. In treatment I wrote that statement down everyday. Learning how to help myself I can help more people going forward, infinitely more than prior to what I did before this.
What influence will Steve Williams have on your four days at the Masters?
To have Stevie back is tremendous, it really is. He’s a great friend, always has been always will be. We are honest with one another and we’ve had a long talk and it was a great talk as well. It’s great to have him on the bag. He’s excited to compete again. He’s been doing really well racing wise, he won the New Zealand Championships. This is another part of his life that he loves to do. He loves to be out there at Augusta. For us to be back out there as a team together it feels good.
Does Jack Nicklaus’ record have a different perspective now?
When I went through that period when my father was sick and when my father passed away it put things in perspective real quick. When my kids were born it put it in perspective, and what I’ve done here it puts it in perspective. It’s not about championships, it’s about how you live your life. I haven’t done that the right way for a while and I needed to change that. Going forward, I need to be a better man than I was before. Just because I’ve gone through treatment doesn’t mean it stops. I’m trying as hard as I possibly can each and every day to get my life better and stronger. If I win championships along the way then so be it. I want to help more people who haven’t quite learned how to help themselves, just like I was.
Did Ambien play a role in the crash?
Police investigated the accident and they cited me $166. It’s a closed case.
Do you understand why sponsors dropped you and what do you do to try and regain their trust?
Do I understand why they dropped me? Of course. I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life and I totally understand why they would do that. Going forward I hopefully can prove that I am a worthy investment. That I can help their company, help it grow and represent them well. I felt that I was represented companies well in the past but then again I wasn’t doing it the right way.
Golf wise what are your expectations?
Nothings changed. I’m going to try and go out there in win this thing.
Are you more concerned with putting this week or are there other parts of your game that concern you?
The fact that I haven’t played at all is a little bit concerning. I’m hoping I get my feel back quickly. Feel for the game, feel for shots, feel for how my body is reacting, what my distances are going to be. I hope I get that back relatively quickly, hopefully the first hole. If not at least hope it’s the second hole. I’m looking forward to that.
How do you expect the nerves to be on Thursday and how did your peers support you?
The fans were incredible. I’m looking forward to the first tee and teeing off. Getting out there doing what I’ve done for a very long time I’m looking forward to that. As far as my peers, everyone’s been great. It’s amazing how many hugs I’ve gotten from the guys and it’s only Monday. I’ve seen the guys yesterday and today and the times prior that I have been up here. I’m actually surprised by that, how well received I’ve been.
Why did you not feel the need to do the things you are doing now a few months ago?
I wasn’t in the right place for it and in January I was in rehab.
Was there a time prior where you should have gone to rehab?
I was not in that position. I was not in that frame of mind. I was not in a place where I hadn’t hit far enough on the bottom to make myself look at what I’ve done with what I’ve been engaged in. Once I did that I went to rehab.
Do you intend to play on the Ryder Cup team?
As of right now I’m not on the team, right? I’m not on the team point wise, so I’ve got a long way to go.
Would you like to play in it?
If I qualify.
What are you looking forward to on the first tee?
That first tee I’m looking forward to it. I haven’t looked forward to that tee shot in a long time, not like this. It feels fun again. It’s something I’ve been missing. Have I been winning and doing well, yeah I have. I won numerous tournaments but I wasn’t having near the amount of fun. Why? Look at what I was engaged in. When you are living a life where you are lying all the time, it’s not fun. That’s where I was. Now that’s been stripped all away and here I am, it’s fun again.
Is this tougher than coming back from the ACL?
This emotionally, and the ACL physically by far.
What are your thoughts on your playing partners?
Of all tournaments it’s the one tournament where it’s not as bad. The media is not allowed inside the ropes. In the U.S. Open and the British Open you have over 100 people moving around inside the ropes. It’s going to be a lot more at ease than most weeks, and I think that most of the guys, if there was one week you would want to have a pairing with me considering the circumstances it would probably be this week.
- 3A on Monday’s Morning Mashup: Broncos WR Wes Welker suffers second concussion in 4 weeks
- Mike on Monday’s Morning Mashup: Broncos WR Wes Welker suffers second concussion in 4 weeks
- Tony on Reports: Robinson Cano agrees to 10-year, $240M deal with Mariners
- Mike on Reports: Robinson Cano agrees to 10-year, $240M deal with Mariners
- depo on Reports: Robinson Cano agrees to 10-year, $240M deal with Mariners
- Jeter_Cheats on Reports: Robinson Cano agrees to 10-year, $240M deal with Mariners
- Chris on Reports: Robinson Cano agrees to 10-year, $240M deal with Mariners
- Herb on Reports: Robinson Cano agrees to 10-year, $240M deal with Mariners
- the truth on Reports: Robinson Cano agrees to 10-year, $240M deal with Mariners
- shutiggyupdotcom on Reports: Robinson Cano agrees to 10-year, $240M deal with Mariners