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tiger woods press conference

10 things Tiger Woods talked about at the PGA Championship

Tiger Woods had an update (of sorts) about the PGA Tour’s talks with the PIF, an update (of sorts) about his Ryder Cup captaincy and spoke about his beard (of sorts) too…

 

Tiger Woods can arrive at the PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club in a somewhat lower-key nature in 2024.

Rory McIlroy is on the tips of tipster’s tongues after winning twice in a row before heading to a venue where he last won a major championship in 2014.

Scottie Scheffler’s wife Meredith has finally given birth to their first child, so the World No.1 and Masters champion is playing for the first time without this obstacle (so to speak) in the back of his mind.

Throw that in with defending champion Brooks Koepka winning recently and Woods can perhaps go about his business in Louisville with a fraction less attention and expectation.

But a turbulent week before the PGA Championship, which saw McIlroy rejected by the PGA Tour Policy Board and Woods reportedly contributing to the blockade, might suggest otherwise.

The media is always keen for updates from the PGA Tour’s negotiations with the Public Investment Fund, as well as the possibility of Woods captaining America at the 2025 Ryder Cup and his general health and form.

After bad weather caused a short delay to the press conference schedule at the 2024 PGA Championship, the media piled in for another major Tiger Woods press conference…

tiger woods press conference

Tiger Woods Press Conference at the PGA Championship

Has Valhalla changed since 2014?

“It’s gotten bigger. Gotten a little bit longer. I think they extended six tees since we played in 2014. Opened up some of the areas so there’s more flow, less trees.

“Definitely different than when we played in 2000. But it’s still the same framework that we played in 2000. So, the same corridors, but it’s just gotten a little bit bigger, a little bit longer, just like all golf courses or all championships that we go to now.

“I’m looking forward to one day they say we shortened this hole up, because it seems like every time we come back and play it’s always getting longer.”

NOW READ: Everything you need to know about the 2024 PGA Championship

How is the state of the body and game around what is a hilly course?

“My body’s okay. It is what it is. I wish my game was a little bit sharper. Again, I don’t have a lot of competitive reps, so I am having to rely on my practice sessions and getting stuff done either at home or here on-site.

“But at the end of the day, I need to be ready mentally and physically come Thursday, and these days of practising, eating on the golf course, that’s one of the reasons I came up here on Sunday was to knock off some of the work that I have to do in charting greens, get all that stuff done early, so I can focus on literally playing and plotting my way around.”

Is the goatee beard a choice or laziness?

“It’s the second. I’m definitely lazy. I cut myself this morning trying to trim it up so it is what it is.”

PGA Championship: Tiger Woods, can you still win?

“I still feel that I can win golf tournaments. I still feel I can hit the shots and feel like I still have my hand around the greens and I can putt. I just need to do it for all four days, not like I did at Augusta for only two.

NOW READ: These Tiger stats will blow your mind

Are you confident a deal with the PIF can be done?

“I think we’re working on negotiations with PIF. It’s ongoing; it’s fluid; it changes day to day. Has there been progress? Yes.

“But it’s an ongoing negotiation, so a lot of work ahead for all of us with this process, and so we’re making steps and it may not be giant steps, but we’re making steps.

“I’m not going to comment on whether or not our negotiations and in that nature, except that we’re making steps. That’s all I can say.”

tiger woods press conference

What advice do you have for Scottie Scheffler becoming a father?

“Get some sleep. I mean – he and Meredith, fantastic, having their first, and those are – as all of us who have had children, those are some tough years ahead of them.

“As I said, try and get some rest as much as you possibly can. He’s the No.1 player in the world, and having a great, stable family life at home is important to have a great life out here on tour.”

Has there been an update on the Ryder Cup captaincy?

“We’re still talking. There’s nothing that has been confirmed yet. We’re still working on what that might look like. Also whether or not I have the time to do it.

“I’m dedicating so much time to what we’re doing with the PGA Tour, I don’t want to not fulfill the role of the captaincy if I can’t do it.

“What that all entails and representing Team USA and the commitments to the PGA of America, the players, and the fans and as I said, all of Team USA. I need to feel that I can give the amount of time that it deserves.”

NOW READ: Who could be the next US Ryder Cup captain?

Did Jimmy Dunne’s role become ‘superfluous’, as he described it, on the PGA Tour Policy Board?

“Jimmy and the amount of work and dedication that he put into the board and to the PGA Tour, it’s been incredible. It was a bit surprising that he resigned yesterday and just how it all came about, but, no, his role and his help, then what he’s been able to do for the PGA Tour has been great.”

“The PGA Tour is for the players and by the players. So, we have an influence and there are roles for the player directors and there are roles for the independents. We’re trying to make the PGA Tour the best it can be day in and day out.

“That’s one of the reasons why we have arguments and we have disagreements, but we want to do what’s best for everyone in golf and the tour. Without those conflicts I don’t think there’s going to be that much – the progress is not going to be there. So it’s been good.”

NOW READ: Key PGA Tour figure resigns with ‘no meaningful progress’ in PIF negotiations

What do you see when you watch Rory McIlroy and Scottie Scheffler?

“Two very different styles. Obviously with Scottie, what he does through the golf ball and with his footwork, or you have Rory who has arguably the best finish of a swing in golf. It looks like a statue, right?

“They’re two totally different players. The commonality is I think the focus and when you’re on the range and watching them hit golf balls or listening, more so listening to them hit golf balls, there’s a different sound to it because they just don’t miss the middle of the face.

“I think obviously Scottie’s not as long as Rory and can’t probably separate himself on a golf course like that with pure length, but his ball striking, the amount of greens he hits, he just wears you out that way. And then he has an amazing pair of hands around the greens.

“If he putts awful, then he finishes in the top 10. If he putts decent, he wins. He putts great, he runs away. So, he’s just that good a ball striker and that good an all-around player. Rory, just the way he’s able to take over a golf course and just overpower it, I remember that back when I was younger, but it’s been a while.”

What do you think the relationship is like between professional golf and fans?

“I think the fans are probably as tired as we are of the talk of not being about the game of golf and not being about the players. It’s about what LIV is doing, what we’re doing, players coming back, players leaving, the fans just want to see us play together. How do we get there is to be determined.”

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Matt Chivers

Matt Chivers

Now on the wrong side of 25, Matt has been playing golf since the age of 13 and was largely inspired to take up the game by countless family members who played golf during his childhood.

Matt is a member at Royal Cinque Ports in Deal playing off a 5 handicap, just a pitching wedge away from his hometown of Dover where he went to school and grew up. He has previously been a member at Etchinghill and Walmer and Kingsdown in Kent.

Having studied history at the University of Liverpool, Matt went on to pass his NCTJ Exams in Manchester a year later to fulfil his lifelong ambition of becoming a journalist. He picked up work experience along the way at places such as the Racing Post, the Independent, Sportsbeat and the Lancashire Evening Post.

Matt joined NCG in February 2023 and is the website’s main source of tour news, features and opinion. He has reported live from events such as The Open, the Ryder Cup and The Players Championship, having also interviewed and spent time with some of the biggest names in the sport.

Consuming tour golf on what is a 24/7 basis, you can come to Matt for informed views on the game and the latest updates on the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, LPGA Tour, Ladies European Tour and LIV Golf.

What’s in Matt’s bag: Cobra LTDx LS driver, Cobra LTDx 3-wood, TaylorMade P7MC irons, Ping Glide 4.0 wedges, Odyssey putter.

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