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Tiger Woods Masters Press Conference


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Tiger Ball Skipping 2010 Masters

From left, Tiger Woods, Jim Furyk and Fred Couples skip balls over the pond at Augusta's par-3 No. 16, one of the fans' favorite traditions during practice rounds.

Andrew Redington / Getty Images
Q. What were you anticipating today to be like for you and how nervous are you sitting here?
TIGER WOODS: Sitting here, not that nervous, no. As far as getting out there, I was definitely more nervous. That first tee, I didn't know what to expect, I really didn't, Steve. It's one of those things where I've never been in this position before. To be out there in front of the people where I have done some things that are just horrible, and you know, for the fans to really want to see me play golf again, I mean, that felt great, that really did.

Usually I kind of focus on placements of shots and getting ready, but today was a little bit different. I kind of took it in a little bit more, sort of more than I think I have in a long time, and it felt really good.

Q. You touched on it with Scott a little bit but usually have tunnel vision when you play, and I saw you out there engaging with the fans; will you be able to keep your competitive edge as high as it was and also be more engaging with fans?
TIGER WOODS: Well, I think come game time it might be a little different. I'm obviously going to try to get the ball in the hole as best I can but during the practice rounds, I think just acknowledging the fans and their support for me, especially what has transpired in my life, for them to still cheer for me is just incredible, it really is.

Q. You and the rest of us discovered a lot of media we didn't know existed until the accident. I just wondered your response to the mainstream media, which was a lot more critical, obviously, than it had been; were you surprised, or did you sort of expect that?
TIGER WOODS: Well, I was surprised at the mainstream media. I think it's also the times have changed, as well. With 24-hour news, you're 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, I haven't talked to them, but I've read their articles, and of course they have been critical of me. They should, because what I have done was wrong. But then again, I know a lot of them - I know a lot of you in here are my friends and will always be my friends.

Q. It's been reported you took prescription drugs, Ambien and Vicodin, can you speak to when you started taking them, how you needed them for tournament golf if you did and if you ever became addicted to either one of them or received treatment?
TIGER WOODS: I've taken them, yes, I've had some, as everyone knows, pretty interesting knee situations over the years. I've had, what, four operations now on my left knee. Then last year with my torn Achilles, it hurt quite a bit at times. And yeah, I did take that, and I took ... most of the time I was on the Ambien was when my dad was sick and when my dad died; that was a tough time in my life.

So that's when I was still taking some of those things to help me sleep. And that's about it.

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