Tiger Woods talks Augusta, video games

March, 29, 2011
By Jon Robinson

For the first time since signing with EA Sports 13 years ago, Tiger Woods isn't on the cover of his own video game. But ask him about it and he doesn't see it as a slight. In fact, he bows out graciously to the new cover star, Augusta National and the Masters.

"It's truly amazing to have the opportunity to add the Masters into the game," Woods tells me as I meet with him at the W Hotel in Times Square in Manhattan, N.Y., to talk about his new game, "Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters."

"This is the most sought after tournament gamers wanted in our sport, and the thing is it's so realistic the way they laser scanned the course, it's pretty close to being absolutely perfect. So for us to have the Masters tournament in there and to have Augusta National in the game, a course most people are never going to play for real, and to give them that opportunity to experience the course the way we do, this is something special.

"I've actually been trying to explain to everyone how steep the slopes are on that course. That's something that doesn't come across on TV, and you don't realize it until you actually go there. But now when you play the game, for the first time, I think people will realize how steep these slopes are. I remember the first time I walked the course I was blown away by how steep these slopes are. I was blown away. Now with the advent of 3-D TV, I think people were shocked when they saw it last year, and I think for gamers they're going to be shocked the first time they play the course. You go on the greens and you see the arrows to help you out in the game, and it shows you how big the slope is and it tracks how much the ball breaks, and you'll be amazed. Plus, we have some new features in the game, as well. We have a new career mode where you start out in amateur golf, just how I started, then you go to Nationwide Q school and make your way on the PGA Tour. Then some of the cool things about Augusta is you actually get to compete against the history of the Masters tournament. Whether it's my chip in at 16 or Phil Mickelson's approach shot on 13 hitting from between the trees, you'll need to hit those shots. It's a cool little feature."

Jon Robinson: So in career mode, I need to match or better your championship scores at Augusta per round or it's game over. For you, when you play through the mode, what jumps out about your first win at the Masters?

Tiger Woods: I was shocked at how hard the golf course was playing on the first day. I shot a 70 and I was in fourth place. That's normally not the case, as the scores are usually a lot lower than that. But the course was windy, it was cool, and guys were struggling a little bit. I think that people don't realize how difficult that place is. Playing the game actually brings back a lot of great memories.

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