<
>

ESPYS Interview Series: Tiger Woods

7/9/2012

For the 20th ESPYS, ESPN has selected the 20 greatest sports moments of the past 20 years.
At No. 7 is Tiger Woods' captivating performance at the Masters in 1997. Woods was just 21 years old when his 4-foot putt sealed the most dominant performance in Masters history. Woods recently spoke with ESPN.com about this moment and more.

You've won 14 majors and notched 73 PGA Tour victories. Which one of those wins was the most memorable for you?

Probably either the 2008 U.S. Open or the 1997 Masters. The Masters was my first major and it was a special year for me and my pop. He had had a heart attack in 1996 and the doctors told him not to go to Augusta, but he said I'm going to watch my son play. He gave me a putting lesson Wednesday night and it was one of the best putting tournaments I've ever had. That bear hug at the end meant a lot to both of us.

In 2000, you won an ESPY for Best Male Athlete. You won the same award three straight years. Describe that moment and what it meant to you to be honored.

It meant a lot because the fans voted for me. They've supported me since I turned professional and I appreciate it. It was special to win it once, and three times was pretty amazing.

In 2008 you won an ESPY for Best Championship performance. Take us back to the 2008 U.S. Open and what happened there.

Under the circumstances, I think it's probably one of my best wins ever. All things considered, I'm still amazed how I ended up in a position to win. I hadn't walked 18 holes until the first round. It was a long week. There was a lot of doubt, and a lot of questions going into the week. Somehow 91 holes later I had won. I just kept playing and kept going forward. On the putt to force a playoff, it was probably about 2½ balls outside right. And the green wasn't very smooth. I kept telling myself make a pure stroke, if it bounces in or out, so be it, at least I can hold my head up high if I made a pure stroke. I hit it exactly where I wanted to and it went in.

Outside of your own career, what is the most memorable sports moment over the past 20 years?

There have been many significant and emotional moments in sports. Typically, the Olympics have some of the best. My favorite, and I was there, was Stanford coming back to beat Arizona with a three-point shot at the buzzer in 2004. We were No. 2 in country and it was our 20th straight win. I'll always remember that game.

How did it feel to end your two-year PGA Tour winless drought this year at the Arnold Palmer Invitational?

It felt good. It was just pure joy. It was a progression. Before the win I had kept getting better. It was a matter of staying the course and staying patient. I kept working to fine-tune what I was doing.

Are you comfortable with adjustments during a tournament?

You're always making adjustments, even shot to shot. Your feels change day to day, wind changes, we play different undulations and lies. You make adjustments all the time. That's the beauty of it. You're constantly adjusting.

What prompted your social media Q&A? What do you enjoy about them?

I wanted to talk directly to the fans. They've supported me for so many years and I wanted to answer what they wanted to know. We received a lot of questions and they were really good.

Do you plan to do more social media Q&As? If so, how often will they occur?

I'm absolutely going to do more. The feedback we got from the public was overwhelmingly positive. They liked that we did it and they liked asking the questions. I liked it, too.