"I think I have the knowledge now that winning major championships is something that I can do."
Courtesy of Bridgestone
Thursday, November 11, 2010

What's been the biggest adjustment for you now that you're considered one of the Tour's elite?
It's probably the extra time commitment that's involved — everything from signing extra autographs to handling additional media requests. I used to be able to practice as much as I wanted to, and come and go pretty much as I pleased, but that's started to change a bit recently. It's a tough balancing act when you have to add an extra hour or more to take care of things that didn't used to be part of your normal routine.

\nAre there any extra perks?
No, not yet. It's a lot more fun. It's fun to see yourself on a magazine cover, you know, fun things like that. You get a lot more support, a lot more fanfare. I seem to get a lot more phone calls from old friends that I haven't caught up with in a while.

\nYou've had numerous highlights this season, but which one would you say has been your personal favorite?
Having the kids run out on the green with my wife after The Barclays. We got some fun pictures of them running out on the green. It's something as a player, and then as a father, that you really aspire to — you can't wait to have that happen to you. It's fun to watch it happen to other people, and you really can't wait for that to happen to yourself.

\nLet's talk about the PGA Championship. You led for 36 holes. What did you learn about yourself that week?
Well, there seems to be a lesson in everything. We all aspire to win major championships, and to get myself in contention, to have the lead after 36 holes, tells me that if I can do it for 36 holes, then I really ought to be able to do it for 72 holes. I think I have the knowledge now that this is in my grasp, that winning major championships is something that I can do.

\nWhat were you thinking coming down the stretch at The Barclays to keep yourself in the zone?
I'm always a competitor. I'm not there just to have a good time. I want to play well and perform well. It was nice that I ended up having a chance even though I was a few strokes back going into Sunday. It's a difficult course, and I made some birdies early. And then it was really great to make a couple of birdies late. I birdied 16 and 17 and was able to sneak into a playoff.

\nYou've mentioned how important it is to improve. What's on your agenda for 2011?
Even if you finish the year at No. 1 in the world, and Tiger Woods has done this, you can still probably get better. There are so many aspects of the game that you can work on — you can drive it father, you can drive it straighter, you can hit your irons higher and more consistently, you can get better with your wedges, and you can always putt better. There's never an end to that striving to get better in golf. It's a great thing about the game.

\nYour dad, Peter, was quite visible when you burst onto the scene in the late '90s, but he's receded into the background.
I had great success when he caddied for me, and I've had great success now that I've got a regular caddie. It was great when I was an amateur and didn't have any money.

\nWhat's it like to be on the road all the time?
My wife travels just about every week, as do the kids. It's easy to stay busy, although what we're doing every day I don't always know. We always stay with friends — it's easier. You have a kitchen and a living room, a place to go watch TV and relax instead of having to be quiet all the time because you're afraid you'll wake the kids.

\nHow do you know so many people everywhere?
[Laughs.] I don't know! Golf's a great game, and you meet a lot of people along the way. I've met a lot of people who've invited me to stay with them over the years, so I guess it just adds up!

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