SI: How many times did you think John Daly had this tournament won today?
TW: It was looking pretty good [for him]. I felt like I had to birdie 18. [Woods was at 10 under par.] John's score hadn't been posted yet. I hit this great drive down 18, and Stooey [Stuart Appleby] was over his shot when they posted Daly [who had bogeyed the 17th] at 10 under. I knew I had a chance to win outright if I made birdie.
SI: When Daly missed the putt in the playoff [to lose], you bowed your head. Can you talk about that?
TW: I just felt so bad. That's not how you're supposed to win. We're battling. JD played beautifully all week. It shouldn't end like that. It was very painful.
October 16, 2005
SI: What did you say to him after?
TW: I just said, "I'm sorry." It was the only thing I could say.
SI: How do you think your season has gone, considering the way you started?
TW: Well, I was building. This is part of the long process I went through during the last couple of years, changing my game and working to get to a point like this. You know, all the naysayers said I was doing the wrong things with my swing. Now they understand why I made all the changes I did.
SI: You've always summoned your best swings when you needed them. How do you do that?
TW: I don't know. I don't feel like I focus more. I try to take the same mental approach going into each and every shot. For some reason, when it really matters, I seem to hit higher shots. I don't know why. I've had some really bad shots when I needed good ones, but I've hit some of my best shots when I've been struggling and needed to turn it around. I was struggling with my driver all week. I had a two-way miss going [both left and right]. At 18 I thought, Just focus on your [aiming] point, and all of a sudden everything came together. It was like, Wow, where has that been all week?
SI: You played college golf nearby at Stanford. Does that make winning here in San Francisco any more special?
TW: It does. [The Bay Area] was like my second home. [When I came here] it was the first time I ever left home. This area holds a lot of really great memories for me. I played a bunch of golf in this area. So it was fun to come here and be a part of that again.
--Gary Van Sickle and ASAP Sports
What golfers are talking about
•GIFT WRAPPED John Daly missed two short putts to hand Woods the AmEx and an extra $550,000 in prize money. Big John hasn't blown that much cash since his last divorce.
•PARK PLACE With its short par-4s and crazy 18th, Harding Park was more fun than watching John Daly on the practice range.
•WIE SPEAKS At her, um, press conference, Michelle, um, Wie sounded like a, um, 15-year-old kid. How refreshing.
•SELL OUT Snippy ABC analyst Paul Azinger plugged Nike (his sponsor) during the AmEx broadcast. Call him curt shilling.
•PLAYA HATA? Mark Hensby criticized International team captain Gary Player. Player's likely response: "Who?"
•SENIOR MOMENT Jay Haas, 51, won his first Champions event. It's about time he acted his age.
KEY STAT 22
Fairways hit by Tiger Woods at the AmEx, his fewest in a win.