5 questions with Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods speaks to the media during a press conference prior to the 2011 Masters.

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There are plenty of questions surrounding Tiger Woods and the state of his game. While tinkering with his swing and trying to put a tough year behind him, Woods always enters the Masters as one of the favorites.

With four green jackets, that stature is deserved.

He spent some time with reporters on Tuesday at Augusta National, here are five questions that you need to know about:

Q. Do you have to be a long hitter to win here, or is it just an advantage? Is it just good to be able to hit it long?

Yeah, I think it's an advantage, but still Woosie and Zach obviously won here. It does help on the par 5s. Zach had one incredible year where he did really well, I think he played, what, 12‑under par? It can be done. But it just puts more stress on your wedge game where some of the longer hitters, I played with Cabrera where he takes the corner off 13 with a driver and just hits a little wedge in there. And guys like Phil can cut around there and Bubba can cut around the corner and have short irons in there.

It does help. You can kind of cheat on some of the par 5s and get on the downslope on two and get up near ‑‑ if it's downwind, carry the bunker on 8, 13, get around the corner and 15, obviously hit an iron in there. So it does help.

Q. Phil coming in with a win last week; can you talk about the dynamic of keeping momentum going into a major having won the week before. Is there a natural letdown or do you just drive down Magnolia Lane and it kicks in?

I'm probably the worst person to ask for that, because I've only done it I think before the PGA and that was it. Firestone is the week before.

But other than that, I tend not to play prior to a major. I can attest to two weeks prior. (Smiling).

Q. You've obviously had one of the greatest short game shots in the history of the Masters. Wonder how your short game is now and how important it is to winning a Masters Tournament?

You know, Larry, you have to have a short game here. You just have to be able to chip and putt. There's no two ways about it. And I've always said that, yeah, you have to have a short game, but it's imperative that you miss them on the right spots to give yourself a chance.

I think Phil was the perfect example of that last year. He didn't hit it very good for his standard on Sunday. But he missed the ball in absolutely every single perfect place for those pins, and that's experience, and that's knowing where to miss. And he did that, and all of the shots that he made look easy, they weren't that easy, but certainly they were a lot easier than what it could have been.

As far as my short game is, it's progressing. I was able to make a few changes with it technique‑wise. I spent a lot of time here chipping and putting and working on it. So feeling very comfortable, and looking forward to getting out there.

Q. Previously when you made swing changes, did you have a lot more time to practice, is that an issue now?

No, that's not the issue. It's just it takes time. It took a long time with Butch and it took a long time with Hank and so far it's taken a long time with Sean. It's taken a long time to develop the patterns and know what the fixes are. I'm finally starting to shape the ball both ways and being able to fix it if I don't. It's just a totally different philosophy than what I was employing before.

Q. Does the all‑time major record mean as much to you as it did? Has it changed in your thinking given everything that's gone on?

No, I absolutely want to do it. That's the benchmark and gold standard in this sport is 18.

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