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No roars will leave players in dark at Masters, says Woods

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RESENDING WITH COMPLETE SCRIPT

VIDEO SHOWS: NEWS CONFERENCE WITH TIGER WOODS AHEAD OF THE ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIPS

SHOWS: THOUSAND OAKS, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES (OCTOBER 20, 2020) (PGA TOUR - SEE RESTRICTIONS BEFORE USE)

1. (SOUNDBITE) (English) TIGER WOODS, TALKING ABOUT THE CROWDS AT THE MASTERS, SAYING:

"There's no other place like it. It echoes there. It travels and when you know the pairings, you know where certain players will be at that particular time and you figure out who's doing what and the roars for certain people are a little louder than others and then you hear eagle roars and holes out on 16 or whatever it may be. It's unlike any other place in the world."

2. WHITE FLASH

3. (SOUNDBITE) (English) TIGER WOODS, SAYING:

REPORTER, ASKING: "Tiger, your preparation for the Masters has been pretty well documented and obviously you'll have a lot of success at the Masters. Is there anyway for you to replicate your normal work-up or tune-up for the Masters this time around because of the circumstances?"

"Well, I think.... No you can't because it's normally this time of year. It's not normally played this way. The configuration of the events. We're not in a Florida swing. This is all different. This whole year has been different for all of us and the fact that the Masters is being held in November it's unprecedented, it's never been done before and, so you know... I can't simulate the normal ramp-up that I normally have and I don't think anyone else can either. So, it will be different for all of us and the fact that we have no spectators it's going to be very different for, you know, optically for a lot of us and it will be like how we normally play practice rounds there and when you kind of go up there."

4. WHITE FLASH

5. (SOUNDBITE) (English) TIGER WOODS, SAYING:

"This entire year has been different for all of us and my run-up to Augusta has been unlike anything I have experienced and so, that's just the way it is. The whole idea is to be ready in a few weeks and whether or not that's playing one more event or that's Houston or just just playing here at ZOZO, just make sure that I'm ready for Augusta."

6. WHITE FLASH

7. (SOUNDBITE) (English) TIGER WOODS, SAYING:

"My game is definitely better than what it was at the U.S. Open. I feel a little bit more prepared, a little bit better and hopefully that translates into playing the golf course."

8. WHITE FLASH

9. (SOUNDBITE) (English) TIGER WOODS, TALKING ABOUT PLAYING AT THE SHERWOOD COUNTRY CLUB, SAYING:

"Yes, I have played well here over the years and let's just say the field is a lot bigger than normally when I played here. I only had to beat 11 other guys. So, that's very different. This golf course, I need a... I get another look at it tomorrow on the front nine because the greens are definitely different than last time we played here. So, hopefully everything comes together starting from Thursday and I have a great week."

10. WHITE FLASH

11. (SOUNDBITE) (English) TIGER WOODS, TALKING ABOUT PLAYING AT THE SHERWOOD COUNTRY CLUB, SAYING:

"It was a bit different. It's on the softer side and I think that some of the redesign that they have done here in the redo has made this golf course certainly more member-friendly and I think that the scores will be awfully low this week."

12. WHITE FLASH

13. (SOUNDBITE) (English) TIGER WOODS, TALKING ABOUT HOW GOLF'S AUTHORITIES SHOULD HAVE ADDRESSED ISSUES WITH DRIVING DISTANCES A LONG TIME AGO, SAYING:

"They should have been worried a long time ago but the genie is out of the bag now. So, it's about what do we do going forward and how soon can they do it? I don't know if they're going to.... You're not going to stop the guys with where they are at right now. You can carry them... Guys are figuring out how to carry the ball 320-plus yards and that's not just a few of them. There's a lot of guys who can do it and that's where the game is going. There's only going to be a small amount of property that we can do, we can alter golf courses. I just don't see how they can roll everything back. I would like to have... I would like to be able to see that, as far as our game, but then we go back down the road of what do you bifurcate, at what level? So, that's a long discussion we've had for a number of years, for 20-plus years now, and I think it's only going to continue."

STORY: From the weather to a lack of bustling crowds, much will be different about a Masters forced from April to November by the COVID-19 pandemic, but for Tiger Woods the most unsettling thing will be the absence of that familiar Augusta National soundtrack.

With no phones allowed on course and only a few manually operated scoreboards to provide updates, it is the roars echoing through the Georgia pines that have delivered the news at Augusta National during Masters week. With no fans allowed on site golfers will be operating in the dark.

"There's no other place like it," said Woods on Tuesday (October 20) as he prepared to defend his title at the ZOZO Championships, moved to Thousand Oaks, California from Japan due to COVID-19. "It echoes there, it travels.

"When you know the pairings, you know where certain players would be at that particular time and you can figure out who's doing what, and the roars for certain people are louder than others, and then you hear eagle roars and hole-outs on 16, or whatever it may be.

"It's unlike any other place in the world."

A trip to Augusta National offers sensory overload from the sweet fragrance of the azaleas to the taste of a Masters pimento cheese sandwich.

But the move from its traditional early April date to Nov. 12-15 will mean warm spring breezes replaced by chilly north winds. With no fans there will be silence where there was buzz.

It all adds up to a very unfamiliar buildup to 2020's final major, which is usually the year's first.

Before defending his Masters title Woods will first focus on his ZOZO Championship defence, which might be his one and only warmup event prior to Augusta, where he will chase a 16th major title.

Coming off a disappointing U.S. Open last month where he failed to make the cut at Winged Foot Golf Club, Woods will find himself in more friendly surroundings at Sherwood Country Club, a layout where he has posted five wins.

Woods also talked about the issue of driving distances in golf, saying that the sport's authorities should have addressed the matter a "long time ago".

However, the 15-times Major champion added that he doesn't see a quick resolution to a debate that has been rumbling on for years.

The matter has increasingly become the focus of attention this year with many observers - including players - worried about the increasing distances being achieved by the likes of Bryson DeChambeau, in particular.

(Production: Tim Hart)