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CNN Today

President's Cup: Will Tiger be Great?

Aired October 19, 2000 - 2:53 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: The President's Cup underway in Washington. If you are not a golfer fan, it's all about golf. And I guess it will be all about Tiger Woods.

LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: I guess so. The only question remains: Will Tiger be great?

Here is CNNSI's Johnny Phelps.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOHNNY PHELPS, CNNSI CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The greatest golfer in the world was, aside from Bobby Jones, the greatest in match play as an amateur: Three U.S. Juniors and three U.S. Amateurs. But Tiger Woods' President's Cup and Ryder Cup record is only 5-9-1. He is anxious to reverse that trend, but recognizes it will not come easily.

TIGER WOODS, GOLFER: I remember the last President's Cup, I was teamed up with John Houston, and we both played pretty good, John shot 69, I shot 64, and we lost. And that is just the way it goes sometimes.

PHELPS: Two years ago in Melbourne, Woods managed only a 2-3 record, which still tied for the most points won by any American. But that experience came in the midst of his swing change that has produced 17 tour victories and nearly $15 million in earnings the last two years.

But despite those remarkable numbers, Woods can only control his game.

WOODS: The only thing I can do is go out there and give it absolutely everything I have, which I do. And how my record comes out, it comes out. But, that's the only thing I can guarantee. It would be nice to have a great, winning record, there is no doubt about that. When you are all said and done with your career, it would be nice to look back and say: I have had a fabulous record. But all I can say is I give it everything that I have.

ERNIE ELS, INTERNATIONAL TEAM: Tiger, I think, how many points is one game? I think that it's 1 points, isn't it? So, you know, it's not like he's going to win or lose it for them. He's a team member. So, myself and Vijay have got one point to play for, and we are playing for the team, and you know, we are going to try and do our best.

PHELPS: Woods has been away from competition since he won the Bell Canadian Open on September 10th. But, as is his custom, when he returns to the competition, he has summoned his coach Butch Harmon to make any necessary adjustments.

WOODS: If it happens, it happens; if it doesn't, it doesn't. It is one of those things where I try my best and that is all I can do. A lot of times, I have tried my best and I have played terrible, and I couldn't help out my partner one bit. And other times where I have played well and my partner didn't help me out. And it's just the way it goes.

PHELPS (on camera): Sixteen and a half points are needed for victory this week. But if the score is tied at 16-all at the conclusion of Sunday's singles matches, a designated player from each team will begin play in a sudden death playoff for the cup.

Now some of the players this week were not even aware of that fact. Each captain will put that name if an envelope, sealed prior to the completion of Thursday's first match. Do you think there is any chance that Captain Ken Venturi puts a name other than Tiger Woods in his envelope? I don't think so either.

At the President's Cup in Lake Manassas, Virginia, I am Johnny Phelps.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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