PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FL - MAY 12: Tiger Woods of the United States hits his tee shot on the ninth hole during the third round of THE PLAYERS Championship held at THE PLAYERS Stadium course at TPC Sawgrass on May 12, 2012 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Tiger Woods gets it right in his second online chat with fans.
Appearing comfortable and relaxed during an online video chat Tuesday, Tiger Woods said he was proud of his golf-playing niece, Cheyenne Woods, and proclaimed he had plenty of time to set the record for major championship titles.
"I figure it’s going to take a career," Woods said of his chances of surpassing Jack Nicklaus' mark of 18 majors. He will go for his 15th major victory at next month's U.S. Open.
"It’s going to take a while and this is my 17th year into it," he said. "I figure I still have plenty of time."
Woods, looking nothing like the stiff who sat through a similar social media experiment earlier this month, lounged on a couch and answered questions on Google Plus from NBC Sports broadcaster Roger Maltbie, four fans and his own media guy acting as moderator. When someone asked about Cheyenne, who announced last week that she had turned pro and would seek sponsor exemptions for LPGA events, Uncle Eldrick's face lit up.
"I’m excited, I’m very proud of her," he said of the 21-year-old daughter of his half-brother, Earl Woods Jr. "She hit her first golf ball in the same garage where I started and [it] is exciting to see her change over the years and see how she’s grown and how she’s matured, and I’m just so proud of her on so many different levels.
"To see her take the next step in her life and to embark on a professional career in golf is very exciting for me, not only from being her uncle, but just from being a fan ... I’m just so proud of her as a person."
Woods, who bypassed the traditional pre-tourney press conference during the Wells Fargo Championship and this week’s Memorial Tournament in favor of schmoozing "directly with fans," said he planned to do more of the same in the future.
"I think it’s fantastic for us to be able to ... go directly to the fans and be able to talk to them because they're so much a part of our life," Woods said. "This is my first time to actually interact with the fans [online] and be able to say thank you and be able to give back on a totally different level because not everybody can come out to tour events.
"But this is another way we can do that and say thank you," he said.
Woods, who said he would walk away from the game as soon as the "rush" he received from competing and "mixing it up with the guys and trying to beat them all" disappeared, worked in a plug for "getting the reps in." He also repeated the common theme that "it’s just a matter of time" before his swing change kicked in.
He also displayed his knowledge of all things Nicklaus when he ticked off the "24-plus years" it took the majors champ to "get it done," and the 37 top-two finishes the Golden Bear notched in his career.
"[Nicklaus] was always there," Woods said. "He didn’t win them all, but he was there, and that’s the only way you can do it [win tournaments]. You’ve got to be there in order to win it, and for me to keep giving myself opportunities, year in and year out, that’s the goal, and the more chances I give myself, I figure I’m going to clip off a few."
Woods also dispensed a bit of advice based on the brain kink by last week’s Crowne Plaza Invitational winner, Zach Johnson.
Johnson, who defeated Jason Dufner by one stroke, suffered a mental lapse that almost cost him the contest when he forgot to return his ball marker to its original spot after moving it to make way for Dufner’s putt on the 18th hole.
Using a quarter, Woods said he always turned the coin "head up" to mark his ball’s position on the greens and flipped it over if a playing partner asked him to move it.
"Any time someone asks me to move the coin, I switch it to tails up, just so that I always have a visual cue that I need to move it back," he said.
Simple, but effective.