The Loop

Six new things we learned about Tiger Woods on Tuesday

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- The chipper -- make that jovial -- Tiger Woods who arrived in Augusta came armed with all sorts of revelations during his remarkably upbeat press conference.

Here are six things we learned about him heading into this week's Masters.

__He's well aware of the Par 3 jinx and he won't be winning it again this year now that he's returning to the Wednesday competition.

"I had an opportunity to do that once, remember that?  It was raining.  Didn't show up for the playoff.," Woods said of the supposed jinx of no Par 3 Contest winner taking the Masters the same week. "Yeah, no one's ever done it.  I don't want to prove it wrong, so just have a good time."

He doesn't read his press clippings, good or bad.

Asked about the scrutiny that comes with being Tiger Woods…

"I think it's anyone's choice whether they use the Internet or not.  So I refuse to go on and read what you all write, good or bad, whether you're friends of mine or not.  Just choose not to go down that road. I've come to the understanding  that I live it.  I know exactly what I'm doing out here and I've hit the shots, and I don't really need someone else's secondhand opinion of what I was thinking of."

He doesn't know he seems looser. As in mentally loose.

"Yeah, I'm a lot more flexible, you're right," he said in answering Karen Crouse of The New York Times. "I have no idea, Karen [laughter]. I'm just enjoying just competing again. Whether I have blinders on or not, I don't feel any different. I feel like I'm preparing to try and win the Masters.

His soccer game has gotten better.

Asked if he was feeling old, he revealed that he's playing a lot of soccer with the kids.

"Try chasing around 6- and 7‑year-olds all day, you start feeling it.  But the good news is my soccer game has gotten a lot better."

He didn't realize the 17th hole played straightaway.

This is the first Woods has been to Augusta National since Ike's Tree was taken out by an ice storm.

"I always thought it was a little bit of a dogleg left.  It's eye opening to see it's just dead‑straight.  That was very, very shocking to me to see it like that."

Tiger has always listened to music when he practices and even once made special cassettes.

He was listening to hip hop when cameras caught him rocking out on the range.

"I wanted to just rock out. It was just nice. That's what I practice in at home, and so having an opportunity to do that here, you see a lot of guys do it. I grew up listening to -- you remember the old cassette tapes? I used to make my own cassette tapes, and then they had the Disc Man. They didn't have a holder for the waist, so I took one of the cassette holders and took that off and epoxied it to the Discman and listened to my discs as I practiced. Times have changed, but still practicing for hours on end, it's nice to have a little bit of tunes."