Tiger’s Open Championship press conference: Saturday
Q: Your assessment?
TIGER WOODS: Well, I think I only made three birdies in two days. That’s not very good. The golf course wasn’t playing that hard. I just didn’t get much out of any of the two rounds.
Q: What was the strategy going into this afternoon in the position you were in, five off the cut?
TIGER WOODS: Well, birdie every hole coming in. We started on 13, so unfortunately I was out of — I had a bogey putt there when we came back out and finished, and from there I figured I had to make birdie on every hole coming in to at least give myself a chance and if not try and drive 18 and make a 2 somehow.
Q: Did you learn anything about your game this week?
TIGER WOODS: You know, it’s kind of funny because I didn’t — we were talking about that the other day; I hit the ball solid. It’s just that it wasn’t getting through the wind. I don’t know what was causing that, and it’s something that we’re going to have to take a look at, look at my numbers, see if the spin rates are on or not, but it was so frustrating because all my shots that I hit solid and flush into the wind, they just weren’t carrying at all.
Q: Both here and Chambers Bay, you struggled mostly on the front nine and played better on the back. Any explanation for why that pattern has fallen into place?
TIGER WOODS: It’s a great question, I don’t know. I can’t tell you. I don’t think I had that problem at Greenbrier, but I certainly have had it these last two majors for sure.
Q: You came in fairly optimistic. How did you leave? Are you surprised that it didn’t go kind of the way you wanted?
TIGER WOODS: Absolutely. I felt like I was playing well enough to win this event. On the very first hole on the first day, I fat a sand wedge in the water. I fatted my 3-iron off the tee, and then I fatted my 8-iron into the green on 2, drove it in a divot there on 4. It was just one thing after another. I had my opportunities, I just didn’t get the ball close enough, and then when I did, I didn’t make them.
Q: Do you feel like you have to step back and reassess or keep pushing forward with what you’re doing?
TIGER WOODS: Keep going. Keep going forward. I play in a couple weeks in D.C., so looking forward to playing the Quicken Loans, and hopefully win that event so I can get into a place that I know very well.
Q: You’ve had so much success here in the past and have such great memories. How tough was it to struggle here and what was the reception you got from the people?
TIGER WOODS: The people were fantastic. To come out — well, first of all, to stay out here all day and to have that kind of a warm reception coming up 18 is awfully special. It’s one of the things I was talking about with Jason. We were coming up 18, I said, it’s the greatest walk in golf. He says, yeah, it’s nice when you have an eight-shot lead, too. I said, well, you just go ahead and go get that lead. He’s playing well enough to do it. But there’s a lot of guys who have a chance to win. This golf course is definitely gettable. The greens are soft and receptive, and if you’re driving it well and driving it long, this golf course is very much gettable.
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, you know, I’ve won here a couple times. I wasn’t all that great in 2010. Obviously a little bit worse here in ’15. Next time it comes around, hopefully I play a little bit better than I did the last two times.
Q: What did you make of conditions this morning and Louis’s ball on the green?
TIGER WOODS: It was too bad. He ran his first putt by, and had a little three-footer coming dead downwind, and that was going to be a tough putt, and then he had a one-footer, then he had about an eight-footer. We didn’t think that we should be playing. We thought it was just — the balls are oscillating. You could see it was oscillating on the tees. We’d tee it up and it was moving a little bit, and so it was tough out there. They called it, though, which was good. Right now it’s perfect. I mean, the ball is — well, the putt I had and the putt Louis had on 13 when we resumed were both oscillating. His moved a little bit. Mine was wiggling all the over the place, but that was the only time it did that. The rest of the time, I guess with the growth and obviously the bleachers help a lot blocking that wind.
Q: As competitive as you are, how do you deal with not getting what you want to get out of yourself?
TIGER WOODS: Well, I’m just not scoring. Every opportunity I have to make a key putt or hit an iron shot in there stiff with a short iron and get some momentum going, I haven’t done that. I haven’t gotten anything out of my rounds. I’ll hit good shots, I’ll string together some good shots and good holes and put myself in position to make a run, and I don’t do it.
Q: How do you deal with that inside?
TIGER WOODS: It’s frustrating, there’s no doubt, because I’m not making those runs. To win major championships, I’ve always thought you needed to have two good nine-hole stretches. They don’t have to be in the same day, but you’ve got to have a nice run in there, and I haven’t done that at all.
Q: Did you play a practice round after Monday?
TIGER WOODS: No, I didn’t. I didn’t play. Just kind of — just wanted to practise and not wear myself out. I don’t normally get here on a Saturday, and I played — I thought I played a lot coming in, so just take it easy and practise and get a feel for it. I got a chance to see both winds, which was nice. I saw an east wind and a west wind, so I felt pretty prepared for it, having seen both winds.
TIGER WOODS: Well, it was nice that the ball came out soft. I saw Louis’s come out smoking, and I mean, that’s the hard part about — the strategy on 16, it’s interesting, because we’ve never played it that way, just bombed driver in the left rough and hit a wedge on the green. It’s usually a lay-up right there short of the Principal’s Nose and hit an iron shot in there, but with the rough being so short, just bomb it down there and you can hit it up No. 2 if you want, then you still have a wedge in there. I finally judged one right. I got a couple of lies out there where I didn’t judge them correctly at all, and it was finally nice to get one that came out well.
Q: Was there any thought when you’re walking down 18 and hearing that reception, that the next one here is a long way off?
TIGER WOODS: When is it?
Q: 2020 or ’21.
TIGER WOODS: Usually every five years, right? Yeah, so I’ll probably have less hair then and hopefully a little better game.