December 04, 2014

Tiger’s Hero World Challenge press conference: Thursday

JOHN BUSH: Questions.

Q: You’ve played this course I think you said 500 times. That might be one of your highest scores, safe to say? 

TIGER WOODS: I shot 80 a bunch of times here actually. Usually when it’s a cold north wind and it’s about 30 out, but not like this. Today was weird. 

I didn’t feel like I did that bad. Short game was awful. Didn’t make anything. 

But I missed it a few times on the front nine on the wrong side, just sides you can’t miss it on, like on 2.

But it was just one of those days where really nothing went my way. Hit two of the best shots I could possibly hit on 13, and I walk away with a 6.

Q: How encouraged are you? 

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, as I said, felt like I didn’t hit it that poorly. I really hit a lot of good shots, and I got nothing out of it obviously. 

So bad chips, bad putts, and a couple missed shots on the front nine on the wrong side really compounded the problem.

Q: (Question regarding poor chip shots.)

TIGER WOODS: Well, it certainly is surprising that I could hit chips that poorly. I flubbed them. What was it, three of them I flubbed? 

Took too much off the bunker shot on 7, tried to get too cute with it, and just made too many mistakes. They were all mainly around the green.

First hole was — I hadn’t heard a camera go off on my swing in a while, so I backed off that one. Then did mentally reset, and I hit a poor tee shot there. Then, as I said, missed a couple shots on the wrong side.

Q: (Question regarding working on his swing.) 

TIGER WOODS: I have a nice facility in my backyard, so I can’t say it’s not from a lack of practice. I just hadn’t faced grains this thick around the greens. My short game area is very tight, and those shots I felt pretty comfortable.

When it got a little stickier, longer grass, I hit terrible chips. Something I need to work on when I get home. 

Q: What do you take positive out of day as far as shot patterns?

TIGER WOODS: Shot patterns were fantastic. And as I think all of you saw, I got my power back and I got my speed back. It’s nice to be able to start launching it again. That’s a very good sign.

Q: How do you reset on the course? How do you access the zone? How do you mentally reset when you need to with all this stuff going on?

TIGER WOODS: Well, I got three more days. You know, right now I’m 11 back and possibly probably more than that the way Jordan is playing. I got three more days, and hopefully if I can get to under par for the tournament after tomorrow, and then hopefully put together a really good weekend. 

At least get myself back in there somehow, I just need to shoot a low one tomorrow to at least have a chance come the weekend.

Q: (Question about swing changes.)

TIGER WOODS: That’s another thing, too. It’s a different motion. It’s a different release pattern. So that’s something I need to get used to. 

Then again, I felt comfortable on a lot of the chip shots this week as I was playing practice rounds off the tighter spots. But when it got a little grainier, just wasn’t as good as I needed it to be.

Q: Is that something Chris is working on with you?

TIGER WOODS: No, we’re working on that, too. Overall, it’s the release pattern. Whether it’s the putting stroke or your driver, they’re just mini swings. So it has to be the same pattern. 

Q: You have no pain?

TIGER WOODS: I have zero pain. I haven’t said that in a long time, and so that’s very exciting to be able to step up there and hit the drives I hit, especially on the back nine and start launching it and feel nothing. 

Q: (No microphone.)

TIGER WOODS: I had it in stretches and practice this summer. Physically I just couldn’t hold it. I didn’t have enough muscle development to hold basically the skeletal stuff in place. So it didn’t last very long. After a few shots, 10, 20 shots, and then it would go.