April 11, 2015

Tiger’s Masters press conference: Saturday

Q. Not the finish you wanted but overall how do you describe your day?

TIGER WOODS: Oh, man, it could have been something seriously low today. I had it really going. But at Nos. 2, 3, 4 on the trap there, and then stuffed it at No. 6, missed it, stuffed it at No. 7, missed it. Sweet up and down at No. 9. That was pretty sweet. A stupidly good birdie at No. 13. And a stupid bogey at No. 14.

But all‑in‑all, if you probably look at it, it should have been about two shots better.

Q. When you made the turn at 32, what was in your mind?

TIGER WOODS: My goal was to get as close as I could to 10, if not to 10. Just in case Jordan went off a little bit, at least I was within range. Right now I’m at right now he’s at 16, just birdied 12 there. So I’m going to have to put together a really special round of golf tomorrow. And you just never know. You saw what happened in ’96. You saw what happened with Rory in ’11. You never know around this golf course.

Anything can happen. A lot depends on what the committee does. Today the greens were soft again, they were slow. We’re making ball marks with 4‑irons in the greens. I don’t remember hitting a 4‑iron to that flag and having it ever roll out to only about three feet. That’s just not normal here. So with that being said, you’re seeing guys be a lot more aggressive. They’re making‑‑ overall the field makes a lot more birdies than we’re used to.

Q. Early in the week you used the word progression and progress a lot. How do you characterize that from Thursday through the end of today?

TIGER WOODS: I certainly have gotten better each day. This is probably one of the harder tournaments to come back to, because ‑‑ as any golfer understands, if you play a golf course that’s hilly, all the nuances of the lies, and trying to get the right trajectory, the right shape, the right feels. On top of that you have to miss it in the correct spots. How do you get the balls in the correct spots with the correct shape. And this golf course, with the wind swirling all over the place, it’s tough. I know where to miss on every flag, which is great. Unfortunately except for No. 9, I missed in the wrong spot there. But overall it helps to have local knowledge to come back and miss the ball in the right spots.

Q. Can you go through No. 13, start to finish?

TIGER WOODS: No. 13, again, it was just a terrible tee shot. That’s my old body pattern for a draw, with my new release pattern. And they don’t work (laughter).

So I hit the big ball first before I hit the little ball. And then got fortunate where I had a lie. If it was in the rough I couldn’t have played that shot, because I couldn’t get enough spin. But I was on the pine straw where I could get good, solid contact and spin it around the corner, which I did.

And I had 173 to the hole and hit a 7‑iron up there. And it was nice seeing Sergio. Sergio had a hell of a shot from over the green, I saw how much it broke at the end, so I gave it about an inch and a half more break, after watching his putt come up there and poured it in there.

Q. Considering your position heading into tomorrow, how do you hope they set it up?

TIGER WOODS: We don’t know. Whatever they set up I still have to make birdies. If they set it up, big, tall, or they leave it soft. In either case I’m so far back there I have to make birdies.

The thing is that overall the greens have been slow all week. They’ve been extremely soft. And as I said I’m making ball marks with 4‑irons, we don’t do that here. That’s very different. A few pins that we’re used to seeing in the corners, they’re giving us probably a half a step to a step easier. And here that’s huge. You miss a ball two to three feet off line and you’ve got a 50‑footer. But they’ve given us that little bit of cush, and that makes the difference.

Q. Separate from anybody else, would you say you made a statement to yourself today, with what you did?

TIGER WOODS: I think what I’ve done all week has been pretty good. Coming from where I came from and having to change my entire release pattern. That was tough. And people have no idea how hard it was to do that. And to come back here and play a major championship and to be in the mix, granted, I’ve got to shoot a super low one tomorrow, but at least I’ve given myself a chance going into tomorrow.

Q. What grade would you give yourself so far this week?

TIGER WOODS: A good one, thank you.