January 30, 2014

Tiger’s Omega Dubai press conference: Thursday

TIGER WOODS: I probably could have got a couple more. I missed a couple putts from ten feet and I didn’t hit a bad putt today, which was nice. I pured all my putts and hit them all on my lines. Just sometimes the grains snaked it pretty hard and grabbed it pretty hard at the end. And the putts I did miss, I missed on the low side with the greens snagging at the end.

Q: First nine or ten holes you missed a few fairways left and the guys on TV said you were aiming left and not feeding the ball back to the fairway. How were you seeing the shots and what was the problem?

TIGER WOODS: Exactly, I was trying to hit pull-cuts and I got the pull right. I just didn’t get the cut right. So just aimed further right on the back nine and still went with my pull cut and it was getting out there. When I do it right, I can hit that cut pretty far. I was getting out there, near his drive, which is nice. We play two totally different games. He draws the ball and I cut it. It was nice to start getting that hot cut again.

Q: Swing also looked shorter; is that the case, and why?

TIGER WOODS: We didn’t like where it was with my last coach, it got way too long. And I’ve always played my best when I’m in a shorter position. If you look back in my younger days on Tour, it was even shorter than it is now. Only difference is I can’t wheel on it like I used to. Just snapping at the end to get the power and get the rotation. If I did that now, I’d destroy the knee just like I did before, which is why I had so many operations on it. So in a shorter position like that without snapping at the end, and put it out there. Overall it was a pretty good score. Maybe could have gotten two more out of it? After going 0-for-12 on birdies on the par 5s last week, it was actually nice to make one, too, the first hole right out of the gate. Got rolling from there for a little bit.

Q: And how was it playing together with Rory and Stephen?

TIGER WOODS: Well, Rory and I have become pretty close friends over the last probably good year and a half or so. We got paired together at the FedExCup quite a bit and our friendship has kind of taken off from there. Stephen, we were obviously paired together yesterday– two days ago in the shootout with Freddie. I had not played with him in a long time but we go all the way back to our Walker Cup days at Royal Porthcawl, all the way back to 1995. We’ve known each other for a very long time.

Q: A lot of low scores today, does it surprise you?

TIGER WOODS: Not at all. The greens are perfect, absolutely perfect. They are nowhere near as firm as they were on Tuesday. They have softened them up so they are a little more receptive but they are still just as fast. I’m sure the guys in the afternoon probably won’t go as low. They are definitely drying out. They were drying out as we were playing. So you’ve got to make hay in the morning and we were able to do that today.

Q: Anything that you have to adjust for tomorrow?

TIGER WOODS: I’m going to go work on a couple things here and there but I felt like it was a good day. As I said I could have got a couple more out of it, just by making a couple putts from about ten feet or.

So I hit a lot of good putts which was nice. Last week I didn’t do it. It was nice to actually play well again.