February 09, 2012

Tiger’s Pebble Beach press conference: Thursday

Q: Talk about the way the weather is today. Is 4-under enough?

TIGER WOODS: I drove it great today. I drove it on a string for most of the day. (Indiscernible) I left a few shots out there, for sure. It seems like the rest of the guys are going pretty low around this place and tearing the course apart.

Q: How much more comfortable were you with the driver today than perhaps on Sunday a couple weeks ago in Abu Dhabi?

TIGER WOODS: I wasn’t that far off. That’s what people didn’t realize at Abu Dhabi; I was lining up most of the fairways. I drove it great today. (Indiscernible) from 5-iron all the way up to driver. I, unfortunately, (Indiscernible) didn’t do a very good job getting it to the greens.

Q: When you get to 6 and 7, what does that mean to get those rounds together?

TIGER WOODS: Especially, on courses like this, I can’t get too far behind the lead. I know there is some colder weather coming in, but I’ve got to take advantage of this. The guys are just tearing the course apart with no wind.

I think we saw two at 9 and two at 8 and a couple of guys at 7 with five holes to go. So you’ve got to take advantage of it. So, hopefully, in the next few days I can get it going.

Q: You know playing 5 hours and 45 minutes, what is the most challenging part of playing a round of golf at this level taking so long?

TIGER WOODS: You’ve got to have the mindset going in. It’s going to be a long day. It’s like the old U.S. Open when we used to tee off from the one tee. You know, a round would take about six hours and we just got accustomed to it and kind of expected it.

If you expect it, it’s going to be a little bit slow, so we just played at a different pace and got some rhythm walkingwise.

Q: (Indiscernible) Tony Romo decided to play in this event. How would you assess his game?

TIGER WOODS: He actually hit it pretty good today. He had a couple of loose shots in there, but he hit it pretty good. The two amateurs in our group are both scratches, so they have to make natural birdies. That’s a tall order especially given the green speeds and the pressure. Something that Tony’s used to, but this is a totally different arena now.

He’s out of his element. Just like it would be for us to go on a football field and have a 350-pound guy chasing you with bad intentions. It’s a totally different animal.

Q: (Indiscernible)?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, uh-huh, exactly.

Q: I was really impressed with your play off the tee. Missing just two fairways all day.

TIGER WOODS: I drove it great today. I drove it on a string. I had it going both ways. Unfortunately, going into the greens, I was not very good at all. I had some wedges tat I hit some awful golf shots. I played actually over par. So I’m going to go work on that.

Q: You used to dominate the par 5s, 3-under par-5s in opening round, and I thought the putting was key (Indiscernible)?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I putted well today. Ever since the first round in Abu Dhabi, figured something out and really putted well. Just trying to keep that going, but I need to give myself a better look.

Q: This was the day to go low out here. We may not have as good of weather as we have, and some other people have taken it low. Acceptable round of golf or a little frustrating?

TIGER WOODS: It’s frustrating that I had wedges and I didn’t capitalize on it. You look at the board and you have two guys at 9, two guys at 8, and two guys at 7 with four or five holes to go. They’re tearing the golf course apart. So this is the harder of the three, so hopefully I can get it going in the next couple of days.

Q: All in all, a pretty good start?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, the low score here (Indiscernible). This is generally the harder of the courses. So hopefully tomorrow I can get it going over there at Monterey and be going over to Pebble.(Indiscernible) tomorrow will be an important day to put it together and make some birdies.

Q: You played the hardest course in weather like this?

TIGER WOODS: Absolutely.

Q: How (Indiscernible)?

TIGER WOODS: (Indiscernible) in Monterey. But (Indiscernible) like this, this is the harder of the three.

Q: (Indiscernible)?

TIGER WOODS: (Indiscernible) at all. Talking about the distance was very good. (Indiscernible) cutting my shapes were not very good. So I’m going to go work on that for a little bit and get ready for tomorrow.

Q: That being said, you could have probably even gone a little bit lower?

TIGER WOODS: Absolutely. Left a few putts out there. I had a few putts (Indiscernible) roll in, and I didn’t give myself enough looks when I had wedges in my hand. I have to do a better job of that when I have the wedges in my hand. Couple of times I actually went over the green, and one time I hit (Indiscernible).

Q: You said coming in you knew it was going to be a six-your round here. How do you go about it?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, you know, it feels like you have to have the right mindset. It’s going to be long. You have to be patient. There are going to be delays out there. Just like it was when we played the old U.S. Open and we all started off the first tee, right? Those rounds were always around six hours. So it’s no different. You have to be patient, (Indiscernible) and just enjoy the weather.

Q: (Indiscernible) your coaching game here the last time at Frys. How would you compare right now to that?

TIGER WOODS: Oh, God it’s night and day. I had only had, what, two tournaments before Frys since coming back from injury. So that’s two totally different deals.

I have had way more reps. I’m stronger and more explosive than I was then. Feel much more comfortable with my game than certainly I did then.

Q: Is it a good sign when you come off with a 68?

TIGER WOODS: I don’t know if it’s a good sign or a bad sign. With the scores the way they are, I thought I could have it lower than I did. The guys are just tearing this place apart with no wind.

I figured par today was going to be about 67 out here. It ended up being the low round so far. So I’m not too far away from posting a good number out here.

Q: How big were those par putts on 5 and 6?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, well, it’s nice to make, especially the par putts after hitting a nice drive down there and having the wedge and hitting it 60, 70 feet away.

Q: What happened on that shot?

TIGER WOODS: I was trying to keep it down. Trying to take the spin off of it. You know, hitting it flat to that pin, it’s easy to hop it over the back if the greens are firmer. But if you hit it short, it could hit the hill and come back. So I was kind of caught between.

I know, in retrospect, I should have fired it right of the flag, 15, 20 feet right of the flag. It’s flatter over there. It’s an easier area to hit to and I would have had an uphill, left-to-right putt.

Q: (Asking about Tony Romo) (Indiscernible)?

TIGER WOODS: It’s good. You know, he’s lots of fun. We had a good time out there. He hits it long. This is a different element for him. You know, he’s in an area that is familiar but also unfamiliar as well. He’s a hell of a golfer, but still, this is totally different.

Q: (Indiscernible) the par-5 shifted into another gear. Do you feel like you can kind of unleash more in the par-5?

TIGER WOODS: I have the feel that I want now, and that’s something I’ve been missing for the last couple of years.

Q: The last couple of years due to the injuries and everything else, you don’t play in a routine. Do you feel like you’re back in a routine and playing golf like you did for 10 or 12 years do you feel like you’re back yet, or is it still getting there?

TIGER WOODS: I never felt like I was out of routine. Every tournament starts all over again. I think what it is is I feel comfortable because of my practice sessions every time I play. I’m able to actually practice which I hadn’t for a very long time. (Indiscernible).

Q: What was the best shot you hit today?

TIGER WOODS: Probably the par putt at 6.

Q: Okay.

TIGER WOODS: That was a key par putt to keep it going.