Tiger’s PLAYERS press conference: Saturday
Q: How would you compare how you scored versus how you played?
TIGER WOODS: They are certainly not in the same category. I played well today and didn’t get anything out of that round. It was probably the most solid I’ve hit the golf ball all year actually. Even though I hit a couple off-line, but they were just hit dead-flush. I just got nothing out of the round.
Q: You spoke about comfort and feeling good on the greens just a day ago; what happened today?
TIGER WOODS: Well, misread two of them, which is fine. And then I hit two other just bad putts. But other than that, it was just tough getting the ball close. I had a hard time. Some of the guys, I’m sure, are doing a better job than I did today.
But I was having a hard time getting it close. Just the wind was dancing a little bit out there.
Q: Sometimes you come out with a number in your mind; if you did, what number was in your mind, and how do you assess how you did?
TIGER WOODS: I figured if I shot 67, 68, something in that range, I would be right in the ballgame going into tomorrow. I thought the lead might get to double digits; might.
There’s so much danger out there. This golf course is set up today where you can go out there and shoot a 65 out there, but also then again, you can also go shoot something in the 80s pretty easily, too.
Q: Hole locations, wind, the firmness of the course; how would you characterize how can difficult the course is?
TIGER WOODS: The course was fair, very fair. It was a great test. The only thing they did out there I thought was move the tee up at 9, being dead downwind. Most of the guys are not hitting driver there. If you run out of room, I think it’s like 330 or whatever the runout is, but that comes up quick nowadays with driver.
Q: Trying to cut it on 9?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, just a little bullet cut.
Q: Why instead of a draw?
TIGER WOODS: I just felt comfortable holding against the wind. That’s a shot I’ve been hitting where I felt more comfortable with, and I went with it.
Q: If you look at you and Phil and Ernie and Vijay, the best four of your generation, collectively you have only seriously back nine contended here three times. What does that say?
TIGER WOODS: Well, the golf course, as I said earlier in the week, it’s about ball-striking. You have to hit the ball well that particular week.
You can’t fake it around here. You have to hit the ball well. And it’s amazing how easy the golf course seems if you’re hitting it well, because everything kind of funnels into these valley, and you’ve got 15-footers all day.
You figure you’re going to make your share of those. But if you’re off, now you’ve got — coming up over, you’ve got double- and triple-breaking putts. It gets tough.
Q: Just a coincidence, for all of the really great years you’ve had and a bunch that Phil had, there’s so few times that the best players —
TIGER WOODS: I think if you look at it as a whole, everyone who has played here, they have never really been that consistent here. I mean, everyone, going from the time to Jerry Pate won, no one has really contended here or been in contention, 70, 80 percent of the time. Like some golf courses you get certain guys playing well there no matter what.
Q: Yesterday Rickie said you played a lot more like when you play at home, less mechanical and more free flowing. Do you feel like you’ve been able to do that the last couple rounds more so than recently? Is it getting closer to that feeling?
TIGER WOODS: Absolutely. Absolutely. It’s feeling a lot more comfortable out there. I’m hitting the shots, I’m shaping the ball again, and it’s just trying to get the timing of the wind out there right now.
Q: Speaking of Rickie, it looks like he’s going to be up on the board tomorrow. What are your thoughts on him as a player? Generally you’ve gotten to know him a little bit around the new neighborhood?
TIGER WOODS: Obviously he’s got an inordinate amount of talent. It’s just a matter of time before he broke through. He’s the type of guy, once he understands what it takes to win out here, he can win a lot. Kind of like DD; he was there, there, there, and once he started learning how to win, he went off and won a bunch of tournaments.
Q: How tough is it to win back-to-back tournaments?
TIGER WOODS: It’s not easy. It’s just not easy. There’s a lot of guys, 156 guys. You’ve got to beat 155 guys back-to-back weeks. That’s a lot of players.
Q: How long ago did you put the metal spike back in the cleats?
TIGER WOODS: I started at Quail Hollow last week.
Q: What was the change?
TIGER WOODS: My knee is finally healthy enough to take the pounding.