Tiger’s Waste Management Phoenix Open press conference: Thursday
Q: (Question about the use of wedges.)
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I was. Couple more 4-irons, actually, some of my old-school shots from Augusta. I’m just having a hard time finding the bottom. Because of my old pattern, I was so steep on it, that I have a new grind on my wedge and sometimes it’s hard to trust. This is a similar grind I used to use back in the early 2000s, but it’s a different grind. Some of my shots were into the green with tight pins, and either I’ll flop it or bump it, one of the two. I chose to bump it.
Q: Talk about the eagle.
TIGER WOODS: Well, I got into the flow of the round, but it was just about trying to be so committed to the swing change and do it. I’m so much more shallow now than I used to be, and it’s hard sometimes. Believe me, I can get the club to the ground sometimes. I’m so shallow, I pick it a lot. It’s the trust in that. It’s just different. I struggled with it at the very beginning. I saw a lot of balls to the right. Then I started to fix it on the back 9, but again, this is my second tournament in six months, so I just need tournament rounds like this where I can fight, fight through it, turn it around, grind through it, and make adjustments on the fly. Joey was on me all day today. He said, Don’t worry about getting your numbers perfect, because it’s not going to be that way yet. You’re still working through it.
Q: You said your speed is ahead of schedule?
TIGER WOODS: I’m ahead of schedule on my speed, yeah. Look how far I’m hitting it now. I’ve just got to get committed to hitting the club less sometimes. That’s the hard part. I bail out on a couple of shots because I just — I just don’t believe I have that much speed on my body yet. But I do.
TIGER WOODS: I did. It’s the old pattern, though. You hang on your left side, what we used to do. You pull left. So this is a totally different release pattern, and it takes time to be committed to it, especially when you have to shape shots, and I haven’t hit, shaped shots in tournaments, four rounds in what, six months. So it’s going to take time to get the feel of my hands where they need to be throughout the entire swing and shaping shots.
Q: Is it frustrating when you’re on the range (indiscernible)?
TIGER WOODS: I have been through it before. It’s not the first time I have gone through this. It takes time. It’s just a frustrating thing where I just need to get through competitive rounds. I need to get rounds out of my belt and get a feel for it. Eventually I start trusting it, start shaping shots, and then you just go play. Don’t worry about it a whole lot.
Q: You talk about adjustments. What about the mental side. Are you there yet?
TIGER WOODS: No, I didn’t get into the mental rhythm of the round for a while. It took a little time, and unfortunately I was making some bogeys through that stretch. But then I started finding the rhythm of the round, the rhythm of competing and playing, shaping shots and hitting them to, you know, the safety zones or being aggressive and taking on certain shots, you know, and getting a feel for that. That just takes time.
Q: Do you feel tired after 18 or are you ready to go again?
TIGER WOODS: Physically I’m fine. I feel great. Mentally I’m a little bit tired from the grind of trying to piece together a round when I was 5-over par, and I fought back to give myself a decent look going into the weekend. I’m proud of that, because that takes a lot of mental energy to be able to fight back like that.