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May 12, 2018

Tiger Woods

Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida

Q. Your lowest round ever here at THE PLAYERS. Lowest round of the season. How good was it out there?
TIGER WOODS: Well I finally got off to a good start. I birdied the first couple of holes and I just kept it rolling from there. I hit a lot of good shots today. It was nice to see a few putts go in. I hit a lot of, overall, the whole day, a lot of quality shots and 65 was probably as high as I could have shot today, which was kind of nice.

Q. 15 greens and 99 feet of putts, iron play I thought was really, really good.
TIGER WOODS: No, it was better today. I felt like more comfortable driving the ball down there and being a little more aggressive off the tees and getting it down there, squeezing it around some of these corners and consequently I had a lot of 9-irons on down. The ball's flying forever today. On the last hole we had 196 and it was just a 9-iron. So the ball's just going a long way today, this golf course is playing very short and with this amount of humidity, the greens are going to be holding all day.

Q. On the first two days you had a handful of birdies, the one eagle, six birdies on the front nine. Can you talk about the difference today?
TIGER WOODS: I wish I could repeat it more often, but honestly it was just a better start. I got off to a much better quality start. I piped one down 1 and just had a flip sand wedge in there and finally was able to convert and make a birdie there.

2 was, I just -- second shot I was just trying to hit anything left of that flag. I could hit it 50 yards left, who cares, I just can't miss it right. And I left it right below the hole, easy simple chip, easy up-and-down and next thing you know I was rolling.

Q. From the time you said you weren't sure you would play on TOUR until now, when was the first time you knew you had a round like this in you?
TIGER WOODS: Probably at Honda. I made some nice changes after playing poorly at L.A. and those changes started taking fruition and from Honda, Valspar, Bay Hill, I put together some quality rounds.

Q. Spoke about yesterday about how it was one thing or another that wasn't clicking for you, did it feel like around today was sort of right around the corner that you would put everything together eventually?
TIGER WOODS: Eventually I was going to put all the pieces together and today for the most part I did that. I hit a lot of good quality shots, I hit a lot of -- well I hit some shots in the correct spots, which was nice. I hit probably three of the best long irons I've hit all week. The second shot there at 9, the tee shot I hit at 8, which was taking something off a 3-iron and put it up in the air. The 3-iron I hit into 11, that's all you want of a 3-iron right there. It's just a high, towering bomb and I was able to pull it off, which was nice.

Q. So far this year on Thursday and Friday you're plus 3. On the weekends, not counting today, you're minus 17. Why?
TIGER WOODS: I don't know. That's a good question. I guess I make more birdies? I don't know. I wish I could -- I wish I knew what was the difference, but it's just one of those things.

Q. What was the difference today with your irons?
TIGER WOODS: Today I felt more comfortable with my overall warm-up today. I hit the ball much better during warm-up. I felt I had better control of hitting it right-to-left and left-to-right. I just felt more comfortable with it and consequently today I was able to shape the golf ball both ways and started to control it a little bit better today.

Q. Were you disappointed in anything today?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I mean to be 8-under there through 12, realistically I probably could have got a couple more out of it and got to 10 for the day. That wasn't that bad a tee shot there at 14 and I ended up in a spot where I had to really, I didn't have much of a shot. I don't make birdie at 16. 17's a sand wedge in there, but I'll take it.

Q. Were you in between clubs on 16 or what were you trying to do there with the approach?
TIGER WOODS: What Mackenzie did, he hit a little gap wedge and he stuck it in the ground, he didn't quite hit it as probably as good as he wanted to and it got there, it flew past the hole. I knew that my sand wedge was definitely going to get there, but those chalets behind us, with it being downwind, really changes things. If you hit the ball above them, it will ride, like mine did today, like mine did on Thursday. Phil and Rickie didn't hit the ball high enough and it got knocked down, hit it in the water. That's one of the things I was trying to do is make sure I hit it high enough to make sure I could ride it and get it there. Unfortunately I overcooked it.

Q. I was asking about 16, but that's good too, thanks.
TIGER WOODS: Oh, sorry. Got it.

Q. This is your lowest round since 2013. You being able to go this low on a course like this, is this another stepping stone of getting to where you want to be?
TIGER WOODS: I think it is. As I've told you guys this week, I got my playing feels back and it's just a matter of playing and executing and putting the shots together. It was nice, I made some putts today, that was basically the difference. I've hit quality irons before and I was able to convert today and got rolling early. This golf course, as humid as it is right now, these greens are going to be holding all day and I knew that going in and I knew I had to be a little bit more aggressive in there and put the ball in these sections and I was able to do that.

Q. Both you and Mackenzie played solid today. It seemed to be pretty loose out there. Can you talk about the dynamic of playing with him?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, he's a nice kid and he hit some really quality shots today. A couple putts he hit well, just kind of snuck out of there, but overall he should be very pleased the way he played today.

Q. Is your warm-up usually a sign of good things to come? Is it an indicator?
TIGER WOODS: Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't. My best warm-up I ever had I started off double bogey, bogey. So it's not always an indicator, but it's nice to have positive feels going out there. There are days where I've hit it just snap hook and slices out there on the range, can't find it, and go out there and shoot 64 or 63. It's weird. My dad told me, it's just a warm-up, so just relax, you're just warming up the body, then go play. But I was always more of a guy that it was an indicator of how I was going to play.

Q. You're inside the top-10 now, how do you assess the position you're in?
TIGER WOODS: Well I won't be by end of the day, but it's nice to kind of somewhat be up there. These guys are going to go low today again. I think that some of the guys will probably shoot better scores than I did out there today. It's definitely gettable. I know there's a lot of pressure coming down the back nine here, but I think these guys, the way they have setup the golf course today, it's set up for these guys to go low.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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