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August 9, 2018

Tiger Woods

St. Louis, Missouri

TIGER WOODS: Just hung in there. I was trying to grind away at it, pick away at it, and trying to get to maybe 1 over par at the turn and ended up being 2 where it was. Just trying to chip away at it. A par 5 and a couple short par 4s on the front nine. Just keep hanging in there. I was hitting the ball all right. If I could somehow get myself in the right sections, I could hole a few putts.

I was able to grind out a score today.

Q. You got off to a rough start today, Tiger and to be able to turn it around, how important is that for you?
TIGER WOODS: It kept me in the golf tournament. I could have easily gone the other way, being 3 over through two. A lot of things could happen. Not a lot of them were positive, but I hung in there and turned it around. This afternoon the guys are going to face a little more wind than we did this morning. Just happy to be within five right now.

Q. Do you always carry extra shirts?
TIGER WOODS: In the summertime, yeah. As you know, I sweat a lot, and I lose a bunch of weight. I have the hardest time during summer maintaining weight. No matter what I eat, no matter what I drink, I just can't maintain weight. So this heat is one of the issues that I have.

Q. You went through it early. Like on the 3rd hole, did you change shirts?
TIGER WOODS: Normally I change before the round. There wasn't a place to change on the 10th tee. So I waited until we had a little port-a-John there.

Q. You hit 7 iron today?

Q. Did that turn a switch?
TIGER WOODS: I hit a good one in there. Nice shot in there. I hit a couple of good shots out there today early on. It really wasn't that good. I was just kind of hanging in there. As I said, if I could just give myself a few putts at it, I could turn this thing around. I made a couple of good putts, but the shot at 18 was just a little 7 iron, held it a little bit. It was nice to kind of turn the tide going into the back nine with that birdie.

Q. (No microphone)
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, just trying to get -- you know, the main thing about Major championships is make sure you have enough energy. This is a long run. These are marathons. These are four long days. They're slow rounds. They're not quick. Certainly not under these conditions. And with the setup, the rounds are going to be slow.

I've always tried to maintain, no matter what physical shape I was going into a Major championship, I wanted to be on a Thursday. That's what I want to do.

Q. (No microphone.)
TIGER WOODS: That wasn't very good, was it? I pulled a tee shot, and the wispy stuff right behind the ball grabbed my shaft and turned it down. I had 16 yards to the hole, 63 cover, and I had plenty of room up there on the canopy. The canopy was pretty high. So I tried to play a shot and pulled it off and made a putt.

Q. Tiger, that shot on 11, was that lie worse than you thought?
TIGER WOODS: No, I stuck in the ground. I had 118 total. I was trying to hit the ball left of the hole. I stuck in the ground and hit it short right. I came up probably, what, 12 yards short of my number.

Q. Did you try to pull the --
TIGER WOODS: No. I've tried everything. I just sweat a lot. I don't know what it is.

Q. Did you know Jared?
TIGER WOODS: I knew him a little bit. I remember playing with him at Firestone years ago. I think he had just finished off his first bout with cancer and came back and played. I met him on a few other occasions, but that was the only time I ever actually played with him. It's tough. It's a tough loss.

Q. (No microphone.)
TIGER WOODS: These guys have proven that they've all been playing well. These two guys have been basically at the top of the world for the last four or five years now consistently. I don't get a chance to play with him very often. I haven't played with Rory in a long time. I play with J.T. at home in practice rounds, but I haven't played with Rory in a very long time. It was fun to get out there and compete.

Q. (No microphone)
TIGER WOODS: I told the story the other night at the Champions Dinner when I played with Jack at Valhalla, 18 years ago, that was his last PGA, and he was telling me the story that he played with Gene Sarazen in his last PGA. It's interesting what this game of golf can do, how we can basically last for so many different generations. And now I'm playing with -- the reason why I was telling the story is because J.T. invited me to speak on behalf of himself and PGA of America a little bit, and J.T. was 7 years old when we were at Valhalla, and he was in the clubhouse when I made that putt on 18. So kind of trying to tie in Gene Sarazen, Jack, and little J.T. there, and now he's PGA champion for the last year, 17 years later. So it's pretty neat.

Q. (No microphone)
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I have. I've done it a few times. Each past champion is asked to have two guys talk about their experiences with PGA of America and what it means to them and what it does for the game and also their experiences of being a past PGA champion.

Q. Were you able to get a look at holes 6 through 9 at all before today, or were you kind of going in blind there?
TIGER WOODS: When we were playing 5, Joey and I looked over there at 7 and says, okay, this is where you want to hit your 2 iron down there. If you want to drive it, you can drive it to near the front if you want to take a run at it. 6, we walked off the other day. So I got a chance to look at that, but I didn't get a feel for the shot. And Joey says 8 is a very simple par 5. Just hit it down there somewhere. And 9 is 2 iron, 3 wood. So it's not real complicated.

So those are the holes that the only issue was do I actually drive it on 7, or do I lay up on 7? 275 front and just tattooed a 3 wood there.

Q. (No microphone)
TIGER WOODS: I did. And the wind hit it at the very end and knocked it left.

Q. Extreme conditions this course has taken. St. Louis had a cold winter and very, very hot in the summer. Has it affected the structure of the greens?
TIGER WOODS: They're bumpy, for sure. They're quicker than they were on the practice rounds. They were saving them. But they're still on the slower side than what we normally play week in and week out. The shorter putts are a little more interesting because they're a little chewed up. They're trying to give us some flat spots around the hole, but they're not really difficult pins and not really tucked. But still they're tough.

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