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June 13, 2019

Tiger Woods

Pebble Beach, California

Q. How would you put that round together?
TIGER WOODS: Well, it was -- it's typical Pebble Beach where the first seven holes you can get it going, and then after that you're kind of fighting and kind of hanging on.

I kind of proved that today. I had it going early and had to fight off through the middle part of the round and hung in there with pars. Very pleased to shoot under par today.

Q. Rory and Graeme both used the word "benign" in describing the conditions today and talking about it being the kind to get a low score. Would you agree with that assessment, and do you feel you left a few out there?
TIGER WOODS: As I said, the first seven holes you can get it going, and you can be 4- to 5-under par through the first seven holes. And then after that some of those were on the tricky side. They were hard to get it back and close to.

Rosie kind of proved that today, kind of hang in there and fight it off. He had an amazing finish. I was in position to do the same thing, kind of hanging in there and was able to post an under par today.

Q. How much was it a test of will?
TIGER WOODS: It was just hanging in there, just typical of the U.S. Open. But as I said, the first seven holes you can get it going. It seemed like the majority of the guys were under par through the first seven holes, and then nobody was making hay after that. And it was a little bit tricky.

Q. You were uncharacteristically off with your irons today. Anything to it?
TIGER WOODS: I hit -- I didn't hit my irons as crisp as I'd like. I tried to miss the ball in the correct spots, and a couple of times where I had wedges in my hand I was just dumping, center of the green, move on, get my 30-, 40-footer and move on about my business and take my medicine when I was in a bad spot and just kind of grind it out.

Q. When your irons aren't crisp and you hit nine greens, how on earth do you shoot 1-under?
TIGER WOODS: As I said, you miss the ball in the correct spots. I made a couple of putts, but I had -- the majority of the putts were all uphill. And that was -- that's the key to playing this golf course, you can't be past the flag. And if I happen to miss, as I said, I took my medicine and moved on and went about my business.

Q. Are you talking to yourself mentally? There are a lot of players who would not have shot a 1-under under those circumstances. It seems like there's more in play?
TIGER WOODS: Well, it's just fighting it out and grinding it out. But I still say that it's important to miss the ball in the correct spots. And, granted, I made a few putts today, but they were all uphill. Hitting the ball in the correct spots, if I happened to not feel comfortable with a number, dump the ball 30, 40 feet, move on about my business.

Q. What happened on 5?
TIGER WOODS: A terrible tee shot. I was in between clubs. I wasn't committed to hit a 6-iron. I know from playing the practice rounds that I probably should hit 7 because I can hit it 15 yards short of the green, and there's a little shelf there that will funnel the ball onto the front part of the green.

And I hit a terrible shot, but the second shot was good. But the mistake was the third shot, and I hit it above the hole. And a simple little pitch shot, if I leave it ten feet below the hole, easy shot, move on with the bogey.

Q. With knowing this course so well, what is key for you personally now moving forward over the next few days?
TIGER WOODS: Well, it's a quick turnaround into tomorrow. Off of 10, right away we've got a tough par 4 right from the get-go. And we have the harder side to start off on, and hopefully I can finish up on the front side and have the full seven holes where I can get it going.

Q. Is the takeaway that you didn't have your "A" game today but you still put up a red number? Is that sort of the overarching takeaway from today?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, you just kind of hang in there. As I said, I played the first seven holes, except for that bad tee shot on 5, and I did what I was supposed to do through those first seven holes. And after that I was just hanging around and hoping that I could make a birdie here and there.

And the only mistake I made was probably at 14 trying to carry that ball back there to the flag, and I clipped it and dumped my ball in the center of the green and tried to make my bogey but happened to make a putt.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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