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March 12, 2020

Gary Woodland

Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida

Q. Talk about the news that you guys were going to be playing with no fans.
GARY WOODLAND: Yeah I figured, to be honest with you, I figured we would hear it last night, especially with Trump coming out and the travel ban, obviously with the NBA postponing the rest of their season, to see the college basketball night and day cancelling left and right, so it was only a matter of time before we did it. It will be different, but I think it's for the best. Obviously this is something you don't want to mess around with. We all have families, we all have parents and children that we're concerned about, so I'm glad they did it.

Q. When was the last time you played competitively with no fans?
GARY WOODLAND: We have done it the last couple years a couple times. I think maybe Japan, we did it when Tiger won DC, I remember that. So it will be different but I don't think it will be that big a deal, as long as --

Q. CT pan pulled out a couple, 35 minutes ago, citing the concerns of the coronavirus. Has that ever been a concern or a thought for you and personally are you taking extra precautions, how are you personally dealing with everything?
GARY WOODLAND: No, pulling out has never been a concern. I stopped shaking signs and really signing autographs, to be honest with you, is a big deal. I talked to some doctors, you know, you obviously have kids and you want to be concerned about them, they said it hasn't affected kids too much, but having a dad with heart disease and that could really affect him. So it's a decision, we're supposed to go to Disney on Monday, doesn't like that's going to happen. Trying to avoid big crowds. And it's hard with us, we travel. It will be interesting with Match Play with the travel ban, I don't know, I heard no fans, but I don't know if it will go on. The rest of the TOUR -- the rest of the sports leagues kind of jumped on things a week ago and I think we're following suit with that right now.

Q. When you won the U.S. Open last year how much did the fans sort of contribute to you getting through that?
GARY WOODLAND: Any time you're in the last group, any time you're playing around Tiger or big groups you feed off that energy, it's a huge advantage. Obviously hitting balls into the crowd, sometimes they're bouncing back. There's a lot of things that come into having crowds out there. It's definitely, I think, a huge advantage to get that momentum, that will be an adjustment for a lot of guys. Especially guys that are used to having big crowds. But all in all, I mean, the safety of everybody's a huge concern and the TOUR will go on and hopefully everybody's safe.

Q. When you saw the NBA shut it down last night, were you even wondering whether you would play today?
GARY WOODLAND: I was, definitely. The TOUR sent a text out last night that they were monitoring, they would let us know in the morning, but there was definitely some thought that we wouldn't play today. The other sports organizations jumped on this awhile ago, so hopefully we're doing it right and hopefully everybody stays safe out here.

Q. Will this change your schedule going forward at all?
GARY WOODLAND: Not for me, I'm supposed to play Valspar next week and then I was supposed to play Match Play and then Augusta, two weeks off. So just plan on playing with nobody around. Hopefully Match Play goes on, hopefully we can continue to play and hopefully nobody gets sick.

Q. So much concern is swirling around today. What was the vibe like out there?
GARY WOODLAND: It was good. We found out on the back nine, we heard fans talking that they wouldn't be out the rest of the week. Obviously they're upset, they're out here, the weather's beautiful, the golf course is amazing, you got one of the best fields in golf, you want fans out here, you want that energy. But we also don't want people getting sick either. Obviously we don't want to get sick ourselves, but the safety of the people that support us is a big deal and hopefully we can, the whole country and the world can move on from this too.

Q. Would a major without fans be?
GARY WOODLAND: That would be different. We were talking today, you make eagle on Augusta on the back nine and I mean you just are so used to hearing roars, you can tell what's going on, on that golf course. That golf course more than any of them would be different without the patrons, as they would say. Not hearing those roars out there would be different. You obviously we're out there playing, we're playing for a lot of money, we're playing for a lot of FedExCup points and a lot of things, but having no fans out there would definitely be different.

Q. Are you sort of surprised or maybe shocked that it's got this far, this pandemic?
GARY WOODLAND: Yeah, I mean I think it escalated quickly. At first people would just keep saying it was the flu, the flu's just a thing, people get shots every year for the flu shot and you just don't think it's that big a deal. But you start seeing the elderly and the people that are really being affected by this, I mean it's scary. If you look at it, the people that come out and watch there's a lot of older people out here watching us play right now, especially when Tiger's not here. When Tiger's here it changes the demographic I would say for fans a lot. We have an older fan base and that's scary for having them out here with this going on.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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