December 18, 2021
Orlando, Florida, USA
The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club
TIGER WOODS: Charlie and I had a blast playing together again, playing with the Thomas family, again, we're extremely close so it was a bunch of fun there, was a lot of needling going on the entire day. We're pulling pranks on each other and giving each other some under-the-breath remarks that I'm glad they didn't capture.
We had a great time. It was just a blast and we had a blast last year on the first year it was the same. We had so much fun out there. We had one thing we wanted to do. We wanted to keep a clean card. Last year we made a bogey in each round. This year we didn't, our third straight 62 which I think is pretty good. Hopefully tomorrow we get off to a quick start and keep it going.
Q. What was your favorite moment out there with Charlie today?
TIGER WOODS: Just everything. Just everything. The whole, I wish I could have walked with him and been with him every step like I was last year. Physically I'm unable to do that. So I was the guy going out there and getting golf balls, it was off-line or I was off-line, bringing balls back around. It was different trying to grab the cart slower with him and talk to him and make sure we were present and we're still a team and we're still doing it together.
It's a little bit harder when I'm in a cart moving around a little bit or trying to get through the galleries. The guys are extremely respectful and great. So supportive but again it's totally different than walking step by step. Unfortunately it's a reality that we just can't experience this year.
Q. You seem to have a good handle on what's ahead but is there anything you learned from today or for actually competing inside the ropes that maybe you didn't know?
TIGER WOODS: It's frustrating when I don't hit the ball as far as I know that I can and the shots that I see don't come off the way I want. I hit two good shot today -- well, three, they came off exactly how I wanted to. By old numbers, but as I explained to you guys down in the Bahamas, I don't have endurance. I haven't played. This is, what, my fourth, fifth round the entire year. I don't have any golf endurance.
It's tiring out there, so it was a slow day. But that's something that I'm going to have to, if I want to compete out here at the TOUR level I'm going to have to get the endurance back and hit thousands upon thousands of golf balls. Just takes time.
Q. What were the three shots?
TIGER WOODS: One was on 3, the par 5. It was a 220-yard 4-iron which I hit probably 18 feet behind the hole. I hit a good one at 14, the par 5, and I smoked a 7-iron at 17. I didn't believe I could get it there but it was one of my old shots, so to be able to turn that thing down and hit that thing and squeeze it out there like that that was nice, even though it wasn't pin-high, but just the shot, the feel and the shape is what I was seeing.
Q. As competitive as you are, how difficult is it to pull back with what you can do physically right now?
TIGER WOODS: I don't have it. You know that. I don't have the game or the speed or any of that. So I'm just starting to get back into it. Didn't know if I was going to play in this event a couple weeks ago. I was hoping at the Hero that I was able to hit balls consistently day after day which I was able to do, and now play, that's now is going to be the hard part, the challenging part.
I was hoping that Charlie wouldn't drive it as well as he did today so I didn't have to hit as many, save me for the short shots and I can still hit short irons and I can still putt. That has not left me. The speed and some of the shots, the longer stuff has.
Q. How much of a challenge is it to work within those physical limitations?
TIGER WOODS: I don't practice. You can't practice and after what I've been through this year, it's been a difficult year. So understanding that I'm not in golf shape. I'm not in practice shape. I'm definitely not in tournament shape. You can see J.T. has it. He's been playing tournaments. He had a chance to win I think in MÃ©xico and he was right there. So you can see that he still has the feels, hitting all the shapes, all the shots, whatever he wants to do. Hopefully I'll get to that point again. We'll see.
Q. How much communication have you had with Casey Martin?
TIGER WOODS: Quite a bit. Quite a bit.
Q. What kind of things can you guys talk about?
TIGER WOODS: Well, we were all so thankful that the procedure turned out as well as it did. He didn't lose as much as of the femur as the doctors were thinking going into the proceed year, he was going to lose a lot of the leg and possibly all the way through the hip and now he's only got a prosthetic from the knee down.
Still in rough shape. It still hurts quite a bit but what he's gone through his entire life and the amount of pain that he's lived in daily, people have no idea how much pain that guy has lived in and how tough he is mentally and physically. If anybody can get through what he's dealing with right now, it's Casey.
Q. What are the odds on what went down on 12 when you guys were screwing around with a 60-foot putt?
TIGER WOODS: I've never seen anything like it. I don't think any one of us has, right, three 60-footers going down. One tie, all tie.
Q. Trevino is such a golf genius. What was it like for you watching Trevino give a lesson to Charlie?
TIGER WOODS: He wasn't really giving a lesson so Charlie. He was just talking, like he does. I got a chance to be around Lee quite a bit early in my career, and to see the quality of strike, the guy is 82 years old. Come on, it's not what it used to be, but he finds the middle of the face each and every time. I don't care how old you are. The audio, he still has the audio, and he still has the shape of shots. Just doesn't go as far but no one has control of that golf ball as well as he has.
The old Balata ball into the wind and the shots that he played and how he did it, hardpan in Texas, and it transferred to pretty much everywhere around the world, people would just sit there and listen. Just listen -- you guys know, you walk the range and you know guys how to hit a golf ball. Lee was that guy.
Q. (On Nelly Korda.)
TIGER WOODS: I've gotten a chance to see a lot of her this year play. She's played so well and won her first major, won a Gold Medal, No. 1 player in the world. She's risen so quickly and it's very much like what Serena and Venus -- then once Serena got rolling, and then you can see the same thing with Nelly. She just has that fire, that inner drive. I mean, she's a lot like her dad. It's just a lot like her dad, and it's just fun to see someone at that age succeed as fast as she has and she's earned it.
Q. Anything you can pick out?
TIGER WOODS: Just her golf swing, how fluid it is and how the movement, center strikes, it's the way she hits it and the way she controls it. Her temperament on the golf course, how hard she fights and she fights hard on every shot. You can't say that about some players. Some players will dog it here and there. Nelly is not like that.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports