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February 25, 2018

Tiger Woods

Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

Q. What's your assessment?
TIGER WOODS: Thought I played well this week, I really did. I had control of it. I didn't play the last few holes well a couple days but overall pleased with the progress I made and gave myself a chance at it. I was 3-under par, had four holes to go and if I had gotten two or three more coming in, I could have posted early.

Q. You told me your goal was to play next week in México. What lies ahead for you over the four weeks now leading into the Masters?
TIGER WOODS: Well, I think that I need to get back in the gym again and start training. I just need to keep feeling good. Like I said, get back in the gym.

Q. Two weeks back-to-back events for the first time in a very long time. How is your body?
TIGER WOODS: Body feels good. I just need to keep feeling good. Get back in the gym and keep it strong and I feel like -- I really hit it well and I was able to control, especially in this wind. It's not easy to do and I was able to do most of the week.

Q. Four off the lead, what were you thinking?
TIGER WOODS: I thought if I could post 6, anything could happen. It was a little bit of a logjam at 6 and 7 but I thought if I could somehow post and get in early enough where the wind is still a problem, 15, 16, 17 are not easy holes but 18 is playing pretty easy.

Q. You came off Thursday and said you were pleased. Conclusion of the week? How do you characterize it?
TIGER WOODS: I feel very happy the way I played the entire week. I really controlled my ball flight. This wind, you can get exposed pretty easily and I felt like I had control. I left myself, the solid thing about this week is I missed the ball in the correct spots and I had better control of my ball and that awe willed me to get up-and-down.

Q. For so long, your sole metric was winning. How do you measure progress?
TIGER WOODS: I feel like each time out I've gotten better and I've gotten more of a feel for playing tournament golf. The last couple days, it felt easy to play tournament golf. The warm up felt good. I get into the flow of the round. I could find the rhythm of the rounds faster. The more golf I'm playing tournament-wise, the faster I'm able to click into the feel of the round.

Q. Why do you say easy?
TIGER WOODS: I think because I've been away from it for so long, and I just need to get a feel for the rounds again and what it takes to post a score again. Every shot counts. I know it's only my first tournament in, but each week seems to be getting better.

Q. Fun to get into the mix again?
TIGER WOODS: It was. I felt like I made that birdie on 14 and felt like if I could post six, I felt like that might get me into maybe a playoff. 15, 16, 17 are playing a little tricky but 1 can be had. We didn't think they would go over there with the pin but they did. Most of the guys were making birdie and gave me a look at eagle. I thought 6 might be an outside chance of a playoff and I just didn't do it.

Q. Were you going at that pin on 15?
TIGER WOODS: I hit that flush. I hit a really good shot. I flagged it. I hit a little flat cut in there and thought I had plenty of stick. I don't know how it ended up short but I hit the same shot at 17. Hit a flat cut. Just unfortunately ended up short.

Q. If you take the week as a whole, what's your overriding emotion after four days?
TIGER WOODS: Feel very positive about it. I feel like I've really had the the ball well. I missed the golf ball in the correct spots and I had control of my ball. That's something I'm very proud of. Each and every time I've come out to tournaments, I'm getting the feel of the round faster.

I've been away from tournament golf for so long, that I'm starting to feel the rounds. I'm starting to get into it quicker, feel the pace, feel the shots and get a better sense of it. The more I play tournament golf, the better I'll get at it.

Q. What does this do for your confidence that I can win again?
TIGER WOODS: I had a shot at it. I was right there. Unfortunately I didn't play the last few holes well the last couple days. Might have been a different outcome.

Q. Do you feel like the old Tiger?
TIGER WOODS: I feel like an older guy. Sam is half my age. That's a little bit different.

Q. Where are you in your progress? Ahead of schedule? On schedule or behind schedule, in your mind?
TIGER WOODS: I didn't really know what to expect because when I've come off my knee surgeries and things of that nature, I knew what I was going to come back, I was going to play and what I could feel. This is a little different.

So each and every time out, I'm getting better and I'm getting a feel for my playing senses and also getting a rhythm of the rounds.

Q. How impressed are with what Sam Burns today?
TIGER WOODS: He played beautifully. Top-10 is big for him because it gets him into Tampa, next official start, full-field event. He's trying to build momentum and build his exempt status. Today and this week was a big step for him.

Q. The scale of support for you out there all week, especially today, was incredible and really noticeable. Do you think that's changed even recently? It seems like there's more people coming for you than there ever was. Does that make sense?
TIGER WOODS: I think there's a lot of people pulling for me here, especially this week. This is where I live. I've been in this community for a long time now. I've been a South Florida resident for a very long time. This is a hometown event for me.

Last week in L.A. is where I grew up, but I live here now, and these people recognize that. They see me around all the time. I'm just part of the community here. I've been here for a while.

Q. You mentioned not knowing what to expect and how that sort of progressed now to this point. Does that change your expectations more and more as you get more of these under your belt?
TIGER WOODS: I didn't really know what to expect. My expectations have gone up. I'm hitting the ball better. I knew I could putt it, I know I could chip it, but I didn't know how well I was going to hit it.

I've had to get used to certain things. I can't do what I used to do. I can't hit the same shots, the same body positions. They are different. I'm just going to have to -- I'm getting used to it. I'm getting more accustomed to it and I'm very pleased about what has transpired, especially this week.

Q. You've played in 331 TOUR events and you've won 79 of them. Of the remaining ones, how high does this rank?
TIGER WOODS: What kind of question is that? (Laughter) I don't know where you're going with this.

Q. It seems like a significant event, in the road of Tiger's come back --
TIGER WOODS: Same as Torrey, same as L.A., same here, I'm just building towards April. That's what I told you guys at the very outset, I'm trying to get myself ready for that and I feel like I'm right on track for that.

Q. What's it like for you to leave a tournament once again knowing you had a chance to win?
TIGER WOODS: It felt good. I'm disappointed I didn't shoot 3-under coming in like I thought I might be able to sneak into a playoff, but gave myself a chance. I had a lot of looks yesterday on that front nine. I had a lot of looks today. I make a few more of those putts, clean up my finishes, I would have been right there in the mix.

Q. What goes into the decision now to play next? What are you going to take into consideration?
TIGER WOODS: Well, I was telling Dottie out here -- I was really hoping to play next week but that didn't work out. I was telling her that I'm just going to go get back in the gym again and start building, getting strong. Two weeks of golf and not really that much gym time, and I need to reset it again and be ready for the future.

Q. Anything from the golf course that surprised you?
TIGER WOODS: I know it's been a long time, but I remember how to do this. I know how to hit shots and that part, I wasn't worried about that part. I wasn't worried about coming down the stretch, how I was going to feel. It was getting to that point. I've been away from it for a while and you know, it takes a lot. I mean, you can't miss around here on this golf course. You have to hit it well and I hit it well all week. I gave myself a chance to win this thing.

Q. Other than getting back in the gym, is it important to play one more before Augusta?
TIGER WOODS: I need to keep playing tournament golf, but I need to keep building on it, keep building my body, keep building towards April. That was the goal when I first came back. I told you guys at Torrey, try and get everything situated for April and I feel like I'm right on track for that.

As I said, I didn't really know what to expect for the year. I had not gone through this before. This is all new. I had to make some pretty big changes in my swing and my feels. My feels are different through the golf ball. And that's something that it's a reality. My new reality, my back's fused and I can't create the same shots I used to be able to create. I can hit the same shots but I just have to do it in a different way.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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