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April 5, 2018

Tiger Woods

Augusta, Georgia

Q. How do you assess the day?
TIGER WOODS: It felt great to be back out there again. I only came up here the last couple of years just to have food. It's nice that I came out to play and know that I had the golf course in front of me. It was a day when the wind was puffing up, changing different directions. I didn't play the par‑5s very well today, I played them at even par.

Q. The shot on 11, how good of a shot was that, and how bad of a break did you get when it got caught up there?
TIGER WOODS: It was a great shot there. Unfortunately people ran out and it clipped them. Otherwise it's just short right of the green, an easy up and down from there.

Q. You were grinding through the round and you made a bogey save on 12. How important was that for turning the rest of the round around?
TIGER WOODS: It was very important. I just don't want to drop it to 4. I figured I had two par‑5s ahead of me. We were anticipating getting it back to even par, just fighting our way back to even par. And I made that putt. And I didn't‑‑ I didn't play either par 5 well. But I got two of them back coming in. I could have easily let the round slip away from me, but I got it back. And I'm right back in this tournament.

Q. Anything you can put the par‑5s down to?
TIGER WOODS: I had a 6‑iron and 2‑iron into each par 5 respectively. And I missed from both.
And I miss it in the correct spot, I thought on both par‑5s, and didn't get them up and down. I have to hit better shots and hit better chips, too.

Q. On 13 and 15, though, did you not really give yourself a good opportunity?
TIGER WOODS: No, 13 I hit it to the right and 15 I hit it to the right. I didn't have an opportunity to go for either one.

Q. Did you take anything in differently on the first tee or were you very much in your head like a competitor?
TIGER WOODS: Hit a little fade up the left side. It didn't fade (laughter.)
The crowds were incredible. It was awesome this entire comeback. I got a standing ovation on the range. Coming up to the first tee, the people come out of the clubhouse and the putting green, they're really into it.
But as I said, I kept reminding myself to hit a low peeler out there. And my job is to hit it on the fairway and move on from there.

Q. You notice where you are on the board, is 73 fine?
TIGER WOODS: 73 is fine. By the end of the week this will be a pretty packed leaderboard the way the golf course is set up. They have it right where they want it. It's really hard to run away from it, but it's also really easy to lose it out there. By the end of the week there will be a bunch of guys with a chance to win this tournament.

Q. What was the medication you took at the turn?
TIGER WOODS: It's called ibuprofen. I take it all day.

Q. The bad break the 11, in retrospect, do you think that affected you at all at 12?
TIGER WOODS: No, I hit a terrible shot golf shot. I was trying to take a 9‑iron and just stuck it in the ground.

Q. When you walked off 18 was there a sigh of relief, a weight off your shoulders, you played 18 holes at Augusta today?
TIGER WOODS: Yes. I played in a major championship again, but also the fact that I was‑‑ I got myself back in this tournament, and I could have easily let it slip away. And I fought hard to get it back in there, and I'm back in this championship. There's a lot of holes to be played.
There are a lot of guys right around 2‑over par, and that will be close to four or five at the end of the day. It's going to be packed, we knew that. The weather is going to change. It will be fun the next 54 holes.

Q. Were there more nerves today?
TIGER WOODS: No, it actually felt pretty good. My practice sessions have been really, really good. And my play coming into this event has been pretty solid. So the nerves really were just normal. I wasn't flying high. I wasn't jittery, I wasn't any of that stuff. I was very confident in what I was doing. And I hit some good shots early, unfortunately they just didn't continue.

Q. What did you hit on 14?
TIGER WOODS: 14 I hit an 8‑iron in there. Pulled a 9‑iron. And 16 I hit an 8‑iron in there.

Q. Anything on 15 that's trickier than normal? There's several guys hitting balls in the water?
TIGER WOODS: It's tough. That false edge is pretty significant. It's only about three over the false edge, anything short is going to come back. Anything over the green or has any steam on it is going to be wet. It's a very difficult pin. The great leave you have would be somewhere in the middle of the green left, over the back where you're pitching straight up the hill. But you know that you have to flush it to get it that far. And the easy bail‑out is right, and that's probably the worst spot you can put it to that flag.

Q. You seemed to have a lot of downhill putts on the front nine?
TIGER WOODS: I told that to Joey, I said I need an uphill putt here. He said you did on 1. Yeah, from about 150 feet. Yeah, I kept leaving myself above the hole and giving myself defensive putts. But that's the nature of this golf course. A 6‑footer downhill is so much more difficult than a 15 or 20‑footer uphill. We know that, but it's sometimes difficult to put the ball in the correct spot.

Q. You talked about you played flat courses, LA courses, do you have to do anything different with your back, as far as therapy?
TIGER WOODS: No, everything has been just status quo. We do the same exact routine. Nothing really changes, just because it's hilly out there. I think all the strength training and all the work I've done leading up to this point have really helped, and I think my play the last couple of tournaments is kind of indicative of that.

Q. (Inaudible.)
TIGER WOODS: Well, I think it's incredible that we're just now airing the Masters in China. Li is now up there, and I think it's only a matter of time before you have more professional players from China playing in this event. All my times in China I always had a great time and look forward to going back.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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