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June 3, 2018

Tiger Woods

Dublin, Ohio

Q. Sum up the week.
TIGER WOODS: Well, I had some chances to shoot some good rounds this week. Overall my game is where it needs to be heading into the U.S. Open and that's something that's very positive.

Q. Earlier in the week you said, almost referencing Forrest Gump, it happens. But before that the word was golf that we were talking about. So overall what are you happy with? What are you not happy with? What do you feel like? That it happens and it's golf, and what do you feel like I can fix this?
TIGER WOODS: Well, I just need to hit better putts. This week I didn't really have, didn't feel comfortable with my lines and my feel was a little bit off. Consequently I missed a bunch of putts. But I hit it really good this week, so that's a positive going into Shinnecock, where ball striking is going to be a must. Obviously way different golf shots around the greens, lots of bump and runs and putters or spinners. It will be a very different golf course, but overall if I hit the ball like this, I'll be pleased in two weeks.

Q. When is the last time over four days you think you hit it this well? Are we talking, five, six, seven years ago?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, it's been about that. I haven't hit it like this for awhile.

Q. You're at the top of every one of those strokes gained stats. I don't know if you looked, but do you take more out of that than you do out of having the struggles on the greens?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah. And if I just putt normally, I probably would be right there with those guys and up there in the last couple of groups. Overall, if I, as I said, if I just keep building on this, with how I'm hitting it right now, I'm in good shape for two weeks from now.

Q. How does this course get you prepared for Shinnecock?
TIGER WOODS: It's a ball-striker's golf course. You have to hit the golf ball well here. You cannot fake it around this place. Shinnecock, the way it's set up with the rough and the fescue and the 7500, par 70, I mean it's a big, big ballpark. This week, being as soft as it was this week, it's a big ballpark. You had to carry the ball a long way, you weren't going to chase it out there. Shinnecock could dry out by the time we play it, you never know. But if it doesn't, it will be similar to this.

Q. What's your plan for the next two weeks?
TIGER WOODS: I'll be home and be practicing. And I'll have the kids this week, so we'll be hanging out having a good time.

Q. Do you know how you fix your putting between now and then?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, practice.

Q. Do you feel like it's close?
TIGER WOODS: It's just a minor tweak here and there. I've just got to get more comfortable with my lines, make sure I'm consistent with my lines. But it's just reps. As soon as I get the reps in I'll be all right.

Q. Did you see the galleries following you this week?
TIGER WOODS: This week has been incredible. I hadn't played here in a few years and it's one of my favorite stops on TOUR. The people here are supportive, they're into it, great sports town, but they're so respectful. We don't get some of the things that are said -- well, to my group any ways -- week-in and week-out here. So that part's been incredible and it's fun to be a part of.

Q. What do you make of the way DeChambeau approaches the game?
TIGER WOODS: He is very analytical and it's his own, his own thing. You get guys that never want to know anything, like Bubba. He just plays it straight buy feel. He looks at it, hits it and doesn't know anything else. Then you get the other end of the spectrum and you have Bryson. So this game, you can play it however you want to play it, as long as you have your own way and your own method and you're confident in what it does. We have seen guys like Raymond cuts his putts; Crenshaw hooks his putts. We have seen guys play right-to-left, seen guys play left-to-right. It doesn't matter, as long as you do it consistently. And if you can get to impact on a consistent basis, how you want it, then you're fine.

Q. You said earlier in the week there was a point you didn't know what the future would hold coming off the surgery. But to be in this position now, how much are you loving this that Tiger's back?
TIGER WOODS: Well it's incredible to be able to play golf again at this level. Not to have any worries about being able to walk again, like I was. I was struggling there for awhile and now I'm on the other end of the spectrum. I don't have the pain, which is incredible, and I'm able to do this again, something I love and something that I've been doing for a very long time. Golf's been a part of my life ever since I can remember, and I didn't know if I could ever be a part of the game again. As I said, there was a point in time where I couldn't walk and this is part of the game. And so I'm able to do this now at this level and go hit the shots I'm hitting and compete and I've had a chance to win a few times so far this year.

Q. You started the year, you didn't know what to expect. What are your expectations now?
TIGER WOODS: Well I keep getting a little better. Week in, week out, I keep getting just a little bit more fine tuned. For instance this week, just to be able to make the slight adaptations after the first nine holes and be able to flip it around and shoot a respectable number. And then I hate to say it but this, it was nice to have a rain delay, because I hadn't dealt with it yet since I've had my surgery, and I didn't know what I was going to feel like. So that was a big thing for me to be able to go out there and have a simple, something simple like that. And I've had little building blocks along the way, and I keep getting a little bit better, a little bit more refined, and you start to see the results. I'm starting to hit the golf ball better. If I just make a few more putts like I did earlier in the year, when I was putting really well, you put those two together, then I'll have something.

Q. Do you long for the day when you can kind of give us the upper cut one more time?
TIGER WOODS: I would long for it too. I don't know if I can.

Q. Are you out of practice?
TIGER WOODS: No, I -- my son tries to do it, which is kind of funny. And I keep showing him how to do it and I remember, I haven't done this for awhile. And so it's one of those things where I don't ever think about doing it, it just comes out. I've had weird moments where it's like the 2008 U.S. Open, I'm screaming to the sky. I've -- here on 14 I go running, when against Vijay. I mean I don't know what the heck I'm going to do. So that's just spontaneous reaction, and those are big moments where it's a crescendo. You don't see that on the first round. It takes us three and a half days or sometimes four days to get into a position where that moment happens. And it just comes out.

Q. All four golf majors are hard, but is the U.S. Open now at this point for you the hardest of the four to win, do you think, just given the style of golf and what it demands, or do you have any thoughts on that?
TIGER WOODS: Well, the U.S. Open's evolved. It's not the U.S. Open that I remember watching or growing up and even playing on TOUR. Mike, very different from what Tom used to set it up. It was, we all played from the same spots all four days, the fairways were narrow, rough was high, greens were hard and fast. It was very simple. And you had guys, like when I grew up watching Scott Simpson do well, Lee Janzen do well, Payne Stewart do well, guys who hit the ball like that did well. Now we're getting guys who bomb it, because there are drivable par-4s. The par-4s are now 520 and 540. They're just a different animal now. The only -- the way that it's set up now, we have to make more adjustments. And so I think that's where you're seeing some of the kids that are now playing it, that's what they have grown up with playing, they have played, they hadn't played our U.S. Opens setups. And plus we have had some nontraditional venues, Chambers Bay, Erin Hills. But I think from the now, the next what, 10 years or so, we've got all traditional U.S. Open sites.

Q. Do you think this one will not be like a traditional U.S. Open?
TIGER WOODS: Depends if it's dry. If it's wet, then not really, no. It will be long, yeah, it will be very long. But around the greens are very, it's very different. They have taken out that over 500 trees since last time I played it and added about 500 yards to it, so it's a very different golf course. It's very open, wind blows a little bit more. I understand they're trying to give us an opportunity to run the ball up, have a lot of fall-offs, a lot of pitch and runs and 4-irons and spinners and all different shots around the greens. But if it's soft, it's a moot point. But if it's hard, then it becomes quite a test.

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