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July 19, 2018

Tiger Woods

Angus, Scotland, United Kingdom

Q. Can you clear up the neck thing?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah. Just helping me support my neck a little bit. Makes me feel a little bit more comfortable.

Q. Did you have a bad night's sleep? What happened?
TIGER WOODS: It's been bugging me for a while. This is not -- everyone acts like this is the first time I've been bandaged up. I've been doing this for years. So braces and bandages, just that this time it's actually visible.

Q. Did it affect your swing?
TIGER WOODS: You know, a little bit here and there, but it's all right.

Q. Any particular one that comes to mind where you said, God, I wish --
TIGER WOODS: No. As I got warmed up on the range, I felt pretty good.

Q. What about the round, Tiger? Had it going pretty early?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I played better than what the score indicates because I had -- I had two 8 irons into both par 5s today, and I end up with par on both of those. If I just clean up those two holes and play them the way I'm supposed to play them with 8 iron in my hand, I think I'd probably have the best round in the afternoon wave.

So it certainly could have been a little bit better.

Q. Did you see anything in the morning coverage or anything that made you adjust the way you attacked the course in the afternoon?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, they had no wind this morning. It was funny to hear some of the announcers say they need to be more aggressive and get the ball out there. It's funny because everyone who did that ended up in bad spots and were making bogeys and doubles.

What people don't realise is a lot of the shots we're hitting off the tees and the spots we're ending up, quite a few guys end up in sand divots because we're all playing to the same spots, and these fairways are very small. They're hard to hit right now. They're so fast, and they're so moundy.

I was asked earlier, does this remind you of Hoylake? Hoylake is flat; this is not. And when Hideki hits a 3 wood 400 yards into a burn, you know it's kind of quick. A couple of my 6 irons went about 240. It's hard for people to understand it, but it's just the nature of this golf course.

Now, you flip it around, you play into the wind, and if we get a little bit of breeze into our face, now it's a totally different deal. Those numbers are now all flipped, and we don't hit those kind of clubs anymore.

Q. How tough were the closing holes? You parred them all.
TIGER WOODS: Except for maybe 18, they're hard to get the ball close to. 15, 16, and 17, they're not easy pins to get the ball close to. 18, obviously, you can get it down there a little bit, where you've got a wedge or a sand wedge, something where you can spin and get over to the left. But we know, if you pull it and land it on the green, it's out of bounds. So it presents its own little challenge even with the short shot.

Q. Did Russell seem nervous to you? He said he was nervous playing with you.
TIGER WOODS: I don't know nervous he can be. He just won last week, right? (Laughter). He's playing well. We're in a major championship. So, obviously, we're all nervous. We all have to battle those nerves, and this golf course, as I said, it's not easy.

Q. A video has emerged of you yesterday in practise in which you seemed to have ignored some children autograph hunting. It's drawing the usual criticism. But every story has two sides. So I'd just like to hear what your side of that is, please.
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I signed on the way out there. Did you see that? On the way to the range.

Q. So there was no snub intended?
TIGER WOODS: No. I signed on the way out. I warmed up, and I was going to go play off the back nine with Duff, and that's what I did.

Q. You had a great round to end the Masters. (Inaudible) What does it mean starting major in this position?
TIGER WOODS: You know, just watching the board, the guys weren't doing much this afternoon, and I felt like, if I could shoot something in under par today, it would be good. I got off to a great start. I birdied 1 and birdied 4, and I was right there. I had an 8 iron to 6 and looking like I could really do something here. Unfortunately, it didn't quite turn out that way, but part of this afternoon wave, I was one of the lower rounds.

Tomorrow, I don't know what the forecast is. I don't know if it's still for rain, but we'll see tomorrow. I'm sure this golf course will slow up a touch just by being in the morning, and we'll see what those guys have to do in the afternoon.

Q. Seems like the winds switched when we were in the practise round. What kind of adjustments did you have to make?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, quite a big adjustment because it was basically on the range off the right, pretty much almost all the practise rounds we played, except for yesterday started coming off the left, and today it came out of the south/southeast. And the holes that we were hitting 2 irons off the tees, now we're hitting 5 irons to the same spot, and vice versa, hitting 5 iron to now hitting -- having to chase a 3 iron to get to the same spot.

You know, just a 15 degree wind change here changes a golf course dramatically.

Q. Was there ever a time you thought about abandoning your game plan, like changing what you had thought off the tee?
TIGER WOODS: No. I'm just playing to my spots. And if the wind allows me to be more aggressive, then, obviously, I get it down there. But today with the wind coming out of the south/southeast, it didn't allow that. Granted, it did change a little bit out of the west at the end, but it's just hard to control that ball on the green, especially when it's rolling about 100 yards. It's just really hard.

Q. Tiger, when you hear players like Russell calling you their hero and saying that, how does that make you feel, just knowing your presence does have that kind of effect on them?
TIGER WOODS: It means I've been around a little bit. I've had a little success, but I've been around for 22 years now, I've been out here. It's my 20th Open Championship. I've been out here a little bit. It's nice for him to say things like that, and we enjoyed playing with each other out here in Carnoustie today. Hopefully, we'll play a little bit better tomorrow.

Q. Can you sense that, that players are sometimes even rattled in your presence? He didn't suggest it impacted his score (inaudible).
TIGER WOODS: Not like that. I've got my own business to take care of. I'm grinding, trying to figure out how to play this golf course. I'm trying to shoot the lowest round I possibly can, and he's trying to do the same thing.

Q. Russell got a great reception, and so did you. How gratifying was that given that he's the home guy?
TIGER WOODS: You know, it was great. I haven't played this championship for a few years now, and I've always loved playing over here. This is -- to me, this is where I got introduced to links golf. I played here in '95, and then follow that up with St. Andrews. That was my introduction to links golf. It doesn't get much better than that.

And I've always loved playing this championship. I've been able to win it a few times. I've just always enjoyed -- this is how the game should be played. It should be creative. It should be played on the ground. You can utilize the ground as an ally. When we play home in the States, that's not the case. Everything is going straight up in the air, but this is very different. It's amazing the shot -- the creativity. I mean, you can roll the ball 100 yards if you wanted to, or you can throw it straight up in the air. I like having those shot options.

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