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March 16, 2019

Tiger Woods

Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida

Q. Seems like there was some bad mojo on that front nine, but you and Kevin both turned it around on the back.
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, we kind of fought back a little bit. I got it back to even par. I thought that was a good goal after being 3-over through 8 and just fought hard. I fought to the very end and I was able to post even par for the day.

Q. The telecast showed you and Kevin having a little fun there on 17. Talk us through that.
TIGER WOODS: Kevin, he almost picked the ball out of the hole before it even got there. And I had pretty much a kick-in, so I tried to emulate him as best I possibly could, meanwhile still trying to make the putt, I got to make the putt first, so I thought we had a good laugh about it.

Q. How much tougher was the course playing this morning when you got out here with different wind conditions?
TIGER WOODS: I just struggled with the green speeds being so much slower. I was a little bit surprised they were that slow. I probably made the mistake of putting yesterday afternoon a little bit, they were dry, crusty and quick. Came out this morning and we were surprised at how slow they were on the putting green. So we thought, well, they might be a little faster on the golf course, maybe throw a little SubAir on them out there, but they didn't do that. They were slow, grain was affecting it a little bit more and I struggled hitting the putts hard enough.

Q. Have you or will you kick yourself a little bit for 17 not taking full advantage of as it turns out what you could have done under the rules?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I talked to DD about it last night and I didn't realize that, where my ball had crossed, where my ball -- I thought it had crossed on the green and just hopped over the back and that was it. Go right to the drop area and I ended up seeing Haotong do the same thing, he hit the ball same spot as I did, dropped it back in the drop zone and went about playing his hole. And unfortunately I just didn't know that where the ball had crossed. There's no marshals up there and so it is what it is.

Q. Have you ever seen anybody do that though? I mean have you ever seen anybody take a drop there after the ball goes in that way, seems pretty remote.
TIGER WOODS: The only time I've ever seen it was when we had the old steps, the wooden steps going through there and the guys would hit it and it would hop on the wood and then go down there. But it was, it's halfway down the walk path and then, yeah, I've seen guys do that before, but not to where we hit it.

Q. Would you have known?
TIGER WOODS: Unless a marshal told us, if we had a marshal up there to tell us that that's where it had crossed, then I would have had that option, but I didn't know.

Q. But you would have known you had that option under the new rule.
TIGER WOODS: If I had known where the ball had crossed, exactly, yeah.

Q. What do you try to take out of tomorrow?
TIGER WOODS: Just try and shoot something under par and move up just a little bit. I fought hard on the back nine and just wish I had was able to put that same score on the front nine I would have got myself near that lead. A few guys are taking advantage of it, I saw that Ollie was up there and Sneds is behind me, he's playing well. It's definitely gettable, it's definitely doable. The golf course is, it's different, but it's still soft, and the par-5s and No. 12, I mean that's, you have some birdie opportunities out there for sure.

Q. Other than the putting was there anything that clicked late in your swing today?
TIGER WOODS: No, I just kept fighting. Just kept plugging along and was bound and determined to turn this thing around and to shoot something even par or better and was able to post even par.

Q. Are you still trying to hit more draw shots with the driver this year than last year?
TIGER WOODS: This year than last year? Yeah, because this year I have a shaft that matches. Towards the end of the Playoffs is when I found a shaft that I went back to my old shaft and I was able to do that. Beginning of the year, no, I did not try it and plus I didn't have the body to try it. I was just trying to make it from tournament to tournament, round to round. This year's a little bit different.

Q. Have a little fun with Kevin Na there on 17?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, Kevin, I mean, as I said earlier, it looked like he was going to catch it before it got to the hole. I mean, he had to pull his hand back, slow it down. And I thought I'll have a little fun with it, but I had to make sure I hit it on line first and then I did whatever I did.

Q. It looks like now you're not going to be faced with playing consecutive weeks for some time. How is that going to help you going forward and more specifically how does that help you getting ready for the Masters?
TIGER WOODS: Well, I'm guaranteed to play three rounds in a couple weeks and so that's basically like a tournament and we'll see from there. The whole idea is not, as I told you guys end of last year, I'm not going to play as much as I did last year, that was an awful lot, and plus I kept qualifying for events last year. So I missed the cut in L.A., added Tampa, qualified for Bridgestone, these are all things that transpired last year trying to work my way back up into the World Golf Championships, the majors, and the Playoffs.

Q. Did it take some of the sting away to birdie 17 today and/or is it what's done is done?
TIGER WOODS: Oh, that's done. It is -- I hit a shot that I thought was just a touch too flat and ended up in the water, but it's just the way it goes.

Q. Azinger called it a revenge swing. It didn't feel like that to you? I know golf holes don't have feelings, but...
TIGER WOODS: No, they don't. No, they don't. Hey, I hit a good shot in there this time, threw it up in the air and held it up into the wind and ended up close and was able to have a bit of fun with Kevin there.

Q. What club on 17?
TIGER WOODS: Pitching wedge.

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