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May 30, 2019

Tiger Woods

Dublin, Ohio

Q. (Question regarding Stanford golf.)
TIGER WOODS: That was awesome. Just to see not only them come back and win the national championship, but I'm so happy for Conrad. Conrad and I were teammates a long time ago, but it's awesome to see him win another national championship.

Q. To your round today, it seemed like it was really, really close, a couple of yards away?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, it was. It's one of those days it could have easily flipped. Like I could have gotten a few more out of it. It's so soft out there. It's definitely gettable. And obviously you look at the scores, the guys are doing it.

Q. Opening round of 2-under par, 70, give us your assessment of your play today?
TIGER WOODS: It was close to being easily a few more under par. It was soft enough it was gettable. And I just didn't quite do it. I had a couple loose irons. But look at the scores, they're all getting after it today. I was close to being out there with them.

Q. You've won here five times, played this tournament 17 times. What are the challenges of this golf course, particularly the way it's set up and the rough is brutal?
TIGER WOODS: The rough is brutal. They can't get any mowers on it the rest of the week, obviously with the rain coming in. The fairways are soft. And you can be aggressive. The ball is not going to be anywhere. Bryson caught one mud ball today and so did Rosie. I was lucky I didn't get any. I was clean for the day. And the way the golf course is playing right now, every iron shot is going to stick right there.

The only hard part is actually trying to take the spin off of it. That's one of the things that is very different around here. You're usually trying to find spin wherever you can get it. But this week you try to hit a lot of dead iron shots.

Q. Hard for you today?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, it was -- could easily have been a few better than that. Hit a couple loose irons early but hung in there and finally got it turned around at the end. It was -- we were on the clock most of the back nine. That made things a little more complicated.

Q. Was the weather a factor at all, the breeze?
TIGER WOODS: It puffed up a little here and there, but overall it came out of the same direction. We didn't get too many swirl shots. I know that Rosie and Bryson both got one mud ball today, and luckily I was fortunate enough not to have any.

Q. Did you spend any time in the rough?
TIGER WOODS: Unfortunately I did. You can get lucky and get 1-down again, but if you don't, you really have no chance to get the ball to the green.

I unfortunately hit a couple of balls in the bunker and had to get up-and-down. I figured a couple loose tee shots even to make par. But these greens are so soft right now that it's definitely gettable. Every iron shot, it's spinning. And interesting thing is you try to take spin off of it some of the short irons. They're ripping back quite a bit with these slopes.

Q. What are you trying to get back to like, say, from Augusta?
TIGER WOODS: I was trying to hit the ball high but not with the conditions the way they are right now, with the ball spinning too much. I've got to do that work on the range.

Q. Dealing with the slow play, how did you deal with that?
TIGER WOODS: That was frustrating, because we still had the last eight holes we were on the clock. With the conditions the way they are, the caddies are communicating, trying to leapfrog one another, trying to help one another out. We're trying to either tap out or take a while to mark the golf ball to help the other players. So it's one of those things where it's a group effort to try to get back in position. The group ahead of us, JT doesn't take a lot of time, Rory plays quick, and Jordan was 7-under through 13 -- 13 holes. So they're obviously playing fast. And we were obviously not.

Q. You mentioned a couple of loose irons, like 13, 14. What do you attribute that to? Is that just a little bit of --
TIGER WOODS: No, 14 was a good iron shot, I just spun it too much. 13 was a bad iron shot. I was in between clubs, between 9 and wedge. I tried to chip a 9 and stuck in the ground.

Q. Can you give an example? Did you speed up at all in the last eight holes? Did you get out of any rhythm at all?
TIGER WOODS: I did have to speed up. We walked quicker. We got to the ball, slowed it back down trying to get in our natural rhythm. I think both -- I don't know if Rosie got a bad one, but I know Bryson got a bad one over there.

So it's one of those things where we're trying to get back in position, but unfortunately the way -- the way things work sometimes -- Rosie made a mistake at 2. Ends up making double. I end up in a lip-out on No. 1. That takes a little time for Joey to get a number. And then it snowballs. Bryson hit a ball in the hazard on 5. So did Rosie. So when we tried to speed up and tried to get back into it, we were just -- we kept making mistakes to not allow ourselves to catch up with the group ahead of us.

Q. If you're on the clock and you're in a tough spot and you're between clubs and the wind is switching, how do you deal with it?
TIGER WOODS: Either you take a bad time and say I'll just deal with it, I'll deal with the consequences later. I know that I got a bad time in Mexico on 17 because of that. And we're trying to speed up play. But sometimes it gets a little complicated.

Q. Here on 10 you made a great up-and-down. What does that do to you to get yourself into rhythm?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I just didn't want to get too far behind, the way the conditions were. We didn't have any wind early. It was soft. And coming through 9 there, look at the board and seemed like everybody was 3-under par or better. Just didn't want to get too far behind.

Q. Are you able to say our your game stacks up to two weeks ago?
TIGER WOODS: I'm definitely feeling a lot better, and I'm hitting the ball a little bit better. I just need to not make a couple loose mistakes like I did today, and it could have easily turned and shot 5- or 6-under par today.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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