August 23, 2020
Norton, Massachusetts, USA
Q. Do you feel like you played seven shot better than yesterday?
TIGER WOODS: I did. I felt like I hit the ball better. I putted better. Everything was just cleaner and better today. It was good. Just wish I would have kept the round going a little bit more. I had a couple nice little eagle looks on the front nine. It could have been -- well, it could have been one of those really low rounds, but I'll take 5-under.
Q. Rory was telling us he's had some trouble finding the juice without the fans, going on two or three months now. Are you finding that at all?
TIGER WOODS: It is different. It is very different. Well, one of the -- you just don't know -- you just don't know where the ball lands sometimes. You're expecting the roars and you don't hear anything. We hit three really -- well, we thought, damn good shots into 11, to that back left pin with 3-irons. Nothing. All three inside 15 feet. Normally you would get huge ovations.
Even today at 9. We didn't know if that ball was short of the green or not and happened to be within 2 1/2 feet. Those are things that are very different. Obviously the energy is not anywhere near the same. There isn't the same amount of anxiety and pressure and people yelling at you and trying to grab your shirt, a hat off you. This is a very different world we live in.
Q. Shooting your best round of the week, pleased with your energy levels and how your body feels?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, today was good. Today I thought was good all the way around. I hit a lot of good shots. My body feels pretty good. You know, this is going to be a long haul either way. Hopefully -- I wish I would have played a little bit better this week to make it a little bit easier on me next week to try to get into East Lake, but this is going to be -- if I played well, four out of five weeks, so it's going to be a busy stretch either way.
Q. I think it was Friday, you had back-to-back birdies on the back nine, 15, 16, something like that, and normally in that situation, you have 5,000 people screaming their head off. Do you feed off that?
TIGER WOODS: Always have. I've played in front of thousands of people ever since I turned pro 24 years ago. It's always been odd when I haven't played in front of people, and you know, in one way, it's been nice between tees not getting my tapped or getting a glove pulled out of my pocket. Those are things I've had to deal with for a very long time.
But you hit good shots and you get on nice little runs, we don't have the same energy, the same fan energy. It is different. Normally you may have like a Thursday or Friday morning round when there's no one out here, by the time you get around the turn, people start coming around. But it's been like that from the word go, and yeah, it is very different.
Q. I don't know if you'll understand this, yesterday, for example, is there a different feeling going off the green when you make birdie or bogey, what you get? It's all the same, isn't it, whether it's a birdie or a double?
TIGER WOODS: Right now, yes, but before all of this happened, there was certainly a much different feeling. You have to understand, I've played in front of cameras for the last 24 years, and so people have always looked for emotion or tried to get under my hat, photographers.
So that hasn't changed. Probably have more crews now following me because when I pull in the parking lot, they have film crews, I walk in the clubhouse, everywhere I go, every range session, putting session, every shot is being dissected. The only difference is we just don't have the fan energy, and it's so much easier to get from -- one of the things we've all talked about is we all want to practice more now because it's so much easier to get work done than it has been in the past, practice rounds. Pro-Ams have been much easier to navigate, and so that has been probably the only positive to all of this.
Q. In general, have you lost do you think a little bit of an advantage, given the experience that you have with what you've talked about --
TIGER WOODS: Absolutely. Anyone who has played in front of thousands of people, it is very different. Usually between 20,000 and 40,000 people screaming and yelling. That's always been one of the things I've become accustomed to; the guys who played with me, who haven't become accustomed to, it they have only experienced one round here and there; that's been every round I've played for over two decades. That advantage, for me, and some of the other top players that have been out here for a while who have experienced it, trying to deal with all that noise and the movement, that experience is no longer there.
Also, I think that's one of the reasons why you're seeing more lower scores now. You don't have the same type of energy. Guys aren't shooting as high of rounds as they normally would.
Q. How would you assess you played since the restart?
TIGER WOODS: I haven't played my best. I haven't really played that much. This has been a very different year for all of us, and that's one of the things that we've all had to make adjustments, and for me, I'm just now starting to get into the rhythm and flow of competing and playing again. Hopefully it gets better.
Q. Do you know where you stand in points?
TIGER WOODS: I don't know what it is right now. I think I saw on the board on 17, I was 57th in points. I don't know what it's going to be at the end of the day, but that should be where right, somewhere near 60. I don't know what it's going to be -- what the number is going to be for me to move on to East Lake, but obviously a W definitely gets it done.
Q. Have you played Olympia Fields?
TIGER WOODS: I haven't been there since the Open, so it's going to be -- need to get back there and take a look at the golf course and see the changes they have made. The golf course obviously is going to be a lot longer than when we played it. So need to get back there and take a look.
Q. Did you like it?
TIGER WOODS: I didn't like the rough. I that was one of the weeks I kept laying the club down. Hopefully it will be a little bit better this week.
Q. Did you consciously have something different in mind before the start of today's round than you did yesterday or coming off of yesterday, just trying to erase a lot of what happened yesterday?
TIGER WOODS: Just get off to a better start than I did yesterday, which I did. I just forgot the whole part of making -- continuing. I just didn't quite do that, and I started having my looks at it, a nice little putt at 10 probably was the momentum stopper. Make that one, and I have seven birdies for ten holes and off and running to a couple of the harder holes on the back nine. Didn't quite make that, and make a mistake at 18, and played my shot into one of the spots you can't put it in.
Q. But there's nothing consciously you thought of coming into today?
TIGER WOODS: Every day is different. That's golf. Shot-to-shot is different. That's the ebb and flow of playing golf.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports