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December 1, 2011

Tiger Woods


Q.  You got off to a fast start, and then it seemed like when the wind came up everybody seemed to sort of struggle to make par.
TIGER WOODS:  Well, it's one thing to have it blow, but you don't know which way it's coming from.  Then you have intensity changes on top of that.  So it's really hard out there.
You know, there's a couple times, you know, Strick got fooled, I got fooled.  This is a golf course in which, most Nicklaus courses, you can't bump the ball around the golf course.  You have to draw the ball up into these greens.  It would be one thing if we could run the ball on the green, we wouldn't have to worry about this stuff, but that's not the case.

Q.  You made birdie on 17, just to right the ship after the two bogeys before.
TIGER WOODS:  Yeah.  That was nice.  I hit a good putt.  I did hit it too hard.  It was going to go by probably about five, six feet, but thank God it went in.

Q.  On the second hole, Stricker got kind of an armsy wedge.  You played a shot with spin.  What was the difference there and what was your decision to hit it?
TIGER WOODS:  He had, I think like 102 or something like that.  He had a pitching wedge out.
For me, I had ‑‑ what did I have in there?¬† I had 80‑4.¬† I had 80 on top, and 4.¬† So my full 60 goes about 100 yards.¬† So I just hit a little flat little 60 and holed it with a little cut spin on the slope.¬† Then I figured if I could fly it past the hole or flag high, have it skip into the hill behind it, then come on back.

Q.  Without taking a risk of going long?
TIGER WOODS:  It won't.  The only thing I would take the risk of is if I hit sand wedge and hit it too flat, then make it skip over the back.  If anything, I was just going to spin it off the shelf.  I was kind of right in between, but I figured if I hit it flat enough, I'd be all right.

Q.  Tiger, yesterday you seemed to welcome the idea of it blowing today, liked it for the test it might give you.  Did it work out that way or was it too much to be able to tell?
TIGER WOODS:¬† It was hard to tell anything out there, because it was just dancing all over the place.¬† You know, we ‑‑ let's see.¬† We played 6, our second shot ‑‑ my second shot was downwind.¬† Strick's was into the wind, going the same direction.¬† And then a couple times out there, you know, I hit my second shot on 16.¬† It was supposed to be in, off the left and it went down, off the right.
So it's tough out there.¬† I mean you can look at the scores.¬† No one's really doing much.¬† Once the wind started blowing, maybe 1 or 2‑under par is probably about it since it was howling out there.

Q.¬† After the start you got off to, do you almost wish it would have just stayed calm just to see what you might have been able to do?¬† I mean you were 4‑under through 5, I believe?
TIGER WOODS:  But then again, also I look at the fact that thank God I got that in before it started blowing, because most of the guys ahead of me got all those easier holes under the belt before the wind came up.  Guys behind us, like K.J. is playing an amazing round because he's got most of it into the wind, and for him to play that well that early and keep it going is one hell of a round.

Q.  The birdie on 4 out of the rough, you know, you really controlled your second shot in there and made a big putt, but talk about 5, two pretty good shots.
TIGER WOODS:¬† Yeah.¬† 5 was just a normal drive down there, and I had 230 up the hill, and I hit 3‑iron.¬† I had to take a little bit off of it, but also send it up at the same time, which is not exactly an easy shot to do.
So instead of doing that, I decided to take it more left and cut it in there, and it worked out perfectly.  It came off just exactly how I saw it and went up there, and unfortunately lipped it out.

Q.  One of the things about like ten years ago everybody said you're the guy that could hit that big, longer iron that would land softly in the hole and the greens on the par 5s.  Do you feel like with this swing now you're getting there where you can hit that shot again?
TIGER WOODS:  Yeah.  I hit that shot, but I hit it a different way.  Before, I used to throw it at the bottom and literally just throw it and send it up into the air that way.  Now I'm doing it with the attack angle instead of throwing the club at the bottom.

Q.  With the old equipment back in '96 or '97, when you had weeks or days or whatever when you were hitting it straight, how much was your length an advantage and were there ever times depending on the course where you would hit driver just because it was such an advantage to have so many wedges into the greens?  Do you remember those days?
TIGER WOODS:  Yes.  And also then again, the fairways were wider then because what they did, they made a concerted effort to tighten the fairways up at 300 yards.  That wasn't the case back then.
You know, also, I hit a ton of 3‑woods.¬† I didn't hit a lot of 2‑irons off of the tees, but I hit a ton of 3‑woods and then sprinkle in a driver here and there.¬† That's kind of how I played the game, and when I got a downwind hole where I could carry a bunker, I went ahead and just carried it anyways.
But now that same number that was 280 over the top is now 320 over the top.  It's changed so much, so the bunkers that are out there that I thought I could carry, now Gary Woodland and Bubba and Dustin, these are the guys who are real take it over the top.

Q.¬† Tiger, you've mentioned Gary Woodland a bunch, about how far he hits it.¬† Did you hit it as far as he hits it as your peak and when you were hitting it the farthest or is he just another ‑‑ I mean you seem impressed.
TIGER WOODS:  Yeah.  Apples to apples, I always thought that I could hit it a ways when I was younger and I had another gear.  That's kind of what Gary has, which is kind of fun to watch, because he'll just hit it, hit it, hit it, hit it and then he'll step on one and it's like whoa.  He's got another gear that the other guys just don't have.
I've talked to Dustin about it; I've talked to Bubba about it.  They just don't have that extra little gear that he's got, and that's pretty fun to watch.

Q.  Your length came from speed mostly?
TIGER WOODS:  It was all speed.

Q.  When all is said and done, still your position with three rounds to go, you're pretty satisfied?
TIGER WOODS:  Absolutely.  Anything under par is a good day today, with the wind up.  If the wind stayed down, you're going to have to shoot something probably 68 or below for it to be a good score.  But to be in the red seat was a good day today.

Q.  You had a little change in shoes.  What was going on?
TIGER WOODS:  I was tying my shoes on 10 and one of the eyes where it kind of goes through snapped, so I didn't want to play with it, so I had the black pair sent out.

Q.  You had them sent out?
TIGER WOODS:  They were in my locker.  Thank you.  Appreciate it.

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