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July 22, 2012

Tiger Woods


Q.  How cruel can this game be?
TIGER WOODS:  Well, it's happened to all of us at one point or another.  We've all been in positions to win golf tournaments and sometimes people go ahead and win them and take them away from you, other times we make mistakes.  And that's just the way it goes.

Q.  Was the 5‑iron at 6 close to being a really good shot?
TIGER WOODS:  It was one yard.  One yard.  Yeah.

Q.  Obviously at the time did you think you could get it over the lip?
TIGER WOODS:  The problem is if I played left I wasn't assured I could get it to the gallery and get it out of that slope because if it rolls back in the bunker and I'm on the downslope then I've got no backswing.  So I had to be able to blast it into the gallery, and I didn't think I could get it into the gallery because of the sand, how it piled up on the right side of the ball.
So the game plan was to fire it into the bank, have it ricochet to the right and then have an angle to come back at it.  Unfortunately it ricocheted to the left and almost hit me.
Then I tried to play an interesting shot after that and ended up three‑putting.

Q.  How do you assess exactly what happened?
TIGER WOODS:  You know, I was right there, the game plan was to shoot under par going out.  And with the wind the way it was blowing, I was right there in position.  I was even par through 5.  And 6 is reachable today.  Sorry, 7 is reachable today.  And obviously 9 is playing easy.  So I was in position to do what I wanted to do and then turn home and shoot maybe 1‑ or 2‑under par on the back nine and I would have posted an 8‑ or 9‑under par.  And I thought that was going to be the number to win the golf tournament.  I thought 8 was a playoff, 9 was to win outright.  Unfortunately I just didn't do it.

Q.  Did you plan on 13 and 14?  You were laying back, today you birdied 12, you get to 5.  Did you think about hitting drivers, trying to get further up on either hole?
TIGER WOODS:  No, I don't know where to go on that.  And it's just a normal 3‑iron or 4‑iron off of 13.  Brandt hit 4‑iron off there and hit a little wedge in there.  I don't know how more aggressive I could play it.  Going down 14 I just stuck it in the ground.  It's 297 to the left bunker, 2‑iron reaches with no problem, so I've got to hit a 3‑iron and end up sticking it in the ground.  So that's what happened.

Q.  How big is knowing it's been so long since you won a major?  Before it came so much easier it seems.
TIGER WOODS:  It's part of golf.  We all go through these phases.  Some people it lasts entire careers.  Others are a little bit shorter.  Even the greatest players to ever play have all gone through little stretches like this.  When your playing careers last 40 and 50 years, you're going to have stretches like this.

Q.  One of the things about Greenbrier and again this week is you seem to be hitting long.  Everything seems to be going long.  Are you trying to maybe scale back or adjust in some way?
TIGER WOODS:  Well, I finally feel like I'm really healthy.  And I've got my pop back in my swing.  So I'm hitting the ball distances I know I can.  Unfortunately when I get out here with a little bit of adrenalin, it goes a little bit further, too.  It's a combination of having my strength and my speed back, at the same time playing tournament golf.
It's not that far off.

Q.  Is it partly Joey, that he's still learning how far you can hit it?
TIGER WOODS:  When I'm swinging well I hit with my irons almost as far as Dustin, maybe just a few yards shorter.  I mean, he's gone through that.  So I'm not that far off when I'm dialled in.  Obviously I take more stuff off shots than Dustin does, but he's also used to that.  Freddie would dink it around there and then all of a sudden launch one.  He's kind of been through that enough times over the years.

Q.  Do you have anything to say about Ernie?
TIGER WOODS:  Oh, he played beautiful.  Look at what he did this entire year, how close he was to winning golf tournaments, what he did right before the Masters trying to get in.  And then it's no surprise that he won the golf tournament, but I think the surprise was how it all unfolded.  But he did what he needed to do.  He went out there and posted the number he needed to post, and he won the golf tournament.

Q.  Your overall thoughts on your week?
TIGER WOODS:  Overall I'm pleased with the way I played, unfortunately just a couple here and there ended up costing me some momentum, especially today at 6.  Again, I left a lot of putts short out there.  The greens were a little bit slow and I tried to put some more hit in my stroke, but I was just‑‑ they were dying off the front of the lip.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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