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December 5, 2013

Tiger Woods


Q.  How would you describe the way it went for you today?
TIGER WOODS:  I made a few mistakes today.  I also hit a couple of good shots that ended up in some interesting spots.  That can happen out here.  I shot about the score‑‑ maybe could have gotten one or two more out of it.

Q.  What's the hardest thing to get back in gear when you've been away from the game for a little bit of time?
TIGER WOODS:  Probably just my feel.  Obviously the very first hole I missed a little short one and missed a short one at 18, so those are a couple shots right there.

Q.  We got the news while you were playing that Nelson Mandela passed away.  What was it like being around him and what are your thoughts on his passing?
TIGER WOODS:  Well, it's sad.  It's sad for everyone who got a chance to not only meet him, but I've been influenced by him.  I got a chance to meet him with my father back in '98.  He invited us to his home, and it was one of the inspiring times I've ever had in my life.  It's a sad day for many people around the world.

Q.  As you've probably just been made aware, Nelson Mandela passed away today.  Talk about the impact he had on you and your thoughts about him.
TIGER WOODS:  Yeah, as I was describing over there, I got a chance to meet with him back in '98 with my father at his home and had a great lunch together.  You've heard me tell the story many times.  I'm not going to bore you with it again.  But he certainly had an impact on my life and certainly my father, and I think that time frame in which‑‑ when he came out, the country could have fallen apart.  It could have gone a lot of different ways, and he led it to where it's at now, and the world is going to miss him.

Q.  Can you imagine 27 years in prison to not have any hatred in your heart, not wanting to get revenge for those who unjustly imprisoned you?  Obviously it takes some sort of a special person.
TIGER WOODS:  Well, I don't think any of us probably here could have survived that and come out as humble and as dignified as he did, and to lead an entire nation and to basically love the world when he came out, I think that's a testament to his will and his spirit and who he was.

Q.  First tournament obviously in a about a month or so, and not sure how much you've gotten back into it, but how would you assess it, and what do you need to work on?
TIGER WOODS:  I felt like I hit the ball decent today.  I missed two short ones there at 1 and the kick‑in at 18.  That's a couple shots right there, and I'm only two back.  But I had a couple good ones on the back nine today end up in some very interesting spots.  The golf course is kind of set up that way right now.
There's some tough pins out there.  You miss them on the wrong spots, you're going to pay a price, and I think that's kind of what's signified in the scoring.  No one is running away with it.  Nobody went low today.  A bunch of guys at even par or over par.  This golf course is set up tough, and if this forecast holds true, what we've got coming in on the weekend, if that holds true, this is going to make for one hell of a test.

Q.  One of the positives, though, for you is not playing your best but staying in it, and that's what you always want to do, right?
TIGER WOODS:  Yeah, I drove it pretty good today, and I just didn't quite hit my irons well and didn't really make a lot of putts.  You've got to give these greens a little bit of respect.  If you miss the ball in the wrong spots, which I did a couple times above the hole, and had to play pretty defensively and never gave myself a lot of uphill where I could give it a run and not have to worry about speed.  I had a lot of putts where I had to worry about the speed.

Q.  How would you describe the comfort level with this new driver you have right now?
TIGER WOODS:  It feels pretty good.  You know, it's coming off probably a little bit faster.  I drove it really well in Turkey, and I felt like I was on the right track of what I was working on, and drove it pretty well again today.

Q.  Do you feel like you've got pretty good control with that?  Do you move it a little better?
TIGER WOODS:  I wouldn't say move it, but it's certainly getting out there.  I think that the last driver I had, it was just a touch spinny.  I think maybe I was probably 200 or 300 rpms a little bit too much, and I think we got it down a little bit and I was penetrating the ball into the wind a little bit better today, and it was a little bit better sign.

Q.  Do you look at this as the start of the new season?  We're into a new season now for the first time.  Or is it the end of the old one?  How do you view it?
TIGER WOODS:  I hear you.  To me I'm still on the old calendar, so to me this is the end of the year.  I know that I'm going to be pretty far behind on points by the time I tee up again, and that's just kind of the way it's going to be.  I remember in the old days when we had the money title, and whether it was Norman or Pricey, they didn't show up until Doral.  They didn't actually play the West Coast Swing at all, and this is kind of similar to it.  You're going to be pretty far behind.  A lot of the guys who didn't go overseas or didn't play in the States early or maybe just don't go to Hawai'i are going to be pretty far behind in points.
But you have the entire summer, you have the entire major championship season, you have the big events and then the Playoffs; anything can happen.  But it's going to be interesting to see how far behind some of us are when we start.

Q.  How did you see the turnout today and how they responded to the event the first day?
TIGER WOODS:  Oh, it was fantastic.  It was a perfect sunshiny day.  It was a little bit cool this morning.  Obviously we had the frost delay.  But the people came out and supported this event.  We usually have this as our down day, and we usually kind of keep ramping up every day, and I'm probably guessing tomorrow might be may be our high day with the weather forecast and maybe they might come out on Sunday to say goodbye to us.  But Saturday might be the tough day to come watch some golf.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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