What they said: Tiger WoodsMarch 25, 2011
PGA TOUR staff
MORE INTERVIEWS: Arnold Palmer Invitational transcript archive
TIGER WOODS: Unfortunately I left a lot of putts dead-center short. There were about five putts that were dead center. It could have been a pretty special round.
Q. Now you're putting with that heel-shafted putter that you used for the weekend at Doral. How are you feeling about that heading into what we expect your next start to be??
TIGER WOODS: It's a little bit different version actually. We softened the grooves up to make sure it's not as quick, as I said, and I wanted something more suited for faster greens. So we softened up the grooves, and it's coming off very similar to my Cameron and releasing obviously how I like it.
Q. You seem like you're positioned very well scoring-wise. Happy with where you are heading into the weekend??
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I'm right there. I'm right now five back, four back. I'm still right there. Long weekend ahead of us with temperatures supposed to be getting up. Depends on how much water they put on these things. They were pretty fast today. We were surprised that the balls were holding. Not a lot of low scores but obviously Dickie's (Charles Howell III) posted a pretty good one out there.
Q. How would you compare the way you played today versus yesterday??
TIGER WOODS: Played about the same as I did coming in yesterday. Obviously yesterday starting out wasn't very good, but I turned it around coming in and that's about how I played all day today.
Q. Playing well versus when you are not playing well, what does it feel like out there for you right now when you're actually hitting the ball well??
TIGER WOODS: I feel like I'm able to control my trajectories. That was nice. As I said yesterday, most of the day especially coming in, I had a good feel for that and today was about the same.
Q. When the wind has died down, is there a strategy you have to implement??
TIGER WOODS: Well, with the greens as soft as they are, you can be a little more aggressive. I had a hard time getting the ball to the hole today. That was probably the main thing, I left five putts that were dead-center short, and this could have been a pretty special round if I had hit it a little harder.
Q. For six or eight holes, the crowd was really energized; were they energizing you or were you energizing them??
TIGER WOODS: Probably a combo platter there. We definitely tend to feed off of one another when I get it going and it's a lot of fun.
Q. Sounded like the old days out there.
TIGER WOODS: It did. It felt good.
Q. Five birdies and a bogey, pretty good round today, can you talk about it please??
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I played pretty clean today. I hit the ball probably as well as I did coming in yesterday all day today. And I left probably think five putts short that were dead center. So this could have been a pretty special round.
I was very surprised how slow these things were today. They must have soaked them pretty good last night because balls were holding, they were spinning back a little bit, very different than what we had yesterday.
Q. A little bit easier than playing in that wind??
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, no doubt. Yesterday, we don't mind playing in wind like that, but it's always difficult when it's kind of gusty, and yesterday it was definitely doing that. We play British Open wind like that every year, but it's no big deal because it's just pretty consistent. When it gets gusty like that, it gets tough.
Q. You've done some special things at 18 the year before; can you take us through what happened there today??
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I hit a terrible 8-iron in there. We got put on the clock there coming off the tee, so we pulled a little hurry-up offense on it and I tugged it left.
And then the putt, I hit that putt in the practice round actually, not quite obviously that distance but I was surprised at how straight it was. This is obviously a different green than what I played a couple years ago. I played a little bit less break, and it went in.
Q. Still an afternoon wave here but no one really made a huge move during the morning wave today. Happy with where you are??
TIGER WOODS: I was kind of surprised by that because the greens are pretty soft. They are not as firm as they were yesterday. They are starting to get a little chewy. Anybody who wears metal spikes like me or some of the other guys who wear soft spikes that turn their feet a little bit, they are starting to catch up. Dustin and Gary got behind a couple Mt. Everests out there, and unfortunately they couldn't do anything about it. But the guys in the afternoon are going to probably have to deal with that a little bit.
Q. Is there any concern about reading the greens; where could you say you are now??
TIGER WOODS: Well, they are just different reads, what I remember from the past is not the same. These are completely different greens. Some greens that generally would break a certain way are complete opposite. Did a pretty good redo, and you have to read the grain, as well, too, not just the slope. Sometimes the grain is going in the opposite direction. Memory is thrown out and you have to putt what you see.
Q. Do you feel comfortable over two days reading the greens??
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, again, I had the pace down pretty good yesterday, I just didn't make any putts. But today was better. The greens, I was surprised how slow they were. They probably soaked them pretty hard last night to make sure that they didn't get away from them.
Q. How important is it to be in contention this weekend --
TIGER WOODS: It's just like anything. We are trying to build towards the first major, and that's kind of how my game is kind of headed towards. It's building and it's coming.
Q. Seeing as you could not do that last year, how big or how good was that first round at Augusta last year, all things considered??
TIGER WOODS: What helped last year is that I know the golf course. It's not like we go to a venue that we've never played before or something we had not seen for five or ten years. We play it each and every year, and I was able to get a feel for it, go up there a couple of times, play practice rounds, and that certainly helps.
Q. What was clicking for you today compared to yesterday??
TIGER WOODS: Well, I was just hitting it about as good as I did coming home yesterday. I really striped it coming in yesterday. I hit my irons well all day yesterday, and I did about the same thing all day today. It's kind of the same feeling and working on the same things that Sean and I are working on and they are starting to become a little more fluid.
Q. More opportunities because of the conditions??
TIGER WOODS: No doubt, the wind is not as bad today. Plus the greens are soft. We could afford to be a little more aggressive and we didn't have the gusts that we were having yesterday.