MORE INTERVIEWS: THE PLAYERS transcript archive
Q.How would you describe your day?
CASEY WITTENBERG: I didn't get off to a very good start, unfortunately. I thought the course played fairly difficult today. The pins were hard. You had to hit quality irons and hit the ball close to the hole. Unfortunately, Tiger was making birdies, and I really wasn't moving forward. When I didn't birdie number 11 because I hit a poor drive, that was pretty costly for me. Then I followed that up with bogeys on 13, 14, and 15.
All in all, I just didn't play well enough to deserve to be in contention on the back nine, unfortunately.
Q. Tiger's drop on 14, was there any concern at all as to whether he dropped too far forward?
CASEY WITTENBERG: No, not at all. I saw it perfectly off the tee. I told him exactly where I thought it crossed, and we all agreed, so he's definitely great on that.
Q. Crossed land?
CASEY WITTENBERG: No, we talked to each other. He asked me exactly where it crossed. I told him I thought it crossed on the corner of the bunker right where he took his drop, and it's all good.
Q. So the ball was hooking?
CASEY WITTENBERG: Yes, for sure. There is no doubt, guys. The ball crossed where he dropped.
Q. Can you talk about ‑‑ you've seen him a couple times now, at the U.S. Open last year when he didn't have his best and Torrey and now this; any thoughts from you on how his game is coming along?
CASEY WITTENBERG: Yeah, his game has definitely progressed, like you said. It's getting better and better each time I saw it. I thought he played fairly well at Torrey, especially with his iron game. I know this golf course doesn't really stress him out as far as having him make him hit drivers. But, all in all, I thought he was pretty zipped up and had very good control over the golf ball and made a few putts.
Q. This place has given him fits over the years. Does that surprise you?
CASEY WITTENBERG: You know, anything ‑‑ any golf course that gives him difficulty does surprise me, but some people ‑‑ it might not fit his eye. But he played a great round of golf today, and I'm sure they're going to see how it finishes up, it's probably good enough.
Q. After stumbling a little bit there, he stumbled a little bit, were you thinking to yourself, wow, he's letting everyone back in it? And how big for him was 16, and the two shots into 18 were pretty good, I guess?
CASEY WITTENBERG: Yeah, I'm sure he was as shocked as everybody else was that hit that shot off the 14th tee. But he recovered and had a great up‑and‑down on 15, and got a good bunker shot up‑and‑down on 16, and had a great lag putt on 17 and played 18 pretty much perfect.
Q. You've played Sunday with Tiger twice this year. Can you describe what it's like? Does it add to the pressure, the stress?
CASEY WITTENBERG: No, I enjoy it. This job is stressful regardless whether you're playing with Tiger or not. He's a great guy, and I have a lot of fun playing with him. He's easy for me to play with. We have good chats when we're out there. He obviously take it's serious, and he wants to win like everybody else does.
I've been on the wrong side of some really great golf by Tiger this year, but it's been nice to be in the group and learn from it.
Q. Where you guys were on 18, could you hear what was going on at 17 with Sergio?
CASEY WITTENBERG: Well, the crowd was telling us everything. But we could hear, but we didn't know who it was, and we were just trying to get everybody quieted down so we could hit some tee shots on probably the hardest tee shot of the day.
Q. (Indiscernible) 16 and 17, just all of that, you can see and ‑‑
CASEY WITTENBERG: Yeah, but that's what this place is about. It's one time a year, and you can love it or hate it those last three‑hole stretch. But I think the best thing you can do is just kind of embrace it and just buckle down when you get on them and try to play them as good as you can.