Honda Classic interview: Tiger Woods

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March 01, 2013

MORE INTERVIEWS: The Honda Classic transcripts archive

Q.  A battle out there today?
TIGER WOODS:  That it was.  I didn't quite have my game like I did yesterday.  I hit it much better yesterday, but I putted better today so it all evened out.

Q.  Talk about the bunker shot at 17‑‑
TIGER WOODS:  He had no lie, that's the thing.  He played the only shot he possibly could.  I thought he might just chip it in the bunker and leave it on the upslope, but he tried it, pulled it off.
My shot, I just tried to make sure I hit right next to that ball and get as much skin as I possibly could.

Q.  Looked like some times out there where you could generate some momentum; did you feel that?
TIGER WOODS:  I did.  I had it going early and then I would lose it.  I buried the ball at 13 and made double there, and then got back at 14.
Had an opportunity at 18 with a simple 5‑iron from the bunker and jerked it over there in the gallery.  Best shot I hit all day, off that lie, muddy, no grass, downhill lie and water; I was contemplating chipping the ball in the bunker, as well.  I decided to try and pull it off.  If I pulled it off, then great, it's on the green and if I don't, I'm leaving it in the bunker.  Then I have a pretty simple up‑and‑down.

Q.  Compare the two rounds.
TIGER WOODS:  Well, I didn't hit it anywhere near as good as I did yesterday.  I didn't have it today.  But I putted well; same score.

Q.  You fought on the last couple of holes, specifically on 17 with the great bunker shot to put yourself in position to make the cut and play the weekend.  Can you talk about the final holes?
TIGER WOODS:  Actually 17 was a much easier shot than I had at 18.  18 was a much harder shot, off a downhill lie and muddy with no grass.
I was telling Johnny over here, I was contemplating just chipping the ball in the bunker and trying to get up‑and‑down.  I decided to try and pull it off, and if it came off, great, it's going to end up where it didn't.  And if it didn't, I was going to make sure it would be short in the bunker and get an easy up‑and‑down.

Q.  Nine shots currently out of the lead, what is it going to take for you tomorrow?
TIGER WOODS:  Well, I've got to get something going here.  There's 70‑plus guys within nine shots of the lead, just pretty bunched.  Anybody in this tournament can win it.
So hopefully tomorrow I can get it going, at least give myself a chance going into Sunday.

Q.  Talk about your round a little bit.
TIGER WOODS:  I didn't hit the ball very good today.  I hit it really good yesterday and got nothing out of it.  Today I didn't hit it very good and got a lot out of it.

Q.  What makes the drive on 6 so tough?
TIGER WOODS:  Well, there's not a lot of room out there.  It's a pretty tight hole, and granted, Martin hit it over there 70 yards right of the fairway and had a shot.  That's how you can play the hole and probably how I should be playing the hole, if you don't pipe it down the middle, hit it down the right and I haven't done that.
17 wasn't anywhere near as hard as 18.  17, I actually had a real good lie, and I had enough room to get the ball up and keep it from going in the water.  The water wasn't in play.
18 was a different story.  18, the water was in play.  I had no grass, it was muddy, and it was a downhill lie.  So I tried to pull it off, and if I pulled it off, it's going to be where it was and if I didn't, it was going to be dumped in the front bunker and I could get up‑and‑down from there, easy bunker shot.  I just wanted to make sure I took the water out of play on that little pitch shot and I did and it happened to come off.

Q.  How much was the cut on your mind those last few holes there?
TIGER WOODS:  Yeah, I knew where I was at but my goal was to get to 2‑under with the last five holes to go.  Especially after I just messed up 13.  I figured if I shoot 2‑under coming in, I'd be in a good spot going in the weekend, and didn't quite do it.
But I'm in the weekend and right now there's 70‑plus guys within nine shots, so anybody can win this thing.

Q.  After Rory's withdrawal today, could you give us some insight into what it feels like to have everything you do and say analyzed to death and how he must be feeling right now?
TIGER WOODS:  I don't know how he's feeling.  But I do understand how that last part is, yeah.

Q.  Is there a 62 out here this weekend, do you think?
TIGER WOODS:  Depends.  Depends on the weather.  If you get it cool like this, it's going to be tough.  There was a 63 out there today.  But we had some easier pins.  Tomorrow, the pins, as we saw from the dots going around the course, they are going to be a little more difficult than today.  We'll see what they do on Sunday, as well.

Q.  When you're on the course and something's bothering you, and you feel like you need to withdraw, how hard is that position?
TIGER WOODS:  It's tough.  I've done it a couple times just because I was injured.  I just couldn't go.  I hurt my wrist one time at the U.S. Open as an amateur.  Last year I pulled out at Doral, my Achilles was at the point where I could injure it again like I did the previous year.  So decided not to do it.  It all worked out.

Q.  When you're going through swing changes in 2008 and 2004 and there was a lot of criticism, you didn't really say anything too much about it, you just got to the end result instead.  Is that hard not to fight back on the choice to change clubs?
TIGER WOODS:  Well, that's just because people don't understand.  Most of the people that are commentating or analyzing don't understand the game of golf, so I didn't have a problem with it.

Q.  Is there a temptation at all to want to ‑‑
TIGER WOODS:  Well, they don't see it.  They don't see the range sessions and they don't see the practice at home.  Plus, they generally don't understand the game, especially at this level.

Q.  Having one of those welcome to my world conversations with Rory‑‑ he's going through it right now, whether the equipment, the swing, anything that he does, and that's what you've been through 17 years, basically.
TIGER WOODS:  Yeah, you know what, it isand also, I've been through it for a long time.  But also this is a slightly different era, as well.  It's even faster than what it was when I came out.  Things are instantaneous around the world.  We were still in fax machines, things were a little bit slower.
But still, you've just got to be more‑‑ just got to think about it a little bit more before you say something or do something.  It can get out of hand, especially when you get into social media and start Tweeting and all those different things that can go wrong‑‑ jokingly saying something doesn't always come off as saying that, even though the intent was different.  It could be perceived as something else.

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