Arnold Palmer Invitational interview: Tiger WoodsMarch 21, 2013
Q. Tiger, a 69, tough conditions with the wind. How difficult was that?
TIGER WOODS: I scored well. I certainly didn't play my best, but I got around and made a few good saves out there. I haven't seen these pins out there. They're pretty dicey. They're really tough to get after, especially with the wind blowing the way it is. It was so cool and the ball wasn't flying, and it presented a pretty good challenge.
Q. You say you scored well, but maybe not hitting the ball as well as you wanted to. What part of the game maybe were you disappointed with?
TIGER WOODS: I didn't drive it well, didn't hit my irons well and didn't control my distances well or my trajectory. Other than that, it was good.
Q. Are you surprised considering how well you played at Doral, and you come here to a course where you're obviously comfortable and had success?
TIGER WOODS: Days happen like this. It was cool this morning, and it just didn't work out. But I scored well, and I kept myself in the tournament. I'm right there. Justin played a beautiful round of golf today. He had every single facet of his game working, so we had a good time out there.
Q. Is that the key for success is that when you don't have it, you can turn a card that's a 72 into a 69?
TIGER WOODS: I think it's just making a key save, a key putt here and there and keeping the round going. I stubbed my toe there at 17 and 18 and made eagle on 16, and threw away a couple shots right there. And I made a couple of good saves on 1 and 2. I got 3 on a trot there, and made a bad mistake at 7. So I got a lot out of this round, and I threw away a few shots as well.
Q. Are you pleased with your round today?
TIGER WOODS: I played all right today. I didn't hit it my best today, that's for sure. I scored well. I got up and down a few times and made a couple putts here and there. It was pretty cool this morning. The ball wasn't traveling, and these are some new pins. I haven't seen a couple of these pins out here. They were up on some knobs. Especially at 13, that was a tough pin. For a little wedge in there, you've got to play so conservative and putt back.
Q. Did you get in synch with the way Justin played today?
TIGER WOODS: He played a beautiful round of golf. He had every single facet of the game working. He drove it beautifully, hit his irons well and made a bunch of putts. And when he didn't hit a good iron shot in there, he hit a beautiful pitch.
Q. Tee on 9 or on 18, your 9, did you hear the horn blow, the car horn blow on that putt?
TIGER WOODS: On what hole?
Q. On 18.
TIGER WOODS: My 18th?
Q. Your 9th.
TIGER WOODS: No.
TIGER WOODS: I pulled the putt. The grain was coming off to the left, and I was trying to make sure that I carried it with some speed, and I ripped it right through the break.
Q. How hard is that basically with what you saw of (Indiscernible) the last time you putted so beautifully. How do you assess your putting here?
TIGER WOODS: I putted well today. I made a few putts today. I didn't really have it early. The pace, I was surprised how slow the greens were with the rains that we had yesterday. They started drying out and started picking up pace. The downwind, down-grain putts started to get some pretty good speed. Like the putt we had at 8, that putt had some jets to it, so I think that's what we're going to have on the weekend.
Q. What is it about this place that suits your eye?
TIGER WOODS: I don't know. It's just one of those courses. I've had a few courses like that, and, fortunately, this is one of them.
Q. The par 5s in your career here they're like something crazy, like 120 under par. Again today you did really well. Talk about the importance of that in terms of your score?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I took care of the par 5s. I didn't birdie them the way I'd like to. Except for the eagle on 16, the other ones were not very good shots. Hitting it up on the green and making a putt. I did all right on the par 5s. I played them 5 under. Also made a few other mistakes out there as well.
Q. You hit wedge into 16?
TIGER WOODS: No, I hit a little 9.
Q. The chip, what about that bunker shot on 7, Tiger?
TIGER WOODS: That was terrible. It was such an easy shot. It was one I was thinking of making, and I just threw the club on there and it skidded on me. It was a very poor shot.
Q. Your opening hole, is it a pretty standard chip or was it one of your better ones?
TIGER WOODS: It was one of my good ones just because it was wet, and the first hop wasn't a skid. That's one reason why I played it more towards the bottom, so it would skid up the hill, and I didn't have to land it into the hill and try to kill it. It landed more where it was basically neutral grain and have it skid up the hill so I didn't have to do much work.
Q. Example when you talk about cleaning up a round for scoring, that would be one of them?
TIGER WOODS: That would be one of them, sure, absolutely. A nice save there at 1 and 2 today or 10 and 11, whatever you want to call it, those were key because I had just thrown away a couple shots I gained on 16. So to get those and then eventually get three in a row was good stuff.
Q. One quick non golf. Do you watch the tourney, and if you do, do you fill out a bracket?
TIGER WOODS: I've got Indiana going all the way. Hopefully they will, and I can make some cash.
Q. Yesterday you talked about the course, two different type of courses with the rain coming up, you teed off in the Pro Am. And do you feel it's dried out and a little windy today?
TIGER WOODS: It has dried out a little bit. But still this morning it was so cool the ball wasn't traveling. Now that it's warmed up a little bit, the ball is starting to go a little bit. And this weekend it's supposed to get hot, so the ball will certainly be flying. The golf course will play shorter. But the greens will certainly be faster. We'll see how much moisture is in them, because if it gets humid, we're going to be able to hole these things. But if it gets dry, these things will get baked out quick.
Q. What's it feel like to be back in Orlando?
TIGER WOODS: It feels good to be back. I just need to play a little better than I did today and move my way up.