2012 PGA Championship Interview Transcript -- Tiger Woods
KELLY ELBIN: TIGER WOODS joining us after a 1 under par 71 in the second round of the 94th PGA Championship, He is at 4 under par, 140 midway through the championship tied with Vijay Singh and Carl Pettersson.
Tiger, couple of three birdies in there, two bogeys, I know it wasn't the way you wanted to finish the round, but comments on the round today and in particular, the conditions.
TIGER WOODS: I thought going out today, anything even par or better was going to be a good score. That was my goal. So I went out today and I accomplished that.
It was a tough tough day. The greens, for some reason, there are a lot of high points, and the ball is oscillating, the wind is blowing the ball all over I'm sorry, the putter, all over the place. The starting lines are crazy out there off these tee shots. But it was blowing all day, the morning guys and the afternoon guys, so I don't think anyone had an advantage.
KELLY ELBIN: Thank you, Tiger. You've had 231 putts over the first two rounds. If you would, go through your scorecard starting with 2.
TIGER WOODS: 2, I hit a driver and 8 iron down there and putted it on the green and 2 putted from 40 feet.
4, I hit a 3 iron and a 7 iron in there to about, oh, about 40 feet again and made that one.
Bogeyed 8. I hit a 6 iron and rode the wind over there in the bunker, blasted out to about 15 feet and missed it.
12, I hit a 5 wood and an 8 iron to about, oh, three feet and made that.
18, I hit a driver and a 6 iron to about 30 feet left of the hole and 3 putted there.
Q. I know it's late, so two from me. One, eight out of nine up and downs, putted very well obviously but chipped very well; this year, you've been hitting the ball better, but your short game might be a little rusty, so talk about that. And secondly, we know how much majors mean to you. You had a chance, U.S. Open, British Open; how do you approach this differently this weekend and to try and get that one?
TIGER WOODS: Well, as far as my short game, my short game's been good. I've made a few changes, and it was actually pretty good at the British Open, as well. But they were different shots, different type of shots.
This week, we've got to throw the ball up, and I've had a pretty good feel for it. It helped coming here early and hitting a lot of chip shots that Tuesday before I went to Akron.
And as far as the last couple majors, hey, I'm right there with a chance, and that's I like that. So I'm playing better to where I'm going to give myself chances in major championships, I'm right there. So we have got a long way to go and I don't know what the forecast is for tomorrow, if it's going to blow like this or not blow like this, but if it's anything like this over the weekend, with no rain, it's going to be tough. It's going to be tough to get the ball close to these holes.
Q. Carl was just in here and we asked him if he could compare this to anywhere else and he compared it to the 2002 Open championship where you had the wind blowing in and but you also had the cold rain. As I recall, you got caught on the bad side of that Open. Is there anything that you can compare today to?
TIGER WOODS: Well, yes, it's like that, but 50 degrees warmer (shrugging shoulders. ) It's summertime, too, and it's still 50 degrees colder.
Now, as far as yeah, we've played in wind like this and we've played links golf, but it's no big deal because you can bump the ball on the ground. You can throw it 30 yards short of the green and let it roll on the green.
Here, you just can't do it. You've got to throw the ball in the air. That's what makes it difficult is that it's a linksy type of feel, in which you can't use the ground at all. Paspalum, as well as the rain, it just negates all of that.
And then when you get around the greens, some of these shots would be nice to be able to bump it but you can't do, that either, because it's too sticky. You might be able to play some kind of driving one hop stop shot but even then you're taking a chance.
It's just, one, you can't short side yourself out there, you've got to leave yourself on the fat side and give yourself some room. And then some of these bunkers are not bunkers. They are, you know, like either hard pan or mud. A shot that Keegan played today on 16 was unbelievable, because it was mud down there. And that's what can happen in some of these spots.
I had a spot on 8 today that where my feet were, I had no sand, but where the golf ball was, it was a ton of sand. Luckily we are able to take practice swings and try to get a feel for it but it's tough out there.
Q. Last week when you were here, and again earlier this week, you seemed to suggest you wanted some wind. Wondering, though, if this is a little bit more than you would have hoped for? Obviously you want it tough, but this is pretty brutal?
TIGER WOODS: This is tough. This is as you said, at times, it is a little bit brutal out there because you're playing so much drift. Even if you hook it or slice the golf ball, it doesn't matter. It's still drifting back at the end. And even with these new golf balls that go so much straighter, they are still drifting a lot.
So at least we don't have to play this golf course with this much wind with balata balls. That would have been interesting.
Q. Just a couple putting questions, I think you had 11 1 putts today. Was there something that clicked in your practice with your putting or was it catching lightning in a bottle or somewhere in between? And if you could take us through what happened with the putt on 18, a little bit aggressive I guess?
TIGER WOODS: Well, I putted great on the weekend at Akron. I holed a bunch of putts, I believe I made I think six putts over 20 feet on the weekend. I did a lot of good, solid work on Thursday and Friday after I putted so poorly, and I felt great on the weekend. I was rolling the ball the way that I know I can role the golf ball. And I just basically carried it over to here this week.
As far as putting on 18, I know that putt runs away from me. I charted it in my book and I have the feel, and I still hit it too hard. I was leaning on my left side a little bit with the wind blowing, trying to brace myself, and just didn't work out.
Q. Kelly mentioned the 231 putts, and I think you had a hole out. Out of your 14 major wins, does one of them stand out as a really superior putting performance? And then you talked about putting in these windy circumstances; is it difficult to find opportunities to practice putting in these kind of conditions?
TIGER WOODS: Well, the second part of your question is, yeah, we don't really get a chance to putt too much in windy conditions like this, unless we are playing at The Open.
We just don't play in wind like this.
As far as 14 majors that I've had, putting performances, there's two of them. I didn't miss a putt inside ten feet at Augusta in '97, as well as the 2000 Open. Those are two pretty good majors.
Q. The biggest question that's being debated in golf right now is, is Tiger back. How will you define when you're back? Is it when you win one major, more than one major or more than one in a year? How do you define it?
TIGER WOODS: I'm back playing a full schedule this year. I've not played a full schedule in a very long time. I've been told I would never win again, so I'll just play it out and I know that once I get into the rhythm of playing, playing tournaments and being able to practice and work on the things that Sean wants me to work on, things will get better, and they have.
And I'm starting to see some nice consistency and I'm very pleased by that.
Q. Can you explain a little bit more about how the wind affects the putting? Is it more of an impact on the short putts or the long putts?
TIGER WOODS: It's everything. Because the putter, it's virtually impossible to take it back without it moving all over the place. There were a couple of times that I got blown and the putter was wavering all over the place, and I adjusted on the downswing and got a feel for it and timed it up perfectly and ended up making it. But then there were times when I didn't time it right, the wind blew me or it let up and my path changed or my body position changed and I missed it.
So we are also playing wind on putts, as well. There were a couple of times I played probably a foot more break because the wind is coming off sideways and it's just going to continue moving.
It's tough, because you try and hit it, you try and get steady, you try to make a solid stroke, and from there, whatever happens, happens.
Q. You've talked about how difficult the conditions are right now, you said it doesn't really compare to anywhere else. Where would you rank this among the most difficult conditions that you've played in in your career?
TIGER WOODS: Well, I think it would have been it would have been near the top of the list if it wasn't soft. But we have soft conditions out there. The ball is sticking in the fairways. We are making ballmarks on the greens. There were a few times when we have played under some tough U.S. Open circumstances where that wasn't the case, and then it gets a little dicey.
You know, I think everyone remembers what happened at Shinnecock when they kind of lost the greens there.
Q. A little over a 5 1/2 hour round in those tough conditions, mentally, how tough is it to stay focused for that amount of time in those conditions? Guys were walking off the course looking like they got beat up.
TIGER WOODS: Because we did. It's been a long day, and we knew that going into it. You know, we thought it was going to be around the 5 1/2 hour mark, and we were just slightly over that.
So it's tough, because these conditions beat you up already, and then the pace of play kind of adds to it, and there's just no letup. Sometimes you can have slow days, but the conditions aren't brutal like this.
On a Pete Dye golf course, it's just there's nowhere to go. You can't miss the golf ball here, and if you're playing poorly, it's just going to slow up play. It's not so hard to make doubles and triples here, or higher. And you know, we had that in our group and I'm sure we're not the only group that had that problem.
KELLY ELBIN: Tiger Woods, tied for the lead at the PGA Championship.
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