Round 1 Interview With:

Tiger Woods

Thursday May 3, 2018

TIGER WOODS: I hit 'em fine. I struggled with my speed all day. It's weird. With greens this firm, they're springy and putting slow, so my feel was off all day.

Q. You talked about (no microphone) off today. It's been your strength all season. What do you attribute that to?

TIGER WOODS: As I said, the greens are slow. They're springy and they're firm, and that's not a combo you would expect. So just got to make the adjustments. I struggled with making the adjustments today in my feel. I saw, felt, especially in my feet, about reading the putts didn't match up.

Q. After you're knocking off three weeks and coming back to the PGA TOUR, you had a close call at the Valspar. Do you have a gauge of what level you can take your game to?

TIGER WOODS: No, not really. Just trying to get better, just trying to -- I felt like I've played my way into playing shape now, whether it's the simple act of walking and play, recovery from day to day and playing week to week. I feel like I've played my way into the rhythm of it through basically (inaudible). Now just trying to get a little better.

Q. Tiger, some comments on your round, please.

TIGER WOODS: Well, it was an all right day. I hit it all right. Just struggled with the speed of the greens there. They're on the slower side. They feel springy and they feel fast, especially as I'm walking on them, but they're not putting that way. What I was feeling and sensing just didn't match up.

Q. You mentioned how the greens are a little bit springy. Were you satisfied with the way you hit your irons?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I hit the ball fine today. If I just make a few putts, you know, just I should be 2 or 3 under par, which is fine. I just didn't make anything today. As I said, I really struggled getting the pace right. As I said, this is a very strange combo to have firm but a little bit on the slower side.

Q. Did you really run into that at 15?

TIGER WOODS: 15, I just made sure I tried to get it to the hole and I busted it through the hole and then I blocked the second one. But, you know -- sorry, 16, that was 16. 17 I left the putt, what, 30 feet short? Even though I made the second one, but still, come on, I've got to lag it closer than that.

Q. Where do you feel like you are for the rest of the week?

TIGER WOODS: As I said, ball striking wise, I'm fine, I'm right there. If I make a couple putts, I'd be, as I said, 2, 3 under par, which is fine. I made a bogey there at 10. I missed the carry by about a foot and then stuck a wedge in the ground, made bogey with a wedge in my hand. Then I had a couple putts I missed from -- putts I normally should make at 14 and at 16. So right there that puts me at 3 under par without really doing much.

Q. Tiger, what would be easier to fix, the putting stuff today or if you weren't hitting it as well, which is quicker and easier?

TIGER WOODS: Ball striking is always hard because obviously the distance covered. Putting, I've always been a pretty good putter all of my career, so that will be -- that's something I've never really worried too much about.

Q. Tiger, it seems like less birdie opportunities out there than when you played here before?

TIGER WOODS: This golf course is a lot harder, a lot harder than when I played. I haven't played here in six years or so. The golf course has gotten more difficult, a lot longer and it's gotten more difficult. A lot more bunkers are in play, they're more difficult to carry, and the greens have -- some of the greens have more slope. Like No. 12, a little bit less than it used to be. But still, there's some significant slope out there.

Q. Do you have satisfaction right now coming off the break and (inaudible)?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, the way this golf course is set up and the way it's playing right now, the guys are going to be stacked. We're all going to be close. There's going to be probably, I'm guessing, 15 guys or so with a chance on Sunday. It's going to be stacked. It's just the way this golf course is playing and the nature of the setup.

Q. Would it be tougher for you to adjust to the greens going off at 7:30 tomorrow morning?

TIGER WOODS: No. The greens will be smoother, but should be freshly cut, should be a little bit quicker. You can tell they grew a little bit today, but they should be a little bit quicker tomorrow

Q. What's the easiest course you've played this year, the most scorable course?

TIGER WOODS: Probably Augusta.

Q. Seriously?

TIGER WOODS: Seriously. Most of the golf courses I've played have been really difficult setups, whether it's Torrey, L.A, Honda, no one went low. Valspar, no one went low. Bay Hill was open and the guys just went low on Sunday only, but for the first three days they were almost kind of just jockeying. And Augusta was more wide open than pretty much any event I've played in so far this year.

Q. What's your next easy one? I must have missed that.

TIGER WOODS: You need to do a better job selecting events.