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Tiger Woods Post-Round Interview from Bay Hill

Thursday, March 26, 2009 , Posted by Christopher Byrne at 10:32 PM, under , , ,

Athens, GA (Mar 26, 2009) - Tiger Woods is continuing his comeback from knee surgery, playing in this week's Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill. NBC Sports is hoping, praying, pleading that he is in the hunt this weekend.

He gave them hope by shooting a profanity laced 2-under par. So if they are going to show him this weekend, strike that, when they show him this weekend, let's hope they do not have to put him on a five-second delay.

Here is the transcript of his post-round transcript from today's first round.

Q. Can you talk about 8 and 9?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I hit two poor drives there on 8 and 9 and got a gap on 8, was able to play it up through the trees and have an easy pitch, easy up-and-down.
9 was different, though. I got a drop there and somehow hit up there around the green and just hit a terrible pitch, came out really hot, and it was nice to make about a 15-footer for par there just to keep momentum going on the back nine.

Q. The putts started going down right around in that range, too, probably the longest one you made all year.

TIGER WOODS: It was nice to hit one on line and know what it was supposed to do. The grain was showing in off the left, and I played it right on top of the right edge and had the grain hold it, had the wind holding it, as well, so it was nice how it ended up.

Q. Is this the first time in a you've come back that you've really had to deal with your own anger a little bit? It didn't seem like you had that going the first few times.

TIGER WOODS: No doubt. The first two tournaments I didn't have it because I was hitting it so well. Today I was not hitting it well, and I had to scramble and grind it out and manage to score, and it's just really not too hard to shoot rounds under par when you're hitting a bunch of fairways and a bunch of greens like I did down at Doral.

Today was different. I had to manage my game. I missed the ball on the correct sides, so I had easy pitches. The only one I really short-sided myself on was 17 there, and even though that was not a hard pitch, I just kind of got underneath it too much.

Q. You and Padraig have won five of the last six majors. Can you just talk about playing with him today, obviously the focal point of most of the people here?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I haven't played with Paddy in a while, so it's been a while. We were talking out there, Stevie and I, about his routine has changed. It's certainly much quicker than it has been in the past. I mean, whatever he's doing is working. His work ethic is second to none out here. He really works hard. It was an amount of time before he had some success in major championships, and lo and behold, he's got three.

Q. When do you do when you have a situation like on No. 6? It seemed like on your third shot, your fourth shot and your fifth shot you weren't there mentally.

TIGER WOODS: The worst putt I made was on 7 and the best putt I made was on 6. Just keep it together, manage to keep it at 1-over par at the worst and then made the turn at even par or under, and I'll be fine. I didn't do that, but I made a nice putt at 9 which is like making a birdie, so I kept the momentum going and then got it back.

Q. Will you watch some of the tournament action tonight?

TIGER WOODS: If the kids let me.

Q. On your knee, it was a cumulative type injury built up over the years?

TIGER WOODS: Correct.

Q. In that case are you going back to the same exact swing, starting over, or have you made adjustments?

TIGER WOODS: Well, it's a swing that I've been trying to make but I wasn't able to make. People would say, "You're jumping off your left side." Well, I had to jump off it because it hurt like hell to stay on it. When the leg is trashed like it was, if I would have stayed on the leg it's not going to be a pretty sight; I'd probably fall down.

It's nice to be able to drive into the left leg for the first time. It's been so long since I've been able to drive into the left leg and have it stable, and I'm hitting shots that I haven't been able to hit ever.

Q. Does it feel better than you thought it would?

TIGER WOODS: Oh, yeah.

Q. Even after all you've been through?

TIGER WOODS: Absolutely. Playing golf is so much more enjoyable now than it was before. It just wasn't fun. The pain that I had to deal with day in and day out, that part wasn't. I didn't tell you guys, but it is what it is. You've got to do it and you've got to get through it and suck it up and get it done. Unfortunately it just wasn't a lot of fun because it was taking so much energy to do it.

Q. Was it really bad at this tournament last year? You only had this one and Doral before the Masters. I mean, did you kind of know what was coming?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, the surgery that I had after Augusta was to try to get me through the rest of the season. The ACL was already ruptured, and I was causing damage playing on it. There was nothing there but bone and it was grinding and the knee was getting locked quite a bit. It's hard to get down on your putts. Sometimes I really couldn't get down there, it was already locked. So the operation after Augusta was to try and get me through the rest of the season. Then I ended up breaking it.

Q. I know you're not a guy that's ever made excuses and you don't want to show weakness, I'm to some degree putting words in your mouth --

TIGER WOODS: You just play. As an athlete you just go out there and play. It is what it is. Everyone deals with injuries, everyone deals with pain. You go out and play. Why do you do it? You love doing it. You love being out here and trying to win tournaments. That's all.

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