Tiger Woods hasn't been hitting the ball well of late, but had a nice round in the opener at the Memorial Tournament, where he's won four times. He entered the clubhouse one back of the lead, but later performances by golfers such as leader Scott Stallings now have him tied for 11th, four back of the lead at a two-under 70.
He spoke with the press after his round, here's some of what he had to say.
Q. Three out of four birdies on the par‑5s and probably should have been four out of four. Does that help tell you when your game is on, that that's a good indicator of how well you're not playing or how well you are playing?
TIGER WOODS: Well, I haven't played the par‑5s particularly well the last few tournaments, and today was a good example. I played them great. The one on 11 should have been a birdie, as well. I hit two really nice shots in there. I feel very pleased with the way I hit the golf ball all day, and it was nice to actually play the par‑5s under par for a change.
Q. Last week Rory missed the cut at Wentworth, and the story that day was more about him than the leader of the tournament, something that obviously you've dealt with many times when things aren't going right.
TIGER WOODS: Really? (Smiling.)
Q. Just curious what you thought of that from afar and also maybe what you might tell him if he asks, just for counsel in that sort of situation where obviously the scrutiny is ratcheted up now for him?
TIGER WOODS: Just keep going. You miss the cut, so be it, move on and get ready for the next event. I figured when I missed the cut‑‑ the times I've missed the cut, you still have the weekend, two extra days to go prepare and get ready. You have to turn it into a positive. You have to find some of the things that you did right and obviously analyze the things you did wrong, too, and apply them.
But I think you've got to get right back to work. I don't think you can sit on it and let it fester. I think you need to get right back at it and do your diligence and then get out there and do your homework and hit balls or chip and putt, whatever caused you to do what you did, if you're not hurt. If you're healthy, just go ahead and start ripping balls.
Q. There seems to be a real genuine affection for you. Do you feel that?
TIGER WOODS: I've always loved coming here. I love just playing this golf course and this area has been incredible to me over the years. I was surprised at how many people came out yesterday on a Wednesday and supported this event. Today they came out in droves again, and they've always supported Jack's event, and I think it's going to be the same thing on the weekend.
We'll see if Woods can keep up his strong play and perhaps contend for the first time since winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational earlier this season.
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